Are 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!
I know that you will be excited to learn about this easy-to-do approach to transition to homeschooling. In fact, I believe it 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 was 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 will be sharing more about our deschooling experiences now. Make sure to stay tuned for more posts in this series with 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 had 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 public school in the comfort of our home. Not exactly what we wanted!
I had no idea! 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 is not 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 became 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 had no idea 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 be so fortunate.
That’s where deschooling comes in. I will be sharing tips on deschooling and ideas on how to make it work for your family in this series.
Until then, I want to leave you with this bit of new homeschooler encouragement: It is 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 are 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.
Another piece of advice: 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 in Rock Your Homeschool’s Deschooling for New Homeschoolers Series:
Recommended Resources and Support for Deschooling
Deschooling: Helpful Tips for New Homeschool Families