Overwhelming. That’s the word you hear when you ask homeschooling parents about the resources available to them today. The homeschooling and unschooling movements, along with the open-education resource movement, have led to a wealth of free or low-cost and high-quality material available, especially online. The tough part is finding the time to wade through and evaluate it all.
Lisa Nalbone, a “self-directed education” proponent and former schoolteacher in California, helped her son, UnCollege guru Dale J. Stephens, as he unschooled from sixth through 12th grade, starting about 10 years ago. Today, Nalbone has a website and email newsletter with tips for unschooling parents, and is working on a book on the topic.
Nalbone suggests that when it comes to finding resources, unschooling parents should find a community – a support group of like-minded folk who can help – and, as early as possible, involve your child in the process of finding resources. This helps your child learn how to find learning materials — an essential skill for the lifelong learner.
“Without helping your child learn that underlying skill, you’re missing out,” says Nalbone.
It must be noted that unschoolers do distinguish themselves from homeschoolers. Unschooling is centered around what the child wants to learn using any and all resources available, not just fixed, school-prescribed curriculum, while some maintain homeschooling sticks to the same general curriculum as traditional schools, but brings it home.
Either way, for both groups, learning resources can include not only online materials — courses, worksheets, videos, podcasts and the like — but also things like your local library or museum, or even your backyard. With that in mind, here’s a brief overview of some of the types of resources to consider.
Source: KQED | Lorna Collier