Is unschooling the way to go for children who do not do well in the "system"?
No I think that everyone deserves a chance. Especially the ones that actually want to learn!
Unschooling is an excellent option for many different types of kids, but especially for those who are still curious and are seeking out new learning opportunities on their own. Unfortunately, some kids who have already been exposed to the school system and have not done well may have lost some of this enthusiasm...I know the public schools here in the US are great at destroying a love of learning, but can't speak for other countries. That said, a lot of kids don't do well in the schools because their favored way of learning is different than what the schools offered. There are quite a few primary ways people learn, and most schools only cater to two of them. If kids don't learn well that way, they don't succeed. Unschooling does give them the chance to seek out which ways they prefer to learn and the things that really fascinate them. For myself, I was homeschooled through 7th grade, and my mom used kind of a mixture of unschooling and traditional schooling, if that makes sense. Essentially, she set some basic guidelines for the direction we needed to go, then let us choose our own way to get there while she assumed the role of a resource. It worked exceedingly well, and I intend to use a similar method with my own kids.
The point I wanted to make is to use "unschooling" as the way for some children to find that learning is interesting and they are learners. I kind of think that the traditional schools hinder real learning, but promote competitive productivity that is not really enjoyable to many involved.
I think many students have been jaded from the discovery of learning because many schools (public and private) tell them when, how, and what to learn. We should care more about higher level thinking skills but instead we bog them down in useless facts. All students learn differently and sometimes alterative schooling, like charter, is a great option. “Un-schooling” your student may be a great option if it provides them with the joy of discovery of learning.
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