What is deschooling?
Taking a break from traditional education before taking up homeschooling is an idea that is encapsulated in the concept of deschooling. A transition period is occurring after exiting a classroom environment. This is an opportunity for children to explore activities they have an affinity for and embrace their innate curiosity about the world.
It’s also for you, their teacher and mom. It’s necessary to give yourself some time to become accustomed to your surroundings, look into the courses available, and not let yourself feel pressured to do anything straight away.
Discovering what it is like to stay in the house all day together.
You will investigate your children and take note of the way they appear to learn instinctively.
If deschooling is not done, the urge to make home a replica of a school will be strong, and exhaustion may easily follow.
What are the benefits of deschooling?
You’re making time to:
- Adjust to being home together
- Get to know your kid’s interests and dislikes
- Research ALL. THE. THINGS. Whew, that’s more overwhelming that just teaching.
- Learn about homeschool styles, different ways to structure your day, etc.
- Sleep in, go fun places, play games, connect.
- Guilt free enjoy/adjust to NOT being in traditional school!
- Let kids have more control over their schedule and time (as opposed to all day structure)
- You’re pressing the reset button, and this is time to adjust without academics being the focus.
What should you be doing when you deschool?
Taking a break from the pressure of schoolwork for a duration of time can help you transition to life outside of school.
It gives you time to research. They have time to just be kids. It’s a bit like the break over summer, but with the understanding that there won’t be a return to classes.
When you begin the transition to homeschooling, there are some steps you can take to ease into the process. Like:
Observe your kids
- What do they enjoy doing for fun?
- Do they like to sleep in?
- Do they naturally read a lot or barely like to pick up books?
- Do they request seeing friends a lot or seem content to stay home?
- The more you can observe, the better!
Research homeschool styles, curriculum, and activities
The sheer number of resources that are now available for homeschoolers can be overwhelming. Employ your current period to study regarding the distinct homeschool models and notice which one resonates with you.
Our approach has been motivated by some works of literature, in particular The Brave Learner by Julie Bogart and Teaching From Rest by Sarah Mackenzie.
Take some time to consider your motive for homeschooling…the cause that will drive you on when it becomes tedious or irritating. This pros and cons list should help with that.
You can also join some homeschool Facebook groups . No matter what kind of curriculum you use or style of homeschooling you choose, there is always a support group available, as well as local groups you can join. You’ll learn a lot and find like minded people.
Relax and enjoy each other
Your child might appear very dreary and dull due to the lack of structure that they have adapted to since being used to being in school. Maybe they are taking pleasure in having a lie-in until 10 and spending the day having fun, like it’s the school holidays.
Take advantage of this opportunity to unwind, let your children just veg out if they feel like it, and reap the rewards of having more time at home. You might want to consider buying some new board games, go for a walk outside, learn to paint birds using watercolors, or use this time to catch up on home projects.
Don’t forget that this period is an opportunity to relax, let go of any issues from school, and recognize that learning doesn’t only take place during regular school hours.
Question the norms at school, so you don’t put these expectations on your kids at home
- What were they doing at school all day?
- What might they miss from school?
- How can you provide the things they miss, such as friendships made at school
- What was the schedule for? (Hint, homeschool is not classroom management. So you can toss that detailed schedule).
- Are there multiple ways to teach the same thing? (YES!)
- Are worksheets the only way to assess learning? Or is that mainly helpful when managing 20+ kids?
- How can homeschool kids finish school in so little time?
How long should you deschool?
There isn’t a definitive response to this, but if you’re transitioning from a more traditional learning environment, I would suggest giving yourself a minimum of a month. More is fine too! The objective is to foster a pleasant and productive homeschool experience, so overlooking this phase may make this a more challenging task.
Will they fall behind if they don’t start immediately?
It is extremely unlikely that you will have a pleasant experience with homeschooling without taking the time to get used to it, as everyone needs a period of acclimation. 7 hours of organization are a significant amount to abruptly no longer have.
If you have not yet been through any form of schooling and you are just beginning kindergarten, then the deschooling process is likely unnecessary.
Learning is still happening in odd ways! Allow your child to have fun occupying their days however they please before bringing in reading materials.
Deschooling vs Unschooling…what’s the difference?
Deschooling is not the same as unschooling .
Homeschooling that is called “unschooling” allows the child to learn in the way that best fits their interests, without relying on a prescribed curriculum.
The parent’s role is to facilitate access to items or activities that the child wants. This is not a dismissal of formal education or a dismissal of the value of acquiring knowledge, but rather a different approach in allowing children to explore their own training and understanding.
The parent has a vested interest in aiding their child in furthering their knowledge in whatever passion they may have. They will give them whatever aid is required to help the child pursue that field. This often spans multiple subjects! Here’s an unschooling example:
What unschooling might look like
Imagine your child takes a fascination with bugs.
You supply them with a variety of books and handbooks about insects. Maybe begin gathering a grouping of bug specimens, and put them up on a bulletin board with tags.
It is possible that you search for a Bear Grylls programme in which they consume insects to survive while being in a rural area.
You guide them in their exploration of other cultures that eat bugs as a part of their cuisine. It is possible for your child to acquire knowledge about sorting various bugs and the illnesses that these bugs may transmit.
You could have some entertainment by playing Bug Bingo, which is one of my family’s beloved activities.
