Unschooling: what is it?

Unschooling makes the world and life a natural school. There are no exams or pressure and we respect the child’s desire to learn. Find out what it is!


Do you remember your school stage? In your memory, laziness, apathy, boredom and the feeling that learning and studying were obligations are surely still present. Don’t feel guilty: this is what happens when the education system does not respect children’s natural processes and rhythms. L’anschooling is a proposal that solves many of these difficulties based on the innate curiosity and motivation of the little ones when it comes to training and preparing them to the life.

Traditional educational models consider the child as a passive agent to be guided, like an empty container that a trained adult must fill through the application of a structured project. Thus, the goal is to instill content in the minds of children, purely as a formality, and without them knowing, very often, the usefulness or the interest of what they are learning. What is the consequence? The little ones memorize for short periods of time without understanding what they are studying and, once the assessment is over, they forget what they have learned.

L’unschcooling comes to break with these paradigms and put the child back at the center of the process by giving him a leading role and adapting the teaching to his needs.

What is unschooling?

This term means “no school”. Thus, schools, teachers, programs and examinations are eliminated from the equation. The proposal is very different: children learn through everyday experiences that engage their interest and follow their own intrinsic motivation. In this way, they are freer and more autonomous and listen to their own rhythms.

At first glance, this may seem far-fetched; however, think about how toddlers acquire their mother tongue. Nobody structures a series of theoretical and practical courses to teach it: by simple exposure and immersion in an environment that speaks to them, they end up learning it naturally.

Similarly, you can think of a situation that probably happened to you with your children. They can’t finish the book they were asked to read at school, but they devour their favorite saga; they struggle to finish that essay they’ve been given for homework, but they love to write their own adventures and stories. And, what is more striking, they put off studying for an exam as long as possible while they spend hours fascinated looking for information on planets or dinosaurs.

The facts are there: we do not learn the same thing when we are forced, structured and evaluated, as when the freedom to want to learn something prevails because it really interests us.

With l’unschooling, children acquire knowledge by being motivated by their own tastes and interests. Their parents accompany them in this learning.

Characteristics of unschooling

To synthesize the essence of this educational proposal, we leave you its main characteristics:

  • The child occupies the central place and is the protagonist of his learning. No adult tries to force the acquisition of knowledge: the little one directs the process and asks questions based on his curiosity and his interests. The adult accompanies, guides, directs and responds.
  • The rhythms of the children are respected and it’s not about learning in a hurry.
  • The school is none other than life itself. Gradually as the child lives diverse, interesting and enriching experiences, he acquires knowledge; their curiosity and motivation increase.
  • There are no assessments or exams. Learning is not an obligation but a right, so no one is judged.
  • The child decides what he wants to learn as he feels the need. In this way, he knows the usefulness of each piece of information he acquires and understands how to apply it in life. This ensures meaningful learning that lasts over time.

Is it an effective alternative?

Since this is a very innovative proposal, it is normal that we have doubts about it. Therefore, it is important to look at its pros and cons. First of all, theunschooling offers multiple and important advantages and benefits, such as:

  • children grow with more freedom, with greater autonomy and more security. They listen to their interests and concerns, are more thoughtful and know each other better.
  • They are more independent and know how to guide their own learningask the right questions and learn hands-on through experimentation.
  • The lessons learned are solid and persist over time. Even if they do it at their own pace, children eventually learn everything they need. They nourish and cultivate themselves mentally according to their own interests.
  • They benefit more from their childhood and the relationship with their parents is stronger. If they are in charge of their education unschooling, they will share a multitude of enriching experiences and meaningful moments.
  • By eliminating schooling and examinations, the pressure to be judged, evaluated and compared diminishes. In addition, certain problems such as school harassment are avoided.
For this pedagogical proposal to be viable, adults must be very committed in order to arouse children’s curiosity and guide them in their learning.

Disadvantages of this educational proposal

On the other hand, he There are some downsides to consider in this pedagogical proposal:

  • If he does not attend an educational center, the child loses the opportunity to interact with peerslearn to build relationships and solve social problems.
  • If you then switch to a traditional education system, there may be adaptation problems group work, rote learning or a rigid and structured program.
  • If the parents are responsible for theunschoolingtheir involvement must be intense and their almost total dedication. Indeed, it is according to this that the child has opportunities to learn through daily experiences that arouse his curiosity. And it is also on his parents that the support and answers he needs at all times depend.

Unschooling is a beneficial alternative

To conclude, theunschooling is a very beneficial alternative for children, even if it is still little applied. It is a very respectful, child-centered model and focused on achieving solid and meaningful learning. Plus, it reduces pressure on kids and promotes fun and life skills development. It is therefore an interesting proposition to consider.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.