Friday, 17 August 2012

The Unschooling Unmanual

This is a truly lovely and inspirational book, edited by Jan and Jason Hunt, the people behind the Natural child project

It is not a guide or manual (as the title suggests) but a collection of writings and quotes on the topic of Unschooling. You don't have to be an unschooler to read it, it is a fascinating insight into how children learn and it challenges perceived ideas that children are passive learners and need teachers to show them how and what to learn. I think this would be of interest to anyone wanting to see how child directed learning works in practice.

I particularly like the passage by Earl Stevens:

"When people ask, 'What do you do?' my answer is that we follow our interests - and our interests inevitably lead to science, literature, history, mathematics, music - all the things that have interested people before anybody thought of them as 'subjects.'

"A large component of unschooling is grounded in doing real things, not because we hope they will be good for us, but because they are intrinsically fascinating. There is an energy that comes from this that you can't buy with a curriculum. Children do real things all day long, and in a trusting and supportive home environment, "doing real things" invariably brings about healthy mental development and valuable knowledge. It is natural for children to read, write, play with numbers, learn about society, find out about the past, think, wonder and do all those things that society so unsuccessfully attempts to force upon them in the context of schooling."

We got our copy from Amazon but you can also get it direct from the NCP website

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