J. Michael Smith, Esq.
Michael P. Farris, Esq.
Where’s the Evidence Concerning Unschooling?
May 27, 2010
Note: The following letter was sent in response to the Biloxi, Miss., Sun-Herald’s editorial of May 21, “We Support Homeschooling but not Unschooling.” HSLDA had replied to an earlier editorial on the same issue with the letter, “Critique of Unschooling Misses Point.”
Over the past weekend the Sun-Herald published a follow-up editorial which voiced support for homeschoolers but continued to express disdain for unschoolers.
Our question is: What evidence does the Sun-Herald provide to back up its claims? The answer is none. Instead—the editorial board simply offered an assertion about unschooling.
At HSLDA, in our response to the first Sun-Herald editorial, we did provide evidence that both unschoolers and homeschoolers are succeeding.
Over and over again, the facts show the success of parent-directed education. Parents, who spend time tutoring their children one-on-one do have an advantage over an institutional school. Children can proceed at their own pace and do not have to worry about the distractions and time wasted in a traditional school environment, whether the source is classroom discipline problems, travel to and from school, or changing classrooms. Consequently, the majority of home educators find that their instructional time with their children is relatively short because so much can be accomplished in a short span of time.
While unschooling parents do not work from a pre-packaged curriculum, they are deeply involved in guiding their children in the areas where they show interest.
Again, before the Sun-Herald decides to shoot from the hip, they should have some facts before they condemn a style of education that has been very successful despite being unconventional.