School Report - UnSchooling Students

1 decade 4 years 1 week ago Tuesday, May 23 2006 May 23, 2006 Tuesday, May 23, 2006 9:18:24 AM CDT May 23, 2006 in News

"They say, 'What do you mean you're not doing real school?' And I tell them I'm doing unschooling," explained Adele.

Unschooling lets students direct their learning. If Adele wants to color next to her cat, why not? Playing a video game before lunch counts as reading practice.

"I didn't even know about unschooling until last summer," said Adele's mother, Stephanie Dorman.

That's when Dorman, a former teacher, took Adele out of Columbia's Blue Ridge Elementary School because her daughter had trouble with math.

Now, math is only a fraction of the problem it used to be.

"I think what's exciting to Adele is that she's open to all kinds of new ideas," added Stephanie.

"I can grow up to be the president of the United States," said Adele.

Former unschooler Sarah Smith-Seris works fulltime for Phoenix programs, a treatment center for people with addictions.

"I love to tell people that I have my master's degree, but I don't have my GED," she said. "I was unschooled all the way until I started college, and I graduated magna cum laude from MU. For me, and every other home-schooled adult, I think my academic record speaks for itself."

Adele won't do the same things as Columbia public school second graders, but her experiences will be similar.

"We actually made a schedule" she explained. "I don't really remember it, but there is science and things on there."

Missouri considers unschooling as legal home schooling. An unschooling advocacy group said there are about 150,000 unschoolers nationwide.

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