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The Unschooling Handbook : How to Use the Whole World As Your Child's…

de Mary Griffith

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To Unschoolers, Learning Is As Natural As Breathing Did you know that a growing percentage of home schoolers are becoming unschoolers? The unschooling movement is founded on the principle that children learn best when they pursue their own natural curiosities and interests. Without bells, schedules, and rules about what to do and when, the knowledge they gain through mindful living and exploration is absorbed more easily and enthusiastically. Learning is a natural, inborn impulse, and the world is rich with lessons to be learned and puzzles to be solved. Successful unschooling parents know how to stimulate and direct their children's learning impulse. Once you read this book, so will you!… (mais)
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Lots of practical ways 'school' can happen with families all over the country. ( )
  MichelleConnell | Sep 26, 2018 |
A great overview. Not only helps you think "I can do this," but also "this is a good idea." Wish it was longer, with suggestions of more resources for particular situations. Also that it had been updated. References to AOL and families just about to get their dial-up Internet service definitely gives the book a dated feel. ( )
  bobholt | Dec 3, 2017 |
An interesting book that seeks to explain the concept of unschooling and how it is actually practiced, by using the anecdotes of families who are, or have, homeschooled. As well as interviews with parents, there are also excerpts from children who are being unschooled.
While I liked the positive 'vibe' of this book, and the fact it discussed how families actually go about unschooling, I found that there was very little information to support the fact that unschooling works (a short chapter, which included references to the 'multiple intelligences' theory which actually has little basis in data and study, was about it for data and research support) so like a previous reviewer, I find it is all very nice but am not sure it really works in most situations. I understand that unschooling is a relatively new concept, at least for the modern Western era, but I thought the author could have at least looked at some serious child development studies or learning research rather than just relying on a philosophy that says kids will learn what they need when they feel like it.
I have also taken off half a star for the Kindle version - the formatting is terrible. If 'full price' is going to be charged for an e-book, the least the people who produce it can do it check it for errors and make sure that it is in a format that is tailored to e-readers, rather than just shoving an old (1998 from what I can tell) file into an e-book ( )
  ForrestFamily | Nov 22, 2011 |
This book has many strengths. It goes into a good amount of depth as to how one actually unschools, something I have yet to find in a home-schooling book. The anecdotes also give more insight into unschooling families and how all that works. But one of the greatest strengths is the explanation of the philosophies behind unschooling--why people choose to unschool, why it works, what its strengths are, what its meant to accomplish. Those philosophies are the biggest message that I'll take from this book.

The other significant strength is the resources. Griffith lists her resources at the end of each chapter, from websites to magazines to books. I am very pleased by this and will be making use of many of the resources she's listed.

The weakness in this book, and it's a significant one for someone like me, is that there is no scientific/statistical backing for any of the claims she makes. I have yet to find someone who actually knows a family who successfully unschooled. I do not doubt that they exist, but I haven't met one yet, nor has anyone I know. This makes it harder to believe claims that unschooling is the right way to educate your children, particularly when combined with the lack of data surrounding unschooling. How many unschooled children attend college? How many do so successfully? How many unschooled children are not successful, either at college or in life? How do those numbers compare to other conventionally and unconventionally schooled children?

Griffith's bias towards unschooling is apparent in this book. While I don't mind that, particularly since she's upfront about it, it means that the full picture is not presented since there are gaps of information, particularly information that might be at all damaging to unschooling.

However, that is the only weak point in the book. If you're looking for educational philosophies and ideas and are willing to be a critical reader, then I definitely recommend this book. If you're looking for resources, I also recommend this book. If you're someone who will be taken in by anything, then I caution you to read it with a critical eye. There is a lot of good information in this book that home-schoolers of any variety can use, but if you're easily swayed by what you read, this may not be the best book for you since it doesn't present the entire picture. ( )
2 vote crashingwaves38 | Aug 25, 2008 |
Excellent intro to the subject, great bibliography. ( )
  EvaElisabeth | Aug 18, 2007 |
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To Unschoolers, Learning Is As Natural As Breathing Did you know that a growing percentage of home schoolers are becoming unschoolers? The unschooling movement is founded on the principle that children learn best when they pursue their own natural curiosities and interests. Without bells, schedules, and rules about what to do and when, the knowledge they gain through mindful living and exploration is absorbed more easily and enthusiastically. Learning is a natural, inborn impulse, and the world is rich with lessons to be learned and puzzles to be solved. Successful unschooling parents know how to stimulate and direct their children's learning impulse. Once you read this book, so will you!

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