If you are considering Homeschooling your child and begin to look into Homeschooling options, it won’t be long before you run into the term “deschooling”. Understanding the deschooling process can save everyone frustration and will definitely increase the likelihood of a successful Homeschooling experience for your child and yourself.
What is Deschooling?
Deschooling is the process of disengaging from the expectations and learning style that children (and parents) come to expect from a public or private school setting. In order to Homeschooling to be successful, children will need to recapture that natural-born love of learning. This is the passion that drives infants to take that first step and toddlers to utter their first words. It exists in all of us but is often lost during the early years in a group learning environment where there is no time for indulging off-topic interests and getting off track is considered a negative thing. Prior to their first school experiences, most parents indulge their children’s creativity and passions by encouraging them to explore these areas as often and for as long as they are motivated. Children may spent many hours conquering a difficult puzzle or spend an afternoon investigating nature on a regular basis. Once in school, however, the very nature of structured education hinders that natural drive for education. Suddenly if you love the new math you have learned, you can’t continue to explore the concepts after an hour; it’s time to put it away until another day. If you are bored to tears over history, you can’t put it away and switch to science. You become a victim of education instead of the driving force behind it! Deschooling is the process of re-discovering our inner passions and driving force. Both parents and children should deschool as parents, too, have a lot of preconceived ideas about how learning happens and how teaching must go and many are based on the exact sorts of teaching that create the exact sorts of problems that drive parents to homeschool to begin with, ironically!
How do we deschool?
Very simply, one can deschool by simply taking a break from all things “school”. Simply enjoy each other, take a vacation, and pretend its spring break. The deschooling process may take a few days, a few weeks or a few months, depending on the child. You will know when your child has deschooled when he begins asking questions again or begins spending time exploring his environment in ways that reflect curiosity and a desire for learning. At this point, a parent and child can begin to come together to start the homeschool process. Homeschooling, after deschooling, will look different for every family. Some families wish never to try to recreate the “group learning style” they just escaped from. Some children really prefer structure and routine but deschooling will provide you both with some creative tools to make learning, even with structure, a more personalized and tailored experience.