Unschooling: Helping Children Flourish with Freedom

Educating your children is one of the most important things you can do in your lifetime – so is it really best to leave that in the hands of the state, that can’t seem to do anything right? Articles like this one in the USA Today (2010) point to the fact that the U.S. is behind countries like South Korea and Singapore when it comes to education. Given this predicament, the U.S. Education Secretary bemoans that we need to spend even more money. Because everybody knows that when an organization continually fails the answer is to reward it with more money so it can continue to provide bad service. It happens in the marketplace all the time! Oh wait…

Veronique de Rugy of Reason also points out that we are not only far behind other nations, but “…with the exception of Switzerland, the U.S. spends the most in the world on education, an average of $91,700 per student in the nine years between the ages of 6 and 15.”

So outside of private school or a charter, what else is there? One option seems to be sweeping the nation. Unschooling. To get a small taste of the philosophy, check out the information below from the site Liberty Children, which describes their overall ideas on how to approach education and parenting. If it interests you, there is plenty more information out there to continue learning.

Our philosophy is grounded in research and our own experience, and guided by extremely important principles.

1) We refuse to advocate for any adult-child interaction that uses force, coercion, or dishonesty – unless it can be done with near 100% knowledge that the child will be thankful for it later on. An example might be using physical force to pull a child out of the way of an oncoming train.  Something that wouldn’t fit the bill would be then spanking that child to “teach her a lesson” about standing in the way of trains.

2) We only advocate for interactions that acknowledge children as moral equals.  Being born before someone else does not entitle one to be dismissive, dishonest, or forceful to a younger person.  It’s simply the Golden Rule for adults: If you would not want to be treated in a certain way as an adult, then it’s unacceptable to treat a child that way.

We believe that a well-researched and principled approach will help give children the freedom to flourish as exactly who they are.  We hope to have a conversation on what can be done now, instead of criticizing what has been done before.  If you’re a parent, teacher, or any person who is interested in engaging in a dialogue on what we can do to help our children flourish into who they want to be – you’ve come to the right place. Look below for the most recent posts about our principles, research, and reasons for interacting with children the way we do.


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