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Co-operative Unschooling?

unschooling homeschooling co-op co-operative education

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7 replies to this topic

In the belly of the beast

In the belly of the beast
  • 96 posts

I know that having one parent stay at home and teach their children full time is best for the first few years of life, but I was wondering about a model where a group of several unschooling families shares the teaching load with their older children. The idea being that each family teaches a small group of children one day a week or so, enabling this group of parents with older children to work while continuing to provide these children with guided learning until they are ready for completely self-directed learning. This model of unschooling could have the additional benefit of specialization in teaching, as you could have parents with different backgrounds (the sciences, the arts, the skilled trades, etc.) available as specialty resources to children with more specific interests. Does anyone know of any unschooling groups or families that operate in this way?


  • 1857 posts



I'm pretty she has mentioned before, particularly when she guest hosted the Sunday show, that there are many unschooler communities that trade time with each other's kid if need be.

Basically you just gotta get in touch with a decently sized community of other unschoolers if you haven't already. 


  • 1420 posts

Do anyone know of any unschooling groups or families that operate in this way?


Unfortunately it's not very common in the UK, because it can look like a school, which makes it illegal.


If education is provided for five or more children it's classified as an Independent School (Education Act 1996 Section 463): "Independent School” means any school at which full-time education is provided for five or more pupils of compulsory school age


And it's illegal to operate a school without government approval (Education Act 1996 Section 466): "a person is guilty of an offence if he conducts an independent school which is not a registered school or a provisionally registered school".


We can't allow people to educate their children, can we?

In the belly of the beast

In the belly of the beast
  • 96 posts

Thanks for the link and your thoughts.  I took a quick look at the site and it looked promising.  I'm not yet a parent or even with a long term partner, so the issue of schooling is still a few years off at least, but it never hurts to be prepared.


That's a real shame about the UK.  I've heard it's essentially the same legal situation in Germany and some of the Scandanavian countries.  Hopefully homeschooling and unschooling remain legal in North America.


If you folks have or plan on having children, what kind of schooling options are you considering (or currently practicing)?


  • 81 posts

In the UK it is pretty much fine to homeschool. Parents are responsible for their kids education "at school or otherwise" , so depending on the local officials, it can be hassle free.  See http://www.educationotherwise.net/  - they have tons of homeschool group links.. not sure if when they meet up they suddenly become classified as a school though.


Here in Sweden its illegal , but some manage to do it, by officially having one parent living overseas (Norway, Denmark or UK), but they have to live a covert life.. which is a shame. We've had some people hiding out with us while they wait for their Norwegian papers to come through,  they didnt feel safe at home anymore. It is awful - really .


I have heard that Denmark is very free.. we are going to a homeschool meeting there next month to find out more.


this is interesting - http://roslynshouse.com/ - i like her youtubes


We went to visit this home school coop in Massachusettes, it seemed like a good way fo organising things... the amount of expertise available from the 200 parents was staggering.



I think it would be nice to have a group of companies and give the kids experience and genuine responsibility/risk in all of them, from a young age.

One more point, many of the homeschoolers and unschoolers that we have met spend plenty of time going to visit and stay with other families . They are not tied down by having to be at school everyday, and many of the parents organise their lives so they are not tied down to a job everyday. Many do this internationally. 


  • 7 posts

Im in middle tennessee and we have not ONE but TWO co-ops. ranging from pre-k to high school classes. Some of these classes have elementary kids and high school kids mixed in. We meet once a week and the kids go to their various classes. its pretty awesome if that is what your kid likes to do. : )


[color=rgb(90,90,90);font-family:Verdana, tahoma, helvetica, arial, sans-serif;font-size:12px;background-color:rgb(251,253,254)]Parents are responsible for their kids education "at school or [/color]otherwise[color=rgb(90,90,90);font-family:Verdana, tahoma, helvetica, arial, sans-serif;font-size:12px;background-color:rgb(251,253,254)]"[/color]



That's soft coercion but at least a progress compared to the "concentration camps" in Germany. Intellectual "slovenly" can lead to a happy and well educated person: http://www.andrester...m/en/index.html


Summary of Andrè's mindset: You can be sucessfull in something if you are passionate about it and devote yourself entirely to it but success is just a side effect. :thumbsup:


Summary of Stef's mindset: Screw talent, work your ass off and grab the success by its horns.  :cool:


  • 1420 posts

That's soft coercion but at least a progress ...


The requirement that UK parents educate their children "in school or otherwise" is not "progress", it was just a lucky break.


The wording was intended to allow nobility to educate their children with private tutors; it was never intended to allow the masses to opt out of institutionalised schooling.


In the 1950s Joy Baker took her child out of school to home educate. She was imprisoned for her trouble, and spent ten years fighting to legitimise home education in the eyes of the state before they relented. If not for that accidental phrase "or otherwise", she would not have succeeded.


That's why the largest home schooling support organization in the UK is named "Education Otherwise".