One question that comes up on a frequent basis that people want to know, is Unschooling legal? Unschooling is a method of homeschooling and homeschooling is legal in all 50 states which makes unschooling perfectly legal. While it certainly may be easier in some states over others due to each state having their own unique set of laws regulating homeschooling, it is still legal to unschool if all requirements of your state is fulfilled.
Some states require homeschoolers to do nothing as far as registering, tests or attendance however policy will say the children must be learning certain subject categories such as English, civics, math, science and the like which is comparable to that states public school subjects. There however is no stipulation of how those subjects are taught nor does anyone from the state regulate it.
Other states require you to register and in the case of the unschoolers, they simply file as a homeschool. The state may also require you to keep attendance records which are easily accomplished by using an attendance form. When learning is viewed as a constant process and happening all the time it is pretty easy to keep attendance. Just because one chooses not to use a formal curriculum with text books does not mean the child is not learning anything.
You may have an end of the year, or annual testing that needs to be done, again an easy matter unschoolers can comply with by ordering and administering the test and sending it in or keeping it at home on file depending on the states requirements. Some request you keep records of what the child has done or that you have occasional in home inspections where you will be asked to provide all necessary documents required by the state.
There are several ways to keep records and record what your children are learning. Sometimes their activities may not fall easily into traditional subjects but many things would. Some simply use an academic planner and jot down all the things the kids do during each day. Records can be kept in a notebook or on a blog or even a scrap book.
Good things to keep track of on top of activities you see them doing would be educational games they play, computer software they use, educational movies and TV programs they watch, books read and field trips taken and activities or classes they take or are involved in. You may even want to keep an inventory list of all the materials you have available for them to use. It may also be useful to write out quarterly transcripts for each child and keep with all the other required paperwork.
Learning is natural and children want to learn so it does not present a problem for record keeping. Material and activities are easily accessible and offered to them providing a learning environment that is well maintained, added to and legal. While they may not be learning everything a government run public school may be learning, there is no way anyone will know everything there is to know. As an addition, the unschooled child may be learning many more things that are not taught in the schools. The world is an extremely large place and one type of knowledge is no better than the other, it is simply different. While an unschooled child may not use textbooks (some may as some enjoy them!) they do use real books, about real places and real people which in essence is a type of curriculum along with the many hands on activities they enjoy. Unschooling falls under homeschooling and homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. It is a very easy thing to fulfill the requirements of many of the states legal requirements.