Here is how I explain to people how unschooling works — how kids actually manage to learn things through this crazy no-grades, no-tests, no-required-curriculum lifestyle called “unschooling.”
I ask: How did you learn to use a computer?
Some people learned on the job, when their company switched over from typewriters. The employees probably took a class there at work. The class lasted maybe two hours or maybe two days, and they were given an instruction manual, and then they were told to go and do their work. Some people caught on quickly, and they helped everybody else.
Some people learned in a computer lab in college, when computers were new. They asked each other how the computers worked, how to cut and paste, how to resurrect the thesis paper they’d just accidentally deleted, what kind of desktop system was a good one, and what they thought about these new laptops. They tried stuff, they figured out what worked and what didn’t.
Some people learned from their kids or grandkids or nieces or nephews.
Some people paid experts at the Apple Store to teach them things.
Some people took a Saturday morning class at the library, or with the Seniors’ Club at the civic center.
Some people sat on their mother’s or father’s lap and clicked on things at PBSkids.org or PoissonRouge.com, and as they grew they taught each other how to make blogs and websites and play games and write games. They learned still more things by watching demonstration videos on YouTube. They made their own videos and put those on YouTube.
That’s how unschooling works. That’s how people learn things by unschooling.