Alright...I'll admit it. My name is Candace, and I have a bit of an obsession with unschooling. Oh, and did I mention that I'm a public school educator? Talk about a bit of a paradox! I take solace in the fact that John Holt was also a public school teacher and the founder of unschooling -- a type of homeschooling which essentially let's
children set their own curriculum based on their interests.
I first got connected with the principles of unschooling back in 2011 when I was living in Costa Rica and working with a really lovely family who was starting the process of unschooling for their two oldest children. People who are interested in the beginning of this love affair can read my original blog posts here and here.
The next step in my journey was working for an experiential summer camp who focused on unschooling principles that allowed children to choose their own activities. My direct supervisor actually was unschooling his own children, so I got to see firsthand how it worked for younger children.
This took me to a weekend of an unschooling conference called Wide Sky Days where I was able to meet with a multitude of families and children who were participating in unschooling. I was blown away by their intelligence and passion for learning.
Even though I am a public school teacher, I am still a huge advocate for unschooling for families that have the luxury to support their children's interests and education in this manner. I believe many of the habits practiced by unschoolers can be used in the classroom, especially regarding creating life-long, self-directed learners.
Recently, I got the privilege to help edit and read the first draft of Blake Boles' (whom I met at the Wide Sky Days conference) new book on The Art of Self-Directed Learning, and I would highly recommend it for those interested in these topics. Blake has a Kickstarter campaign going on at the moment and he has one day left before it closes. There are a lot of great incentives (including a copy of the book) for donating even just $3.
You can also check out some of my other favorite unschooling books here:
Candace Burckhardt is an international education consultant with an emphasis on special education, English learners, and social-emotional learning.