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Deschooling: Starting Out Right at Home

by Mary Ann Kelley

What is deschooling and how can it help you?Deschooling is the adjustment period a child goes through when leaving school and beginning homeschooling. To fully benefit from homeschooling, a child has to let go of the school culture as the norm. This is called deschooling, and it is a crucial part of beginning homeschooling after a period of time spent in a classroom.

If you have recently started homeschooling, you may see some challenging or confusing attitudes and behaviors from your child. This is completely normal for a child that is used to a school setting. Our tips for deschooling will make the process much easier for your child (and you!), but helping your child navigate this new definition of school is only part of deschooling. What you may not realize is that parents also need to deschool. Just as your child has preconceptions regarding what school is supposed to look like, so do you. As a new homeschool parent (or even an experienced one with a child that recently started homeschooling), you will also be finding your new homeschool normal, and parental deschooling will help you get out of the school mindset and adjust to homeschooling in this new situation. Read more about how deschooling can start your homeschooling on the right foot…

Ask Jeanne: Homeschooling the Child Behind in School

Ask Jeanne: My son is 12 and in 6th grade but is reading at a 1.5 grade level. How do I go back and teach him the basics of reading and math? My son is 12 and in 6th grade. He is failing this year. Truthfully, I don’t know how he has passed in past years, and this year he seems to be regressing. He is currently reading at a 1.5 grade level. It is making it impossible for him to learn anything in school when he can’t read. He is in special ed, but they can not work with him one-on-one – not enough resources. We have spoken with the special ed dept and the staff and they agree that pulling him out of school and working with him at home ... Read More...

Deschooling vs. Unschooling: What’s the Difference?

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Deschooling vs. Unschooling - What's the Difference? New homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers sometimes wonder about the word “deschooling” vs. “unschooling”. The prefixes “de” and “un” often mean such similar things. We “de-humidify” and we “un-tie” our shoes — both acts of reversing the meaning of the root word. And in that sense, the words are related. Both deschooling and unschooling require thinking about the inverse of schooling. But within the world of homeschooling, the two words deschooling and unschooling have meanings that are, most often, distinct from one another. Read More...

Deschooling: More School Rules You Need to Break

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Deschooling - More School Rules You Need to Break Do you think of yourself as a rule breaker? Well, if you’re starting to homeschool, I’ve got news for you… You will be. Home educators take pride in the fact that we violate some of the most sacred (often unwritten) rules of school – and we do it with gusto! Part 1 detailed the first 4 rules we like to eschew, in the efforts of giving our kids the most effective, individualized education possible. Although it can feel daunting to break out of the box when you embark on the homeschooling journey, it won’t take long before you begin to revel in the ... Read More...

Deschooling: The School Rules You Need to Break

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Deschooling - The School Rules You Need to Break If you’re new to homeschooling, you’re going to have to think differently. Yes, you’re going to have to be willing to break the unwritten “rules of school” and forge your own, often uncharted, path. And although this can be nerve-wracking and downright terrifying at first, it is the key to an effective, individualized, fulfilling homeschool experience. Read More...

From School to Homeschool: What is Deschooling?

What is "deschooling"? Deschooling is the adjustment period a child goes through when leaving school and beginning homeschooling. To really get the benefits of homeschooling, a child has to decompress and disconnect from “school” being the default and “school ways” being the standard expectation. The longer a child has been in school, the more important it is to allow generous time to process the huge change from not being in school to learning as a homeschooler. Read More...

How to Start Homeschooling: Tips for Deschooling

How to Start Homeschooling: Tips for Deschooling For children who are starting homeschooling after an experience in a traditional school setting, deschooling is an important part of the transition. In an earlier post, we defined deschooling and how it might manifest in children who are transitioning from school to homeschooling. Knowing about deschooling helps parents to have realistic expectations about their children’s adjustment to homeschooling after they have attended school. Today, we’ll take a look at how to start homeschooling after a traditional school experience with tips for deschooling… Read More...

