Can I unschool in Canada?

The concept of unschooling, also called child-led learning, is based on the belief that children learn best by following their interests and curiosities, and that educators should trust the natural ability of children to direct their own learning. John Holt advocated for the method in the 1970’s and is considered to be the father of the unschooling movement.

Unschoolers may use a wide variety of resources, including games, projects, daily tasks such as cooking and shopping, videos, and online resources, in addition to the more traditional resources such as textbooks, workbooks, and curriculum. Regardless of the resources used, the focus is on encouraging a child’s natural curiosity and providing a stimulated and non-coercive learning environment, rich in resources and support from the parent.

Record keeping of your child’s educational progress is an important consideration in all methods of homeschooling, and unschooling is no exception. Each province in Canada regulates homeschooling differently; some provinces require reporting on a child’s progress and/or evidence of that progress, where others require such reporting and evidence in the event of an investigation. In many ways, keeping records of that progress when unschooling requires more creativity than with other homeschooling methods, which produce traditional products of educational progress such as tests, quizzes, and workbooks. 

Want to learn more about unschooling? Check out the Unschooling Education Method page for a list of useful unschooling resources, or read Pam’s story here.