December 1st, 2013
01:41 PM ET

'Unschooling': Where kids decide what they want to learn

No homework, no problem!

George Howell visits a 'school' in Atlanta that is embracing an education movement called "Unschooling." The children decide everything from the curriculum, the location of their learning and even how to be evaluated. But is it effective?

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  1. Jenn

    Reblogged this on and commented:
    Jenn's Thoughts: I'm very happy to see CNN's New Day feature a story on Unschooling. I'm really amazed and excited there is a private school which uses unschooling methods! I wonder how many other private organizations use unschooling methods, and what this means for the education sector.
    I was very disappointed to hear the female reporter make such a harsh comment against unschooling. She clearly doesn't understand the methodology behind unschooling. So many people believe unschooling is just "letting your kids do what they want." I must admit, I, too, used to be one of the these people. But through research, talking with other unschoolers, and practicing unschooling myself, I now have a better understanding of unschooling.

    One comment which stood out to me was when the reporter said if she told her 8-year-old to go learn what he wants, he wouldn't learn anything. So basically, you're saying you don't have confidence in your child having the ability to think for himself and engage in learning on his own. You're saying he needs an education professional to tell him what he needs to learn. (???) What? I find that insulting to your child.

    I believe, as parents, we have to have more confidence in our children. Children begin the learning process as young as infancy! I watch my 14-month-old learn every day, from learning how to connect her blocks together to learning how to walk...on her own.

    Never underestimate your child's ability to learn and engage herself in learning. You just may be surprised how amazing your child really is!

    January 8, 2014 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  2. Pam

    Unschooling, done well, has a lot of interaction between parent and child. Parents are with their children, providing materials, ideas, opportunity for the child to fulfill their goals and passions. This is not a hands off endeavor at all. It is a natural progression of learning, that has been part of every individual since birth. It is not a one size fits all expectation of regurgitating information, following a system that does not meet the learning style of most kids, and is focused more on testing scores than actual learning. These kids are going out into the bigger world as successful entrepreneurs, going into colleges across the nation (even sought after by the colleges), becoming successful business people, doctors, lawyers, educators, artists, computer programmers.... There are some who struggle with figuring out what they want to do as a career path, just like the many coming out of public schools do. Unless you truly understand what Unschooling is, it might be best to refrain from making assumptions that are just not so.

    December 11, 2013 at 11:50 am | Reply
  3. Rich

    I'm completely out of thoughtful comments regarding the state of education in this country. We have to just be more strict with our students and give them more homework. Less free time with xbox would be great. Un-schooling is the dumbest idea I've ever heard. On second, thought it's not. Baseball games where you don't keep score so we don't hurt our kids feelings is right up there!

    December 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm | Reply
  4. Kate

    No curriculum, no tests, no homework – kids set their own rules and their own pace?! There is no accountability in this process. Let's hope all of these children aspire to become members of Congress because I think that is the only place where these standards (or total lack thereof) apply.

    December 3, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Reply

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