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'Unschooling' Conference to be held in Ireland

Posted by SchoolDays Newshound on 25/03/2014. 'Unschooling' Conference to be held in IrelandTags: Parenting Education And Politics

A conference on ‘Unschooling’ is to be held in Ireland this Saturday, 27th March in NUI Galway.

‘Unschooling’ is a specific kind of education. It differs from the more commonly known ‘home schooling’ in that there is no set curriculum and no set periods of learning. The philosophy behind it is that Unschoolers learn through their natural life experiences including play, household responsibilities, personal interests and curiosity.

Following a set curriculum is not a legal requirement for home education in Ireland. Once you have registered as a home schooler with the National Education Welfare Board (NEWB), you are free to teach as you see fit. The Education (Welfare) Act 2000 specifies that all children receive a “certain minimum education’’ and the NEWB details what that is, including verbal skills development, literacy and numeracy.

There are no figures for the number of families choosing to ‘unschool’ their children in Ireland, but 100 people have registered to take part in a conference on the subject to be held in Galway this weekend. A key speaker will be UK unschooling expert Dr Alan Thomas who has researched the practice in the US and Australia, and asserts that unschooling is often the trajectory along which home education runs, whether parents originally plan for it or not.

To find out more about the 'Unschooling Conference' scheduled for this saturday, visit '


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