Hello, I've commented a couple of times in the blog section, but wanted to let you know that as a veteran unschooler,and educational consultant, I can wholeheartedly attest to the validity of this type of approach. I homeschooled for 20 years, with 13 of those being unschooling. I have two children, one of each, and they are now adults.
My oldest, my son, is self-employed as and It consultant, working with professional offices, small businesses, and individuals in the Central Florida area. Our local public library system is in the process of making a fabrication lab for people to learn new skills on and they are considering him as the manager/teacher of that department. This all came about because at 12 years of age, he told me he was learning a new computer language and instead of saying, "Sorry, not time for that now." I told him to tell me if he needed anything. He went by me so fast, the point was moot.
His sister, on the other hand loves the theater, she studied with professionals from age 10 until 16, when she did dual enrollment in our local community college, taking every theater and film related class she could get her hands on. She was offered a full scholarship upon finishing "12th grade" to continue her studies. She is now a store manager for a very large retail firm, producing sales in the top 10% of the company internationally. But acting remains her true love, surpassed only by the man she is engaged to, a lighting designer and actor. They both do as much side work as possible in their fields filming shorts, networking with theater and film professionals, etc. She is looking for ways to movie more into the area of her true expertise as we speak. Although she has been promoted rapidly and is very successful in the corporate world, the corporate world and its constraints are terribly stressful. It's not a healthy environment. She's very aware of what stress can do to the mind and body, so wisdom prevails.
Then, there's me, a homeschooling mom for 20 years, along with a very part time consulting job in creative ideation with a company called Ideas To Go - the perfect place for me as it recognized my "weird" way of thinking out of the box and developed it in a non-judgmental atmosphere. I still love working for them, but now that my kids are grown, I needed to find some other way of being able to balance my need for income with my home activities. So I turned my 20 years of experience in homeschooling and teaching, along with my Master's degree (done when my daughter was in dual enrollment), and my certificates in Gifted Education and Play Therapy all into a consulting service offering alternative approaches to gifted, talented, and creative people of all ages as a life coach for adults and educational mentor for families.
Why so many biographies? To show that unschooling was one of the best decisions my husband and I made for our children as parents and as educators...To show that using a learner-led approach is not only easier (usually) for both the learner and the educator responsible, but that the "gaps" fill themselves in, somewhat automatically (Remember, no one knows everything.)... And to give concrete examples of how the uses of full-time unschooling, or a blend of institutional approaches and unschooling can be used together very successfully. There is more...much more. There's research that shows this approach informs the educational process more efficiently than any other, that it is the most effective approach for gifted kids, that "fun" creates the proper neuro-chemical balance that is optimal for learning.But that will have to wait for another day.