Updated 2020-02-13

Unschooling Passions

A parent demonstrates how allowing her children to deeply immerse themselves in their passions, especially controversial ones like video games and fandom, can lead to a diverse set of learning outcomes and experiences.
Pam Laricchia author
Laricchia, P. (2007). Unschooling Passions. Journal of Unschooling and Alternative Learning, 2(2), 1–30. Retrieved from https://jual.nipissingu.ca/wp-content/uploads/sites/25/2014/06/v1111.pdf


Unschooling is about learning through living. Unschooling parents want to open up the world for their children to explore. But often, parents worry that students who focus too much on one interest, especially interests like video games and fandom, will limit their access to the world and their learning. Pam Laricchia looks at learning through the passionate interests of her two children. Instead of spending her time trying to convince them to try new things, she decided to explore their interests with them. She explains how many facets of these interests (in her case video games and Harry Potter) helped her children develop traditionally academic skills like reading, writing, and math. She details her experiences of how their world comes to life through the freedom to engage with, and immerse themselves in, passionate interests.

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