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McEdgar Castro
Lynn Taylor
English 1010
17 November 2014
Unschooling, The New Chapter in Education.
Its a warm Monday morning; you wake up and realize your alarm clock did not go off!
Its already a quarter past nine and since you are in charge of waking your children up, theyre
still sound asleep in bed. Instead of leaping out of your comfortable bed and rushing towards
your childrens bedrooms to wake them, you decide to go downstairs and get some coffee,
maybe catch up on your favorite soap opera. Wait, isnt it Monday? A school day? Yes! Indeed it
is. But you remember that you made the decision to unschool your children and you relax.
Unschooling and hoemschooling both sound fairly similar but which one is better or more
effective, homeschooling or unschooling? I came to the conclusion that unschooling is just as
effective as homeschooling because in both cases the children being taught have caring parents,
real-life lessons, and a great education overall.
Unschooling is a relatively new and unheard of child-based learning method. Not
to be confused with the common homeschooling, unschooling leaves the learning completely in
the childs hands. The children decide what and when they want to learn each day and dont
follow any type of state protocol or curriculum and instead learn valuable lessons by simply
performing common everyday tasks such as watching television or going outside to play. Most
articles written about unschooling go over a normal, average day of an unschooled child and

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provide their parents views on it. I found the same type of articles written about homeschooling
as well. People believe that unshcooling is not schooling at all and that the children participating
in this educational method are simply lazy and ultimately do not get a proper education, therefore
not succeeding in life. Through research I have found this to be completely false and I will
further elaborate on this idea.
Parents that are unschooling their children believe that they learn just as much biology by
simply going outside and observing their surroundings than if they were in a regular biology
class. This idea is what has led unschooling to success. Children do not need to spend extensive
hours learning from textbooks and taking standardized tests, they never get left behind because
they dont understand what the teacher said, and they never have to wait half an hour in line just
to get cold school lunch. In fact, they dont even have to leave the comfort of their own homes.
Even though this sounds just like homeschooling, it isnt. "The advantage of unschooling is that
the world becomes your learning space."(Ricci), Carlos Ricci says on the topic of unschooling.
Mr. Ricci is experiencing what it is like being an unschooling father. His views are relevant and
important because he has seen the improvement his six-year-old daughter has made by using this
method (Ricci). It is important to hear what unschooling parents have to say about it because, in
the end, they are the ones experiencing it firsthand.
Children that are unschooled are as equally intelligent as the ones that are regular or
home schooled and often do just fine in college. Children that have grown up in an unschooling
home but want to continue their higher studies in college are said to do just fine in getting
accepted and succeeding in acquiring a career (Clayton). None of the respondents found college
academically difficult, but some found the rules and conventions strange and sometimes offputting. (Clayton), Victoria Clayton, for NBC News says on her article about unschooling and

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its effects on unschooled college students. She says that most of them dont have trouble in the
educational aspect of college, but instead find it difficult to be told what to learn and do by their
professors, something theyre not used to at home. In other words, children that are unschooled
usually do good in college and succeed in life just as much as ones that are homeschooled, they
are intelligent, its just the social factor that they often lack when going to college and interacting
with more people their age for the first time.

Unschooling is completely legal and in no way neglectful parenting. Often times


parents that are concerned about their childrens education and are not satisfied with their
schools curriculum or way of teaching, seek other alternative teaching methods such as
unschooling or homeschooling but are worried that these options may not be legal or simply feel
like if they choose to unschool/homeschool they are neglecting their childrens formal education
and therefore setting them up for failure. This is simply untrue. Parents that take the time to
actually teach their children are, in my opinion, the most thoughtful, selfless kind of parents there
is. Jennifer Kulynych, a healthcare lawyer and mother of three children says that
homeschooling is not for everyone but that if you choose to homeschool your children, the
outcome will be rewarding(Kulynych). This statement applies to unschooling as well.
Therefore, parents that decide to homeschool or unschool their children dont neglect their
education, in fact they improve and intensify it.
Even though theres a lot of studies about unschooling and how it is just as effective as
homeschooling there are still some questions that might convince the public otherwise.
Questions such as: What do unschoolers even learn? Wont the children just choose to watch
TV and sleep all day if theyre given the choice of what to do? And Are unschooled children

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more lazy and unprepared than normal schooled ones? etc. These assumptions, while valid and
complex-sounding, can be answered simply. Most people havent ever heard of the term
unschooling so it is common for someone to think it is ridiculous or ineffective. In reality,
unschooled children learn most everything they essentially need to know to survive in the real
world. They learn valuable life lessons in the best possible way to do so, living life. They learn
math by counting apples from the tree in the back yard, they learn about photosynthesis by
observing a plant and the sun, but most importantly, they learn the real important things in life.
Unschooled children can learn a lot from watching TV if thats what they decide to do for the
day, from simple ABCs to the worlds latest current events on the news. And lastly, Unschooled
children arent lazy, theyre often more engaged in learning because they are only learning the
things they are passionate and interested about and not receiving long, boring lectures for six
hours a day.

