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 private or public 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 private or public 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...
Have you recently made the switch from schooling to homeschooling—or are seriously considering it? It can take some time for your child (and you!) to adjust to this new way of learning and being in the world. Some students adapt quickly, but others need a longer transition period. If your child is struggling or needs help navigating the transition, here are some suggestions that may help...
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.
For children who are starting homeschooling after an experience in a traditional school setting, deschooling is an important part of the transition. Here's how to start homeschooling after a traditional school experience with tips for deschooling.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...