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Unschooling Lets Students Pursue Their Own Interests

According to the U.S. Department of Education, about 1.1 million children were being home-schooled in 2003. Education experts estimate that about 10 percent of the home-schooled population is "unschooled," meaning that there may be as many as 110,000 young people being educated in this way.

The "unschooling" concept holds that learning is best done when a child's interests are engaged, and for a family with the talents and the resources to allow this to happen, great success is possible.

"It is not suited either to all kids or all parents," said Tom Hatch, a professor at Columbia University Teachers College in New York City. "It requires students with considerable curiosity and independence, who come up with and get interested in questions and can sustain some interest in them."

This article appeared in the March 10th, 2006 publication of The Chicago Tribune.

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