There is a particular philosophy of homeschooling often referred to as “unschooling” which shares many similarities with our community model. John Holt was its best known proponent and his writings have been invaluable to us in helping to explain just how learning can happen without in fact any formal teaching and why on earth a child might choose to learn arithmetic or some other supposedly dreadful subject.
Unschoolers believe, as we do, that children are born curious about the world and eager to
succeed in life and that kids learn best through
experience and experimentation rather than by being told how and what to think. In the words of John Holt: “Real learning is a process of discovery and if we want it to happen, we must create the kinds of conditions in which discoveries are made. . . they include time, freedom and a lack of pressure.”
But here's the difference: Unschoolers for the most part, see the family environment as the best place for children to grow; while our community model believes that, as the African proverb states, “It takes a village to raise a child.” 
We believe that children and parents have complex relationships and interdependencies which make it sometimes harder for children to discover true independence from within the family home.  In the environment of our community, children face direct personal responsibility for their actions without the emotional baggage that purely parent-based accountability can sometimes carry. 
In addition, children are more able to develop some important social skills in a democratic model — the ability to tolerate diversity of opinion among the adults and their peers within the community, to speak out against inappropriate behaviour and to develop and carry out group projects, for example. In most home-educating families the parent sees him or herself as ultimately responsible for the child’s education, while in our community that responsibility rests not all but mainly with the child.
And that's the main difference between home-educating and our community model...  We understand that neither one is better than the other and all families and children are different and so each will prefer a different learning environment.   Some will be happy purely home-educating and attending groups as and when they are arranged whereas others will be happy with a regular structured meet up in place with a known community such as at Rochford House.  
Kids Blowing Bubbles
Happy Kids with Books




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