Thursday, July 30, 2015

Our High School student shares her experience of Unschooling

One of the unique benefits that our school offers is that our students have the freedom to customize their own educational program to suit their individual needs. This can include everything from an eclectic, interest-led, unschooling approach, to purchasing a curriculum for every subject, as well as everything in between.

In this blog post we are sharing what a student in our High School Diploma Program says about her experience unschooling. 

“Unschooling is much like regular homeschooling.  The only difference is we don’t have a curriculum telling us what we need to learn, and when we need to learn it.  I have always had the freedom to choose what I wanted to learn every year.  They never told me I had to learn something at a certain time, which I loved.  It has made my years of school a million times more interesting!  I was never bored out of my mind learning about something that I am not even close to being interested in.  My parents have always pushed me to seek what I was interested in, and to always go at it full force.  I remember my parents sitting me down every year, and asking me what I wanted to learn.  They wrote down everything I said, and made it happen for me.  That’s something I will appreciate forever.”

Two common questions that those unfamiliar to this educational philosophy may have are: “Will a child learn if they are not told what they should be studying?” and “Will they be socialized and mature if they are not in a classroom with other children their own age?” This student gives her take on these questions. 

“I remember so many of my friends complaining about how much they hated school.  I was never able to relate to my friends because I have never been forced to learn anything.  I have always wanted to learn things on my own, and honestly, nothing has ever helped me out more in life.  I am always curious about everything.  The urge to learn has constantly kept me moving forward.  Being unschooled and having parents that treated me equally as an adult has allowed me to have my own opinions.  I feel it has helped me to mature very quickly.  One thing that has always stuck out to me when I have a conversation with an adult is that they are always very surprised to hear that I am only seventeen. They say my communication skills are very good.  Being unschooled has given me many opportunities that most young teenagers never get because of the limitations of a school schedule.” 

How does she feel about preparing to graduate high school after a lifetime of unschooling?

“So for now, I am finishing up my unschooling adventure and moving on to a new chapter in my life.  I am excited and a little anxious for these next few months as they represent the end of an era for me. Thank you for West River Academy.  This school has enabled my parents to give me the freedom to learn without the constraints of traditional schooling.”

We’re happy to support students like this one in their educational journeys, whatever form they may take. 

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