You’ve made the decision to homeschool. You’ve pulled your child out of traditional school. Now what? It takes time for both parents and kids to adjust to shifting from a traditional school setting to a homeschooling environment. That’s why veteran homeschoolers recommend a period of deschooling.
Taking a break from standard instruction and giving time to adapt to the switch from regular school to home education is what deschooling is all about. This is a period for relinquishing, unwinding, beginning fresh patterns and steps, dealing with the modifications going on in your household, and restoring your kid’s enthusiasm for studying. If you are just beginning homeschooling, taking some time for deschooling can be beneficial for starting the homeschool process the correct way. Below are some ideas to help you through the switch.
1. Say Goodbye to Traditional School
No matter how badly a child may have done academically, it can still be challenging to get used to a new school setting. Not having the opportunity to spend time with your friends, join any sports teams or do your beloved activities can make the shift to a new location difficult. Don’t hurry your child along as they go through this, and don’t try telling them how they should be feeling. Below are some strategies to assist your kid in adapting to the transformation.
Include your older child in the decision-making process
Ideally, you will sit down with your child and talk about both the pros and cons of a typical school environment, rather than just informing them of your decision to pull them out of school. If they are willing to talk about it, take the time to intently listen to them when they tell you about their experiences at school. Beginning with expressions such as “I’m noticing…” or “I’m curious about…” can initiate more thorough dialogue. Be clear about why you are considering transitioning to homeschooling.
Push them to give homeschooling a go for a definite amount of time.
Leaving school for good can be intimidating. Let your child know that you are willing to give homeschooling a go for a period of half a year to twelve months and then reconsider it if it isn’t the right fit in the end. Do not select a shorter period to homeschool, as it normally takes roughly half a year to gain an understanding of what homeschooling means. This guarantees that everybody’s opinion will be taken into account and considered important.
Give your child the opportunity to say goodbye
If acceptable, offering the opportunity for everyone to bid farewell to cherished instructors or schoolmates could make the switch less trying. You may have to invest more of your time and effort to have goodbyes with those from your kid’s school, however it will truly be beneficial for your kid to have some closure in this regard.
Show excitement about homeschooling
View homeschooling as a thrilling journey for your family. Think of the advantages (being able to sleep in, remaining in your pajamas, getting to investigate a beloved subject). If your child is not excited about homeschooling, resist the urge to emphasize its positives but instead encourage them to ponder both its advantages and disadvantages.
2. Transition to a New Normal
Collaborate about what your homeschool will look like
Ask your child to tell you what sort of atmosphere they would like you to have on days when the two of you are together. Hear what the person wishes to gain knowledge in, the way they want to accomplish the job, their objectives and enthusiasms, impediments they are dealing with and how you can have help to observe improvement in those areas.
It may be challenging for a child to engage in exploration with an open mind if they have been in a traditional school environment for a substantial amount of time. It can be difficult to become accustomed to the independence and adaptability that homeschooling provides after having people determine your educational journey for so long. Allow them some time if things aren’t going well, and then re-address the issue in a few weeks or months.
If you’ll be using curriculum, explore the options together
It is likely that your kid has some thoughts concerning how they can acquire information most efficiently. You likely do as well. It is important to strive for agreement within your homeschool, so that it functions efficiently. Value their input and participation wherever possible. Come up with some solutions that would benefit both you and your pupil.
Administer placement tests if necessary
It could be necessary to allocate some time to evaluate your child’s academic performance. Getting a clear understanding of your situation can be difficult, but it is an important step in progressing. If you select a standard program, try to get a clear idea of how advanced your kid is in topics such as math and reading. It is preferable to begin your child’s education on a simpler level so they are able to advance rapidly and with assurance, rather than forcing them to take on a more difficult level of material and leaving them struggling.
Research co-ops, sports, music or other elective activities
You don’t have to weigh yourself down with many activities, but working together with your kid to pick a course or activity they’re really excited about will let them be invested in their homeschool experience. You may not be enthusiastic about video game design, paddle boarding or pottery, yet you showing your child that you are totally on their side, and that you put their opinion in high regard, even if just for a short while, demonstrates that you care.
Set up a work space that suits your child
Collaborate to ensure you make the most of whatever space you have, be it a full classroom, a single desk, or a shelf stocked with materials. It’s not worth investing your efforts, energy, and resources into making a study space for your kid if they are going to ignore it. Collaboration is key in this process.
3. Use the Deschooling Period to Help Your Child Reconnect with Their Natural Love of Learning
Leave Time and Space for Boredom
It is possible that when a child states they are bored, they are actually asking for someone to tell them what to do next. If the child has been accustomed to a rigorously structured setting where they are always used to following the instructions of a teacher, they may have lost the connection with how they learn the most effectively as well as what motivates them. Their natural curiosity and enthusiasm for discovering new things may have been extinguished by tedious assignments, chaotic learning environments, and the tediousness of having every single minute of their day planned out.
