Not long after I wrote a post about the resurgence of the venerable Home Education Magazine, I received a mass email from newly-appointed editor Barb Lundgren announcing the magazine's new focus on unschooling.
Of all the many variations of homeschooling, unschooling is perhaps the most difficult for non-homeschoolers to understand. How can kids learn if you don't teach them?
The fact is, since the 1970s when educator John Holt first coined the term, generations of unschoolers have shown that it is possible to become an educated, productive member of society by studying only the things you need and want to know.
While some parents look upon unschooling as just another method to try when it suits the situation, a movement known as "Radical Unschooling" has started to draw a sharp line between unschooling and other forms of homeschooling. They believe that only families that give children complete control to make their own decisions about everything from what to study to whether to get dressed in the morning can truly call themselves unschoolers.
Whether Home Education Magazine's shift to serving only unschoolers -- however that term is defined -- will benefit or hurt the magazine in its revival remains to be seen.
What do you think? Are you an unschooler, or have you thought about it? Do you think it's helpful to consider homeschooling and unschooling two distinct ways of educating kids within the family, or do you think there is a continuum that includes both?
Image: Kathy Ceceri