Unschooling Mom2Mom

Deschooling... for HOW long?

March 29, 2021 Sue Patterson Season 1 Episode 12
Unschooling Mom2Mom
Deschooling... for HOW long?
Show Notes Transcript

Deschooling can be difficult. We have a lot of unlearning to do ourselves, right? And it's a bit like pulling the thread on the sweater?  You pull thinking that will be that, but it goes on and on! And sometimes, you THINK you've allowed enough time, but you're still struggling. You may need to do more digging around to get to the heart of what's worrying you. I have a resource that can help with that:

Unschooling Guide: Deschooling

Deschooling is a interesting concept - and one many of us want to skip over. Unfortunately, after 25 years of talking with other families, I can tell you that when you don't do all the internal work required with deschooling, you inevitably find yourself wringing your hands and second-guessing your decisions down the road. You'll have to come back to work on it. This Unschooling Guide can give you a lot of help on this!

And so can joining the Creating Confidence Membership! Imagine being surrounded by other unschoolers on this same journey, maybe all at different points along the path. They're available to share experiences, offer suggestions, and celebrate right along with you.  PLUS, you get 10 group coaching calls every month with me offering resources and insights too!
It's a great deal. You can find out more here.

You really don't have to do this alone!!

Whether you just started unschooling a couple of months ago - or you've been at it for years - the word "deschooling" has certainly popped up. 

And the most universal question seems to be, 

"How long is this deschooling going to go on?"

We're always in a hurry aren't we? We want to get through things fast to "get to the good stuff." 

Hmmm... I wonder where that kind of conditioning happened. Were you staring at the clock in your classroom, waiting for the bell to ring? Trudging through the school day... waiting for the good stuff?

The good news is, you don't have to endure irrelevant out-of-context information in an unschooling world. AND the "good stuff" is happening now! All around you.

And because I've been talking to people for a couple decades now, I already know what comes next, 

"Yeah, yeah, yeah, I get all that. But THIS? This is the good stuff? They lay around on the couch - glued to their devices, barely interacting with me... doesn't it get better than this? Where's the inspired creativity from all this freedom I'm supporting?"

When we first start unschooling, we may have all sorts of fabulous stories in our heads of how this is going to look. We may be remembering our own childhoods and wishing we had these kinds of opportunities. But our child doesn't seem to be taking advantage of it. They're not diving in with the gusto we imagined.

Here's the problem - we can't see what's happening in their heads. 

But if we've been reading about unschooling (and maybe we need to do that a little more regularly), we know that human brains are hardwired to learn. They're constantly processing. And when they get done with that, they move to something else that is intriguing to them.

That does not mean it will be intriguing to us. Or that we'll even know it's happening. And... that's ok.

Deschooling is happening for our kids and for us - but in all different ways. 

To know what's going on with our kids, it takes time. They have to trust us enough to share it without worrying that we're going to try to mold it or change it into something we view is "acceptable." Trust takes time to build. Little steps in that direction are the only way.

We don't always realize what their brains need. But THEIR brains know and move them in that direction. 

Maybe they need more recovery time from a bad school experience. 
Maybe they need to see if you really mean what you say.

Our vision of an exciting unschooling life may not be the same as theirs. 

We may need to observe more to see what their personalities are like. They change over time. And certainly they change based upon this new environment they have. Yes, it's still their home. But they're having a lot more say in how their life goes. We need to prioritize building trust so we can learn more about how they're viewing everything.

They may still in the habit of keeping their cards close to their chest... not wanting to tip their hand. They don't know that their home is their safe place... yet.

Here are a few things to remember about our own deschooling:

  • Much of this is a mindset issue. We have to peel back what various things mean to us - and maybe even why we think they’re important. What we often find is that we’re operating on someone else’s priorities without thinking through what our own are.
  • We have a lot of years where we’ve been conditioned to compare ourselves to others. Instead of figuring out our own “personal best,” our value/worth is determined by comparing ourselves to others. Schools use this as a tactic to keep kids performing and mainstream parenting goes ahead and continues on that same path.
  • Remember that formula unschoolers toss around:
    "For every year that you (or your child) went to school or used the school approach - that's how many months it will take for you to deschool." 
    YMMV. If you didn't like school much, you may embrace this more quickly. If you were a stellar student, you have more to undo. It's going to take longer. And if you were a teacher - even more time will be needed! But unschooling parents do this all the time. You can too!

I'm sure you've noticed by now, I didn't answer the question,

How long is this going to take??

That's because there's no real answer.
Anyone that tells you there is... well, they either have too simplistic of a viewpoint or they just haven't been at it long enough.

Initially, deschooling takes a while because we have a lot of fears based the ideas we've been conditioned to believe. The time it takes to work through these will depend on how tightly you hold onto these beliefs. Sometimes we work through something and breathe a sigh of relief. Then we turn a corner, and a new fear or misconception is standing in our path, forcing us to examine it. So we do that.

But you don't have to do this alone! Reach out. Whether it's through a variety of social media platforms, one-to-one coaching, or my fabulous membership group full of unschooling parents like you - just trying to figure this all out - you have resources to help you on your unschooling journey!

Creating Confidence Membership
One-to-One Coaching