After doing some research and reading various articles on both unschooling and
homeschooling, I decided that I am a firm supporter of unschooling and that this teaching
method is just as effective as homeschooling or regular schooling. Unschooled children learn
everything they need to know about life by living their regular, everyday lives and do it more
engaged because they choose what to learn themselves and arent bored by the regular
classroom-teacher scene. Unschooling parents are the most caring ones because they care for
their childrens education so much they drop everything like their work and social life, to provide
their children with the best education. Even though most unschooled children have never stepped
into a regular school in their lives, they do fine when they get to college and have no trouble in
acquiring a career (Clayton). Parents that decide to unschool are in no way neglecting their
childrens education, in fact, they are improving it.

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So, its a Monday morning and youre enjoying that warm coffee and your kids are asleep
upstairs, you arent worried about them not making it to school, but you do not feel guilty or
selfish at all. You made the decision to unschool your children and youve never felt better about
their education in your life. This is something every single concerned parent should care about.
Whether youre a regular family, or a single mother/father looking to give your children a better
education, you may want to consider unschooling as an option. Maybe you have children already
going to a regular school and you notice that they arent doing so well or that they arent as
engaged as they should be, or maybe you have a child that has to start the first grade but neither
you or them feel comfortable with the regular schooling system or curriculum and you want a
more specialized one-on-one teaching method, in either case, unschooling could be a great
option for you.

Unschooling is a successful, growing movement that has, and continues to work for
thousands of families all around the country. There are actually schools being build exclusively for the
method of unschooling (Unschooling 101 by Bridget Sizer) and the numbers of unschooling families
continues to grow daily. Unschooling is not just a new teaching method idea, its real and most
importantly, it is effective. It has changed the lives of thousands and will continue to do so in the future.
If you decide to unschool your children, it might be difficult getting accustomed to the new lifestyle, but
in the end, the outcome will be rewarding and your relationship with your children will be stronger,
along with their overall education. And if youre afraid about your incapacity to teach your children or
youre concerned you arent qualified enough to do so, just remember the words of unschooling
advocate, Sandra Dodd: your kids are as smart as you are, she says. They just arent as big as

you are.

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Works Cited.

Boesveld, Sarah. "Not a Textbook Education." National Post. 28 May 2011: A.1. SIRS Issues
Researcher. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.

Catalanello, Rebecca. "It's Not What You Think: Homeschooling." St. Petersburg Time
(St.Petersburg, FL). 26 Jun. 2005: 1A+. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.

Clayton, Victoria. "A New Chapter in Education: Unschooling." Msnbc.com. N.p., 6 Oct. 2006.
Web. 16 Nov. 2014.

Kulynych, Jennifer. "Owning Up to Being a Home-Schooling Parent." Motherlode Owning Up


to Being a HomeSchooling Parent Comments. New York Times, 22 Jan. 2014. Web. 16
Nov. 2014.

Sizer, Bridget B. "Unschooling 101." PBS. PBS, n.d. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.

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McEdgar Castro
Lynn Taylor
English 1010
1 Deccember 2014
Reflection Paper.
Before I took this English 1010 class with Lynn Taylor, I didnt really know any writing
techniques, I would always just write whatever came to mind and never proof read it. I didnt
know what MLA format was or how to effectively write an essay. I had never done any type of
research on a subject of my choice and wrote papers about it, until this class. All through my
high school career I didnt really worry much about writing, therefore I didnt consider it
important. I used to think it was the least relevant of the subjects and I actually thought to myself
that I would never use the things I learned in English class. I was utterly wrong. This class has
taught me that every single thing we learn in English class is crucial for our success.
I see now that English is connected to all the other subjects. You must know how to write
in order to truly succeed in and understand math or science. Thanks to this course I have learned
from simple things like where to add the page number in an essay, to more complex things like
rhetorical strategies and how to write an annotated bibliography. I now know how to detect
rhetorical strategies as well as to incorporate them into my writing. The assignment/s that I found
the most helpful and educational was the research paper. I had to pick a topic, do extensive

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research on it, write an annotated bibliography, and ultimately write a position synthesis paper.
That took five straight weeks of work, it was challenging and difficult at times but I now feel
more prepared and educated. I feel stronger mentally and more confident to face any literary
challenge I may face in the future. Thank you Lynn!