What is deschooling anyway?
I recently covered what unschooling is, so now I will cover what deschooling is. I know a lot of people get confused when they hear the word deschooling. Some people mistake it for unschooling, but they are very different!
Unschooling is child led education while deschooling is doing nothing. That’s right…. nothing! So why in the world would someone want to deschool their children? What is the point?
Deschooling is a process of getting your previously public schooled children out of the old school routine. You want to get them out of the habit of having a teacher, homework, only one way of doing things, testings, and all that other public school stuff. You will want to your children to fall into the new routine of homeschooling with little to no whining or comparing. “But Mom! That’s not how we use to do it in class!”. I’m sure that sounds all to familiar to some parents. Deschooling your children will help things go smoother when you pick back up on your educational efforts.
So how long do you unschool for? There are many methods to figuring this out, but I honestly say do what you think is best for your children. The longer they were in the school system the longer you want to deschool for. The official rule of thumb is 2-4 weeks for every year they were in school.
What do you do when deschooling your kids?
When deschooling your kids you do no formal school work at all. Focus on letting them be kids and having fun. Let them forget the old school system. Don’t worry, your kids will soon catch back up to where they were and probably start progressing a lot better with your new homeschool routine. It is fine to take some nature walks together and causally discuss things you see. Natural learning through their environment is fine during this time, but don’t push books, tests, research, etc on them. Just let them relax and explore!
Deschooling gives your child time to adjust to the new way of things. This time also gives parents extra time to research which homeschool method they would like to use without the pressure of time constraints.
For further research on deachooling check out the book Deschooling Gently (Free on Kindle) which has some really great ideas on deschooling your children.