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The Unschooling Handbook : How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's Classroom Paperback – April 29, 1998
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Unschooling, a homeschooling method based on the belief that kids learn best when allowed to pursue their natural curiosities and interests, is practiced by 10 to 15 percent of the estimated 1.5 million homeschoolers in the United States. There is no curriculum or master plan for allowing children to decide when, what, and how they will learn, but veteran homeschooler Mary Griffith comes as close as you can get in this slim manual. Written in a conversational, salon-style manner, The Unschooling Handbook is liberally peppered with anecdotes and practical advice from unschoolers, identified by their first names and home states. The book also includes resources such as one teenager's sample "transcript," a typical weekly log of a third-grader's activities, and helpful lists of magazines, online mailing lists, Web sites, and catalogs. Griffith, a board member of the Homeschool Association of California (and the author of The Homeschooling Handbook), names Margaret Mead and Thomas Edison as two examples of those who have profited from unschooled childhoods, and further claims that research validates support for this controversial form of education. The "evidence" she cites, however, is predominantly theoretical writings from noted educators about the benefits of child-centered learning. The handbook suffers from a mild case of the Lake Wobegone syndrome--every unschooled children is seen as an above-average self-starter on the verge of genius--yet despite this overly rosy approach, the book is a well-organized guide for homeschoolers and other families contemplating the "un" life. --Jodi Mailander Farrell
To Unschoolers, Learning Is As Natural As Breathing
Top customer reviews
This book is more of a testimony of this philosophy, rather than a handbook. It tells you that it can be done, it gives you tons of personal stories about how people are doing it, but it doesn't walk you through the method, because, as it states, there is no method to unschooling, everyone does it their way and there are as many ways as people who unschool.
The book is inspiring, but it hasn't convinced me entirely that total unschooling is the way for my kids. I am especially cautious of the approach that allows for unlimited TV viewing in the hope that it will spark interest in something. However, as the author notes, this is just one of the possible approaches within the unschooling movement, and not everyone agrees.
As for how the book is written, there are slightly too many personal stories, as far as I am concerned. Fewer would be enough to illustrate a point.
I liked bibliography at the end of each chapter. She doesn't just list it. She explains in one or two sentences what each book is about. I find it a great starting point for further research on homeschooling.
If you are looking to change everything you believe in, this is the book for you. If you prefer the rigid structure that you've become accustomed too than you NEED this book.