"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.
Oh my goodness! I am a home schooling mum of 4 and I have NEVER found a better site! Thank you so much.
Blessings, Jenny (New Zealand)
I wanted to say THANK YOU for your fabulous website. I found your website, and finally I have the confidence to take the plunge and take my daughter out of school and educate her at home, thank you, thank you. Marina (UK)
I cannot get over how much great information and super ideas you have here. Fantastic! Ruralmama (USA)
This is simply fabulous!! I just now found this site and I'm so excited!! The opportunities and suggestions as well as the need to inspire are exactly what I have been searching to fulfill!! I'm so thrilled to get started and even more excited to continue to explore all of the fabulous suggestions and creative ideas you have offered here!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Jennifer (USA)