THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SCHOOLING AND UNSCHOOLING
Rebecca Justus

Schooling Unschooling
Subjects Interests
Follow a curriculum Enjoy paying attention to your child's interests and experiences
Instill knowledge Trust that learning is natural; trust that children are interested in life
Follow a schedule Flow with the moment, with the inspiration
Age Interest and attention (regardless of age)
Memorize facts Understand stories
Expect your child will practice to meet a need/want (to reach a goal) Trust that your child will do what needs to be done to meet a need/want/goal (practice may not be necessary)
Supervise homework Be enthusiastically open to interruption; when not available respond positively and with respect
Value the curriculum Value your child's interests
Expect your child to apply himself/herself to the presented topic Be genuinely OK with your child not being interested in what you strew
Introduce topics Enjoy your child's delight when an interest is sparked/explored
Allow the teacher to choose timing and method Strew and allow your child to discover
Follow your own interests while your child is at school Follow your own interests when it works out; enjoy the times when your child joins you
Rely on school to provide an array of materials Enjoy creating a home and outings full of opportunities
Trust school to provide a physically and emotionally safe environment for your child Enjoy creating a safe, loving, respectful home
Arrange your life around the school district's schedule Live your lives and trust that learning will happen around and within all your activities
Accept that your child will spend most of his/her waking hours in school/transport Realize that life is full of experiences, that the world is full of opportunities. Enjoy them! Enjoy many of them together!
When tidbits pop into your head, share them with the awareness that you have found an opportunity to teach your child (teachable moments) When tidbits pop into your head, share them because you find them interesting or because you know your child may find them interesting
End a lesson when it is completed Allow a discussion to end naturally, regardless of its length or how much information was covered
Choose a curriculum or unit study or lesson Choose items to strew that your child has demonstrated interest in or that you know your child has not encountered before or in a long time, or that you think are fun and interesting
Expect your child to focus on the topic as long as directed Allow your child to focus on his/her interest as long as it lasts, whether that's a minute or years
Accept that your child will not always be interested when information is presented Trust that optimal learning takes place when a child is interested and/or laughing
Accept that much information learned in school is with short-term memory Support your child as he or she makes connections, no matter how many minutes or years it takes
Complete exercises Follow clues, unravel mysteries, embrace wonder, have fun and sometimes just be

Originally on a forum now long gone (unschooling.info).