Criticism of Unschooling
Sandra Dodd's commentary unless otherwise noted
The charge of "unparenting":Amy Milstein's excellent and brief defense of the term "unschooling": What’s in a name?
"I will sound one warning - when I started to explore unschooling, I ended up on some Yahoo groups out of curiosity -and found that there are families that subscribe to this philosophy in a bit of a different manner - instead of unschooling they do more of what I would call unparenting - allowing children to dictate their diet, bedtimes, television and movie viewing, etc."
The page linked and quoted below builds up quite a while before getting to the dire and misguided point, but they quoted Pam Sorooshian in there, and other people.
Early Academics and Unschooling
Quotes from it in case you don't want to go there (I would not blame you a bit):
[W]e would like to make a statement, for the record, regarding the false but persistent notion that we advocate some form of unschooling before age ten. From the way some people talk, you could get the impression that we believe children should be left to wander about aimlessly, foraging in the forests for food, suffering from a dearth of discipline, until their tenth birthday.Two new sins I learned from that site: the Sin of Hasty Conclusions, and "intellectual misbehavior"
The first half of this verse tells us that a child must be disciplined with the rod and reproved for his misbehavior. Misbehavior may be manifested in a multitude of ways, including intellectual misbehavior.So whether or not they unschool in their own families, they're assuring all readers that unschooling involves leaving children alone, one way or another. I don't see anything in their quotes and examples that says "leave them alone" at all, but they seem to saying to be with them, explore with them, let them do real things.