Showing posts sorted by relevance for query /deschooling. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query /deschooling. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, May 22, 2017

Detox, gradually

For a child, deschooling is just the time to relax and get used to being home and with Mom—a child who’s been to school. A child who hasn’t been to school has no deschooling to do.
But for parents, deschooling is detoxification from a lifetime, and recovery from all of their schooling and whatever teaching they might have done. And it’s also the start of a gradual review of everything...

They don’t need to do it in advance, they don’t need to do it right at first. It’s so big, but it’s also gradual—it's just like living and breathing and eating and sleeping. Because every day a little more can come to the surface and be examined as it pops up.

Changes in Parents
The quote is from a recent podcast of Pam Laricchia interviewing me.
photo by Lisa Jonick

Monday, November 13, 2023

It's invisible, until...

Sandra, responding to a mom who said her son only wanted to play, play, play.

You’re looking for school. Because you don’t know what unschooling looks like, you can’t see it. It’s invisible to people who haven’t deschooled.

Because you’re pressuring your son, he can’t deschool. His deschooling won’t take as long as yours will, but if you never leave him along he will never deschool.

If you don’t stop looking for school, YOU will never deschool.
The words above are from a longer post, here.

I also noted, of her nine-year old who was new to unschooling, "Play, play, play is what he should be doing. Nothing else. Only playing."

Deschooling is recovery, and is a major reset of perception and of focus. It's always awkward, and sometimes scary for parents, but it's necessary and leads to visible unschooling!
photo by Roya Dedeaux

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The turning point of deschooling

Recovering from school is only part of a parent's deschooling process. Trust is involved, but it's an evolving trust. First one might read about or even meet some older unschooled kids and see that they're doing well. But it seems they can distance their own families a bit by thinking "Well that's fine for her kids—but mine might not be as [insert one:
                     sociable] as hers are."

The turning point comes when one sees the natural learning start to shine from her own child. Then she goes beyond trusting other unschoolers, and starts trusting natural learning.

"Of your own certain knowledge…"
Seeing the light with your own eyes

photo by Erika Ellis

Monday, July 15, 2019

Deschooling is healing

Deschooling, when done thoroughly, leads us through all the stages of our own lives, gradually, as our children get older. As each of my children reached the ages in my life that I had stress as a kid, I had emotions arise, again, but with the third it was milder than with the first.

It's healing, to treat our children in ways we wish we had been treated.

When Parents Have Issues
photo by Gail Higgins

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Value, form and substance

My response to this (years ago):
We are going into our third year of "homeschooling." Our first year consisted of complete deschooling. The next year I fell victim to mother panic mode
If I said "I went through a year of demagnetization, and the next year all kinds of metal stuck to me," you might think I hadn't really demagnetized!

Deschooling only works when it works. Doing nothing schoolish isn't the same as actively recovering from school. Kids will get over school gradually, but there needs to be an active unschooling life taking its place as they recover. Parents get over schooling MUCH more gradually, as they were in school more and they have parental fears and responsibilities and pressures from others. So it takes more work and more time for parents to see the value of and to recognize the form and substance of natural learning.

Unschooling - some questions (2003)
photo by Ester Siroky

Friday, October 22, 2021


Sylvia Woodman wrote:
In some ways parents need to be actively demonstrating how much BETTER staying home is to being in school. Make sure you are busy doing fun things. Give her experiences that she could never have if she was in school.

Sandra Dodd, backing her up:
Sylvia's right—DO things. Point out in the midst of a fun activity that it's cool that she doesn't need to... get up early the next day, or wear special clothes/uniform/dress code every day, or...

And you, the mom, see other things that are lucky and fortunate about it.

Questions about Deschooling (facebook)
photo by Cátia Maciel

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Learning without clocks

School schedules give the illusion that life should be divided into 50-minute increments. It's nonsense.

Our culture has this "hour" and "half hour" thing that is as unnatural and arbitrary as can be. It has to do with clocks, not with people. It has to do with salaries and billing.

