For as long we can recall, getting a formal education has always been an integral part of life. From a very young age onwards, most of us have been enrolled in school to embark on a quest for knowledge so we can grow up to be smart adults with good jobs. After all, it is said that knowledge is power.
In America, it is mandatory in most states that kids attend school or be homeschooled, but to many people's utter surprise, there are some parents who have made a choice not to send their children to school and that's totally legal in some places.
Sisters, McKenzey and Isabelle McIntyre are two examples of children whose parents have opted out of the traditional school system and have chosen to "unschool" them instead.
13-year old McKenzey and her 12-year-old sister both attended a private school in Savannah, Georgia up until seven years ago when their dad found a new job in a different state. The family moved to Florida and according to their mom Chrissie, the local public school wasn't up to par.
"There was barbed wire around the whole area," Chrissie, 43, explained in an interview with Goodhousekeeping.com. "The principal or teacher took us around and we couldn't actually go inside the classrooms and talk to the teachers. She wouldn't allow it."
As a result, her and her husband Michael decided to homeschool their daughters. At first, the idea seemed to be working well. As a stay-at-home mom Chrissie loved the idea of spending more time with her kids and not having to worry about being on someone else's time.
"If I could homeschool my kids just as good as the teacher could, why not?" she recalled thinking. "That's what drove me to homeschool. I felt like I'd missed all of that time — they were in school all day."
However, after speaking with Chrissie's uncle, a former teacher and principal, the idea of following a traditional curriculum seemed less and less appealing. It wasn't long after that they started the process of "unschooling."
So what is unschooling and how does it impact the McIntyre girls?