I learned the hard way so you wouldn't have to

Let's find the fun

Welcome to How to do Stuff With Ethan!

If you’re here because you saw Ethan on YouTube, then thanks! And if you’re here because you searched for information about unschooling, also thanks!

Ethan has been unschooling since 2017, which was the start of Grade 4. Since that time, we’ve posted a weekly summary of what Ethan has been learning on this website. Ethan himself also posts videos he’s made and articles he’s written.

But why? Why post what Ethan is doing as a homeschooler onto the Internet for everybody to see?

Well, there are two parts to that.

First, Ethan is enrolled in an online learning program called SelfDesign here in Vancouver. Each week, we have to submit a weekly summary called an Observation for Learning.

Second, we wanted a way to document what Ethan was doing for ourselves to keep track of but also to share with family and other people who are trying to figure out homeschooling or unschooling.

So we decided that having a website about unschooling and showing people what Ethan is doing would kill two birds with one stone.

That’s why at the beginning, we said that if you’re here because you’re thinking about homeschooling your child and wanted to learn how unschooling could work, awesome! We hope you’ll see the way that we’ve done it with Ethan and find inspiration to help your child adapt to unschooling or homeschooling, too.

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Wait. Unschooling and homeschooling? Aren’t they the same thing?

Not exactly. Unschooling involves following the passions of the child to learn and to use non-traditional resources to facilitate that learning. For example, Ethan uses a combination of Khan Academy, various educational YouTube channels and other online resources.

Homeschooling, on the other hand, generally follows a traditional school curriculum but just done at home. Typically, homeschooled students use the school mandated textbooks and assignments to complete grade level requirements.

Unschooling through SelfDesign gives Ethan the freedom to choose how and what he learns. The Learning Consultant (a BC certified teacher) that Ethan works with provides weekly feedback on what he’s learning and translates his learnings into grade level requirements that they use to report to the BC Ministry of Education.

So Ethan still completes grade level requirements, but what he does may not look anything like what students in traditional school or homeschooling would be doing.

But why is Ethan learning from home?

The simple answer to why Ethan is a home learner is because the traditional school system isn’t able to allow students to learn at their own pace, follow their passions and develop a love for lifelong learning.

We also saw that over a couple of years in the public school system here in West Vancouver that Ethan was starting to lose the passion and joy he had for learning and was starting to get bored.

That’s not a knock against the public school system. In fact, we’re fortunate that British Columbia makes it pretty easy for students to follow their own learning path, whether as homeschoolers or unschoolers.

We just wanted to see what was possible if Ethan took control of his learning. Luckily, SelfDesign seemed to be the best fit for Ethan.

Ok, that’s probably a pretty good introduction into what this website is about, as well as why Ethan is unschooling.

Have a look around at some of the posts. Subscribe to Ethan’s YouTube channel. And if you’re curious about unschooling, let us know and hopefully, this website inspires you and your child.