Homeschool VS Unschool – What’s The Best Homeschool Style?

Jul 02, 2022

What is the difference between homeschool and unschool?

What are the main differences and similarities between homeschool and unschool?

Is there such a thing as an unschool curriculum? 

Check out the video for this post below!

I'm going to share with you the main differences and one similarity between homeschool vs unschool and help you figure out which one is better for your family. 

Stick around and read until the end of this post for special invitations that I have for you and your family that will help your homeschool replace standardized education drudgery for math and science learning fun.

homeschool vs unschool

Homeschoolers Nadia and Ursa enjoying an aquatic hike during our unschool program, Heathcote Art and Science Center (HASC).

What is homeschooling? 

Homeschooling is child instruction at home led by parents as teachers, which can include help from in-person tutors or online teachers guided by curriculum. Home education curriculum and schedules are usually more relaxed than in public or private schools and can be individualized according to each child’s interests and needs.

What is the Core Homeschool Belief About The Child?

The core belief about children for homeschoolers, is that children must be and need to be coerced into learning, otherwise, they will not learn on their own. The parent, chosen tutor, or online program must enforce learning into the child's life with routines and or schedules. Otherwise, if the child is left unsupervised, they will goof off, waste time, and not learn independently.

Unschool Definition

Unschooling is child self-directed education according to their interests. Parents and other adult mentors facilitate the child's learning with resource rich learning environments at home and beyond.

What is the Core Unschool Belief About The Child? 

The core belief for unschooling is that after deschooling, most children are willing and capable of taking on the responsibility for their education with adult guidance and facilitation. Adults trust the child that they can take on the responsibility of their own education along with the gentle guidance and facilitation from the adults in their lives when the child asks for help.

How it possible for children to self-direct their education? 

Children are born with an innate desire and ability to learn about the world around them. Unschool children are empowered by the adults in their lives to choose what they want to learn, when, where, how, and why.

Dimitri picking flowers

Here my homeschool student, Dimitri, voluntarily picked marigolds during our math and science unschool program.

How is Homeschool Similar to Traditional School?

Homeschooling is similar to public or private schools and taught through:

  1. Divided subjects using...
  2. Grades 
  3. Tests
  4. Homework
  5. Schedules

How is Unschooling Different From Homeschooling And Schooling?

Unschooling sheds all forced elements of education including compulsory learning led by teachers or parents.

Although, unschool children often request to have teachers or mentors teach them both in person and online, the following are typically dropped by unschoolers:

  • Divided subject learning
  • Grades
  • Tests
  • Anything else compulsory

Usually the unschool child chooses to drop all or most schoolish ways.

What Do Unschool Children Choose To Learn?

Unschool children are free to learn through chosen:

  1. Self-directed activities
  2. Courses
  3. Mentors
  4. Apprenticeships

What is the Unschool Parent's Role in Their Child's Education?

Parents facilitate their child’s learning by providing the resources specifically to enhance their kiddo’s chosen learning interests.

How Are Homeschooling and Unschooling Alike?

So far, we've learned about how homeschooling and unschooling differ from each other. But, how are they alike?

Both homeschooling and unschooling can be individualized according to the child's interests.

So, no sweat if you're not ready to be an all out radical unschooler! OR, if your family is ready to unschool, jump in! The waters of unschooling can feel sooo refreshingly great for families that are ready for it!

What homeschool style resonates with you? 

Is it traditional homeschooling, unschooling, or another homeschool style? I'd love to know!

Share about your preference in the comments below!

What If Your Homeschool Child Is Resisting Curriculum?

Is your child struggling or resisting learning from curriculum? Would your kiddo rather hyper focus all day everyday on a particular topic of interest like skateboarding, science experiments, or reading certain books?

Check out the video for this post below!

Do your kids feel like they're being interrupted from their other learning passions when they have to stop to complete compulsory curriculum lessons?

These are signs that your child might be a great candidate and is ready to take on the responsibility for their education by unschooling.

Is there a such thing as an unschool curriculum? 

Yes, it's whatever curriculum or resources an unschool child chooses learn with.

What If Your Family Is Best Suited For Homeschooling?

If you are best suited for homeschooling, find the style of homeschooling that best suits your family. There are many other homeschool styles including:

There are many more homeschool styles sprouting up almost every year, it seems!

And now, just as I promised, I have a special invitation for you and your learner.

I invite you and your child to get the Unit Study Planner BUNDLE helping you tailor your child's homeschool education to their learning interests, not someone else's.

Unit Study Planner BUNDLE


Today you learned the main differences and one main similarity between homeschool and unschool. The main difference between homeschool and unschool is the philosophy of education. Traditional homeschoolers yet believe, similar to public and private schools, that the child must be strictly watched over and forced to learn most anything. Likewise, today's global culture systematically believes that children need to coerced to learn anything. 

Unschooling goes back to ancient human cultural roots with the knowledge and understanding that children are born with an innate desire and curiosity to learn and master the adult tools of the age. In today's age, the main tools of the culture are computers. Thus, most children want to master computers and technology.

Before compulsory education became global during the 19th century, parents mainly homeschooled their children. Many indigenous cultures have always and continue to unschool their children.

Are you a candidate for unschooling or other homeschool style?

Share what style you use or want to start using in the comments below.

Talk soon,