What is “deschooling”, exactly? If you’ve been perusing the internet, I’m sure you’ve come across a couple of different opinions. But actually, the basic concept is pretty simple. I’ve just updated myHomeschool Wisdom page with a nice selection of informative articles I think you’ll like.
Instead of Education
by John Holt
“If you are one of the millions of walking wounded still staggering from your own encounter with forced institutional schooling, and trying to spare your own kids from its damage, this book will be your guide and a good friend.” — John Taylor Gatto, Former New York State Teacher of the Year
Deschooling: The Mental Vacation You Didn’t Expect
They’re not trying to drive you nuts. Really. Rather, they’re unconsciously letting you know they need time to decompress.
The first time I felt how great my own deschooling needs were was during those first few shaky months of homeschooling. I asked Christopher one night, “What have you learned today?” Then I stopped to wonder: why did I need proof?
Deschooling for Parents
Stop thinking schoolishly. Stop acting teacherishly. Stop talking about learning as though it’s separate from life.
Being “schooled” means all those things they teach you in kindergarten and keep reinforcing for the next 12 years – how to wait in line, sit in a circle, raise your hand to go to the bathroom, learning only what adult strangers deem appropriate for you to learn, spending your time off doing “homework” [because apparently no one in the world learns anything unless they repeat it 188 times], straining to memorize a list of facts/dates/names/whatever so you’ll pass the test on Friday (promptly forgetting the whole litany immediately afterwards). In between, you participate in class activities you may or may not be interested in, suddenly stopping/starting/changing to a completely different activity because a bell rang or the teacher told you to.
And, if you don’t do these things — and do them well — you’ll be punished. By your teachers, your parents, your future employers, society as a whole. You’re not an “A” student. You’re not “taking your student career seriously.” You’re a rebel. A slacker. A bum.
Not very empowering, is it? You have no control over your own education. Everyone else controls it. You’re totally left out of the loop, as if you don’t matter. But since it happens to be your education, your life, and your opinions, why are you the least important part of the decision making process? What kind of sense is that?
When you begin taking matters into your own hands by homeschooling, the first thing your child (and you) needs to do is to shake off that “Being Schooled” mindset. We call the process “de-schooling”. Children need time for their brains to recover from the major psychological damage of never being in control of their own learning. Parents need to stop equating “Schooling” with “Learning”. School is school, and learning is life itself. It doesn’t take place in any particular building, or during certain hours or by separating everything into Subjects. I’ll expound on School vs Learning as time goes on. In the meantime, dive into these thought-provoking essays and, if you have a minute, let me know what you think.
I’m still pulling stuff off the old RMEC website (http://www.rmec-online.com) and bringing it here. In between doing that, I’m also remodeling our recently purchased 1970′s house. I’ll be done with both one of these days.
The Homeschool Wisdom section (see sidebar) will be where you can find articles, essays, rants and humor about homeschooling today and yesteryear. (If we parents don’t laugh, we’ll go bonkers.) Here’s a few things I added just today:
But I Wanna Go To School!
What do you say to that? Alison Moore Smith looks at the reasons why kids want school, and why it might be best to let them choose.
We’ve been homeschooling since he was 6. Now he’s turning 21. Twenty one! My baby. A legal adult. Oh …. the memories. An RMEC article.
The First Year of Homeschooling: It’s All Greek To Me!
When I started homeschooling, I was nervous. I wanted instructions, a turn-by-turn Google Map, an exact How-To Guide. And there were literally thousands available … but I couldn’t decipher a one of ‘em. An RMEC article.
How To Answer The Socialization Question Once and For All
We do not have to defend homeschooling based on false assumptions, false accusations, and false information. Please stop telling others about all the opportunities your kids have for “socialization” and start gently exposing them to the real issue here …
Nine days to go til Christmas (Can it really be that close? Sheesh.) and shoppin’ time is running out. But, take heart. We here at Rocky Mountain Education Connection have found some pretty spiffy deals for you frugal home educators, ALONG WITH ideas on what to buy for those but-they-have-everything! folks on your list.
HEM’s gone digital! No more waiting for the mailman! Issues are delivered right to your inbox — for 1/3 the price! So if you’ve got a doubtful dad, maybe a meddlesome mother-in-law, or some groovy iPad-totin’ grandparents, check this out. Keep ‘em informed and give ‘em a gift at the same time! I love stuff that does double duty.
The Link Magazine
… has changed it’s name to “Homeschool Magazine”. It’s digital, too! Download a free issue!
But wait, there’s more! We’ll even throw in a Ronco Pocket Fisherman! AND if you order in the next 10 minutes, we’ll double that — two Pocket Fisherman for the price of one! PLUS, you’ll also receive a magnificent 22′ fishing boat! Call now, operators are standing by!
Okay, okay … I’m just kiddin’. (But, really, there is more…)
Freebies & Bargains
From free to the nearly-free — curriculum, movies, posters, games, software, books, cars, right up to lots of quick dinner recipes for busy moms — holy cow! There’s just too many freebies to list. TheHomeschoolMom.com has compiled one eye-popping page of wonderful bargains.
F.U.N. Books’ Specials
Welcome to veteran homeschoolers Billy and Nancy Greer’s page of clearance items, scratch and dents, monthly specials and out of print materials. This is, seriously, one of THE best places to buy educational goodies. I’m glad they created this page. F.U.N (Family Unschoolers Network) is like Willy Wonka’s candy store for relaxed homeschoolers. So go ahead, request a free catalog. I double-dog dare ya to resist ordering once you’ve seen it.
Homeschool Journal Dot Net
Veteran home educators Andrea and Ron offer a free homeschooling journaling site for parents, grandparents, and kids to document their experiences. No catches, no strings attached, just create a free account and start writing!
A little fancier, this is like Blogger for home educators. Feature rich, easy to use, and again, free! Blog away, read what others are going thru, or have a chuckle or two before you begin your day. And who doesn’t need that?
The Homeschooler’s Notebook
This just cracked me up. Homeschool mom Heather Idoni publishes this free online newsletter, and she often finds funny or interesting tidbits out there. This time it’s Supreme Court Haiku. Heather writes:
“Learn the Bill of Rights and other Constitutional amendments in Haiku form! The blog updates regularly with current cases summarized in Haiku — historic cases can be found on the site as well. How much fun is that?
The Law of the Land
In Seventeen Syllables
Supreme Court Haiku”