What is unschooling? I found this website which describes unschooling. The FAQ section gives different people’s definitions of unschooling. http://www.unschooling.com/
A good place to start is reading about John Holt who is often considered the father of unschooling. This site has information about John Holt including books he has written.
From Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unschooling
Children are natural learners
A fundamental premise of unschooling is that curiosity is innate and that children want to learn. From this an argument can be made that institutionalizing children in a so called “one size fits all” or “factory model” school is an inefficient use of the children’s time, because it requires each child to learn a specific subject matter in a particular manner, at a particular pace, and at a particular time regardless of that individual’s present or future needs, interests, goals, or any pre-existing knowledge he or she might have about the topic.
Many unschoolers also believe that opportunities for valuable hands-on, community based, spontaneous, and real-world experiences are missed when educational opportunities are largely limited to those which can occur physically inside of a school building.
Children do not all learn the same way
Unschoolers note that psychologists have documented many differences between children in the way that they learn, and assert that unschooling is better equipped to adapt to these differences.
Developmental psychologists note that children are prepared to learn at different ages. Just as some children learn to walk during a normal range of eight to fifteen months, and begin to talk across an even larger range, Unschoolers assert that they are also ready to read, for example, at different ages. Since traditional education requires all children to begin reading at the same time and do multiplication at the same time, unschoolers believe that some children cannot help but be bored because this was something that they had been ready to learn earlier, and even worse, some children cannot help but fail, because they are not yet ready for this new information being taught.
Recent research has indicated that people vary greatly in their “learning styles”, that is, how they acquire new information. In a traditional school setting, while there might be some application of this knowledge, classroom teachers almost never allow an individual student to be evaluated any differently than any other student, and while a teacher—particularly at the primary levels—often uses different teaching methods, this is sometimes done haphazardly and not always with specific regard to the needs of an individual student.
Essential body of knowledge
Unschoolers often state that learning any specific subject is less important than learning how to learn. They assert, in the words of Alec Bourne, “It is possible to store the mind with a million facts and still be entirely uneducated”, and in the words of Holt:
Since we can’t know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned.
This ability to learn on their own makes it more likely that later, when these children are adults, they can continue to learn what they need to know to meet newly emerging needs, interests, and goals. They can return to any subject that they feel was not sufficiently covered or learn a completely new subject.
Many unschoolers disagree that there is a particular body of knowledge that every person, regardless of the life they lead, needs to possess. They suggest that there are countless subjects worth studying, more than anyone could learn within a single lifetime. Since it would be impossible for a child to learn everything, somebody must decide what subjects they are to explore. Unschoolers argue that “Children… if they are given access to enough of the world, they will see clearly enough what things are truly important to themselves and to others, and they will make for themselves a better path into that world than anyone else could make for them.”
The role of parents