Thursday Talk: Deschooling

Remember last week when I talked about what our days unschooling may look like? Well, this week I’m talking about deschooling.
For me it’s been pretty easy to deschool. No thinking in school thoughts like grades, and subjects. Not a problem for me. If we’re talking about dinosaurs and one of the girls brings up how the triceratops has three horns and then they go into naming other animals with horns and how many, I am not going to stop them and tell them it’s not time for math right now.

If your kids have never been to school then they won’t need to deschool, but the parents will.
Learning is not something done between the hours of 8am and 3pm. I learn in many ways about many things.
I learned how to create a blog, I learned basic html on my own. EverythingI know about pregnancy and birth is self taught. I attended a child birth class while I was pregnant because I wanted to know more.
I follow my own interest and they are leading me down paths that I never would’ve imagined. It’s a really great feeling.
It’s impossible to separate learning from life. We learn through living.

No pushing school work on the kids because you want them to keep up with the kids at school.
I am not concerned with what the kids at school are learning, or being told they need to learn. I know that my girls know things that other kids don’t know, and kids know things they don’t know.
I do know they are learning all the time. In everything we do, every place we go there is something to learn.

For me deschooling is an ongoing process. I’m constantly questioning everything I learned or was told I needed to learn growing up. My thought process if different now than it was only two years ago.

People want to know how long does it take to deschool? I think it depends on how long the child was in school.
I can’t speak on exactly how to deschool, but I have a few ideas. Plan a vacation or a staycation. Make a list of all the places you want to go for the year, and all the things you want to do and then go do those things.
Maybe make a monthly list and what doesn’t get done that month can roll over to the next month.
Find all of the interesting museums, parks, farms, etc that your city has to offer and explore like you’re a tourist.
Have a movie and popcorn day, or a craft week. Be creative, think outside the box.

How long did it take you to deschool? Do you have any tips for deschooling?

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10 thoughts on “Thursday Talk: Deschooling

  1. I HS'd my older daughter through 2nd grade. I hope I can let go when it comes to UNschooling our youngest. She is only 1½ now. We learn signs together and she loves to count, in her own little way. We do "one two THREE" on lots of little things. And she loves to count backwards with the microwave! (yeah, it sounds like "duh, duh, duh, duh…") but we love it!

  2. I was an elementary teacher for 10 years before I became a mother, so I had a lot of DESCHOOLING to do. My 4 children are under the age of 7 and have never been to school or preschool or daycare, but I still took some extreme steps to DESCHOOL us in the last year or so.First of all, I got rid of TV because most of the 'kid shows' are focussed on going to school (like Arthur, Caillou, Franklin…) I also got rid of every book that is about going to school or obeying adults or doing the same as everyone else. Instead, I made sure that all of our books reflect our values and beliefs.And I really like what the other commenters wrote about being 'out'. I just say it like it is, too. And I've stopped asking OTHER kids about school (as if their entire identity is about their grade and teachers and friends! Blah!) Instead I ask kids about their interests and abilities–and they usually have a lot to say!This was a great post, Darcel.

  3. Thank you, Patti! I hope I'm coming across as "this is what works for our family, this is what unschooling looks like in my family" and NOT "this is how you unschool and if you don't do it my way, then your wrong"

  4. I was an elementary teacher for 10 years before I became a mother, so I had a lot of DESCHOOLING to do. My 4 children are under the age of 7 and have never been to school or preschool or daycare, but I still took some extreme steps to DESCHOOL us in the last year or so.First of all, I got rid of TV because most of the 'kid shows' are focussed on going to school (like Arthur, Caillou, Franklin…) I also got rid of every book that is about going to school or obeying adults or doing the same as everyone else. Instead, I made sure that all of our books reflect our values and beliefs.And I really like what the other commenters wrote about being 'out'. I just say it like it is, too. And I've stopped asking OTHER kids about school (as if their entire identity is about their grade and teachers and friends! Blah!) Instead I ask kids about their interests and abilities–and they usually have a lot to say!This was a great post, Darcel.

  5. I'm thankful that my girls have not had to deschool. It was hard enough for me in the beginning.@TopHat, You're right our culture is very school minded. My 6yr old looks like she's about 9yrs old so I get all kinds of looks and questions when we're out.@Momma Jorje, Watching my baby blows my mind even more now than it did when my first was born. I see all of my kids so differently now. It's truly amazing.@Kelly, You sound like me. I love being out. I used to worry a lot about what my friends and family would think. I don't care so much anymore. We're living our lives free, and we love it.

  6. I didn't have to deschool my kids, as they didn't go to school. My daughter went to one year of kindergarten only, and that wasn't rough to deschool from, although when fall rolled around a few years ago she was a bit anxious. Now my kids have the option to attend school if they like, just like with all the freedoms they have, and they haven't been interested.@TopHat is right – our culture IS schooly. For me, it has helped to be "out" about being life learners/whole life unschoolers / autodidacts. It is fun when people ask what grade my kids are in and I say, "Oh, they don't go to school." The conversation can go anywhere from there!For me, being "out" means no longer allowing others to size up my kids for behavior, accolades, grades, "manners". I also don't force them to finish projects and I don't decide what things they'll like. I'm learning to be their mentor and guide (when they request or need it), their sponsor, and their advocate. It's so fun. I jump out of bed in the morning, I love it so much.

  7. I HS'd my older daughter through 2nd grade. I hope I can let go when it comes to UNschooling our youngest. She is only 1½ now. We learn signs together and she loves to count, in her own little way. We do "one two THREE" on lots of little things. And she loves to count backwards with the microwave! (yeah, it sounds like "duh, duh, duh, duh…") but we love it!

  8. My daughter's never been to preschool or anything, yet she talks about school all the time from books and TV shows. I feel like I need to deschool her already! I know I need to deschool myself. When I meet a grade-school aged kid, I often ask, "Oh, you're in _ grade?" based on their age. I really should not do that. It's just so much of the culture is schooly!

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