• dyslexiagames

How we naturally learn ALL SUBJECTS through Unschooling.

By DaNelle from

One of the first questions I had when I started Unschooling was…

“How will my children learn ALL SUBJECTS through Unschooling?”

I knew that unschooling was the way we all naturally learn, and I knew that I had seen passion in my children when they chose what they wanted to learn, but I also had a part of me that worried my children would be lacking in one or more subjects.

Traditional schooling typically organizes curriculum by subjects. At first this seems like a good method to make sure we don’t miss any subjects, but the problem is, this isn’t how we naturally learn.


We naturally learn by discovering an area of interest, and as we explore that interest, it crosses over into multiple subjects. By learning through an area of interest, we learn faster and deeper than we can ever imagine.

When people ask, “How do you unschool?” My answer is that we follow our interests – and our interests inevitably lead to science, literature, history, mathematics, music – all the things that have interested people before anybody thought of them as “subjects”. A large component of unschooling is grounded in doing real things, not because we hope they will be good for us, but because they are intrinsically fascinating.

For those of us who went to a traditional school (myself included), this may be a hard concept to grasp, for possibly no other reason than it is new to us.

Here’s a good example. Let’s say you were interested in animals.

You probably would read a lot of books on animals. (NON-FICTION & FICTION READING)You would learn various facts (ZOOLOGY), the classification of species (PHONICS & WHOLE LANGUAGE), how different species/breeds were discovered and domesticated(HISTORY), and what areas of the world different species live (GEOGRAPHY). You probably would talk to others about animals and gain knowledge from others’ experiences(SOCIAL INTERACTION/SPEECH DEBATE). You probably would visit a zoo or a farm to learn about how to care for wild animals or how to raise domesticated animals. (REAL LIFE APPLICATION) You probably would draw animals, or purchase art/photos of animals.(ART) You probably would learn about how animals eat, what types of foods their bodies can handle, and the illnesses they can contract. (SCIENCE & PHYSIOLOGY) You probably would want to own some animals of your own, which would require you to figure the costs of raising an animal/feed costs/healthcare costs, or in purchasing any books, toys, games or activities related to your area of interest. (MATH) You may need to write or email people inquiring about animals, or you may love to write stories about animals(WRITING). And finally, your area of interest would lead you to experiences such as how the library works, how to search online, how to write and send an email, how to type, how to find local farms or zoos, & how to solve real world math problems.

Whoa! Those are a lot of subjects learned through one area of interest!

This example above comes from my son’s real life obsession with animals. His interest in animals is one of the things that led me to unschooling. I found he was learning more and covering more subjects by his interest in animals than he was from traditional schooling. At school, he was often reprimanded for drawing animals on his worksheets or for reading non-fiction animal books when it was time to read the required book for his reading group.

How we naturally learn ALL SUBJECTS through Unschooling.

When I first started unschooling, I decided I needed to compile a list of ways we learn and their corresponding subjects so I could reassure myself that learning was happening constantly. My “traditional-schooled” brain had a hard time grasping this concept, but after I printed this list and stuck it on the fridge, I was reminded daily that there are countless ways we learn! Hopefully it’ll help you too!


  • How old your house is & why

  • Why your town exists

  • Where grandparents grew up and why

  • Relatives in military

  • Where car came from

  • People living in d