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Deschooling is an important learning process for both parents and children to go through when transitioning from traditional schooling to homeschooling.

What is deschooling?

Deschooling is the learning process both parents and children go through when they transition from traditional schooling to homeschooling. The term “deschooling” was coined by Australian philosopher and author, Ivan Illich. Illich wrote a book called “Deschooling Society.” This book will really make you think while opening your eyes to deschooling and why it is important.

Deschooling is a necessary break from the traditional learning that most people are so used to. You and your child continue to learn through this process but not in the conventional way of sitting in a classroom reading through curriculum. While deschooling, you and your child figure out ways to learn without “schooling”. You take this time to find your love of learning in natural ways. Some examples of this include the following.

  • Visiting the library
  • Walking in nature
  • Going to parks
  • Visiting a museum

Why you should deschool

Deschooling gives you and your children a necessary break from the “traditional” way of schooling. It gives you a chance to relax, enjoy learning, and figure out what natural learning style works best for your child.

I like to think of deschooling as summer that never ends because, for us, we never went back to “traditional” school. We spent our deschooling journey finding many different ways of learning that did not include sitting in a classroom. I saw my daughter (and myself) rekindle her love of natural learning. It inspired me to be the best guide I could be for my children by inspiring them to be the best learners they could be.


How to deschool

There are many different ways you can deschool from traditional learning. Here are a few.

Don’t use a planner or curriculum guide

Let your child lead the learning. You will find educational experiences in more places than you expect. You will also come to realize that your child WANTS to learn! Children are always seeking ways to learn and grow. That doesn’t stop when they leave the school building. Going outside, spending time with family, and allowing themselves to process the world gives them a much better learning experience than sitting in a classroom ever will.

Visit places

Go and enjoy the world! Visit the library, zoo, or museum without any expectations of what your child needs to learn about on these trips. Engage in natural conversation and see what your child gravitates towards. This is a great way to observe your child’s learning style and interests.

My daughter really enjoyed going to the library, beach, and nature center. We deschooled during the summer which lead to a lot of natural learning outside.


Take this time to read to your child without a motive. What books are they interested in? What topics do they want to read more about? This gives you a great opportunity to see your child’s interests while spending quality time with them. You can use this information when planning curriculum later!

Go outside

Let your child explore nature! If your child has been in school for a few years, they likely see going outside as recess and nothing else. But learning is everywhere outside! Your child’s play will lead to the very best natural learning, especially when outside. A few ideas for outside time in all seasons include:

  • nature walks
  • scavenger hunts
  • bird watching
  • fort building

Deschooling resources

When you are beginning your deschooling journey, it is helpful to have guidance, support, and friendship along the way. This is true for your homeschooling journey as well. Here are a few resources that I found valuable while deschooling and still find very helpful to re-read today.

I found books to be one of my most valuable resources when getting started. I listened to audiobooks while cleaning or driving to save on time! Another important resource was Facebook groups. Learning from other homeschooling parents is so beneficial! Everyone is so giving with their information, curriculum, mistakes, and more. If I could recommend one thing to do as a new deschooling and homeschooling parent, it would be to join homeschool Facebook groups and connect with other homeschool families.

I learned so much in my deschooling process that I would never have learned had I jumped right into homeschooling, mimicking a classroom experience.

Take your deschooling time to learn, enjoy your child, and find your own way of homeschooling. It is well worth it. You will find much joy in your homeschooling journey. This is just the first step!

What resources are valuable to you? Let me know in the comments!

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