By Joe Burris of the Baltimore Sun
If most [people] think back to their own school experiences, how much of the information you were expected to learn do you know today?” added Conner, an unschooling parent. “We cannot know beyond the shadow of a doubt precisely what our children will need when they are 10, 20, 30 or 80. We do all want what is ‘best’ for our children and we want our children, now and when grown, to be poised to accomplish whatever they may decide is important. This is where unschoolers excel.”
While unschooling parents say the method is growing in popularity, some education experts question its effectiveness.
Joyce L. Epstein, director of the National Network of Partnership Schools at the Johns Hopkins University, had never heard of it. She knew of no research on the topic, “and research would be needed in order to justify it.”
Teri Flemal, director of Quality Education by Design, a New York-based program that helps parents hire personal teachers and build home curriculum, said she believes unschooling has its place. But she says it’s most useful for a child in a crisis transitioning from traditional schooling to home schooling, not as a regular teaching method.
“I’m reading e-mail from unschooling parents who think having their kids remodel their house with them is ‘school.’ I’m sorry, but it’s not,” Flemal said. “Painting, hammering, measuring – hey, that was great in primary school. I love that stuff.
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