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The future of education is here

Homeschooling, Unschooling, Open schooling : Demystified


Aishwarya Muralidhar

Feb 16, 2021

Homeschooling. Unschooling. Open schooling. Are you confused by the multitude of different schooling options available? Unsure what they all mean and how they're different from each other? We’ve got you covered. This blog will be digging into each one so that you can make the best choice for your child!

Traditional schools have long been the obvious choice for most parents. Until now, that is. The past year has brought upon a lot of change, but nothing compares to the upheaval of education systems worldwide. A staggering 1.3 billion children are now at home , unable to attend classes at school.

The pandemic is predicted to reshape education forever. In many ways it already has, with digital learning becoming the norm. But there is a growing number of parents who are taking matters into their own hands .

What are they opting for? One of these three: open schooling, homeschooling, and unschooling.

What is Open schooling?

Open schooling allows children unable to go to traditional schools access to the same education as those who can do so. Students take on complete responsibility for what, how, and when they study! They can even determine when they want to be evaluated!

Sounds too good to be true, as a learner? Or if you are a parent, has it got you concerned if any learning happens at all with this level of freedom? Well, here is the truth: there's a huge amount of commitment and will that makes a child's open schooling journey a success, as the only one holding you accountable is yourself.

The National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) offers a range of courses and programs that you can utilise to bring structure into your open- schooling experience.

What is Homeschooling?

Children are taught at home under the guidance of their parents instead of being enrolled at a school. That doesn’t mean homeschoolers are confined to their homes though. They learn from a variety of places and everything is a learning opportunity.

Most of a homeschooler's education happens outside the home. This can materialize in the form of trips to museums, science centres, and parks.

Homeschoolers are taught and guided by their parents as well as mentors. The curriculum and pace at which a student learns are set according to their needs.

What is Unschooling?

Unschooling falls under the umbrella of homeschooling. However, both approaches to learning are different. Children are encouraged to find and pursue their interests.

Unlike homeschooling, parents don't schedule tests or assign homework. Unschooling is perhaps a more extreme approach to homeschooling. Learners are in charge of what they learn and have full autonomy.

Unschooling banks heavily on the inquisitive nature of a child. Also known as natural learning, this approach does not include lessons. It rallies behind the fact that children want to know more about their surroundings and how they work.

Which one is right for you?

In the true spirit of what all of these systems stand for, picking one should not just be your choice. Rope in your children to make the decision. Include them in your decision making process.

What do they feel drawn to? What are their passions? How would they like to learn and grow?

The lines between the three approaches are blurry sometimes. But what they all have in common is that the learner comes first. Children have the opportunity to choose. They are in control of what learning means to them and how they want to go about it. In educational parlance, we like to call this heutagogy or learner-determined learning. From our experiences at Beyond 8, we have found self-determined learners to excel at their chosen fields, regardless of whether they are open schoolers or home schoolers.


Traditional schools have a long way to go before they adapt to the rapidly evolving needs of the market. But change has already arrived, just in different forms. Open schooling, homeschooling, and unschooling are all testament to that.

Which of these types of schooling did you relate to the most? Write to us and let us know. For more on how we enable learner-determined education, visit us at

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