7 Common Misconceptions About Unschooling - The Type Of Schooling That Shaped Me Into The Person I Am Today
Start writing a post
Lifestyle

7 Common Misconceptions About Unschooling - The Type Of Schooling That Shaped Me Into The Person I Am Today

I gained real-world experience from living in the real world. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

19
Me at Robinson Preserve, October 2008
Emily White

Everyone has heard of homeschooling by now. When you hear that word, you probably conjure up images of children waking up late and doing worksheets at the kitchen table while their parents correct them on multiplication tables and grammar. Most people have probably had a homeschooled friend or two during their lifetime, as well, and you probably either felt really bad for your homeschooled friend or really jealous of them.

I didn't go to school until my junior year of high school, but I wasn't homeschooled; I was unschooled.

Unschooling is a type of homeschooling that doesn't involve using curricula or worksheets. Instead, it's based on child-led learning. The goal is to encourage a love of life-long learning and to educate the child holistically so that they learn what they want to know and what they need to know to enjoy life. People who unschool their children recognize that people learn at different rates and that classrooms tend to isolate children from real-world experiences. Here are nine misconceptions about unschooling that I've heard my entire life:

1. Children who are unschooled don't socialize with others.

multicolored playground slide during daytime Photo by Power Lai on Unsplash

When I was younger, I was constantly meeting new people and hanging out with my friends. I went to weekly meetups at different playgrounds to play with other homeschooled kids, I played with my neighbors almost every day, and I asked kids at the beach if I could play with them. It doesn't take a classroom to learn how to talk to people or to model social behaviors off of the adults in your life. Socializing was as easy as walking up to another little girl and asking how old she was and if she wanted to play hide and seek.

2. Children who are unschooled can't learn basic knowledge like reading, writing, and math.

E-mc2 written on chalkboard Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

My parents read to me on a nightly basis when I was younger, and from ages 6-11, I was constantly filling up reusable grocery bags with library books about all sorts of different subjects and reading through all of them in the span of three weeks. I've loved writing since I was tiny, and I'm pretty sure that somewhere out there, there are probably dozens of files with stories that I wrote about princesses, soldiers, families, and ghosts - my imagination was endless and so, it seemed, was the hard drive on my mom's laptop.

I will admit that I didn't love math when I was younger. I got frustrated with it easily, and I didn't really dedicate any time to learning it until I was about twelve years old. But once I learned it, I learned it well.

When I started dual enrolling at fourteen, one of my first classes was Statistics, and I easily pulled off an A.

Learning new things isn't that different from learning how to speak or walk - if you see a behavior demonstrated to you, whether it's by a parent, a teacher, or a friend, you can copy that behavior and learn that skill.

3. Unschooled kids don't know how to live in the real world.

city buildings on eyeglasses view Photo by Saketh Garuda on Unsplash

Unschooled kids live in the real world 24/7. While my friends were stuck in classrooms, I was on field trips to nature preserves, science museums, art museums, acting classes, pottery classes, and the library. Without the restrictions of a regular school schedule, I went on several month-long, cross-country roadtrips with my retired grandparents and saw caverns, lighthouses, and centuries-old mansions.

I went to the grocery store with my parents and helped to pick out food. I kept track of different prices and sales and entertained myself by adding everything up while my mom shopped, then I checked to see if I got it right once we checked out. I learned new recipes and did science experiments. I learned from people much older than me and hung out with kids much younger than me. All of this allowed me to discover who I am, what I love, and what I want to do in this world.

I gained real-world experience from living in the real world. I wouldn't trade that for anything.

4. Unschooled kids don't know what they're missing out on in school because their parents make them do this.

school hallway Photo by Dilan Bandara on Unsplash

Fun fact: I went to school for exactly one month in the fourth grade. There was a lull in homeschool meetups, and there were a lot of much younger children in our group when we did go to meetings. My mom was finishing up nursing school and life was generally really hectic and pretty boring at the same time, so my parents asked me if I wanted to go to school and see if I liked it more than unschooling. I was excited to try, but I was not impressed when I got there.