Be wary of scheduling and measuring, while deschooling.
photo by Kinsey Norris

Friday, September 3, 2010

"Just Add Light and Stir"

The name of this project is lifted from an article on deschooling:

Remember school. Take a breath and picture your favorite, clearest school year. See all the elements of its form and organization. Is it vivid?

Okay. Here is how you learn NOT to overlay all that on your unschooling life where its structure and terminology will disturb the peace and hinder progress. I am asking you to take your school memories, add light, and stir.

Providing a rich life for one's child is a healing opportunity for the parent.

Saturday, October 7, 2023

Simply good

Karen James, on deschooling:

Think creatively. Think joyfully. Cultivate an attitude of enthusiasm and awe at as many things you can find in a day, especially the ordinary things or those things you've looked upon with skepticism and fear.

Be thankful. Notice little things throughout the day that are simply good. The health of your children. The pattern on the soap bubbles in your kitchen sink. How perfect a favourite mug feels in your hand or looks on a shelf. A laugh. An easy moment. The breeze. The sunshine. A connection with a loved one. A touch in passing. A deep breath. A full moon. A cat purr. A hole-free sock. 😉
—Karen James
photo by Ester Siroky

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Shining light on it

Nikki Zavitz, interviewed by Pam Laricchia in early 2020, shared a mental model of unschooling, including deschooling. It's wonderful, and there's a link to hear it, below.
I always had this visual for unschooling for me, I picture it being this big giant house and it’s got like a million rooms in it. And there’s closets and doors everywhere. And for me, I’m walking around this house with this lantern and the lantern is like unschooling for me. And I have to open up doors and shine the lantern and look under the beds and look in the closet and I’m finding all these new, dusty things that have come from my life and have created this uncomfortableness and this kind of scary eerie feeling for me. And the unschooling is the light, like walking through shining light on it, considering it, asking questions, and eventually more lights are on, and the closets aren’t as dusty anymore, and the rooms are more open and free to go in and out of.

I kind of see that—I've always pictured my unschooling journey like that—and then everybody’s house is different. Everyone has a different unschooling house, and I just love that visual for me, I’m always picturing it like that. Like, "Oh, I found another room that I have to look in," and "I haven’t been in this room yet. I’m going to just step my toe in this room and then step back out and maybe I’ll come back again later," and I just love that.
—Nikki Zavitz

The million-room house image is at 43:26 in Deschooling with Nikki Zavitz,
Episode 216 of the Exploring Unschooling Podcast, by Pam Laricchia.
I think that link will take you right to it. You can see Nikki's face light up.
Let her share her vision with you!

I didn't add a photo this time, because the imagery is all in the words.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Who they are

Jill Parmer wrote:

"A huge shift for my deschooling was that I wanted my kids to be like certain kids I was reading about on the message boards. And when I had that thought, it shocked me. I realized I was not seeing my kids as who they were, that I was still wanting them to be....something else. That shock was enough to make me banish that thought and look directly at my kids and play with them and have fun with them."
—Jill Parmer

Deschooling chat transcript
photo by Alicia Gonzalez-Lopez

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Encapsulate it and forget it

Deschooling is needed much more by parents than by children. I still have subconscious school-stuff to slough off; it surfaces when I least expect it and I wrestle it, encapsulate it, and try to forget it.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Friday, December 16, 2016

Check your settings

Anyone, no matter how well they're doing at parenting and unschooling, can get so tired, so distracted, so sick, hungry, or some combination of those things, that they default to their original settings (possibly doing what their own mom would have said or done). So there's no point coming at which all danger is past.
Deschooling needs touch-ups and updates along the way. Be sweet and good.
photo by Jo Isaac

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Actually seeing it

Q:  How can families transition from more traditional methods of education to an unschooling approach?

