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Deschooling Defined

© Beverley Paine

Deschooling specifically refers to that period of adjustment experienced by children removed from school settings. It also can include the process of deschooling parents; that is, the unlearning of concepts and beliefs about the nature and purpose of education. School based methods of instruction and thinking rarely translate directly into the homeschool, and where they are tried, often parents run into the same kinds of problems faced by teachers in schools! Children and parents need time to adjust to the new arrangement. Often this is best begun with a 'holiday' at home, a time to observe and record what naturally occurs in the child's life, and where additional resources are needed to introduce additional learning activities considered important and essential. It often takes many months, and sometimes even a year, for the process of deschooling to unfold. During this time it is a great idea to seek support from families who display a similar style of homeschooling to yourself.

Other Online Articles About Deschooling
Here are some other articles from around the web that discuss deschooling:

  • What is Deschooling ... by Pam, creator of the Living Joyfully website... "The day "deschooling ends" and "unschooling begins" won't be lit up in bright lights - there's no "magic moment". Life will just continue with the wonderful rhythm you've found, you'll see all the learning that's happening every day, and eventually you'll look back and realize "hey, I think we're unschooling!"
  • Deschooling For Parents by Sandra Dodd is a humourous and insightful piece about getting rid of our schoolish thoughts. At the bottom there are also more links to deschooling articles.
  • Deschooling: taking the school out of homeschool by Liza Sabater is a great article in which she looks in detail her family's deschooling process as well as discusses what she discovers along the way.
  • Disposable Checklists for Unschoolers by Sandra Dodd is a helpful article for those beginning unschoolers who are wondering how they will see progress without schedules to follow and lists to check-off and to whom the advice of "just hang out with your kids" seems far-fetched and somewhat frightening!
  • How to Pull Your Kid from School includes a few wise words on deschooling
  • Rejecting a Pre-Packaged Life by Sandra Dodd is not about deschooling per se, but is about the paradigm shifts you are likely going through as you choose to start homeschooling. It was one of my first introductions to the idea of "joy" as a meaningful goal - even through our ups and downs the joy is always there and it is so powerful and uplifting - hence the name of my website!
  • Five Steps to Unschooling by Joyce Fetteroll again is not specifically about deschooling, but is a great article about the transition to unschooling. It details things you can be doing to help you progress through this exciting deschooling phase.
  • Deschooling by Pattie Donahue-Krueger. Excellent article which originally appeared in F.U.N. News in 1998
  • Deschooling , by Lee S. King That leads, also, to a page with lots of Christian unschooling links
  • Deschooling (author unidentified, but associated with *Kaleidoscapes*) Emphasis on "giftedness" and has an anti-Nintendo example, but still... if you're going to read lots, throw this one in there too.
  • Unschooling FAQ, by Amy Bell"People who have been in a traditional school situation often have to take a different approach to unschooling, especially initially. Traditional schooling can cause the loss of intrinsic motivation and joy of learning. The process of recovering those gifts is usually called "deschooling." It's the process of healing, learning to know oneself, and escaping the expectations and forms of traditional schools..."
  • Deschooling and Recovering from School
  • Deschooling

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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active supporter of national, state, regional and local home education groups.

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We began educating our children in 1985, when our eldest was five. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn since they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. We hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was! Beverley Paine

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