What is deschooling? The title of this article may sound a little weird I know, but when a student leaves a public school setting, they need “de-schooled.” Don’t worry, this process isn’t as weird as it sounds. Deschooling your new homeschooler is a pretty simple process. Here is how to deschool your new homeschooler (and you too!).
Give Them Some Time
It’s weird to get used to having “freedom” when you’re coming from a public school. Your child has to get used to not asking to go the bathroom or being able to eat and drink when they want, it’s a process. One way to deschool your homeschooler is to give them some time. This can take as little or as long as you feel is necessary. Watch for cues that your new homeschooler is ready to begin more structured class time.
Let Your Child Have a Say in Their Education
Whoa! Yes, letting your child have a say in what they learn is a great way to deschool them. Your new homeschooler is used to being told what to learn. Let them choose the book they want to read or even the unit they want to study. You’re the parent and what you says goes, however, letting them have a little say really opens up their ‘learning’ world. This is helpful due to the child’s interests are finally being piqued and these are the little rabbit trails of learning that you want to encourage. (I am NOT talking about Unschooling, that is a whole different homeschool animal, just let them have a bit more say in what they are going to learn about with you.)
Do a Field Trip or Two
For those of you who homeschool, you know that field trips are one of the best parts of homeschooling. To properly de-school your public schooler, take them on a field trip or two (or three, four, or more!). Field trips are a great way to explore the creative side of homeschooling. Field trips allow learning to be hands on and fun. Once your student sees that homeschooling will be a lot different than sitting in a public school classroom, things really start progressing in a positive direction.
Have Lots (and lots and lots and LOTS) of Patience
Remember that your student is going from a strict classroom setting to a homeschool settings. One thing you’re going to need a lot of is patience. You can’t expect your student to understand what’s going on in the homeschool world right away. However, they will quickly catch on that their learning environment is about to be a whole lot different. The deschooling process depends upon the kid. Don’t get discouraged if the process seems to take longer with your child.
Change Things Up as Needed
You may quickly see that it takes time and understanding to go from a public school setting to a homeschool setting. All homeschooling parents should be prepared to change things up. What you thought might work for your new homeschooler could be a complete flop. You may need to let your homeschooler sleep in a little longer, so they’re well rested and ready for the day. You may notice your homeschooler needs to go to bed early in order to get the proper amount of rest. Small changes can make a big difference! Don’t forget healthy snacks too. These can have a huge impact as well on a more clear mind and a well functioning body. Last but surely not least, make time for outside fun. Change up the routine for some outside time that is unstructured time. This can often allow for boredom to turn into creativity and using their imagination!
Deschooling your homeschooler may take some time, understanding, and patience, but in no time your family will be well on their way to homeschooling just fine. Most of all, remember that you and your child BOTH need to deschool a bit before you jump right into this homeschool thing. Take your time, love on each other, and remember your “why” as you begin this new journey.
In His Grace,