I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts recently while I was taking a walk. In it, the host started talking about Basic Training and getting down to the essentials. He was talking about health, but as I thought about it, that concept works perfectly for our conversation about the incredible tool of deschooling for homeschooling families.
Deschooling is a process of changing our mindset and habits from looking at school as an institution to seeing education and learning as a way of life. It’s a time of transition, not just for children but for parents as well. Ivan Illich coined the term in his book Deschooling Society, where he argues that schools are not necessarily synonymous with education.
In the context of homeschooling, deschooling is a time to focus on the most essential things and align everything in your life and family according to the mission you want to accomplish through homeschooling. As a Heart Schooler, this mission is to disciple your children, introduce them to God and the wonders of His creation, and prepare them well for whatever doors God opens for them in the future.
The first step in deschooling is to figure out what the basics are for your family. This involves wading through the noise and determining what’s truly important. It may involve getting to know your children better, overcoming trauma they may have experienced in school, helping them overcome feelings of inadequacy, or addressing other insecurities they may have picked up.
Deschooling also involves learning together in a way that is natural and enjoyable. This may include reading aloud, going on field trips, adventuring, having conversations about topics that excite them, and helping them discover information in a way that is intriguing to them. By igniting a love of learning, you can help your children become lifelong learners.
Deschooling is also a time to change your mindset and relieve pressure by focusing on your mission, stacking conditions for success, deciding what is essential, focusing on progress, creating your days, and investing in relationships. By doing so, you can create a family environment aligned with your mission that allows for deeper, more meaningful relationships with your children.
In summary, deschooling really does present a Basic Training scenario for homeschooling parents and children alike. By focusing on the most essential things and aligning your family with your mission, you can create a family environment that supports lifelong learning and meaningful relationships. You’ll find that you usher in a whole new way of life where your entire family can thrive.
David and I talked about Deschooling as Basic Training last week on the podcast, and we explored six steps to make your basic training effective. Click here to listen to that now—or you can find the podcast on the Teach Them Diligently App, Life Audio.com or wherever you tend to stream your podcasts.