Have you ever thought that unschoolers cannot use a curriculum or anything ‘schooly’? Well, we are an unschooling family that use a curriculum!
What led us to this curriculum was our son’s love of big cats, so I saw this unit study curriculum that covered Africa and both children love it. We have been doing it most days for about six weeks and we still have a number of weeks left to go. I have even invested in a whole year worth of units as they cover topics the children love.
As you can see, unschooling families can absolutely use curriculum. And, we can have a routine where they sit down each day and do ‘school’! But, what drives the unschooling family with a curriculum is the interest of the child and their continuing passion for the subject. If, through any of the units we do, neither of the children show an eagerness to dive into topic, I will drop it. If one of the chapters of the units doesn’t interest them – say, Jupiter in the space unit – we’ll skip it.
The beautiful thing about having an unschooling mindset toward curriculum is that we are free to take to something it offers and go wild with rabbit trails or, like I mentioned, we can leave it. The curriculum is truly just a resource and not the guiding force of our learning day. The curriculum we are using suggests a country of Africa a day, but are we doing that? No! We’re doing a country over two days because there is so much to explore!
So, if unschooling interests you but you think that we’re not “allowed” to use curriculum, think again! Just remember that we’re using it as part of our facilitation of our children’s passions and love of learning. My daughter loves workbooks, so I give them to her! (And my son doesn’t, yet he loves math on the computer.) It’s all about seeing what engages your child and captilise on it until it doesn’t anymore.