Schooling vs. Home Schooling vs. Unschooling

The earliest public schools in modern Western culture were established during the reformation in 1524. In the 1960s, homeschooling came on the scene as a way to combat the secular nature of the public school system in the United States. In 2003, a third option became available — “unschooling.” In a nutshell, it allows children to follow their own interests at their own pace, without direction from adults. Parents act less like teachers and more like facilitators, watching to see what their children are interested in, and then providing the environment, resources and opportunities to explore those interests. Critics argue that allowing children to choose the subjects they want to study will create information gaps in their education, the children will be forced to motivate themselves, and an extraordinary amount of parental commitment is involved. Critics also worry that kids who aren’t exposed to a classroom environment and schedule won’t have the skills to cope in a social world, a world with deadlines attached to paychecks. For now, the debate continues.