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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Seven places where schools can add some Unschooling Rules to their curricula

The Obama Administration is shifting education policy towards the Unschooling Rules. So while school systems may not be able to embrace all of the Unschooling Rules at once, here are seven places they can start.
  1. Designate one or two week nights a week as "no homework" nights. (#unrules29) This will help students learn more, not less.
  2. Document students through portfolios as much as transcripts.
  3. Reduce the overall addiction to "forced classes." Decrease the number of graded classes to around 50%, of the most "need to know" topics such as math and written composition. Increase the number of the electives, cross-age, that are ungraded and even uncredited. Challenge teachers to draw and engage students using techniques other than coercion (#unrules24) and threats. World class mathematicians are going to born of passion and volunteerism, not more standardized tests.
  4. Rethink food in schools. Use food as the first place to reintroduce authenticity into schools (#unrules15). Realize how a school treats food is very similar to how they treat educational content. 
  5. Actively enable internships. Use microcosms wherever possible.
  6. Give families as much choice as possible in as many areas of schools. Everyone needs to be on the same page that it is families, not schools, that are responsible for a child's future. Schools that try to be responsible for a child's long-term future, and thus disintermediate parents, are doing everyone a grave disservice.
  7. View K-12 as the place to create visionary entrepreneurs, not proto-college students.


  1. This is the first time I am reading about unschooling and am shocked to realize that I maybe one of them. I am in agreement with all you are saying, esp #7...entrepeneurs. Wow. I guess you have launched me into a new world. I have 5 kids who I homeschool but always keep my opinions on the down low (?) Because I sound so radical. Well, I think I fit right in here! I am feeling really good! Thank you. Your writing is not in vain. -Caramia

  2. Thank you, Caramia. It can be hard to be a pioneer, to be sure. But a lot of people are agreeing with you, and the number is growing.