What is unschooling? Legit option or an easy way out?

What is unschooling? Is it legit or an easy way out? – A researching newbie mom


I was pretty sure if I “unschooled” children they would eventually mutiny.

Define unschooling? A while ago I would have given you a very different response. I’ll admit it–when I heard the term “unschooling” for the first time the image that came to mind was that of unruly children. No training. No learning. No form. No routine. No structure. No way!


I was worse than one simply ignorant to homeschooling. I was an educator who was ignorant to homeschooling. I wasn’t anti-homeschooling. In fact I was intrigued about it as an option for my children. I actually came across the term “unschooling” during my research, and I’ll admit that the title threw me off. I immediately thought that “un”schooling was tantamount to “anti”educating. And how could I, an educator, support or endorse something that I thought belittled education? I stood on my ill-form idea and didn’t dive any further into the homeschooling approach.


What a small minded conclusion I had jumped too! When a friend of mine, a graduate of the homeschool system herself, married to an Ivy leaguer, told me that her children were being unschooled, I had to pause because apparently I had missed something. Here were two adults who I admired for thinking outside the box, highly capable critical thinkers themselves, and they were unschooling. And their sons? Polite, well-spoken, well-mannered, intelligent, and academically gifted. Yes, I had obviously had no idea what unschooling was. And once I did the research with an open mind I realized that always touted many virtues of unschooling in my own education philosophy.


So, just what is unschooling?


In essence, it is a branch of the homeschooling community that encourages a student-led approach to education. Children are encouraged, and assisted, in following their passions. If you have an education background (like me) and support Project Based Learning (like me) don’t you dare roll your eyes at this. Many highly acclaimed schools in the US are praise for encouraging “inquiry,” “problem-solving,” and “project-based learning”. If you don’t believe me, check out The Noodle’s 41 most innovative schools way back in 2015.


Strip all of that educator’s jargoon away and what do you have? Schools are innovating by attempting to encourage children to do exactly what unschoolers are encouraged to do everyday–dive into their interests and passions. It’s probably this encouragement that had my friend’s son taking violin lessons while other kindergarten students were learning to stand in straight lines. Which, I ask you, will serve a child more? The latter only has a place if you expect that child to spend a lot of time in institutional lines… but I digress.


The Oxford Research Encyclopedias defined schooling as “a set of procedures employed by specialists, called teachers, to induce children to acquire a certain set of skills, knowledge, values, and ideas, referred to as a curriculum, chosen by the teacher or by a schooling hierarchy above the teacher.” I’ll be honest: I find the definition, while at its base true, a bit infused with a prejudice.


What shines through this though is that education has no direct tie to schooling. A school is a unit of an educational institution. The foundational confines given by the institutional aspect of school can be thrown off, allowing for more freedom and movement in education. You can lose the “school” without losing “education”.


Is unschooling for everyone?


I’ll say it, and you can quote me: unschooling done right is amazing, but it is not for everyone. First notice that I said “done right”. Sitting home on the “boob-tube” all day for weeks at end, to no end, is not unschooling. (Please note, I am not talking about a process often called “deschooling” in this article.) Unschooling is a form of education–therefore some form of learning occurs. Especially in younger years it’s important to let a student try their hands at many things. When something strikes a chord, encourage it! Giving your young student opportunities to try things means exposure and effort from the home educator! Even a student who gets sucked into watching Star Wars over and over, for example, should eventually take it to another level as natural curiosity takes over. Maybe they are interested in George Lucas himself? Maybe it’s the costume aspect of it? Perhaps they decide to make their own fan-movie? Imagine what kind of learning would take place from the time a child who was apparently just a couch-potato turns into a creative maven and makes their own film? Or maybe they decide to cosplay some of those outfits. Do you know how much learning would occur as they learn to measure, convert,   


A home educator that unschools may find that their “school calendar” is full of lots and lots of activities. Unschooling is by no means the “easy way out”.


Also note that I mentioned that I don’t believe it’s for everyone. Maybe the home educator would feel more comfortable with a curriculum or outline to follow. Maybe it’s the student themselves that craves more structure? Guess what? That’s OK. There is no right way for everyone to do homeschooling. However, having a balanced view of all of the homeschool approaches, along with an honest understanding of yourself, your student, and your lifestyle could help you decide on which of may options just might be right for you.


Do you unschool? If so, what does a typical day or week look like for you? What advice would you give to someone considering this approach?

Homeschool transcript services and report cards now available!

homeschool transcript servicesWho knows what the future holds for you, or your student. You might find the need to have your student’s grades confirmed by a third party. You may need a transcript to apply to an academic program, school, or job. Or perhaps you just like to have a separate source of record keeping for your student’s academic progress. No matter the reason, Education Revolution has got your back! We now offer the option for report card and homeschool transcript services to students enrolled with us, all bundled into a simple and affordable solution!


