A Queensland family is challenging traditional teaching methods by ‘unschooling’ their four children.

This involves keeping the kids at home and letting them learn through life as they choose.

Their children can eat, play, sleep when they like. They don’t even have to cut their hair if they don’t want to!

Some comments on the topic claim this is very irresponsible and lazy parenting and that it is even a form of child abuse!

“This should be child abuse, it’s our role as parents to give our children the best to give them every opportunity to succeed!”

What’s unschooling? via The Conversation

The term “unschooling” was coined by American educator John Holt and is used interchangeably with natural learning, interest-driven learning, child-led learning, organic learning, eclectic learning or free range learning. It was defined by Holt as “allowing children as much freedom to learn in the world as their parents can comfortably bear”.

This philosophy of education is characterised by allowing children to choose the direction of their learning, its content and context. The role of parents is to act as facilitator, sourcing and providing access to resources and then getting out of the way. Unschooling is about children making their own educational choices.

Unschooling often begins with a process of deschooling for both parent and child. Deschooling is the free time given to children after their removal from school/traditional homeschool. It is a time when both parents and children unlearn school approaches to education.

Not surprisingly, this approach has its detractors. After all, it’s hard to know whether meaningful learning is taking place. In spite of this criticism, the philosophy is popular with many professionals, including university academics and career advisers devoted to unschooling their own children.

Unschooling is not a new phenomenon, it’s often described as a return to more traditional learning models.

It’s also not as rare as you may think, with estimates of up to 15,000 children being illegally home educated (including those who are unschooled) in Queensland alone.

What do you think about “unschooling”?

One MoM member shares her experience with unschooling – read her story here

Share your comments below

  • This is not a methid of education i agree with at all
    I would be worried how these kids are going to cope with higher education/ getting a job of any sort.


  • This is certainly not a method I would employ. I personally think structure and routine is important for children to a certain extent.


  • Not for me. I do think though that parents should be the first and only social educators of their children and that schools should get back to concentrating on basic curriculum, rather than trying to socially engineer a generation. Poor teachers have too much on their plate and should be able to just teach traditional things.


  • I think we are all lemmings, we’re told what to do every day of our lives. Go to school, then go to university, then work the rest of your life.
    Honestly I think if someone doesn’t want to follow the crowd, why not.so long as the children still get interaction with other kids through play and there’s a couple of hours scheduled learning a day.

    We are always to quick to judge anyone who doesn’t follow suite as a society. It’s wrong..


  • I have home schooled and allowed some of my children to go to school. Both lots have turned out alright. The homeschooling was their choice and as a SAHM had the time to do so. At the moment having to decide what type of schooling the younger ones will have. I have until start of school year 2019 to do so legally. As for un schooling I think that children need some guide lines as to what is needed in life.


  • nah take some responsibilty and send your kids to school. have some pride and care for your family. i think that they must struggle to get into a routine and are a bit slack and their children are going to pay the price for their laziness in the future. shaking my head at this parenting style


  • I don’t like this . It not responsible family


  • The daughter of friend of ours when to a private school that used very unusual teaching methods. When she should have been learning to write the whole alphabet she was making a few look very artistic. At the end of her third year at school she nearly a year behind the average pupil at a public school. The pupils at the private school really struggled to catch up.


  • If I got to choose there would have been no schooling at all then where would I have been now… Not a fan of the idea.


  • The same type of thinking that kids are allowed to choose the direction and tempo of their learning you find in the Rudolf Steiner Schools (Anthroposophy).


  • I don’t think it’s something for everyone. But there are surely kids that benefit from this approach, in particular if they had very bad experiences in the traditional schools.


  • There is a reason children are looked after by adults – children are not equipped to make all their own decisions in their best interest… ask a kid if they want chocolate for breakfast every day – I bet they would say yes even though it is not the best for them…


  • Prefer to have them In school and learning to interact with others and finding out that life isn’t a one way street.


  • Yeah. Not for me.


  • What a load of bull dust! I was bad at maths (still not the best) and if I had’ve been given the choice I at a young age I probably would have chosen not to learn it, and then where would I be today? There are so many important skills that we must learn, even if we don’t want to at the time, that are a necessity in life. Also, how are these kids going to be prepared for entering into the workforce? They start a new job – ‘Nah, I don’t feel like doing any training today’, how well do you think that would go down? There is such a thing as giving a child too many choices. For instance, would it be healthy to allow my kids to have tinned spaghetti every meal? That is probably what they would prefer if I allowed it, but instead I encourage them to eat a healthy variety of food and am always introducing and encouraging new foods.


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