The hours of worksheets, the brief fifteen minute recesses, the vaguely condescending teachers who thought that group silent time was an appropriate consequence for a couple of kids being too loud during lunch just wasn't the move. On top of that, I've heard complaints about school from my friends for years. Us unschooled kids know what school is like, that's why we decide, year after year, to avoid it.

The whole point of unschooling is that it teaches kids how to be independent and how to make their own choices - even the choice on whether or not to keep unschooling.

5. Unschooled kids don't get the high school experience.

three women wearing red, brown, and blue dresses walking on concrete road during daytime Photo by Amy Kate on Unsplash

You'd be shocked at how effectively parents and organizations can pull together to create resources for their children. In my area, there are usually 2-3 proms for homeschoolers every year. A lot of kids go to co-ops, programs run by parents and educators that teach really interesting classes like coding, entrepreneurship, foreign languages, and survival skills.

Being unschooled gives teenagers the chance to live the best parts of the high school experience while avoiding some of the worst ones. We avoid bullying, awful teachers, and stress, but we have the free time to explore our interests, hang out with friends, and gain independence.

6. Unschooled kids can't get into college.

My high school graduation- corona style.

Emily White

I'm obviously here, writing this article for a page run by college students. So, how do unschooled kids get into college?

We've already established that unschooled kids are smart and that we learn all of the information and skills that we need to know from real-life experiences, as well as from wanting to learn how to do something and seeking out the resources to do that thing. High school transcripts are created within high schools, and since our home is technically our school, our guardians are technically our administrators and can make our transcripts.

Since transcripts detail what students have learned, all our guardians really need to do is format everything we've learned into a document that colleges will understand. You read fifty books last year and talked about them with your friends and parents? Sounds like an English credit. You learned Spanish from a combo of Duolingo and talking to your international friends online? That's a foreign language credit right there.

We learn, so we get credit for learning.

In my case, I started dual enrolling in 9th grade after passing the PERT with high scores in all three categories. I took two classes per semester until junior year, when I found out about a collegiate high school near me that would let me take college classes full time until I graduated. After unschooling nearly my entire childhood, I earned my AA degree and my high school diploma, then transferred to Florida Gulf Coast University. All in all, it's actually very easy for most unschoolers to get into and graduate from college.

7. Unschooling can't be legal.

black and silver fountain pen Photo by Álvaro Serrano on Unsplash

Homeschooling laws are stricter in some states than others, but unschooling is perfectly legal. I'm most familiar with Florida homeschool laws, so I can only speak from those. In Florida, if your parent has registered you as a homeschooler within the county, they have to provide yearly documentation that you're learning something. Some folks have teachers/educators visit their homes to "assess" their child each year, but submitting standardized test scores also works. Another option is for parents to register their children as private school students, then enroll them in an "umbrella school," which is technically a private school that exists for the purpose of telling the government that the child is enrolled in a school but doesn't have classes or any sort of meetings. Either option is completely legal.

Being unschooled allowed me to learn, grow, and think independently. It's an option that many people aren't aware of, but it provides an environment that I think many students would thrive in, given the chance. I credit my parents with giving me the tools that I need to succeed in life, for letting me explore who I am, and for giving me the opportunity and means to thrive.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.

101764

Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

Halloween 2020 is going to be pretty different, but that doesn't mean the ghost stories have to social distance themselves. In fact, after a year like this one, what's a few more horror stories to add to the mix? If you and your partner dare, this boo-zy drinking game will definitely add a little spook into your All Hallows' Eve plans. Think you're brave enough to share your scariest dating stories with your pumpkin this October 31? You've come to the right spot.

This is the Ultimate Spooky Dating Drinking Game. Here's how it works:

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.

38671

The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less
Halloween is no doubt going to look different this year. Everything this year has been different. But despite that, you can still celebrate the holiday.
While that might not and shouldn't be a giant Halloween party with loads of people, you can still have a good time and celebrate. Here's a list of fun ways you can still celebrate Halloween, and stay safe at the same time.

1. Movie Night

@mamas_cold_coffee

Keep Reading... Show less
Tips

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.

