Download our FREE The Educating Parent Resource Directories today! Plus... more FREE resources!
Looking for support, reassurance and information?
Is Natural Learning the Same as Unschooling?
by Beverley Paine, March 2014
I define natural learning as something separate from unschooling.
Natural learning is something that we all do - it is the way we learn naturally and we do it all the time. We're not always aware of what we're learning. We're learning while we sleep, for example.
Unschooling is a choice: it is learning without school. We consciously work to take the school out of education.
Lots of unschoolers unschool without recognising or celebrating natural learning. And lots of unschoolers totally immerse themselves in the joy and efficiency of learning naturally. Both ends of the spectrum require a shift in focus and value from control to trust.
In her teens my daughter used school as part of her natural learning curriculum: she went to school to learn things that were not part of the school's curriculum and which were not accessible from our home environment. It took me a while to recognise what needs going to school were meeting - that is, recognise my daughter's need for learning these things. If I'd identified them earlier I might have helped to find a more suitable and appropriate environment. She used school as a tool to learn things that were important to her. She wasn't aware of those things at the time, but they definitely helped her to express and develop her personality in the way it needed to grow and develop. And it wasn't her only tool - she also, despite being fairly shy, chose to work part time.
Natural learning happens anyway. Unschooling is something we choose to do.
Was this article helpful? Was it worth $1.00 to you? Your gift of $1 or more helps to keep this site operating offering encouragement and reassurance to families wanting better outcomes for their children.
Beverley Paine with her children, and their home educated children, relaxing at home.
Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
Welcome to the World of Home Education
We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine
The information on this website is of a general nature only and is not intended as personal or professional advice. This site merges and incorporates 'Homeschool Australia' and 'Unschool Australia'.
The Educating Parent acknowledges the Traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Owners, the Custodians of Australia, and pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people viewing this website.
Home education is a legal alternative
Without revenue from advertising
Thank you for visiting!
Beverley Paine, The Educating Parent
The opinions and articles included on this website are not necessarily those of Beverley and Robin Paine,
nor do they endorse or recommend products listed in contributed articles, pages, or advertisements.
This website uses browsing cookies and conducts other means to collect user information in order to display contextual ads.
Text and images on this site © All Rights Reserved 1999-2021.