A:  Unschooling involves seeing the world in a different way. Sometimes formal homeschooling families do some deschooling, but when switching to unschooling, more and different deschooling is needed, especially for the parents who have been involved in school and teaching and defending schooling for probably 20 or 30 years. The kids will be ready to unschool before the parents, usually.

It would help to be in contact with other unschoolers at playgroups or on the internet, and to meet unschooling families with children of various ages. It's difficult to imagine it, so it's easier to actually see it.

This new way of seeing the world involves seeing music in history, and science in geography, and art in math, and not talking about it. The last part is the hardest part.

I don't mean never talk about it. I mean don't say "Oooh, look! Science!" Once a person knows science is everywhere, and everything is connected to everything else, there will be nothing to talk about except the topic at hand, or where they're going or what they're seeing. The learning will happen without being labeled and sorted out. The labeling and sorting can prevent learning.
photo by Ester Siroky

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Growing safely

Marta Venturini, in an interview in 2020:

I see deschooling much more than just that process of replacing school with no school. Because to me, radical unschooling is that lifestyle that you were talking about, is that spiritual practice, almost. Because radical unschooling is that to me, deschooling has been so much more. It’s been about personal growth. It’s been about healing.

And so, trying to give Conchinha this safe place, I ended up getting my own safe place, too, in the process.

You can hear the recording here:
and there is a link to the transcript
photo by Karen James

Monday, July 10, 2023

Shuffle it up

What unschoolers do to help other unschoolers is to share how they came to unschooling, and the effect it has had on their children and their home lives.

It helps for new unschoolers to read some, then try some, maybe meet some people if they can, read more, try more, maybe listen to something or watch something, try more, and shuffle it up that way.
. . . .

Those new to unschooling need most or all of the same things others needed when they were new: local information, access to laws and policies, reassurance, suggestions for deschooling, answers to questions (although the answers are ever more easily available as people collect up the best answers of the past). They need inspiration and ideas.

If you're new: read, change a little; read more, change more; repeat.

From page 19 or 20 of The Big Book of Unschooling, which links to the help page:

photo by Dan Vilter

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Everything you've ever learned

Think about everything you’ve ever learned. Make a list if you want. Count changing the oil in your truck, or in your deep fryer. Count using a calculator or a sewing machine. Count bike riding and bird watching. Count belching at will and spinning with your eyes closed if you want to. Think about what was fun to learn and what you learned outside of school.

Okay, maybe not everything, but if you think of twenty or thirty things you learned joyfully, easily, and if you can think of who helped you learn them, and what they did, it will boost your confidence. While you're in those thoughts, if gratitude arises along with some of them, maybe do some follow-up. Are some of those who inspired or assisted you still available to thank? Is there someone who would benefit from hearing some of what you've remembered? I bet there will be something in your memories that's worth passing on within or outside your family.

The first part is from
and the second part is new.

photo by Holly Dodd

Saturday, October 15, 2011

You can't test out.

Part of deschooling is to stop expecting anything of him. You can't bypass that. You can't test out. Lots of unschoolers think they can test out, or take an accelerated track to unschooling. It's not that way at all. It's something that has to be discovered, understood, created and maintained.
photo by Sandra Dodd

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

The greatest strides

Leah Rose wrote:I have made the greatest strides in my own deschooling by learning to notice when I feel myself "struggling," and to Stop! Then I can choose to let go, to relax about the disparity between what I want and what is. And what I have discovered is that that conscious mental shift releases the energy I need to step forward mindfully into the moment...and then that moment becomes, itself, a step towards what I want, away from what I don't want.
—Leah Rose
photo by Ester Siroky

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Right here, right now

"When you’re worrying about something that hasn’t even happened yet, when you’re worrying about the future, you’re not there in the present. What you’re thinking about might never even happen and you were wasting your time thinking about something that will never happen. So focus on right here, right now."
—Marta Venturini
brown lizard on a cinderblock wall
Deschooling with Marta Venturini—interview by Pam Laricchia
Marta said she was paraphrasing me, but I like her wording.
photo by Sandra Dodd