View Full Version : Question about Unschooling

Kathy LaPan
01-14-2013, 01:02 PM
I am curious about unschooling. Currently we are doing a Charlotte Mason-esque type program with a lot of "extras". Our state requires biannual testing until 9th grade, and then annual testing from then until graduation. We have elected to take the test provided at the public school (they are very homeschool friendly - the superintendent of our school district homeschools his kids!)

If you unschool, how do you manage the required testing? I like the idea of it; my children are very self directed and would do well with it, but I can see my son avoiding math entirely because he hates it. He's in "7th grade" and will be required to do pre-algebra on his state exam. If they are unschooling, he will avoid math like the plague (I mean, he wouldn't even help with recipes...nothing math. At all. Unless "assigned"!)

How do you ensure your children will be successful on the required exams if you unschool, or do you stop at the point where they have to take exams and do a more formal program? I guess I can't figure out how to balance the two.


01-14-2013, 01:07 PM
I haven't unschooled an older child but have many friends who have. Most of them have had kids who were eventually interested in math, mostly to figure out their video games or science experiments. As far as exams, it depends on whether they have to pass the exam or not. If the exam is just to be done but no repercussions for not doing well, then their is no reason to worry (in that respect). If there is repercussions then I'm not sure although some of my unschooling friends unschool for everything but math (although they take a much more child friendly approach).

01-14-2013, 01:10 PM
New York is, i think, the very hardest state to homeschool in. THere are many states with absolutely no requirements - texas and even new jersey, i believe? its a LOT easier to unschool in those states. I am sure some people are managing to unschool somehow in new york, but i have no idea how. Also, i dont know about new york, but in virginia, testing is one option we have for showing progress at the end of the year. the kids only have to score in the 23rd percentile or something like that - not exactly 'successful' by most standards, but enough to get through. and some radical homeschoolers even take advantage of the fact that there is at least one test the parents are able to administer at home. Their rationale is that they dont think the gov't should have the right to tell them how to raise their kids, so 'cheating' is a valid response to an invalid law. you know, anarchist-leaning types.

Pam Genant
01-20-2013, 11:57 AM
In our state we are required to test yearly, but there is no specific guideline on age to grade, also there is no threshold or pass/fail. So I would read the letter of your law to see if there is a pass/fail or any consequences etc. Another thing to look for is an alternative. Without knowing your state law, there might be an option. I do know lots of unschoolers in NY, that are quite radical in their unschooling, and doing well.

We don't worry about the testing.

01-21-2013, 08:36 AM
We unschool everything BUT math, so I think we'd be fine. But the great thing about Tennessee is that there are homeschool options that don't require testing, so we're lucky! :)