When teaching my new bee homeschooler workshops in person, I try to use the term deschool right away so that new homeschoolers or those that are thinking about homeschooling have time to wrap their mind around the concept.
Though there are many facets about deschooling that you will want to embrace over the course of your journey, I want to put it down in layman’s terms for the new bee homeschooler.
Are Deschooling and Unschooling Two Very Different Terms?
Running and burning energy but not really traveling anywhere is what it is like to be on a treadmill.
Deschooling is about getting off that public school treadmill and transitioning to a new life.
For some homeschoolers it may include some rest time. For others it may be defining what their family educational goals are. Each family will have different goals during their deschooling period.
Have you ever done a toxin cleanse? I love the feeling afterwards because I have a new pep in my step.
Deschooling is a period of time to shove back from rigid thinking and adjust the pep in your step to a new way of life.
That is how some homeschoolers define this time period. This time period allows you to re-train your mind and body and to make drastic life changes.
You want to make changes that will be permanent and to start fresh and motivated.
Letting go of preconceived ideas and notions of what education is suppose to look like and defining what you want your children to learn is what deschooling is about too.
It is a time to adopt your definition of education, to discover that you may want to be more self-educated than to be handed curricula, to join home school support groups, to meet and incorporate new homeschooling friends into your lives and the ability and power to say no to labels.
Furthermore, it could include saying no to standards by the state.
Why spend so much time trying to figure out where your child is SUPPOSE to be and what other children his age are doing? Forget what everybody else is doing.
Spend your time and energy focusing on where your child is NOW and move forward!
Deschooling is knowing that we have homeschool freedom but it’s also utilizing that freedom to suit our family.
Some think deschooling means doing nothing. It might for some. And we don’t want to be critical of those families who may need physical rest now.
The rigors of getting up early to catch a bus, having long school days complicated with an enormous amount of homework is physically draining. The truth of it is that we really don’t know what another homeschool family has been through.
For all of us it does mean transitioning to a new lifestyle.
Think about huge transitions in your life up until this point. When we transition to a different lifestyle whether that significant change was having a baby or switching careers, our schedules changed.
We allowed ourselves time to adjust to a new schedule and we let go of ideas and goals that at the time seem realistic.
We now see that some of our ideas may have been idealistic.
It is quite common for even seasoned veterans to not have taken a period of deschooling and they may be headed down burnout road.
The Power of REST
Deschooling can be a period of few week to a few months depending on the level of stress your family experienced.
Take time to deschool and get off the public school treadmill.
One of the very best books to bring reality back to our lives, renew your passion for homeschooling or just to propel you forward on the road to homeschooling is Deschooling Gently.
Not only is it a great read, but the encouragement you receive from it will last years.
Have you let go? How is your deschooling coming? What activities and goals are you including to deschool?
Hugs and love ya,