documenting unschooling


of all i’ve read, including what we’re adding below, and of the experiences we have had with this (documenting unschooling) .. this advice seems most resonating:

as long as the student can provide evidence of an ability and willingness to learn, potential for success at (said uni), and a potential for “contributing” to (said uni’s) community they stand a good shot at being admitted.

so to me – best advice is to spend your days being curious, following your whimsy. if you fall/stay in love with learning – there will be enough of a trail. (actually better advice.. let go of trying to get in ness)

[working toward a global systemic change.. where document everything/nothing ness just happens… as you live your day. aka: if you think you have to document you’re not unschooling.. as in .. you’re not living]


mit admissions of homeschoolers (2006)

colleges that admit homeschoolers (2013)


below from various parents:

I want to caution folks who don’t need to document for the government, that breaking things up as I have by “subject” could very well slow down deschooling.

Don’t do it by subject—do it by more real-life categories. Use: listening, watching, speaking, conversing, reading, writing, visiting, playing, building, inventing, creating, thinking, puzzling, organizing, joking, observing, and so on.Then, later, the parent can put all that into whatever documentation is needed. The advantages are many: 1) kids who become aware of the documentation aren’t edged into thinking in terms of school subjects; 2) parents don’t revert to or hang on to the idea of school subjects but really come to embrace the reality that kids are always learning; 3) parents don’t start getting worried that a kid isn’t doing enough in some particular subject and try to push that on the kids (oh so subtle as it may be); 4) it can actually help a parent really see what the kids are doing and help the parent let go of biases in favor of certain ways of learning (reading, writing) as opposed to others (playing, constructing, listening, watching); and 5) when the parents do put the material into documentation that is “by subject,” things can almost always go into multiple categories and you can choose so as to fill all the categories and satisfy the authorities.

If you try to record activity with these kinds of categories, you’ll find that any one activity can go into multiple categories. It doesn’t matter which category you put it into – the categories are just “ticklers” to help you recognize that the kid IS doing something that you can record and use (later) for documentation.

These kinds of categories are also a pretty good way to start out unschooling for those who have the urge to keep records of some kind. I used this kind of thing to keep a journal for about 3 months and then converted it to slightly more educationeze language and showed it to my husband who perused it and said I could “make anything sound educational.” I just smiled and said, “Yep, that’s pretty much true because, y’know, everything they do does actually involve learning.” He didn’t have an aha moment, but it got him on the road to seeing that learning didn’t have to look like a result of school-style teaching.

Colorado Law says you need to provide 4 hours of instruction a day and keep attendance records but very few people I know actually do that.


add – stories from rick/chris/yaacov.


after summerhill.

Kio Stark‘s book has some great models/advice.

survey of grown unschoolers via Peter Gray:

interesting in this video – Ricky Van Veen notes that we are shifting from experiencing things and then documenting that, to documenting things as proof of an experience/status/et al…
Lisa Nielsen continually gathers a wealth of knowledge, here is some on this topic:
survey of grown unschoolers via Peter Gray:

(so just keep reminding yourself that this is not ridiculous – in fact perhaps more natural/healthy – even though it’s not currently the norm)


sept 2014:

unschooling kids do just fine in college –

(so just keep reminding yourself that getting in isn’t really the issue – the issue is being alive)

shared nov 2014:
Changes in PA Home Education Law Just before losing his bid for re-election, PA Governor Tom Corbett signed into law H.B. 2013 which relaxes the requirements for homeschooling in PA. Specifically, as summarized by the Home School Legal Defense Association, the new law: “Eliminates the public school superintendent’s review of a student’s portfolio at the end of the school year to determine whether the student is receiving an “appropriate education.” The parent will continue to be required to have the student’s program evaluated by a qualified person of the parent’s own choosing, but the superintendent must accept an evaluator’s finding that an appropriate education is occurring; [and, it] Requires that a high school diploma issued by the parent or an approved diploma-granting organization be given the same rights and privileges by the Commonwealth, including the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, as other diplomas.” I think that, in addition to making life easier or those who are already successfully homeschooling, these changes will lower the barrier for a lot of would-be homeschooling parents who fear the authority of the State (including their local superintendent), perhaps due to previous negative experiences in dealing with their school district. Knowing that the law is even more on their side will, I believe, make it easier to convince these parents that they can “do it”, i.e. free their young people up from forced schooling and help them craft a program that will provide a far more satisfactory educational experience.    – Peter Bergson
Interesting read: 4 Things Employers Look For When They Google You #psd70 Tweet:
more advice/insight from north star and Rick Posner..
more on unschooling
vision/hope – that we (everyone of us) get so caught up in something else/better that we documentation/proof as we know it (obsess on it) becomes irrelevant.
i’m dreaming of a dance..
document everything ness
if output matters. input matters. ness.