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The Classical Unschooler in Practical Homeschooling

If you picked up the latest issue of Practical Homeschooling, you would find a nice, long article written about classical unschooling by yours truly.

So many people have asked me what classical unschooling really means and how it all works out to fit into a normal day at our home that I enjoyed writing about it.

I have heard the argument a dozen times of course that this is not “unschooling,” that it is merely relaxed homeschooling and to that I say I respectfully disagree.

Here’s why: the word “unschooling” was coined by John Holt. And when he used the word “unschooling,” he simply meant “taking kids out of an institutional school setting.” In his 1981 edition of Teach Your Own, he approved this index entry: “Unschooling: see Home Schooling.”

This post about a closer definition of unschooling seems to fit the bill.

Notice he is not talking about radical unschooling which, unfortunately, seems to be what people seem to think of when they think unschooling. It simply means taking kids out of school and giving them as much freedom as possible in the act of learning.

By John Holt’s definition of unschooling, we are unschoolers.

And then there’s the classical part. That’s because I love history and I see the beauty in memorization. And because I have one daughter who loves worksheets and a son who loves flashcards. And from what I have observed, they learn best when we take the classical route of the trivium – first grammar, then logic, then rhetoric.

Be sure to sign up for a copy of the book The Classical Unschooler coming this May by entering your email address to the right of this blog post. (It will be free for a limited time!) I’m hard at work on it and I hope by writing it to give you a template of our methodology.

I hate to prescribe a specific way of homeschooling because I bristle against that, but perhaps a look at our day will change yours in a positive way. I don’t like people telling me what to do but I do love a peek into what they show me about their lives so I can make mine better by inspiration.

Oh, and pick up a copy of Practical Homeschooling until then!

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Author: Purva Brown

Writer / blogger at – unapologetically blending two seeming opposites.

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