The question about college makes me wonder. Would unschoolers seek to make attending college a goal? If so, why? What is the difference that makes college desirable?

Karin Curtin:

I personally don't think anyone should go to college unless they really want to and have a reason to be there.

My boys will probably try taking a few college classes pretty soon. I'm encouraging them to start out with a class they might like for fun, just to get the feel of it.

They both don't know yet what specific future goals they have in mind, so they still need to learn more about what they can do or what interests them as far as a career. And they may change their mind several times along the way. I think that's normal and expected.

They may end up wanting to obtain a degree to be competivite in the field of their choice. The way that I see it, it's really up to them and my husband and I will support them with whatever decision(s) they make.


Sandra Dodd:
When my kids were young I assumed they would go to college. Keith did. I did. They are 21, 19 and 16. Kirby went one semester but got a good paying job and is applying for a second promotion (the first was just handed to him). He's living in Austin, working for Blizzard.

At one time Marty had planned to go to the police academy and maybe to go to college until he was old enough for the academy. He's not so keen on that plan anymore. He's working at a Persian restaurant that has life music and good tips. He's good for the moment. Honestly, he's making better money than some of his college educated friends.

Holly has never wanted to go to college. She's good at many things, and if I had to guess at the moment, I think she might be involved in photography, but really I have no idea and I'm not worried.

If any of them decide they'd like to go to college, we'll still help them, no matter how old they are when it happens.

I've known many unschoolers who did go to college, and what seems universal is that they are much different from those students who went from high school to college. The professors seem to love them! Kirby's math teacher was fascinated by his exuberance. The rest were ashamed and avoidant. He was happy to be there, and happy to learn.

There are accounts of some other unschoolers' experiences here:

  • College Considerations for Unschoolers
  • Bits and Ideas about College
  • Unschooled Kids' First Formal Writing
  • No Graduation for Kirby
  • HENA Conference 2009 (keep checking that page...)