Unschooling is about freedom

Unschooling is about freedom.

Letting go of control and ambition is not letting go of presence and enthusiasm. We trust the flow of life, the joy of learning, the natural curiosity everyone possesses and do not plan a curriculum for our children.

They read cartoons and play games and do artwork, and chill as much as they want. Our life is full of activities "schooled types" would consider “learning.”

We study film history, math, art history, world history (a lot of history), read the classics; they are classics because they are good books. We read modern literature, discuss politics and psychology, and logic, and explore the world of museums, natural sights, architecture.

The difference is that all of this is voluntary: We do it because we like it. We do it because we enjoy it. There is no curriculum, no plan, no test, no exam.

Is it education? It is a fight over words to discuss if it is education or not.

It is life.

It is the formation of the mind, the exploration of possibilities, with enthusiasm and joy.

In danish, we have two words, one for formal education and another for the formation of a person based on the learning of academics, manners, and … well: life.

I believe formal education should have the purpose of supporting the latter, the formation of a person, and it seems we have forgotten this perspective.

With unschooling, the key is freedom. True freedom.

We do not set our children free, so they will make the choices we want them to make (the above-mentioned all-around interest in the world that looks like a classic education) - as that would not be freedom.

We set them free because we believe that their life belongs to them; they own their hours. We set them free, as freedom is a basic right, and we (the parents) both are natural-born freedom fighters.

If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales
Are You Always Busy?

1 comment



As so often, your post feels like a fresh breeze. Thank you. Someday I would love to know your thoughts on what freedom is. I find it, like all the most basic and beautiful things, at first glance obvious and then not at all. We are such dependent beings that it doesn’t seem to do a human person justice to define it as pure possibility of choice, as though the goal of life is to live a life upon which no claims can be made, independent of all relationships, even those that knit our being together. And yet I too find giving my children freedom essential to their thriving. As I write it occurs to be that I want to give them space to respond to what moves them, where they find excitement, or beauty, a question, joy, and so on. Freedom for me has to do with responding. What say you?


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