What Is Unschooling and Unschooling-Inspired Curriculum?
Unschooling is a form of alternative education that is gaining popularity in recent years. Unlike traditional schooling methods that follow a predetermined curriculum and structure, unschooling allows children to pursue their interests and passions freely without any imposed restrictions or formal teaching.
What is Unschooling: The Philosophy Behind Unschooling
The philosophy behind unschooling is rooted in the belief that children are naturally curious and will learn better when they are self-motivated and engaged in the learning process. In this approach, parents or caregivers act as facilitators rather than teachers, providing resources, guidance, and support as needed, but ultimately leaving the child in charge of their own learning.
Unschooling is not a new concept. In fact, it has been around for several decades and is often associated with the work of educator John Holt, who believed that traditional schooling methods were detrimental to children’s innate desire to learn. Holt argued that children should be free to explore and pursue their interests in a supportive and nurturing environment, rather than being subjected to rigid educational structures that stifle creativity and intellectual curiosity.
Unschooling is not a one-size-fits-all approach and can vary greatly from family to family. Some unschooling families may follow a completely child-led approach, where children are free to learn whatever they want, whenever they want, and how they want. Other families may incorporate some structure and guidance, such as setting goals, creating routines, or providing resources and materials to support their children’s interests.
What is Unschooling: The Benefits of Unschooling
The benefits of unschooling are many. It can promote self-directed learning, foster creativity and critical thinking skills, and allow children to develop a sense of independence and self-confidence. It also allows for greater flexibility and adaptability to individual learning styles and interests, and can be particularly beneficial for children with special needs or those who struggle in traditional school settings. Currently, there are over 3 million homeschool families in the US, and recent studies found that homeschooled students scored higher on standardized tests than their public school peers and that homeschooled students were more likely to graduate from college than their public school counterparts.
However, unschooling of the past has not been without its challenges. Parents may find it difficult to let go of the traditional notion of education and may struggle with the lack of structure and control. Additionally, unschooling can be time-consuming and requires a significant amount of planning and preparation on the part of the parent or caregiver.
Is Origins Curriculum an “Unschooling” Curriculum?
This is where Origins Curriculum comes in. Unschooling is sometimes thought of almost as the antithesis of curriculum, but they have designed an unschooling-inspired curriculum that is both research-based and child-led. They provide a framework for educators and parents while at the same time encouraging and supporting self-directed learning.
Origins is a comprehensive and new paradigm approach to education that guides and grows a child’s connection to their emotional, social, and environmental consciousness. They are dedicated to the whole child: mind, body, and spirit. Children will develop critical-thinking skills toward solving real-world problems like climate change, while gaining confidence in their identity, meaning, and purpose.
Origins Curriculum is a magical exploration into global education. Students will learn through reading, mathematics, science, social studies, language arts, music, and art as we seek to answer the questions: “Who Are We?” “Who Lives Here?” “What’s Happening?” and “How Are We Connected?”. The answers to these foundational questions are found through our essential understandings into 4 over-arching Focal Points of learning – Internal, External, Metaphysical, and Interconnection. Using a multidisciplinary approach, students will deep dive into global biomes and learn about these regions in their entirety. They will learn about the original people and the flora and fauna that exist in that biome. They will learn about water cycles, weather patterns, soil types, food systems, and the effects of a changing climate on the greater global web. Students will explore these topics through the lenses of every learning domain and subject, all the while weaving in eco-literacy and mindfulness.
At Origins, they believe that children of the 21st Century deserve an education where they can nurture a sense of belonging to and caring for the Earth and all of its inhabitants. In order to provide such education, educators must engage in a kind of teaching that invites a personal shift in consciousness and fosters innovation, imagination, and most importantly, avenues for us to rediscover our indisputable connection with the body of our beloved Earth.
The 3 Essential Understandings of Origins Curriculum:
Origins Curriculum lesson plans are designed based on 3 essential understandings:
• That the Earth is a living body of interconnected patterns of relationships
• That by knowing nature’s ways we can learn more about who we are and how
we are part of nature
• That mindfulness is a way for us to know ourselves and experience our
belonging to the Earth
Origins Curriculum provides preschool classrooms as well as home educators and their students K-5th with the skills, strategies, and knowledge to successfully follow their interests and passions.
Through their Conscious Curriculum, a child will develop a connection to and understanding of their place in the global eco-system and grow critical-thinking skills toward solving real-world problems. They will gain mindful emotional recognition and regulation skills while growing confidence in their identity, meaning, and purpose, in addition to obtaining and solidifying the full range of academic skill sets.
A new paradigm in education is rising as more and more educators embrace the existential questions of our time and begin to value nature as a primary origin upon which to build our human identity, regardless of our diverse belief systems.
In conclusion, unschooling is a unique approach to education that values individualism, creativity, and self-motivated learning. While the unschooling methods of the past may not have been suitable for many families due to an open-ended lack of any structure or guidelines, Origins Curriculum’s brand of unschooling offers a compelling alternative to traditional schooling methods and has proven to produce confident, engaged, and lifelong learners.
Visit their website at www.originscurriculum.com and join the movement in changing the world, one child at a time!