Even Homeschoolers May Need to Deschool

by Lori D.
(Alberta, Canada)

    "How do you undo damage done by a public school and re-ignite the children's love for learning?"

That is a heartbreaking question but unfortunately a common one and I couldn't agree more whole-heartedly - the best thing to do right now is to deschool - both the student and the parent.

I have found if as the parent you REALLY feel like nothing is getting accomplished then put YOURSELF on a book reading program reading all kinds of homeschoolng philosophy books - basically homeschooling yourself on homeschooling. Sometimes this makes the parent feel that "something" is getting accomplished - and it is they are educating themselves about the possibilities of what homeschooling can and doesn't look like.

But I also had to add that as homeschoolers we also sometimes need to deschool. Especially if we started off on the wrong foot so to speak, and pushed too much academics when we first started and we were "trying to find our way". Or perhaps over time we've gotten "caught up" in the great curriculum race without realizing it.

A tell tale sign for me is when my kids are "suspcious" of a new idea or project that I have in mind. If you get "the look" - great more work - perhaps it's time to deschool everyone for a while and find your way back to natural learning and some time for some child led interests (instead of Mom "feeding" the learning to the children).

If you MUST do something - find your way back to read alouds, a few educational dvd's and some tea time discussion times. I also find the relaxing days of summer are a great way to "observe" my children and really learn more about them, and their natural learning style.

I also wanted to encourage everyone who is in the process of deschooling. The 1 month to one year of school I have heard before, but what I have seen being walked out is it is usually about 2 weeks more than you can possibly stand it. Just when you think absolutely nothing is happening and this can't be working - if you can just try and hang in for a couple of more weeks, you will finally see a spark of natural learning from your child.

Now don't ruin it by getting all excited and throwing a bunch of curriculum at them - or you'll need to start the process all over again. But know that it will happen if you are able to just stand it long enough. And like I said that will be just when you don't think you can go another minute of "not doing anything".

My thoughts and wishes are with everyone who is in the process - you can do it and the rewards will be immeasurable.

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Apr 04, 2013
Or another option for those who really can't bear to see kids doing nothing.
by: Sia

So let's say that you've pulled your schooled child out. You cottoned onto the fact that it wasn't working quite early so you pulled them out after their second year of school.

Using the 1 year = 1 month formula, your child should have eight weeks off. You're guilty about it however. Except that eight weeks is summer holidays. Just declare it summer holidays and you should feel less guilty about it, right?

May 06, 2009
If Only
by: Shari Lyle-Soffe

Everytime I read something like this I think "if only". If only I had known homeschooling was a possibility when my kids were young. I really think it would have changed our lives for the better. It is too late for me but I hope this catches on more and more. What a blessing homeschool families are to the world.

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May 06, 2009
A good point well made.
by: Julie

Thanks Lori. You made an excellent point about deschooling being not just for new homeschoolers.

I think we all need to stop from time to time, and look at how well our homeschooling is going. For ALL the family. Deschooling is an excellent way to get back on track.

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