So you’re ready to homeschool. You’ve decided it’s the best decision for your family, and you have taken the steps to pull your children from their classrooms. What’s next?
You’re going to do nothing right now.
In order for homeschooling to be a a fun and natural experience for your family, it’s important that you all forget everything you know about school. You need to learn to find your own “normal”. From schedules, to grading, to curriculum, to textbooks – you “unlearn” it all. None of that applies to you any more.
This is ‘deschooling’, coined in 1971 when Ivan Illich, an Australian philosopher, wrote ‘Deschooling Society‘. The book took shots at traditional education methods and touted the idea of self-directed learning. Insane, right? 1971. Absolutely pearl-clutching. Quite scandalous.
So what do you do in this time?
Again. Nothing. Have fun. Watch some educational movies. Go to the zoo. Read some awesome books together. Play board games. And while you’re doing this, keep an eye on your child. Determine their passions. What do they spend their time doing when they don’t have homework? When they’re not being rushed to bed because it’s a “school night”. What are they chattering to you excitedly about in the car? Knowing what drives them can help you work out what curriculum to focus on when it’s time to get started.
How long you take to deschool really depends on your family. The longer your children have spent in a traditional school setting, the longer it will take you all to get out of that mindset. It could honestly be anywhere from a few weeks to an entire school year….and that’s OK.