Unschooling Curriculum – Is There A Curriculum For Unschoolers?

Unschooling curriculum does exist! You may think that unschoolers never follow a curriculum or otherwise use any educational materials.  However, you’d be wrong.  An unschooler’s curriculum consists of what they plan to do.

This may involve meeting academic requirements or reaching a certain goal.  To achieve these things they may follow a conventional curriculum program, assemble their own curriculum or create their own course of study.

Unschooling With Conventional Curriculum Programs

There are some unschoolers who have chosen to follow a conventional unschooling curriculum program.  These unschoolers do use pre-packaged educational materials.  They don’t use these products because they have been told to do so though.  Instead they have chosen to use them to meet their own purposes.

Unschooling While Assembling Your Own Curriculum

Some unschoolers put together what is known as a “Do-It-Yourself (DIY) curriculum,” or an “out-of-the-box curriculum.”  Oftentimes this is done in order to be able to meet their state’s legal requirements for homeschoolers.

Other times it is done because they enjoy having a structured approach to learning and have certain things that they wish to learn (i.e. learning to read, budgeting).

Regardless of the reason, this type of curriculum is put together by using curriculum from different companies to learn about the various subjects that are commonly taught within school.  Some of the most commonly used things within a DIY curriculum include:

Unschooling As You Create Your Own Course Of Study

There are also some unschoolers who actually enjoy organizing their course of study.  While children’s behavior patterns and speech will show you that most of them do prefer to take a playful, spontaneous approach to learning, there are also some children who respond quite well to either a linguistic or a logical learning style.  These are the types of teaching styles that are used in a conventional school and in traditional homeschool curriculum.

A Common Question For Unschoolers and Curriculums

Unschoolers are oftentimes asked “Wouldn’t your child do better in school or with a formal curriculum program?”  Their answer to this is “no.”

They wouldn’t be better off in this type of an environment unless they want someone to choose their curriculum and assign work to them.  Otherwise, if a child prefers structure will benefit by creating and assembling their own curriculum.

This can be thought of as a cafeteria-style learning program in that there are a lot of commercial curriculum programs and educational products that these children can pick and choose to use to meet their needs.  What is particularly nice here is that they can use these things without worrying about the compulsory aspect of how they are conventionally used.

Allowing children to use curriculums, textbooks, and tests without it becoming the driving force behind their education is good because these things will not hinder them in the same way as they would in a traditional school or homeschool program.

This is because whenever they are used in this unschooling fashion they don’t interfere with learning because they also don’t interfere with the child’s trust.  In this way children are better equipped to learn more things at their own pace.  For this reason, unschoolers are confident in their style of homeschooling.

Unschool Friendly Curriculum

There are some unschooler-friendly curriculum guides that are worth looking into.  This is especially beneficial to any unschool parent who wants to create a custom curriculum but don’t know where to start.  They include:

  • “Unschooling Curriculum” by Carol Narigon is a great way to satisfy the legal requirements of your state whenever you have to submit a curriculum plan.  Herein Narigon translates her son’s activities into the educational jargon that is preferred by schools and related institutions.
  • “Living is Learning Guides” by Nancy Plent and published by FUN Books is another option.  It provides unschooler-friendly guides for preK through 12th grade so that you will be able to meet your state’s academic standards.