Unschooling & Life Schooling


What is Life Schooling?

Life schooling as we do it, is the children learn along side us and participate in the family life. They are free to learn what they like as long as  it is within our means for travel, cost, suitability and availability.

My children have traveled extensively with me within Australia. We often go for 8-12 weeks at a time. Camping, resorts, friends and visiting family and areas of interest. The kids have not had much of a say as to where we go as I as the adult needed to make sure we could afford the travel. Now that they are older we have discussions around possible destinations and how we can work towards achieving those goals. They are seasoned travelers now and look forward to our explorations every year.

Life schooling in our home means no school like work unless the children are interested.
When I am inspired by Dr. Maria Montessori, I utilise some of her style of education, also Steiner Waldorf or maybe a combination of both plus a more eclectic approach, this is a part of our life philosophy, it is a part of life schooling.

For me, Emotional intelligence is one of my highest values and we are constantly discussing this topic, and practicing these skills.
Having an active Home Ed group with people from all walks of life, regular park plays, organised activities, workshops and experiences means we get many opportunities to discuss emotional intelligence, coping strategies, resilience, acceptance and cultural diversity through a lens of acceptance. I have worked hard to create a community and constantly encourage people to join in and share.

Key learning areas as described by the Australian Curriculum  are often discussed at random times such as math at breakfast, lunch, dinner, on outings during travel.

Geography as we travel, politics and governance when relevant issues pop up, math during cooking, gardening, English whilst reading to each other, watching movies, other Languages whilst watching SBS TV, signing up to free language lessons.

So Life Schooling is very similar to unschooling, but we have a routine for bedtimes, the kids have rules (guidelines which have been discussed and agreed on) around technology in bedrooms and we as the parent often make decision for the children because of the time saved and to do ability of certain things.

Life schooling is cultivating a love of life long learning!

What is Unschooling?

There has been a lot written about unschooling, so I will not go into too much depth here. The term "unschooling" was coined in the 1970s by Ivan Ilich and used by educator John Holt, widely regarded as the father of unschooling.

An unschooling family will trust that the child will learn what they need, when they need it.
It is based on the child's desire to learn and the parent will facilitate this as best they can by offering tools to reach the child's goals.
If a child wants to learn about soil and geology, the adults will seek mentors, information, books and even courses to offer the child, they do not make the child learn these just because resources have been found.
It is led by the child.

Unschooling is not un-parenting. An unschooling parent is highly attentive to the child, works with the child to work within the family unit, it does not mean a child runs the household, it is built on mutual respect with a desire to resolve issues and work together to gain knowledge.

As with Life schooling, children are given a supportive setting that fosters their natural curiosity about the world. It is as individual as each person, it honors the child's autonomy and individual skills and personality.

Deschooling is essential to be able to unschool and life school your children. Without the personal growth in yourself you will always second guess what is right for your child, you need to learn to trust yourself so you may trust your child to learn what and when.

If you would like to know more about Deschooling please get in touch.