Deschooling: Say What?
So we have talked about homeschooling, we have talked about unschooling. But we haven’t touched on deschooling. And honestly, this is a VERY important part of bringing your kids home.
So what is deschooling? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like. It is taking the school out of you and your kids.
“Wait, Kara, you want me to take learning out of my kids?!”
Well, yes. And no. Grab a drink, sit back, and let me explain.
For centuries, it was commonplace to teach kids at home. If you look back even at movies like the Patriot that depict the early settlers, older siblings were teaching younger siblings to read. They all knew math. They knew how to manage a home, run a farm, work hard. And they used words like “distempered” in every day language, and EVERYONE UNDERSTOOD THE MEANING. They weren’t stupid. In fact, most were more intelligent than the vast majority of children now.
Even in early schoolhouses, children learned more because all ages were together learning from each other. Children learned at their own pace because they were exposed to it.
But NONE of this was “standard.”
So what happened? The idea that all children should be in school for 8 hours a day learning the exact same thing as every other 5 year old happened. And over the last century, parents have been fed the lie that only a certified human can properly educate a child. Our children have suffered for it. Now parents feel like they aren’t equipped to teach their children simply because they haven’t been taught how to teach their children.
You have to be taught to teach? Were you taught to teach your kid how to count? Or how to learn colors? What suddenly changes when they turn 5?
Deschooling is taking time to take the public school mindset out of you and your kids. It is simply taking time to figure out that time at the library reading books is just as beneficial to learning. It is figuring out that building with legos teaches motor skills, how to follow instructions, problem solving, and so much more. It is taking time to figure out that children can learn just as much during the teen years when they have been allowed to work on interests at their own pace, as they would if you forced standard learning for 13 years.
Deschooling is taking a desperately needed amount of time to find your rhythm and what works for you. Whether you do a regimented school day, take the Charlotte Mason approach, do a classical education, take a Montessori approach, or unschool, you have to find what works for you and your family. And you give yourself grace and freedom to find that WITHOUT PRESSURE.
Take a breath, sit back, and give yourself freedom and time. You will not destroy your child’s future even by taking a whole year to do nothing but play and read. My children got further that one year than they did the whole time at school. It was incredibly beneficial, and they now all beg to go to the library. I gave them a love for learning through reading. That’s more beneficial than passing any test.
You don’t have to have all of the answers before bringing them home. I guarantee if you think you do, it will all change. Because whether we like having a plan or not, our kids won’t always learn how we want them to. And some part of that plan WILL fall apart. Even if one curriculum works this year, it may change next year. So be flexible, enjoy the days, and give yourself grace. You’re learning a whole new way with them. And one day, you’ll look back and laugh at the stress. Because you’ll see...no matter what society tells you, GOD equipped you to teach these children. No one can take that from you.