Deschooling: A Powerful Way New Homeschoolers Can Thrive
Are you thinking about taking a leap of faith and making the transition from public school to homeschool? Concerned how your kids and you will adapt to this new lifestyle?
Learn about this one powerful way that new homeschoolers can thrive. It worked for my family and it can work for you, too!
This easy-to-do transition to homeschooling will help you feel a great sense of relief and enjoy the process even more.
What is this smart strategy that I’m talking about?
What’s really funny is that I had no idea that’s what we were even doing when we started homeschooling! I did it in a time of desperation because I knew that something wasn’t quite right with how our homeschool journey was starting out. I had this nagging sense that all of us were miserable. The whines and moans from my boys confirmed my suspicions. I’m pretty observant like that;)
I’ll be sharing more about our deschooling experiences now. Make sure to check out the other posts in this series that contain tips and ideas that you can implement for successful deschooling for your family.
Our Story: Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures
I will preface this story by saying that I wish I’d known that deschooling was a thing prior to starting our homeschool journey. Clueless and scared, my boys and I jumped into homeschooling with a public school mentality. We assumed that we had to replicate school at home.
Are you thinking what I am thinking? Um, Amy, you took your boys out of school for a reason. Find out more in a video in 5 Secrets to Adding Fun to Your Homeschool Every Day. Why would you want to recreate that environment in your home?
My two older boys had attended public school until third and first grade. We pulled both out at the same time. I had a toddler and another baby on the way. The older boys attended a cyber school for one year that was basically a replication of public school in the comfort of our home. Not exactly what we wanted!
I had no idea what I was doing! I thought that learning was supposed to look a certain way. Sitting at desks with lots of busy work. Continuing to use curriculum that you know isn’t working for anyone.
You know, misery, pain, and suffering.
When I was at the point of almost losing my mind from trying to cram way too much into one day, I knew that something had to give. With my boys complaining and muttering that they might want to go back public school, I had to do something drastic.
And that’s just what we did!
What drastic measures did we take? We dropped the textbooks. We ditched the worksheets. We chucked out the curriculum.
I let the boys play and go outside. I read aloud. We did crafts, projects, and then more crafts.
The boys started to pick up books to read on their own. Gasp! Did I mention that both boys had become disenchanted with reading due to all the competitions and dry assignments in public school?
In between all that play, imagination, and creativity, my boys were learning. And enjoying it!
Deschooling for New Homeschoolers: What Is It & Why It Works
At the time, I didn’t know what deschooling meant. All I knew was that my boys and I needed to do something different.
The Homeschool Mom shares this definition of deschooling: “the adjustment period a child goes through when leaving school and beginning homeschooling.” I wholeheartedly agree with that definition and would take it an even step further.
To me, deschooling for new homeschoolers is the time necessary for a new homeschool family, including kids and parents, to adapt to their new lifestyle of home education. Deschooling is taking a break from formal lessons and schedules. It is about letting go of preconceived notions of what learning is supposed to look like. It is about letting in curiosity, imagination, creativity, and exploration. Allowing outside the box thinking to seed, sprout, and flourish!
Why would a new homeschool family need a period of deschooling when making the transition from public school to homeschool? Shouldn’t it be an easy process with no glitches?
In my experience, change does not occur without some form of discomfort or effort. During those moments of discomfort, problems can and do arise. The transition from public school to homeschool is no different.
Deschooling will look different for different families. Some families may only take a few days to adjust to the flexibility and freedom of homeschooling. Other families may require weeks, even months, to feel comfortable with starting a homeschool approach or curriculum.
Do all new homeschoolers need to deschool? No! Some families will embrace their newfound freedom and never look back. Other families may not quite have that experience.
That’s where deschooling comes in.
Few bits of new homeschooler encouragement as you get started:
It’s perfectly fine to take the time to deschool and help your kids learn to love learning again. Your deschooling period may not look like anyone else’s-and that’s okay! Deschooling may not be easy. You may feel like you’re not doing enough and that your kids are falling behind.
All of those thoughts and feelings are okay. They truly are. Your kids will be just fine. You will be just fine.
Stop looking at the minute-to-minute, day-to-day. Remind yourself of why you first considered homeschooling. You wanted something different for your kids. You wanted more. Or less.
Take a step back and look at the big picture. Reflect on those moments filled with precious faces that light up with new discoveries. Rejoice in reconnecting with your kids. Refresh in the time you have to explore and engage.
New homeschooling friend, you got this. Give yourself grace and time. Deschooling will help you do that.
Don’t miss these posts & resources in Rock Your Homeschool’s Deschooling for New Homeschoolers Series:
Recommended Resources and Support for Deschooling
Deschooling: Helpful Tips for New Homeschool Families
How to Know if You Can Benefit From Deschooling
Deschooling 101: For a Peaceful Transition from Public School to Homeschool
good advice, tweeted.