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What is Deschooling?
When you are transitioning your child or children from public school, there will always be an adjustment period. The best way to approach this adjustment period is by deschooling. It’s a more laid back approach to homeschooling for a time to let your child get accustomed to a new way of learning.
The rule of thumb for deschooling is to allow one month of deschooling for every year your child was public-schooled. So, if your child is ready for the third grade and you’re now beginning to homeschool, you would deschool for four months.
When you withdrawal your child from public school, there’s a certain mentality that needs to be left behind. Because homeschool is a different game, it’s not played with the same rules as public school. Yes, children are learning both places, but it’s how that learning takes place.
When you are preparing for any type of adventure, you do research, you gather supplies, and plan your route. You also make plans for the things you’ll leave behind – pets, plants, mail to be picked up, etc. Homeschooling is no different. You are leaving behind the old way of thinking of how learning has to be and finding a new way, one that works for your family. Change never comes easy, but with deschooling students are allowed a period of time to leave the public-schooled mindset behind, instead of having to conform immediately to a new way of learning.
Ways to Begin Deschooling
Forget the textbooks.
Textbooks aren’t necessary for learning. Documentaries, biographies, and guides are excellent resources that can provide in-depth learning.
You don’t even need a textbook for math. (Read about how you can deschool math.)
Take learning outside.
Nature studies can provide hours of learning potential. Identification of plants, woodland animals or creatures, and trees is learning without being stuck in a classroom.
Don’t know how to do a nature study? Here are 8 tips to get you started.
Plan and take field trips.
Plan a day trip to a civil war battlefield, a museum, an art gallery, or any of these field trip ideas. Take pen and paper to jot down some things your child thinks are interesting and research those upon returning home.
Visit the library.
Another good way for kids to deschool is to find books on topics of interest at the library. They could even check out several books at one time and get an in-depth education on their topic.
Ask your child about their interests.
Do you know what they want to be when they grow up? That would be a good way to gauge their interests, and for older kids, it might be a good way for them to research what’s involved in that profession to see if they really are interested or just infatuated. If you have high school students that aren’t sure what profession they want to go into, try a career aptitude or career assessment test.
If you haven’t gotten started homeschooling and want to start your journey off on the right foot, begin by reading How to Homeschool in Tennessee.
Document your deschooling journey with our FREE DESCHOOLING JOURNAL. There’s one for elementary, upper elementary, and middle school grade levels, in color or grayscale. They’re in our Resource Library. You can get access via the form below.