So just what does it provide?
  • An electronic report card given once per quarter
  • Homeschool transcript services: Tracking, housing, and maintenance of grades across school years
  • One complementary official hard copy transcript per academic year available on request that can be mailed anywhere within the contiguous United States. Additional copies available at a nominal cost.


What DOESN’T this service mean?
  • Education Revolution does not, and will never, require all students to use a certain curriculum. Home educators still have full control over what they use to educate their students.
  • Education Revolution does not give or dictate the grades. The home educator continues to tabulate the grades.
  • Education Revolution does not require this of enrolled families. Home educators can use any homeschool transcript services, or method they like to keep and to track of their student’s grades and progress.


Who might want this service?
  • If your student wants to attend college, or post secondary school, a transcript might be required.
  • If you might move out of the country, and official transcript might be helpful.
  • If you find yourself requested, for legal reasons, to show academic progress, report cards and transcripts can assist.
  • If you simply want a 3rd party to maintain your records, we can do that for you!


This service is $80 per year, just $20 per quarter! 

No, you don’t have to fidget with the transcript or report card template. Yes, it will provide an official record of your student’s grades. 



Frequently asked questions

How do I sign up?

(UPDATED) You must subscribe at the start of your academic year. You will be charged quarterly, though you may pay upfront. You’ll submit the grades and course descriptions. You’ll receive an invoice for the first quarter’s record keeping service within a few days of the first quarter.


Which grades is this service available for?

Any student enrolled in Education Revolution, form kindergarten through high school seniors, may request this service. 


How do home educators report grades and classes taken?

This is done at the same time, on the same form, as attendance.


Can’t you just give the grades?

(UPDATED) Unless your student is enrolled a Simple Revolution Solution we simply aren’t in the best position to assess their work–and thus in no position to supply grades.


My kid is a senior, you backup their transcript through freshman year?

Yes–but under limited circumstance. While  we will create transcripts and report cards for students in any grade, we will only back date transcripts for high school years. Also, it must be requested and paid for the first time the student’s grades are reported. There is a flat fee of $100 per academic year that is back dated. If you need to back date a transcript, email us.


Who provides the class or course description that goes on the transcript?

The home educator does. You can provide a copy of the course syllabus, class description from a catalogue, or write one yourself.


Can I use the service off and on?

You can use the service one year, and not the next. However, you must sign up for a full year–we do NOT do partial years for this service.  The service is $80 for 4 report cards and transcript updates. You may pay upfront or quarterly–meaning $20 per quarter. Also, unless your student is a high school student and you pay to back date your transcript for the time you did not select the service, there will be a gap during the time we were not maintaining the records.


Is this included in the Simple Revolution Solution?

No. The Simple Revolution Solution addresses streamlining curriculum and lessons for core content. These two products are not connected.


Can students enrolled in the Simple Revolution Solution use this service?

Yes. However, the grades and course descriptions will be provided for you from the course instructor… isn’t that simple?


https://pixabay.com/en/sad-child-boy-kid-crying-tears-217252/Feeling blue because our services aren’t available to you?

Have no fear! You can download a free editable transcript which you can maintain yourself, courtesy of Education Revolution!

Grab your free copy today!

Homeschool DURING an emergency situation, and why it’s a great idea

by- Yolanda Newton

     First I start with the preface that in no way am I saying that if you are facing and an emergency event you should  continue to homeschool “as normal”. The time before, during, and after an emergency event not normal. Always follow the advice of your local government and emergency personnel. If they tell you to prepare, prepare. If they tell you to evacuate, do it. However when you’re dealing with children there are other things you should consider beyond physical well-being. Young children may not understand possible dangers. Older children may become very frightened by imaging negative possibilities. Can you homeschool during an emergency?


     This is the time where you should embrace the fact that you homeschool. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar schools where the learning stops if the doors close, homeschool students can be educated at anytime, in anyplace, and through any event or circumstance. If learning is occurring you should be counting these days toward your schooling. In fact using an emergency event as a teaching opportunity cannot not only extend to make what the student’s learning concrete in real life, it can also help the student maintain calm by continuing with part of their normal routine.


Here are just a three ways that you can homeschool during an emergency.

Math it up

So you have to go out to buy plywood to cover the windows. Exactly how much plywood will you need? How much will all of the plywood cost? Is your vehicle large enough to carry the plywood home? These are realistic life-based math problems that students can solve during emergency preparations. Let multiplication, algebra, and geometry leap off of the math page and into your student’s life by helping them find an immediate use for their knowledge.

If you homeschool during an emergency you can reenforce lessons and provide calm.
If you homeschool during an emergency you can reenforce lessons and provide calm.