Parental Deschooling Part 5: Check Your Parenting Defaults

Parenting Styles: What is your default? What are your parenting defaults? What are your go-to strategies with your kids? Are they effective? Do they contribute to a positive relationship? The deschooling period is a good time to begin examining your parenting defaults. Although your default parenting style may be healthy and appropriate, there are a few defaults to watch for that might be counter-productive in the long run. Read More...

Parental Deschooling: 5 Things To Do While Deschooling

5 Things to Do While Deschooling Parental Deschooling Part 4 – I’ve explained why parents need to deschool as they begin homeschooling their children, and I’ve given you reading homework and asked you to network with other homeschoolers as part of the transition process. Another aspect of deschooling involves things to do as you make the transition to homeschooling. Here is your “to do” list… Read More...

Parental Deschooling: Finding Your Non-School Normal

Parental Deschooling: Deschooling is not just for kids Have you decided to homeschool? You probably need some parental deschooling. Most parents who are choosing to homeschool their children today attended school themselves. We have also lived for many years in a world where the public school model of education is predominant. School is the status quo. School is the default. School is the norm. As many of my school-teacher-turned-homeschooler friends have pointed out to me over the years, one of the hardest things about transitioning to homeschooling as a parent is getting out of the school mindset. Read More...

Parental Deschooling: Homeschool Networking

Parental Deschooling: Deschooling is not just for kids While you’re in a deschooling period with your kids, I hope you’re doing some of the reading I suggested in Part 2 of this parental deschooling series. Another thing you’ll find beneficial is to begin networking with other homeschooling families. There are two basic versions of homeschool networking, online and IRL — in real life. Both are valuable in helping you with deschooling — the transition from school to homeschooling. Read More...

Parental Deschooling: Your Reading Homework

Parental Deschooling: Deschooling is not just for kids One of the most important things you can do is to read about homeschooling, education, and de-schooling. Read books, magazines, and online articles, blog posts, and websites. Stretch yourself and read some things you don’t think apply to you, that are outside your comfort level. You don’t have to accept the premise of each homeschooling book or article you read, but even if you don’t agree or find certain ideas too radical, you’ll educate yourself about the many approaches to home education. Read More...

Thinking Outside the Textbook

Homeschooling not working? Try thinking outside the textbook. I’m a member of several homeschooling groups and email loops, and the most common questions are all related to, “It’s a battle to get my child to do her work. I thought homeschooling would be better for my child, but it’s all tears and yelling. For both of us. I may have to put her back in school.” The specifics vary, but many parents new to homeschooling are trying to recreate a public school environment in their home and finding that it doesn’t work. It’s not their fault. Most of us went to public school; it’s what we know. We’re taught ... Read More...

Transitioning From School To Homeschool

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: Transitioning from School to Homeschool Sending your child off to school is a big transition. Making the shift to homeschooling when your child has been in school is another big transition. It may take some time to feel settled on the homeschooling path. Here are some things to anticipate as you make your way. Read More...

Will Homeschooling Help ADD/ADHD?

Will homeschooling help ADD/ADHD? Will your child’s ADD get better if you homeschool? I’m no educational psychologist, but I’ve been homeschooling for sixteen years in three states. I’ve met hundreds of homeschooling families at conferences and workshops I’ve presented, I’ve answered hundreds of calls at a statewide homeschool phone line, and I’ve been a homeschool evaluator in Virginia for quite a few years now. I’ve heard dozens of parents praise homeschooling for their children who were labeled with ADD/ADHD in the school setting. But it’s not magic. The parents who observe such a change in their children also generally report actively shaping their homeschooling to ... Read More...

You Decided to Start Homeschooling. Now What?

TheHomeSchoolMom Blog: You Started Homeschooling. Now What? When you’ve suddenly taken your kids out of school to homeschool, there is a long list of things to do, and it all seems like it needs to be done quickly so your kids won’t be behind. When you start homeschooling, one often overlooked aspect — especially if you hadn’t planned to homeschool — is the need for you and your child to come to terms with the school experience and the reasons you find yourself homeschooling. To help you process the big change that comes with suddenly starting homeschooling, I recommend this… Read More...

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