Unschooling - Another Form of Homeschooling
by Aldric Chang

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The term "unschooling", by itself, sounds very unappealing especially to most parents. It usually sounds like a total deviation from learning. In some ways, it could be deviating but not to learning itself but to the conventional way of learning and teaching.

Unschooling is actually a type of homeschooling wherein practically no curriculum or boundaries are applied. Of course, even with its technical definition, parents are still very apprehensive, mostly concerned how education can happen in such fluidity of process or the lack of it. But even unschooling has some guidelines that may prove the whole method to be an effective way of homeschooling.

It's best to play by your child's interest. If he is interested to learn about the solar system, then teach him about the different planets, the characteristics of each planet, the satellites of the planet, etc. But as much as possible, let him decide how much he wants to learn. The process of learning may take a day, a week, a month-it really depends on the child. The most important thing is that you are informed of the child's level of interest and his limitations and capabilities in learning. By knowing your child, you would be able to decide which method or timeframe works best for him.

Nurture your child's interest by using various media of teaching. Introduce him to videos, books, magazines and to on-field learning. Bring him to museums, parks, places that teach him more about his interests. It's also an effective way to learn new things yourself. The more you learn, the more knowledge you can pass on to your eager child.

Take advantage of every opportunity to learn and teach him new things. If you're in the kitchen, try to point out the nutrients and vitamins people can get from eating different vegetables and fruits. Why are apples red or sometimes green? Why are tomatoes considered as fruits and not vegetables? Don't worry if you don't know the answer. You can always take the initiative to research then later on, share to your child. Lastly, don't worry if the process seems slow. Kids learn in different ways and in different speed. The most important thing is that you're working with a pace most suitable and comfortable for your child. All he needs is the most encouraging, patient and loving teacher---and that's you!

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