From School to Homeschool: What, Why & How
Deschooling is the adjustment period a child and parent/s go through upon leaving a traditional school and start homeschooling. The child and parent/s must work together to disconnect from the traditional school ways and recalibrate their minds to bring their natural love of learning.
The deschooling adjustment period can be a challenging and confusing phase. It is completely normal for a child to have unsettling behavior and act out or misbehave. To minimize the negative experience, a parent must not try to recreate a “school at home”. The deschooling adjustment period should be spent on understanding how their child learns and the best teaching style to fit the child and the parent themselves.
There is a big difference in how learning happens in the traditional school system versus homeschooling. It is important to recognize and understand these differences so the adjustment period can be utilized to understanding any educational gaps from traditional school and creating individualized educational plans to meet your child’s learning goals.
Let’s look at how different “traditional school” and homeschooling can be:
Traditional School: Curriculum is decided at the national, state, or district level and teachers create lesson plans that will work for the entire classroom.
Homeschooling: Curriculum is selected based on a child’s learning style and vary from subject to subject. Homeschool parents create and adapt their lesson plans to fit a child’s needs.
Traditional School: Grading scale and standardized testing are used to evaluate a child’s progress.
Homeschooling: Most homeschooling parents do not utilize the grading scale until higher grades as mastery on a subject is highly regarded. Most homeschool students work on a topic until they understand and comprehend it well.
Traditional School: Learning is structured and always happens at defined times at a designated space.
Homeschooling: Learning can happen anywhere and anytime. Homeschoolers can learn at home, at the park, library, co-op, or on field trips.
Traditional School: At a traditional school, teachers must teach to the masses and individualized attention is difficult to attain.
Homeschooling: In a homeschool environment, a teacher-parent ration can be 1:1 and there are very little distractions other than siblings.
As you can see there is a big difference in the learning style and environment between traditional school and homeschool. There is no hard-or-fast rule for how long deschooling should last. The time period depends on the child and how long it takes them to trust you as the homeschool teacher and gain joy in learning. Be patient, flexible, and understanding to help them & find joy.