As more experienced homeschoolers/ unschoolers moving in to our fourth year of educating at home, many times I hear the same rhetoric about homeschooling and sheltering. The basic premise is that teaching your child at home is something that we undertake because it shelters children from the real world - and that this is a bad thing. That withholding very young and impressionable children from the institutionalised school environment is unnatural, and will disadvantage them in that they will not experience the harsh realities of life, and therefore will not be able to cope with a harsh adult life once confronted with it.
In reference to an article recently on the Mamamia website about radical unschoolers, I felt compelled to write a reply on behalf of the unschooling and natural learning community. I must preface that I respect much of Mia Freedman's work and the work of Mamamia in empowering women to have a voice on so many issues that are not usually brought up in mainstream media. However I must respectfully disagree with the assertion that unschoolers and natural learners are negligent parents or that our children are illiterate, or not contributing to or participating in society...
I would like to offer a reply or clarification of the issues raised in this article. I run Teen Homeschooling Australia (which is for homeschoolers, unschoolers and natural learners in Australia) in addition to University Tutoring Australia, and my children technically 'unschool'.