Unschooling

So, what do unschooling teens do?

Unschooling teens = autodidacts.

Self taught.

As in Kendall Hailey’s book The Day I Became An Autodidact.

[A great read, by the way..I own it if you want to borrow it…. ]

So, back to the original question. What do teen autodidacts do with their days?

This question came to my mind recently, when reading mail from the Unschooling Catholics email list.

I thought I’d post about today, a day for two of my teen sons. Thomas 15. Alexander 16 1/2. Or maybe – nearly 15 1/2, nearly 17. Who can keep track ?

How does a day of Living Without School translate for these two teens?

Alexander got up, he is an early riser. He did a yoga and martial arts workout, chatted to me and helped me with a few chores. Then he made his breakfast ( toast), tidied his room, and we had French class at our home.

I had some appointments for WYD Homestay so went out early, and came back halfway through French to take Alexander with me to yet another WYD appointment – he is learning to drive and wants the practice.

While at the lady’s home, A helped set up her DVD player and ate scones.

Home again, A stayed home to fold pamphlets for delivery with the 12 year old – Anny, while the rest of us went out, to drop the 15 year old – Thomas – to one of his part time jobs, for me to get my nails done ( very important) , one son – Greg – to pick up something he ordered from the shops.

Alexander folded pamphlets for delivery with Anthony, then played guitar and read email while we were out…. We’ve had lunch and talked about when A is going to fit in his uni assignment that is due Friday – he is doing one subject part time externally through university, Open University, – Italian. And about the extra help I need, as I am (supposed to be) resting with some superficial blood clots..

This afternoon, A will go to one of his part time jobs, at a nearby Kumon centre ( not mine!) till 6-ish and then we have the St Anthony Mass in our parish tonight, dinner after, probably watch some TV or a DVD and do some reading.

The other teen’s day?

Thomas (15) woke up – I yelled ‘Are you up Thomas, French is here this morning…’ and opened my door – T was standing outside the door with a smile. I was caught out!

Thomas did Wii Fitness, our family’s new favourite fitness toy ( not that I am allowed back to workouts ), tidied his room ( sort of), played computer, eventually ate breakfast ( goodness knows what), attended French class at our house, did some Maths while I was out and then we dropped him off at one of his part time jobs – McDonalds. He will finish at 5 – in time for a shower, Mass, dinner, etc.

So, their days are not very school-ish and mostly managed by themselves – we just talk the night before or in the morning and every few months or so, about what is happening ( we are all involved in many things) and about any thing that needs doing, interests and passions and goals and have-tos, problems, issues concerns….

An education for autodidacts. Or Self Directed Learning, to quote this article by Cafi Cohen on older kids and homeschooling.

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1 thought on “So, what do unschooling teens do?”

  1. Well, at least the boys understand the need for manicures occasionally — I call that an education in itself!Sounds like a wonderful day for all concerned!

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