Diving into homeschooling with your child can be nerve-racking. The adjustment from classroom to home can be a bit of a stressful transition for both the child and parent. One of the best things you can do to make this transition easier is to deschool prior to starting your homeschooling journey.
Deschooling can sound like you would be taking ten steps backward versus moving forward. That isn’t the case though because in order to move forward, you need to take time to learn from the past and refresh for the future.
How to Deschool and Start Your Homeschooling Journey
What is deschooling?
Deschooling is taking the time to decompress and change the way you look at education. It is a period of time in which families move from traditional schooling to homeschooling.
This should be a time to breathe and explore new options for learning with your child. Deschooling is a great way to help new homeschooling families transition and build confidence that will help them succeed as homeschoolers.
How long should you deschool when you start homeschooling?
How long you deschool is a personal decision. If you ask around you will get many different answers as to how long you should deschool your child when you start homeschooling.
The general guideline you should follow is that you should deschool long enough to recover from the stress of traditional schooling. For some families this is just a couple weeks. For others this can mean taking an entire year to step away from formal education and just have fun learning. Follow your gut and slowly begin homeschooling when you and your child are ready.
What do we do while deschooling?
- Throw out the lesson plans and spend some time stepping away from formal education
Many children move to homeschool because the stress of traditional schooling is too much for them. Deschooling prior to beginning to homeschool can be the perfect way to help your child move past the stress of traditional school and find a love of learning again.
- Look for fun field trips
One of the best advantages of homeschooling is that you can get up and get out to go learn in a hands-on way that you can’t do in a classroom setting. Keep an eye out for fun educational opportunities in your community. From factory tours to trips to the zoo, the possibilities are endless when you are looking for fun activities to enjoy while taking a break from formal education.
- Encourage reading
Deschooling is the perfect time to go to the library and discover a passion for reading. Reading is a vital skill for everyday life, but it is also the biggest gift you can give your child in life. It allows you to learn anything you could ever want to learn.
Reading gives you the ability to explore new worlds and find your passions in life. It opens doors that no other skill, social, or economic status. Best of all, this skill is available to everyone that is willing to make the effort to learn.
- Help your child explore new activities and discover new passions
Another benefit of homeschooling is that your child will have more time to freely pursue their own interests. If your child has spent a lot of time at school and with countless hours of homework they may not have discovered what they truly love and can drive them forward. Using a deschooling period can help your child explore in ways they never could while sitting in a classroom.
- Get creative
Give your child plenty of chances for creative outlets. Art supplies, musical instruments, and other resources that interest them will allow your child to create, learn and explore. Supplying your child with everything to create is a great way to encourage your child to enjoy learning.
Will deschooling make my child fall behind?
Many parents worry that taking time off to deschool will lead to their child falling behind. While this fear is valid, it is deeply rooted in the traditional schooling culture.
So often when we think of children learning we think of them sitting in rows of desks watching a teacher give instructions. This can be a great way for some children to learn. However, it is sadly failing all children in some ways and completely failing many brilliant children.
Taking the time to deschool allows your child to learn and get out of this mind set and discover a love of learning again. It also helps parents step away from the idea of school at home and find a passion for homeschooling.
Most children will learn much better through real-life experiences like spending time reading, trying new things and getting up close and personal with the things they are learning.
Deschooling will help your child find a passion for learning. When a child enjoys learning they begin to learn new things faster and enjoy learning more than ever.
Give your child a period of deschooling while transitioning from traditional schooling to homeschooling to help them discover how they learn best. This knowledge of how your child learns is the key to helping your child learn better than ever.