Do Unschoolers really need to sit down and make a lesson plan for the year? Most teachers that I know are required to do this. As a teacher with a classroom full of kids, I would hope you are not winging it. Teachers all have some type of plan in place. As a parent/teacher of a Unschooler, I personally, don’t think you really need a lesson plan.
First, let’s go over what exactly a Unschooler is and how it works, then I will explain why I believe you don’t need a lesson plan. An Unschooler is a child-led, interest-driven curriculum. The student seeks knowledge acquired by the student and supervised by teacher/parent. The student sets the goals and the resources come from books, parents, siblings, the internet, outdoors, museums, zoos, grandparents, elders, and life experiences. Learning happens constantly, all year-long and all hours of the day.
With that in mind, a lesson plan is not necessary for the traditional sense. By this, I mean that planning what subject will be taught by the hour or by the day or week is not necessary. Sometimes I might make plans to go to a museum or play date with friends. I might sign up for a 4H class and put that on a calendar. I might plan a vacation and put on a calendar when we might head to the local zoo, park, museum, historical site but here’s the thing: Time is always flexible in my Unschooling lesson plan book.
Now for those of you who are planners and love to have every moment planned, I would suggest first ‘deschooling‘. That is, take a small time off from a planned schedule to see what interests your child and yourself. For every year your child is in school you need that many months to ‘deschool’. An example is: my daughter went to ‘normal’ school for three years so she will need three months to just play or ‘deschool’. Then work TOGETHER on a calendar to set the goals for your child. Examples might be:
- In one month I am going to read this book.
- In two weeks, I will memorize all my multiplication tables.
- Each day I will write in my journal/blog two times.
Then if they carry out their goals reward them with a pizza party or ice cream or even movie. Let me know how you do plan (or Unplan!) your year!