Archive for unschooling

What Do Grown Unschoolers Think of Unschooling? IV in Series

Most of the grown unschoolers in our survey were very happy with their unschooling and said they would unschool their own children. A few, however, were unhappy, and their descriptions of their childhoods make it clear why they would be. This final report in the series describes the advantages and disadvantages of unschooling, in the respondents’ own words.

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Survey of Grown Unschoolers III: Pursuing Careers

Our survey of grown unchoolers—who had skipped all or much of K-12—revealed, not surprisingly, that many went on to careers in the creative arts. But that is not all. Many also pursued STEM careers and many become entrepreneurs. They chose careers that are enjoyable, meaningful, and high in occupational self-direction.

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Survey of Grown Unschoolers II: Going on to College

Most people in our culture believe that college admission requires 13 years of hard work in school, maybe accompanied by frequent tears. To some of them it may be disturbing to learn that it is possible to go to college, and do well there, with no K-12 schooling at all, just by following your own interests and dreams. Here are the words of some who did just that.

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A Survey of Grown Unschoolers I: Overview of Findings

How do people who didn't go to school or do curriculum-based homeschooling as children and teenagers fare in adult life? Can they go to college and do well there without previous schooling? What kinds of careers do they pursue? In retrospect, are they happy or unhappy with their unschooled background? In this study, 75 grown unschoolers tell us about their experiences.

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The Reading Wars: Why Natural Learning Fails in Classrooms

The "Reading Wars," the battles between those who favor phonics and those who favor whole-word or whole-language instruction of reading, have been declared to be over. The data clearly favor the early and explicit teaching of phonics. But when children learn to read out of school, on their own initiative, they do so with little attention to phonics. Why this difference?

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Seeking Unschooled Adults to Tell Us About Their Experiences

Do you know anyone, age 18 or older, who was “unschooled” for a period that covered, at least, what would have been their last two years of high school? If so, please invite them into this survey.

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Meet Kate Fridkis, Who Skipped K-12 and Is Neither Weird nor

Kate Fridkis, who didn't go to elementary or secondary school, is now 26 years old, is happily married, lives in New York City, has a master’s degree in religion from Columbia University, is a part-time chazzan (cantor) at a synagogue (a job she’s held since age 15), and is a full-time writer. I'm delighted that she agreed to this interview.

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The Challenges of Unschooling: Report III from the Survey

What is the biggest challenge or hurdle that families must surmount in order to "unschool" their children (that is, in order to allow their children to control their own education)? According to a recent large-scale survey, the biggest challenges lie not in unschooling per se, but in societal attitudes toward it. It is hard to stand up to social norms.

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What Leads Families to “Unschool” Their Children? Report II

Here, based on a survey of 232 unschooling families, I address these questions: Why did they remove their children from standard schooling? Why did they transition from homeschooling to unschooling? What authors, and what life experiences, influenced their decision?

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The Benefits of Unschooling: Report I from a Large Survey

This past fall I surveyed unschooling families, primarily to learn why they chose not to send their children to school or to school them at home. Two hundred and thirty one families responded to the survey. In this, the first report of the results, I focus on the families’ definitions of unschooling and the advantages they perceive unschooling to have for their families.

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