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What is deschooling?

What is deschooling?


Homeschooling can be done at any time, and in any grade. I have known many families who have successfully began homeschooling in the middle of a school year. This involves pulling a child out of public school (when you do this, make sure you complete the necessary paperwork related to the laws in your state). Children who have been in public school for a while may need time to “deschool” before beginning to homeschool. What is deschooling?

Deschooling is the adjustment period a child goes through when leaving school and beginning homeschooling. To fully benefit from homeschooling, a child has to let go of the school culture as the norm. This is called deschooling, and it is a crucial part of beginning homeschooling after a period of time spent in a classroom. ~The Homeschool Mom

When your child first begins homeschooling, there will be a time of transition. This transition period is the perfect time to “deschool” your child, and yourself. You are both used to a public school mindset, and you will both need time to learn what homeschooling is and what it looks like. Homeschooling is NOT public school at home. The environment is different, the structure is different, and the learning can be different.

During this time of transition, it is important to talk to your child about your expectations, and his expectations. Explain that getting used to homeschooling will take time. Offer to meet up with his friends, take him to homeschool group meetings, and make sure that he realizes he will still be “socializing”.

Put the academic learning on the back burner for a while. Let him pick topics that interest him, and focus on those. The deschooling period may be a great time to look into unit studies, or documentaries. This way, the learning is still happening, but you are not jumping head first into a full homeschool day and curriculum.

How long does the deschooling period last? That is up in the air. For some it may be a month, some a few weeks, it will vary from family to family. The factors could include why you took your child out of school. Was it bullying? The deschooling time may take longer due to emotional scars. Poor academic performance? You may want to deschool for just a week or so, that way you can get your child back on track. How long you deschool should be a decision that is based on you, your child, and how long you need to prepare in order to homeschool effectively.

For more information on deschooling, check out this series.

Author Bio: Misty Bailey and her husband have been married for over a decade and have three beautiful children. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.


Amy Sizemore

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Amy Sizemore is a homeschooling mom of 8 children, ages 4-22. With children in college down to preschool, she has lived through every stage and age. Amy’s passion is teaching others what she wishes she had known about scheduling in the beginning of her homeschool journey. A degree in Visual Communications has helped her become the successful owner of a restaurant, a food truck, and a lot of kittens. Amy is currently writing a book about scheduling, which will accompany her schedules and chore charts that she has designed and produced.