I remember school: we had to be there at quarter of eight in the morning, or else there were consequences. We had forty-two minutes to cover material in each class and were given homework every night. If we arrived to class after the late bell, there were consequences. If we didn’t do our homework, there were consequences. This structure and set of consequences “trains” us and makes us conform to certain expectations.
Let’s face it: children in public school are on a rigid schedule. They have to be at school at a certain time; they react to the ring of a bell; each class is a limited time period. The material presented is set in stone, with no room for variation. When you make the choice to home school your children, your children will initially seem lost without the confines of the public school system they are used to. To ensure the success of your homeschooling journey, you will need to break the confines around their minds. This process of releasing your child from the constraints of the public school regime is called “de-schooling”.
Children need an adjustment period; there is a huge change from being part of a crowd rushing from class to class to being the only child in the class, sitting at the kitchen table! While your child is sure to flourish from the one-on-one attention in home school, he still needs to break away from the routine drilled into him in public school. The proper mindset is necessary for the success of any educational frame work, and homeschooling is no exception.
Some consider “de-schooling” to be a synonym of “unschooling”, but this is not accurate. De-schooling refers to the process of removing the constraints of a formal school system structure and getting your child used to the loss of those constraints. It doesn’t actually have anything to do with the methods used to educate your child.
Unschooling, on the other hand, is an application of schooling philosophy. It refers to the practice of using life experiences as a primary teaching tool. Families that unschool their children do not use textbooks, workbooks, or any formal learning processes. Instead, parents who choose to unschool their children believe that life experiences will enable their children to learn everything they need to know.
Homeschooling your children gives them more freedom to enjoy learning. Deschooling them will make sure that their mindset isn’t stuck in the strict structure of the public school system.