It’s been almost 2 years since we officially pulled our girls from public school. I went through a whirlwind of emotions, expectations, highs, lows, impulse purchases, returning those purchases and trying new ones. I was falling into the trap of “making homeschool like regular school” and that was the opposite of what I wanted to do. So I did what felt right. I decided we ALL needed to do what they call in the homeschool universe as “deschooling”. Deschooling is the mindful break to decompress and allow their mind to reset from the conforms of traditional schooling enabling both the parents and children an opportunity to see and do things in a new way.
What do you do when you deschool?
The time deschooling is not intended to be spent watching tv 24/7 or not learning at all, but rather to just explore and learn in a very loose, non- concrete way. Maybe head out and go to a museum, or on hike, do art projects, read, cook together, lots and lots of free play and yes, tv and tablet time are ok too. Many say that deschooling is just as important for the parent as it is for the child… as they have been programmed to have certain expectations for their children, learning methodologies, working at a much faster pace. This period of time gives you a chance to see what kind of interests and learning style your children are most attracted to, etc…
How long do you deschool for?
A general rule of thumb is 1 month for each year your child was in school… so if you stopped after/during 2nd grade… approx 2 months or more when deschooling, but there is no right or wrong answer to this experience. So, how do you know when it’s time? Time to resume some type of “formal” education, curriculum and structure? To be honest, I’m not 100% sure – we spent about 5 months intentionally deschooling before I had my girls sit down and work on any set curriculum.. However, the style of educating we feel most comfortable with is one with little set curriculum at all, as we are following an unschooling, interest-led lifestyle. Regardless, the deschooling time was important for us and I think it was a wonderful opportunity to connect as a family.