There are several different approaches for teaching your children to be productive, educated learners. Let’s talk about the unschooling or relaxed schooling approach.
Unschooling was defined by John Holt, a 20th century American educator who taught that children have a strong desire to learn and a curiosity that drives them to learn what they need to know when they need to know it. He believed a child’s desire and curiosity for learning are destroyed by the usual teaching methods.
Today, unschooling is any less structured learning approach that allows children to pursue their own interests along with parental support and guidance. The child should be surrounded by a rich environment of books and learning resources, and have an adult in his life that models a lifestyle of learning and wants to interact with the child. The child studies formal academics when the need arises.
Many Christian homeschoolers who have definite goals, but favor less structured schooling prefer to be called “relaxed home educators” instead of unschoolers.
Some questions to ask yourself before choosing the Unschooling or Relaxed Schooling Approach:
1. Are you comfortable with have less structure and fewer pre-set goals?
2. Do your children have strong interests that they want to pursue?
3. Do your children love learning and have a lot of natural curiosity?
What are the strengths of the unschooling/relaxed schooling approach?
• It takes little planning
• Students become self-learners with a love for learning
• Children are less likely to be academically burned out
What are the weaknesses of the unschooling/relaxed schooling approach?
• Some subjects may be neglected
• Children may not accomplish as much as the parent anticipates
• It may be hard to assess the child’s level of learning
• Is extremely child centered
You’ll discover that every teaching approach has its strengths and weaknesses. The key is discovering which approach fits best with your family’s lifestyle and will help you and your family to stay focused and consistent.
Reference: The Elijah Company Catalog