Finding Our Balance through “Curiosity-Driven” Homeschooling

There’s so much confusion around the terms “unschooling” and “child-led” that I’m tempted to use a different term for what we do: “curiosity-driven homeschooling.”

By that I mean that sometimes his interests lead, other times I’m “curious” to see his reaction to a new idea or topic. It may be something tied to mainstream education standards (learning parts of speech) or completely unrelated (learning about stuff in the news). If he latches on to the main idea or a related one, then it’s full-steam ahead. If not, then we adapt the content or the approach to fit his age. Or we table the topic for later.

Since our household is comprised of die-hard lifelong learners, it makes sense that we share the reins. A curiosity-driven approach allows that to happen naturally and easily. In fact, if we were to change up and send him to school at some point, I’m confident that we’d continue curiosity-driven in some way, shape or form through afterschooling.

Explore More:

• Futurist Thomas Frey has a great post from earlier this year on how curiosity-driven approaches might change mainstream education. I think he may be right.

• Christina Pilkington’s Interest-Led Learning is another blogger/home educator with a similar approach to mine.

• UPDATE: The morning after this entry posted, Penelope Trunk shared her thoughts on homeschooling vs. unschooling.

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  1. Thanks for the mention! Following a learner’s interests makes sense in so many ways. I believe if we don’t make personal connections to a topic, subject or skill it won’t make a lasting change in our lives. I also liked how you mention that learning in your home is a collaborative experience. Too often homeschoolers using this approach think they must wait until their kids express curiosity about a subject before providing resources. But we, as their parents, are curious about things too and love to share those things with our families! My daughter’s love of geography and travel is directly related to my interests. If we share those things we are curious about with our friends and spouse, why not with our children?

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