Provide your kid with the opportunity to reconnect with their true identity and reminisce on the pleasure of simply existing. A common principle in the homeschooling world is to give your child a month of leisure activities for each year they were in an educational institution. As an illustration, if your child went to a public school from kindergarten to fifth grade, let them have six months of fun and leisure before beginning more serious study.
It might appear that taking this action is a waste of energy, especially if your offspring is behind and you have valuable knowledge you want to address. But trust me. It is advantageous to spend a bit of time in the beginning to give your child the room they need to relax and experience the pleasure of undertaking homeschooling.
4. Start small and grow your homeschool.
Many families who switch from a public school to homeschooling can become a little too enthusiastic in the start. They organized the school the way they wanted it, and obtained the necessary materials for all subjects as well as a task for each and every timeframe of the day. This is likely to lead to being overwhelmed and burnt out quickly! Discovery will be made quickly that much more can be completed in a shorter period of time when working from home, since there is no more wait time or shift between activities as it is in the public school system.
Begin with the foundations- English, Math, Social Studies and Science- and take it step-by-step. This gives you and your children time to transition and allows you to become more familiar with them as students. As parents, we may not have seen our children in an academic environment or be aware of their specific learning preferences, however, we are still able to understand them better than anyone else. Taking it slow is an effective way to reduce feelings of being overwhelmed and to make transitioning into a new learning setting more comfortable.
5. Know your homeschooling why.
If you’re switching from traditional schooling to homeschooling, there may be a clear motivation for doing so, or it could just be something you’ve fancied trying and the conditions are favorable. It is possible that public school could lead to either good or bad experiences. No matter your motivation, you have an underlying purpose and at times you’ll need to recall that purpose when the conditions become difficult and not everything works out as expected (see tip #10).
Create or type a statement of your purpose that is visible to you. This type of learning atmosphere offers a wealth of benefits for both parents and youngsters. It’s beneficial to keep positive and driven even when situations don’t unfold as anticipated.
6. Make time for home learning fun!
Take time to give your children the opportunity to take pleasure in field trips, Fun Fridays, and even unplanned “free choice” days. If your children rouse themselves willingly and display enthusiasm to commence the day, then they are deriving pleasure from the task, which will make instructing them significantly simpler. You want to keep that level of excitement!
Studying at home offers an incredible amount of flexibility. Explore the world around you through tangible experiences you can find in your own backyard, city and by taking advantage of the extra time available outside of regular school settings to pursue creative activities and hobbies.
7. Expect the unexpected.
I believe that parents who are contemplating home-schooling have a mental image of how it would be. That picture may not end up being reality.
A middle schooler could begin their day with energy and enthusiasm, completing their chores and tasks before noon, then devote their afternoon to pursuits that bring them pleasure and satisfaction. Your middle schooler may sleep until midday and not finish their assignments until late at night. Some homeschooling households have more than one offspring who have distinct lesson plans based on what works best for each child and when they learn optimally. If students can study independently or with a study program that allows them to set their own pace, it is possible to create timetables that are suitable for your family. It might be effective, but not necessarily what you anticipated.
Homeschool is not perfect. The journey has its ups and downs and sometimes requires a change of direction. The initial period of time following a major life transition might lead you to second guess yourself, your children, and your choice; this is quite common among people who share similar experiences. Realistic expectations prior to approaching the situation will make it simpler to make any necessary modifications.
Do not expect too much at the onset, as this may lead to disappointment. Take it easy while getting accustomed to this fresh approach to education by keeping an open attitude and giving yourself the consent to modify!
8. Find other homeschool groups.
Pretty much any city or state has a homeschool group. At the start, loneliness may seem more intense due to the lack of homeschooling contacts in the public school setting, unless your children did team sports together, were in the same religious congregations, or congregated at various social events. Once you switch, you can investigate groups in your region that gather physically, or interact via an online forum or a Facebook group.
The current age of technology is making it simpler for people who don’t have a local group to form meaningful connections by means of virtual meetings or by getting in touch with people belonging to other communities outside their home state. Facebook groups for homeschooling supply an accessible way to pose questions and find a great deal of data on areas and theories to link up with other homeschooling families without cost.
9. Take regular breaks and enjoy the flexibility of homeschool.
One of the benefits of homeschooling is the freedom it provides, allowing families to adapt and alter anything that is causing them distress or worry. Homeschooling should be an academically successful experience for students, taking place in an environment that is welcoming and comfortable, which only a home can provide. You have an advantage that traditional teachers do not.
If people are feeling discouraged and unmotivated, why not offer them the chance to go outdoors and have a lengthy break or jump in a car and go on a spontaneous journey to get some ice cream or cherry limeades! Naps are even allowed (and sometimes encouraged)! You and someone else can share in activities like cooking and gardening without having to be restricted by timetables. The flexibility is an awesome aspect of home learning.