You get the idea…
They acquire a large amount of knowledge due to their enthusiasm, and are taking the initiative. The parent is there to assist in uncovering materials, without applying pressure to do so. The brother or sister in the room may or may not acquire knowledge on these matters as they have diverse preferences.
Do you comprehend the contrast between deschooling and unschooling?
It is possible that some aspects of unschooling might come about during the deschooling process. Deschooling is not a particular approach to education like unschooling is. It’s a time of change without imposing any expectations on the child, so they can slowly adjust to being at home.
How to Determine the Length of Deschooling
Figuring out how long to take a break from the regular school routine and what activities to do during that period depends on the family dynamics, the age of the children, and their situation. A good guideline to follow is that for each year a child has been in public school, they should take off one month.
It could appear as if this is a lot to some individuals, yet, I have found that it is quite accurate.
During the process of deschooling, it does not mean that a family is not engaging in educational activities. They are acquiring knowledge at a slow and consistent rate as determined by the family.
It doesn’t mean rigidity; it does mean routine. Neglecting all caution is not the goal of deschooling.
In aiding a lot of homeschooling newcomers to transition to the homeschool lifestyle, I’m well-aware that older children grow accustomed to a routine quickly. Do not give them too many tasks involving worksheets and topics while you are conducting research into what they are interested in learning.
A period of transition necessitates an appropriate amount of time to give each family member the opportunity to abandon familiar forms of behavior and concentrate on the distinct needs of every child.
This also includes you. Taking a moment to contemplate the kind of educator you’d like to be and evaluating the distinctive requirements of each student requires effort and you are able to do it.
A part of transitioning away from traditional schooling methods is relinquishing any pressure to move at the same speed in which public schools operate, which typically runs from August to May.
A number of jurisdictions have lightened their regulations for homeschooling, giving you the opportunity to initiate your school year. Also, you will discover that most homeschool families have a definite beginning and end to their academic year, yet we also understand that learning happens almost every day in an effortless manner. There are a wealth of options when it comes to gaining knowledge that don’t have to be planned.
The longer a child has been exposed to the public school system, the more time it will take to adjust.
It can often be more difficult to eliminate the beliefs associated with a public school background from the parents than it is to do so with the children. It is just like with any other big change in life, such as a new job, having a baby, or relocating; you can’t rush through the period of getting used to the alteration or being ‘untrained’. It takes time.
Activities for a Meaningful Deschooling Period
Every family’s degree of activity after they are no longer part of the public school system depends upon their individual situation.
If your child has experienced teasing and you have been actively intervening on their behalf in school, then you will want to take some time away from it all to bond as a family and support one another’s healing. If you have a child who has been in school long enough to become restless, you should consider looking for classes in your area that they could attend.
I previously noted that deschooling is a relaxed timeline or procedure, and it does not involve a state of emptiness. You want to regain responsibility in teaching and start by encouraging your children to explore topics or activities that pique their interest.
Revive the enthusiasm for studying, and that doesn’t come about by giving a student a workbook or having them sit in front of a computer. It just doesn’t.
Children require parental supervision and the stability of the home environment, as well as the need to be responsible for their own academic progress. Start by asking them what they want to learn. Then, investigate the topic using a computer or both of you can go to the library.
Field trips, trips to the zoo, living history re-enactments, and visits to museums can help to reignite a diminishing enthusiasm.
When Are You Finally Cured of the Public School Mindset?
It is virtually inevitable that you will consider public school, what with our society’s fixation on educational achievement and an inaccurate sense of how much it takes to educate a young person.
But eventually, parents and their children begin to prioritize their own educational goals above what society perceives to be necessary.
It’s widely accepted that children should possess a proficient knowledge of the fundamentals, which include reading, writing, and arithmetic. Besides the basic classes, the remainder of our instruction and the approach we take to learn it is open to interpretation.
An example of this is when a homeschool teacher is not putting too much pressure on themselves, they understand that incorporating creative ways of learning such as writing, reading historical texts, or participating in experiments make studying much more effective.
The basic subjects are obviously essential; however, it is beneficial to teach them only to the point that the information is applicable, practical, and makes the learning process enjoyable.
Adopting the same approach year after year when teaching a child will make them a willing partner in the educational process.
Rather than just being observers, they are taking a hands-on role in the learning process. That is the discreet, but crucial contrast between feeding a youngster every bit of knowledge up to secondary school (not suggested and won’t be effective) and tenderly guiding your kid’s enthusiasm for learning.
Are You Bulldozing Ahead to Deschooling Danger?
In the majority of cases, homeschool families have high expectations in terms of academic standards while still avoiding the outdated methods of punishment, such as torture and imprisonment. I’m just joking, yet sometimes I am astounded by how much time and money parents put into buying teaching resources, as if they could make up for everything that has gone wrong with state-funded schools.
Curriculum is just one piece of the homeschooling puzzle.
It’s much simpler to give your kid a textbook than it is to launch into discovering the ideal method of learning for them, creating the ideal timetable, and choosing the right order of topics. I’m not proposing that we should rely solely on workbooks; they should be used as a resource rather than the instructor.
Switching from a tense environment in public school to an equally tense environment at home leads to an excessive amount of stress that is unnecessary.
It is beneficial to take a break and investigate homeschooling while teaching together.