Get your science on

Have you ever heard the term that knowledge is power? Most emergency events that might occur where you live are no mystery. There are entire sciences dedicated to the movement of storms, predicting weather patterns, understanding the behavior of fire, and even creating structures to withstand earthquakes. Some of your student’s fears can be alleviated if they understand the science behind the emergency event that faces you. So head to official government websites, as well as science sites, and other reputable sources of information about the emergency event that faces you and use it as an opportunity to understand the science behind it. Don’t use local news, as it’s intention is to inform, and not educate. Also, the constant repetition of results felt by others might have a agitating effect on some students. Remember you focus is the science behind the event. Empower your student to know exactly what is going on in the world and earth around them.


Be a survivor

Unfortunately common sense isn’t so common today. Have you talked to your student about avoiding downed power lines, and why it’s important? Do they know the safest place in your home to be if there happens to be an earthquake? What should they do in case there is a fire? Do they understand what every human needs in order to survive? Use the opportunity of creating an emergency kit, “go bags”, and family emergency planning to help teach your student the important things they need to know in order to survive.


These are just a few ideas that might help your family make use out of emergency days. Finding solace in your homeschool routine can help your student grow, stay calm, and be prepared. Do you have any other ideas for how to make use of a rough situation to teach your student?


The director of Education Revolution was classroom teacher, who has a passion for the creative flexibility that homeschool allows her own family, and the families that she works with. Learn more about Yolanda Newton.

Blowing Bubbles: An example of everyday learning

Everyday learning can be shown during something as simple as bubble time.
Everyday learning can be shown during something as simple as bubble time.

Learning does not have to take place behind a book. Kids don’t show what they know with the use of pen and paper. Everyday learning occurs during simple tasks–chores, conversations, even play.



Everyday learning: it is something amazing to see in action. It was just a normal few minutes playing with my sons on the porch. Their dad had just bought a new bubble machine for his business, and like all good children, my sons were doing a quality assurance check. There is something pure and simple about the joy of children as they run around, trying to pop rainbow orbs that dance in the wind.


“Oh, look at that one!” I exclaimed. “A double bubble!”




My three-year-old squealed with glee, “Double bubble!”




It became a competition of who could spot one first and pop it. I’ll be honest, he was winning.


Then a thought occurred to me, Who taught him what the word ‘double’ means?


Even though I never explicitly taught him the meaning of the word, it was obvious that he knew what it meant. He demonstrated it by only pointing out and popping double bubbles.


I let the educator hat slip on for a second, and looked at what we were doing. There was the obvious reinforcement of the vocabulary word, but there was more. This was an industrial bubble maker, pumping out hundreds of bubbles a minute; imagine the control to look past all of the floating bubbles to look for only the “double bubble” — talk about an eye workout! Then we added the layer of hand-and-eye coordination, to physically pop the bubble quicker than me, and it gets even more complexed.


And don’t forget the social lessons — he was learning to take turns. The game itself was made up on the spur of the moment. We never formally decided on ground rules. He was able to fall into the natural rhythm, and follow the unspoken rules. That’s not something to take for granted. Adults sometimes have difficulty following the social nuances of unspoken rules.


Did I feel super proud of my well-crafted, multi-layered lesson?


Nope. Because it wasn’t a lesson. It was playing. No planning necessary. But just because it isn’t a formal lesson, doesn’t mean learning wasn’t occurring. This fun bit of double bubble time reminded me that playing for humans of all ages can be learning opportunities.


Director of Education Revolution


Learn more about the author of this piece, and the Director of Education Revolution, Yolanda Newton. Feel free to contact her with questions and comments.”

Announcing An All Included Homeschool Option for 2017-18 year

While homeschoolers can select what their calendar year looks like, many follow the same, or similar schedule, to the local public school system. If you happen to be one of them, then maybe you’re trying to figure out what curriculum you are going to use, what classes your kids will sign up for, and how you are going to budget it all. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an all included homeschool option?


Education Revolution has got your back. Not only are we offering hybrid lessons (physical and virtual aspects) for elementary and middle/high school levels, we also have an all included homeschool option that can end your hunt for core curriculum and tutoring in one sweep at a fraction of the cost!



Introducing the Simple Revolution Solution!

For one flat rate your student will get the core curriculum, lessons, tutoring, and supplements for the entire year. That’s right, one cost has your whole year covered. To make this all included homeschool option even more home-school friendly you can pay upfront or month-by-month!



A case example that shows how this all included solution could save you money, time, and stress.
NOTE: The course is pro-rated! That means it is $100 per month–you don’t pay for months you weren’t enrolled for! For example, join in November and your total cost is $700–you don’t pay for August through October!





Let’s talk courses, curriculum, and simplicity! Offerings for August – October 2017 Something for ALL grades!

Posted by Education Revolution on Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Interested? Contact me and let’s talk to see if this amazing program in the right fit for your family!



  • Check out all of the current offerings for the months of August – October in one place, our current brochure.

  • If you’d like to hear these offerings in video format, check out the two live videos posted to Facebook that discusses the offerings and answers some follow up questions.