So what’s this self-directed homeschooling thing? This whole concept is so confusing and overwhelming!
It will help, as you read our blog and watch our videos, to have a solid understanding of the basic premises behind what we do.
Self-directed homeschooling allows your homeschooled children to learn the same way we all do as adults. As adults, we first recognize a need or a desire to learn something specific. Then, we do some preliminary research and locate the resources and materials we think we need. We then study or practice until we’re satisfied that our initial need or desire to know or do something has been fulfilled. And then, it’s onto the next topic of interest.
Sounds like that wacky unschooling thing…
The underlying beliefs are the same, but neither is “wacky” once you truly understand the guiding principles. While I personally do not like the term “unschooling,” I do use it because it’s familiar to most people in the homeschooling community. Whenever possible, I prefer the term “self-directed homeschooling” for two reasons.
One, self-directed homeschooling is exactly what it says it is: the person doing the learning is the person choosing what to learn, when to learn it, how much of it to learn, and which resources to use.
Unschooling is the same basic concept, but the term itself seems somewhat confusing and ambiguous.
Two, self-directed homeschooling doesn’t have the same negative perception that seems to plague the term unschooling. Too often, when people who don’t understand unschooling hear the word, they automatically focus on the “un” and believe that it means kids aren’t getting a good education or that parents are just being lazy about providing that education. Neither is true in the overwhelming majority of cases.
It’s very important that you know and follow the laws regarding homeschooling in your state. Families have unschooled successfully all over the United States and into different parts of the world. I cannot possibly know every nuance of every law across the globe, so it will be up to you to figure out how to remain compliant while you unschool. There are lots of resources out there that can assist you with that.
Okay, so tell me what you’ve got and why I should bother to pay any attention to it.
We all know that this grand experiment in public education is failing. As a result, homeschooling is growing at a rapid rate. The stakes are high, and more and more parents are taking it upon themselves to provide their children with a good education.
As a very active member of the homeschooling community both locally and online for the past 12 years, I can tell you that many homeschoolers still cling to the traditional definition of what constitutes a “good” education. A lot of times, they end up more or less duplicating what’s going on in schools at home, maybe with different curricula and a different schedule. These parents have the best of intentions and think they’re doing the right thing, but few have stopped to examine whether or not what worked a generation or two ago still works.
I’ve lost count of the number of homeschoolers doing that who are frustrated with the same bored, disengaged, resentful, and sometimes rebellious students that teachers in schools are dealing with on a daily basis. Trying to figure out how to make their kids “do school” is also damaging their relationships with their kids.
It doesn’t have to be that way.
Self-directed homeschooling is an alternative approach if you want to preserve your child’s love of learning, teach him or her how to learn, and then reap the benefits of a highly engaged and curious learner pursuing a customized education.
To fully embrace self-directed homeschooling, you must slaughter some sacred cows in education and be open to the complete paradigm shift that follows. It’s a scary process for most. We’re here to help you along that journey.
The majority of the blog posts and videos on our blog will fall under one (or more) of eight different categories:
- The basics of self-directed homeschooling
- Rebutting the objections to self-directed homeschooling
- What self-directed homeschooling looks like in our kids’ lives
- Advice and how-to
- Opinion pieces about topics related to education, entrepreneurship, and success
- What self-directed learning looks like in my life
- Entrepreneurship and success principles
- Things and resources we love
So what’s with all this entrepreneurship and success stuff?
Not everyone will choose the path of an entrepreneur, and that’s okay. The skills, knowledge, and values of a compassionate capitalist will serve anyone well, regardless of their chosen field.
The conventional wisdom of “get good grades so you can get into a good college so you can graduate and get a good job” is antiquated advice, leftover from the Industrial Age. It doesn’t work for the overwhelming majority of people anymore. Young people are graduating from college with staggering amounts of debt, and many are unable to find those “good jobs” they went to college to get!
We are now living in the Information Age. Personal and financial freedom will be abundant in the lives of the problem solvers in the Information Age. The problem solvers are people with an entrepreneurial spirit who understand the fundamentals and values of a success mindset.
Self-directed homeschooling is the single best way I know of to prepare my children for the rapidly changing world of the Information Age. They’re learning skills and gathering knowledge during their education at home that they need and will use right now rather than spending years in an outdated educational system and end up crippled by a mindset that is stuck back in the Industrial Age.
There has been an explosion of web-based opportunities to learn skills and information available to us all that was previously inaccessible or unaffordable. Self-directed homeschooling allows you and your children to easily incorporate these non-traditional resources into your homeschooling.
While college professors and employers are complaining that our kids are coming out of high school woefully unprepared for higher learning and lacking the skills necessary to be competitive in the workplace, the gurus of success and entrepreneurship are all promoting these ideas of self-education, and maximizing your strengths while you mitigate or eliminate your weaknesses. With the wide variety of non-traditional resources currently available and more anticipated to keep on coming, I believe that self-directed learning is the wave of the future.