I am coming at the unschooling here from a slightly different angle.
I run a team at work (I work in IT), and am in charge of the development of my junior staff.
Overall I find a desire much like in school or college “for a curriculum” with the idea of “follow the curriculum = develop your career”.
Sadly I think if this kind of thinking is difficult enough with children’s educational development, it’s problematic in the extreme in adults - and doesn’t really reflect how most adults work or learn.
When I look at my own adult learning as some kind of model (I self educated in the subject I eventually chased a career), there are several modes I seem to go into …
“Chasing an interest”
When you’re interested in an area say for instance The English Civil War - you’ll read a book maybe, look at some videos, maybe look for a different book with competing views.
Always there’s a kind of thought of “is this still interesting me - do I want to find out more” vs “shall I try something else now … how about the American Civil War”?
A good example - I’m learning to program in Java. I should be working through a book (working through a book = linear learning, with the hope that at the end I’m a master).
Instead I’ve broken it up into a number of projects.
- Can I write a Hello World program?
- Can I use methods in that program?
- Can I use string manipulation in that program?
- Can I randomly roll a dice?
- Can I roll lots of dice?
- Can I roll lots of dice, and work out the sum on each?
- Can I roll lots of dice and find out how many are below a certain number?
Each of those is a mini-project. And like above, at the end of each there’s the option to
- Try something else in Java - expand what you’re doing
- Take a break into something else that interests you
- Decide you’re comfortable with where you got and “put on hold”