Deschooling Takes Times
by Beverley, 1999
The first person in South Australia I met who was a homeschooler told me the hardest part was deschooling herself.. she had been a teacher before having her children.
It can take weeks or months. A friend of mine reported her son took six months, and in that time reverted back through each age of play he missed out on, starting with age five and working his way up to ten years of age. Only then did he get out the books and start doing 'school' work at home! Fascinating....
The worse thing about school education is the way the children learn to be 'entertained' all the time, to have someone organise their time.... if the new homeschooling parent isn't acting in the same way - dishing up activities, book work or supervising the children often appear bored, or complain of boredom, or get into negative or destructive behaviours in the same way school kids do. This can really place a lot of stress on new homeschooling parents and make them think home education isn't working.
I always hung in there (barely) and tried a little of everything on the bad days, but my sure fire way of overcoming this problem was to give my children 100% unconditional attention, doing whatever they wanted - like full on playing, etc). They usually were completely satisfied by this attention and got on with their own lives, organising their own time, thinking for themselves, etc... More often than not I only needed to put an hour or two of this kind of time in once or twice a week!
I also found that if I sat with the children while they did book work - usually only an hour and a half a day, we avoided many problems associated with motivation.
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Together with the support of my family, my aim is to help parents educate their children in stress-free, nurturing environments. In addition to building and maintaing this website, I continue to create and manage local and national home educating networks, help to organise conferences and camps, as well as write for, edit and produce newsletters, resource directories and magazines. I am an active support of national, state, regional and local home education groups.
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We began educating our three children in 1985, when our eldest was aged five years. In truth, we had helped them learn what they need to learn as they grew and explored and discovered this amazing world since the moment they were born. I am a passionate advocate of allowing children to learn unhindered by unnecessary stress and competition, meeting developmental needs in ways that suit their individual learning styles and preferences. Ours was a homeschooling, unschooling and natural learning family! There are hundreds of articles on this site to help you build confidence as a home educating family. I hope that your home educating adventure is as satisfying as ours was!
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