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 an Unschooler, I personally, don’t think you really need a lesson plan.
First, let’s go over what exactly an 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 the 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 at all hours of the day.
With that in mind, a lesson plan is not necessary in 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, or 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 a movie. Let me know how you plan (or Unplan!) your year!