Deschooling

a comforting directory page

Rachel Marie wrote:
I gave myself 6 months. I promised myself that I would do absolutely nothing school-like for 6 months and see how it went. I figured 6 months in the grand scheme of things wouldn't screw anything up, if at the end of 6 months I felt like I had to go back to workbooks, then I could. But putting a time in my head helped me let go and not harp on those school things for that time period. The neat thing was, during that time I started to be able to see all the things my son was learning. I started to get what people meant when they said kids learn from everything. Every car ride we took where my son asked questions like who is the oldest living person and we discussed that topic, which morphed into other topics like people's life spans through time, and yet other topics .... It all made sense that this was learning.

I didn't even notice when the 6 month mark passed, then the 1 year, then 2. It all just fell into place. But when I was starting out, having that time frame in my head for me and me alone (I never told my son my time frame), really allowed myself to let go of it all because I knew that not doing anything for 6 months wouldn't hurt anything. Then by the time that 6 months was up my perspective had changed so much I wouldn't have ever thought of forcing a workbook or anything schoolish again. My head had been cleared during that time so I could see all the learning that was going on around me.

on the Radical Unschooling Info discussion, October 7, 2013

"Stop thinking schoolishly. Stop acting teacherishly. Stop talking about learning as though it’s separate from life." —Sandra Dodd

Deschoooling for Parents, Sandra Dodd. "The more quickly you empty your cup and open yourself to new ideas uncritically, the sooner you will see natural learning blossom."

in French, Le juste équilibre, traduit par Jeanine Barbé
On Deschooling, by Robyn Coburn. "Deschooling is not just the child recovering from school damage. It's also the parents exploring their own school and childhood damage and proactively changing their thinking until the paradigm shift happens." read more!

Pam Laricchia on deschooling, and these lead to her site where there is an introduction to unschooling, free, by e-mail.

...the process takes a while. Not a few weeks or a couple months, but some real time. Long enough that when you’re nearing the end, hopefully you’ve reached the point where you’re not even looking for the “end” anymore. Why Deschooling?

You’re feeling an incredible swirl of both excitement and trepidation: you’ve decided to try unschooling! You understand that you, and anyone else in your family who has been in school, will be deschooling for a while. What to do instead of school

Yet your thoughts may start to change—and it may take you by surprise.. . . When that happens, it’s time for some more deschooling. Transitioning to Unschooling with Young Children

DESCHOOLING by other authors

Deschooling by Pattie Donahue-Krueger
Excellent article which originally appeared in F.U.N. News in 1998

What is Deschooling?, on LivingJoyfully.ca, one of the most attractive websites ever (besides being full of unschooling ideas)

Deschooling ideas from Joyce Fetteroll:

Look for the delight in life and it will infect your kids
"How do I stop wanting to see structured learning?"
"My kids want to go back to the structured learning we used to do."

Unschooling FAQ, by Amy Bell
Short. I liked it even before I saw she quotes me!

Unschooling and deschooling, and changes..., by Sandy Lubert

Deschooling, Unschooling and Natural Learning, by 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. "
—Beverley Paine, 1999

Related Articles
by Sandra Dodd

The best companion article for the one above is Disposable Checklists for Unschoolers.

Also applicable for those trying to figure out how to create an unschooling home are

Building an Unschooling Nest

Your House as a Museum

Bored No More

Triviality: Textbooks for Unschoolers

Related, though not such "how to":
"The School in my Head"

Precisely How to Unschool

Doing Unschooling Right (video with transcript)


More help for new unschoolers