Ok I’m going to make a big claim here.
People keep telling us we have to accept ‘both sides’ with education, that there are positives and negatives to however you choose to educate, that one type is not right for every child, and that at the end of the day they are all equal.
I know the least offensive thing to do is agree and say that unschooling is not for every child, but I’ve never been about the least offensive route at the expense of my beliefs (or children’s rights).
The truth is, I don’t believe that.
Plenty of people are going to tell me I’m wrong. I’m biased. I’m taking it too far. I’m so one-sided it’s not funny.
You are entitled to your opinion, but I don’t share it.
Unschooling ‘works’ for every child.
I know people would like me to say that there are positive and negatives to every educational method and that you choose whatever suits you. I would prefer to say that with any decision there is an ideal and we work within our means to do the best we can. The only potential ‘negative’ I can foresee with unschooling is that one parent might not be able to work. Not a negative to us personally but I definitely understand that’s a difficulty or roadblock for some. Whether unschooling is doable or healthy for every single family is also a whole other story, but if we’re merely comparing educational ‘methods’ then there is a clear ‘best’ choice.
The truth is, genuine unschooling will suit any child perfectly. If you believe it doesn’t suit some personalities, then you don’t understand unschooling.
The very nature of unschooling means that it is perfect for anyone. How can this be? Because unschooling is about whatever that person needs and wants. It is not a curriculum which is unbending and created without a thought to the individual interests of the child. It is literally doing what is best for you. It is meeting everyone’s needs, following what makes you happy, creating a life that is perfect for you.
It doesn’t look the same in every family because we’re all unique. Again, it is whatever children NEED and WANT. It is custom-made for each person and for that reason it can’t NOT work. Unschooling is whatever a child needs it to be.
Your child loves to socialise? Then your life can be filled with fun with friends! Your child prefers more alone time? Then that’s what they can do! Your child is an artist? They can spend as much time as they like creating. Your child loves nothing more than reading a good book? Read all day! Your child is into technology? They can immerse themselves in that interest. Your child needs to move their body and craves time outdoors? Fantastic, they don’t have to be stuck in a classroom all day. Your child likes structure? You support them to work out their own rhythm that meets their own unique needs. No non-consensual routines necessary. Your child likes to fly by the seat of their pants? Every day is a new adventure! Unschooling looks different for every child, and from one day to the next. Unschooled children get to live the lives they choose. To do what makes them happy, not what others demand of them.
It is families living as equals, free from the interruption of school or even schooled beliefs. It is truly living your best life. When things seem to not be ‘working’, you make changes until it feels right again. Often what is required is more deschooling or simply being aware of everyone’s needs and working together to meet them in ways that maintain freedom, respect, and autonomy for all. Unschooling is flexible and adaptable.
If you are truly unschooling then there is no one it doesn’t work for, because it is perfectly tailored to you. I can’t think of any other type of education on offer that lives up to that standard.
So yeah, if I’m being honest, I do think unschooling is absolutely ideal for children.
This life is amazing, and the best thing about it? There’s no prerequisites.
Unschooling is for anyone.