A new education movement showed up on ‘Good Morning America” this week and parents are up in arms about the story. The movement is called “Unschooling.”
Based on what I read and watched on the “Good Morning America” web site, it sounds like a cross between extremely lazy Montessori and homeschooling. The basic gist as far as I can tell is that the kids choose what they want to study and how they want to study. But that they may mean they just watch TV or play video games that day. (I’m only comparing it to Montessori because kids get to choose what they work on to some degree – but in Montessori kids have and actual curriculum and lessons to choose from.)
The report estimated that of 56 million school children, 1.5 million are homeschooled and of that 150,000 are “Unschooled.”
From the GMA web site:
” ‘We find that we don’t need a whole lot of rules,’ Phil Biegler said in the segment that aired Monday. ‘They might watch television,’ Christine Yablonski said. ‘They might play games on the computers.’ ‘They might read,” her husband added. Most children will choose television over reading every time, but Yablonski said that “the key there is that you’ve got to trust your kids to … find their own interests.’ ”
In our house, that’s called summer.
Here are two videos about the movement called Unschooling. The first video is the original story that aired on Monday. The second video is when the parents came on to defend themselves because so many people wrote into “Good Morning America” outraged by the concept.
Defending themselves – second appearance.
So what do you think? Is this a legitimate way to educate your kids or are they just letting them play hooky as the reporter joked in the piece? Are there variations of this that could work?
What did you think of the parents in the first video who said they really have no rules and let their children choose when, where and what to eat and don’t make them take care of hygiene issues? (Go back and watch the first video if you missed that.)