When Rayne and Rose were babies we didn’t even discuss homeschooling as an option. My husband (Sy) and I both had 9-5 jobs and our local primary school had an excellent reputation. We settled into a routine of wake up, get ready for work, send the kids to school/childcare, come home from work, cook and eat dinner, go to bed, wake up and repeat! This was all we knew and so we kept going.
Rayne was 5 years old and four months into year 1 when she started to develop stomach aches and quickly became what is known as a school refuser. It was heartbreaking to watch her confidence and self esteem diminish before my eyes and I knew I had to do something about it.
So after countless meetings with the headteacher, late night discussions with Sy and seeking support from an online education specialist, we decided to homeschool Rayne. It all happened pretty quickly and within 5 months I had become a stay at home/homeschooling mum with no idea what to do! I was learning “on the job”. I joined lots of Facebook groups, fun online courses and started attending lots of homeschooling groups in our local area. The term “deschooling” kept popping up so I looked more into it and realised how important this process is.
These are my Three reasons why deschooling is important:
It allows your child time to adjust from the conventional way of learning
Sadly, it is possible that your child’s innate ability to create and explore has been repressed by the institutionalised, formal school setting. Deschooling allows them time to decompress and rediscover their creativity and exploration with no restrictions or expectations, which will naturally lead to a desire to learn and acquire knowledge in their own unique way
It helps understand and give yourself, as a new homeschooling parent, time to discover your own thoughts and feelings around learning outside of the traditional classroom setting
This is relevant even if you have never sent your children to school. If you went through the formal educational system you may be stuck in your thinking with regards to what learning looks like. Deschooling allows you time to really dig deep into your thoughts around this. It gives you time to research and open your mind to new ideas and concepts of how children learn. While doing this you can start to think about what route of homeschooling you want to take with your family. There are so many ways to homeschool.
It sets the foundations for a deeper connection with your child/children
Part of the deschooling process is really getting to know your child/ren. Finding out what turns their lights on, what brings them joy, what they like to do regularly when given the freedom. It also gives you the opportunity to find out these things about yourself too, what do you love doing, is there something you want to learn but haven’t found the time up till now? Therefore, building deeper connections with your child/ren, being open and allowing them to get to know you better will add so much value to your homeschooling lifestyle, whatever route you choose. I love this quote from Pam Laricchia “understanding them is the foundation from which you will explore the world together”.
So after realising the above, it became clear to me that we needed time to deschool. Rayne needed time to get over school, build her confidence by being allowed to fully express herself and explore without restrictions.
I needed time to discover how I felt about school, routines and structures and decide what form of homeschooling would best suit us as a family. I started to feel more in control of our situation and learnt how to get started on our deschooling journey.
Have you started your deschooling journey yet? What did you find to be important about deschooling?
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