The Difference Between Homeschooling and Unschooling

Until recently, I only had a hazy understanding of the difference between homeschooling and unschooling.  For clarification, I read Unschooling 101: Top 10 Questions About Learning Without School, by Sara McGrath.

Here’s my current understanding:

When we talk about homeschoolers, we’re talking about the broad category of students who learn outside of the full-time American school system.

Homeschooling and Unschooling

Unschoolers are a particular type of homeschoolers.  Similar to other homeschoolers, they may choose to follow an official curriculum, participate in group or individual lessons, and enjoy a personalized education.

What defines unschoolers as a separate group is that its students are never required to pursue topics or activities that do not interest them.  A homeschooling family might tell its children that they must study multiplication because the parents feel it’s important; an unschooling family would not force an area of study on a resistant student.  Unschoolers learn voluntarily, as their passions direct.

(Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, homeschoolers and unschoolers, or to add any distinctions that I may have overlooked.)

Next I’ll be reading Radical Unschooling: A Revolution Has Begun, by Dayna Martin.

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