“Deschooling – Why It’s So Important”
by Homeschool.com’s Rebecca Kochenderfer
Remember how you felt when you started? You knew the school systems weren’t working for you, yet you decided to take the plunge and homeschool. When you did, you discovered that it’s actually fun to purchase school supplies and set up study areas! You eagerly pulled together a schedule and lesson plans and began homeschool with a flourish! BUT WAIT…
What Went Wrong?
Unfortunately, many beginning homeschoolers inadvertently create a “school at home” atmosphere. We start with a proper school schedule, and we put our newly designed lesson plans to good use, and we dive right into the daily routine of school. We start at a proper time in the morning, have a midday break of lunch and stay on track until a proper finishing at 3:00 pm. By the end of the day, however, we are more than wiped out. But, there’s still grading, filling, and prepping for the next day… Exhaustion doesn’t even begin to define it!
This daily ritual we’ve begun gets real old, real fast. Enter – a solution that experienced homeschoolers have recommended for years! Deschooling!
What is Deschooling?
As it turns out, what we really need when we start homeschooling is a complete break from school, period. We need to pull away from the idea that we must imitate the school classroom model in the comfort of our own homes. This mindset, though seemingly innocent, adds a level of pressure that just isn’t healthy. Most homeschoolers have multiple children, with multiple grades and age levels which when applied to a classroom mindset, compounds the workload exponentially. Deschooling is a solution that enables the homeschooler to understand and accept that learning can take place in many different situations, and in many different ways. By applying a deschooling mentality for a period of time, you and your children can disconnect from traditional “school” expectations.
Tips for the Deschooling Process
- Ignore the cultural expectations in your head
- Buy curriculum that truly fits you and your students
- Allow your child’s natural curiosity to direct their learning
- Enjoy learning, take it easy, make it fun
Studies to Explore in the Deschooling Process
- Do lots of physical activity – embrace natural learning!
- Find a homeschool support group and get involved!
- Science exploration is perfect for deschooling! Think nature walks and bird journals!
- Read – Read – Read – Book lists for all ages!
- Plan for unstructured learning – let your child decide on a study of something they are curious about and explore their learning strengths!
- Explore art, music, and hobbies! This is a perfect time to see if you have a budding artist!
- Throw in a little Home Ec or Auto-shop! Practical skill study is something that’s never wrong to study!