196294

For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

This Hair Mask Is Like A 5-Minute Head Detox — It's The Best Thing I've Ever Put On My Dry Scalp

It's perfect for anyone who's disguised their dandruff as snowflakes.

4706

- Like face masks, hair masks are a great way to do a more intense treatment that tackles more specific issues like dry strands or an itchy scalp.

- I don't necessarily suffer from dandruff, but my scalp can get a little itchy post-workout and in the colder months.

- I tried the Malin + Goetz Detox Scalp Mask and it was a game changer — my scalp felt cleaner, smoother, and more refreshed than ever in five quick minutes.

- The mask is a go-to for a clean detox of my hair and scalp after I've put a lot of product in my hair or done a lot of styling to it.

Like most self-proclaimed beauty guru and product junkie, I've been obsessed with my hair and hair products for decades. For me, the goal has always been to transform my dry, brittle strands into thick, shiny, and silky ones.

For that reason, I've spent a lot of time (and money) on styling and heat products that have, at times, made my hair look great at the expense of excess product buildup and heat damage.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.

117914

When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

Remember when thin eyebrows were in? Unfortunately, me too. If you've over-tweezed your eyebrows, you know how much of a painful and slow process it is to get them back to a "normal" shape — let alone trying to keep up with the newest trends that seem to come and go every other month.

But, what does that look like nowadays? A defined, thicker brow which, I will admit, takes a lot of time and practice to perfect.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I'm A Student At Drexel University And COVID-19 Has Been Frustrating

My experience as a senior at Drexel University in Fall 2020 amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

4322
https://www.linkedin.com/company/drexel-university-online/

I am a senior mechanical engineering major at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Drexel already has a weird quarter term system, so classes began at the end of September. All undergraduate classes are online, either synchronous or asynchronous. However, most graduate classes are still in-person.

As of October 19th, Drexel has 14 active cases (13 students and 1 employee). There has been a total of 113 cases in the Drexel community (104 students and 9 employees).

Keep Reading... Show less

This semester has been pretty rough for most students. Online classes may have some perks, but overall it's often harder to learn and remember the material. CofC just finished midterms and every student I know feels burned out. This is a very frustrating feeling and it feels like things will never return to the way they were. Remember to go easy on yourself and just do your best.

Keep Reading... Show less

Your body image has a huge impact on your sex life — let's be real, intimacy includes your body.

It's normal to have your bad days when you're just not feeling it, but if the bad days are stacking up to tower the confident days, maybe it's time to start working on how you perceive yourself. Carrying shame around with you all day will crawl its way into the bedroom and kill your sex life. But don't worry, there are always ways to revive it. And, it starts with self-acceptance, self-respect, and self-feel goods.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sunnyside Foundation Raises $50,000 For Arizona Students In Need

The Sunnyside Unified School District Foundation helped the community come together to help students and families pay their bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.

673
Sunnyside Foundation / Instagram

COVID-19 shut everything down, leaving some students scrambling to support their families while being enrolled in school. The Sunnyside Unified School District Foundation in Tuscon, AZ has worked tirelessly to raise money for students and families in need.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

You Need To Add These 12 Books To Your Fall TBR ASAP For That Perfect Spooky Vibe

Spooky season is just around the corner, so whether you're into horror, mystery, fantasy, thriller, or paranormal, these books are perfect to curl up with this month.

49

October is the best month to catch up on some reading. It has the perfect fall vibes: Halloween, crunchy leaves, hot chocolate, fuzzy socks, warm sweaters, and a good book to read by a crackling fireplace. Finding a good book is the hard part. But there's no need to worry. I've compiled a list of the best books to read this spooky season. These books will keep you glued to the edge of your seat. So grab a mug of your favorite tea, cozy up with a warm blanket, and have fun reading!

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Odyssey Template: 25 Questions For My State's Elected Officials

"Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We fought for these ideals, we shouldn't settle for less."

19428

Whether you're interested in how democracy works, how stop signs get installed, or anything in between, this is your opportunity to ask questions. This is your opportunity to show current and future members of your community what, in your opinion, is most important as your town, city, and state are trying to put the best, most effective practices forward.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments