Take one look at the word deschooling and you may think about the process of re-calibrating your child/children who have attended public (or private) school. However, what if I told you that deschooling goes beyond the re-wiring of your children’s brain all the way to your perception of how you see school, education, and learning?
I’m willing to bet that if you’re reading this post then you’ve most likely had some form of public or private school education. (If not, kuddos to you!) This means that along your childhood educational journey you were taught what to learn and how to learn it. Sound familiar?
For the homeschooling parent this could pose a few issues that are mostly hidden and not dealt with (until now). What issues?? – you ask. A trend that I started seeing within myself (and other homeschooling moms) was the operation of our homeschools from a subconscious “school system” mindset.
I know that sounds like a mouth full, but allow me to explain my reasoning and five ways to deschool for the homeschooling parent.
I decided to test my hypothesis with some field study and found results that weren’t too shocking, and much of what I anticipated. Some of my results showed that:
- 52.5% of public schooled parents rated their childhood education experience as mediocre to not good
- 57.3% said the relevance of their childhood education was somewhat to not very relevant
- 57.4% admitted they believe they have a “school system” mindset due to having attended public school
- 50.8% believe their “school system” mindset possibly governs how they homeschool their children today
That last statistic is why I believe it is important for parents to deschool just as much as their children. Even if your children have never attended traditional schooling, they could get a dose of it if you run your homeschool according to a school system.
So, what should homeschooling parents do?
Understand the School System Mindset
This particular mindset definitely did not come out of nowhere, and it’s roots don’t go back as far as you think. The biggest think to understand about the school system mindset is what it was created to do.
Think about it for a moment. In order for there to be complete control over a group (especially of a large size), there needs to be a system in place. For the school system this meant establishing what would be taught, how it would be taught, and when. It even started with the separation of church and state right off that bat!
It is this type of system that was in place and then molded over time to resume control as more children joined the public schooling scene. Think about what schooling was like for you. Did you have classrooms, desks, set times of learning, certain things you were taught at certain times?
It is this mindset that also governs how we view school, education, and learning. It is also this mindset that most homeschooling parents home education their children from.
Be Empowered by the Roots of Homeschooling
This took quite a bit of research because I wanted to know about homeschooling before it was even called homeschooling. Without giving much thought, I knew that its roots branched from ancient times. Education is something that has always taken place. The difference is how.
For most of our ancestors beyond the mid 1800s, homeschool was the thing to do. There were not any other choices unless families were meeting together in each other’s homes. There were not huge curriculum resource companies supplying an over abundance of textbooks. And they were not worried about subjects that didn’t matter much in real life.
Homeschooling in the past was what we call life schooling. Children learned from their parents, neighbors, local folk, and so on. Their learning consisted of working the farm, helping add onto the home, and even from visit with the local barber. They had apprenticeships and hands-on learning that went the natural flow of life.
This is empowering to say the least!
Learn What Deschooling Really Is
Deschooling can often be confused with unschooling, however they have their differences. Deschooling in a nutshell involves a complete re-programming of the mind that helps one understand a new way thinking about school, education, and learning. Deschooling is the process of re-wiring ones thoughts about success in those three areas.
This is a process that looks different for every family because every family is unique. There are determining factors that are at play when deciding how long to deschool and what transitions are necessary.
This is why I believe it’s important that parents also take the time to deschool with their children, if not before.
Deschool Into Your Own Homeschool System
This is a biggie. Once the deschooling process has happened, the former mindset needs to be replaced with something. But what will that be? Another system that doesn’t work? A formula that doesn’t quite plug in naturally to your family?
No. No. And no.
None of the above will ever work. Why? Because your family is unique. Your family has it’s own special dynamic. And your family needs a system that accommodates those special things. This is where seeing your system from the perspective of your family comes into play. It’s important to formulate a system that flows naturally with your family, your morals, values, and beliefs.
This can be easier said than done. But don’t worry, I’m here to help!
Utilize Other Resources
One thing I’ve learned about this homeschooling journey is there are never a lack of resources. There’s always a book, an article, even a Facebook group to support whatever it is that you need.
The trick is to navigate what you don’t need so you don’t get side-tracked. When searching for deschooling resources and support, make sure what you’re finding and reading supports that. If you’re anything like me you’ll start with searching for deschooling and end up looking at homeschool styles, COOP class ideas, and some other off-subject topic.
In my Deschooling for the Homeschooling Parent series, I provide a list of reliable and quick go-to resources.
Help is Here
If you’ve read this post and thought, “Oh my goodness! I think I am homeschooling from a school system mindset and I want to stop! Heelllppp!” Then you, my friend, are in good company and I have just the thing the help you through your own deschooling process!
Starting December 2 – 6 I am hosting a Deschooling for the Homeschooling Parent series. This series will walk you through the four steps I listed above but in much more detail. You’ll also get printables that go with each part of the series that will help you plan what your new deschooling journey will look like.
Take advantage of this series while it’s free in the Outta’ Box Homeschooling Community Facebook group!
CHIME IN: Do you believe you homeschool from a school system mindset? Are you ready to unlock your own unique homeschooling system? If you answer YES, let me know your biggest fear AND your biggest goal in the comments below!