Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The process of deschooling

Still alive, and still deschooling.

We have spent the last 3 weeks trying new things and figuring ourselves out.  I am so grateful to have this opportunity, right in the middle of life, to have the time to sit down and rethinking my entire set of believes and readjust our family life accordingly.  I feel like having a second shot at life somewhow.  I had always seen deschooling as a process kids go through...
It is a process that we, as parent that have been living canned life, have to go through to let live flow again.

I have read a lot of things recently, and I am so thankful that I had the time to, but also very grateful that I was able to see a glimpse of other's homeschooling lives and thoughts.  I feel this process has transformed me tremendously (and it's still is) I will never be able to look at things like I used to.

I was asked about this deschooling process, anything I recommend to easy into that?

I want to talk to you about just that.  What has been/ still is helpful to us, what has opened my eyes, what I am loving right now.

  1. The process of DESCHOOLING:

I haven't really found anything on deschooling to read that was of utter significance for me.  If you do a google search, you'll find pretty much what I had read about deschooling.

But there is one thing that I want to tell you about the process: it takes longer then they say. And, it takes even longer for the parents...

It is a weird time to go through, at times I felt like I wasn't sure about anything anymore in life ( aside the fact that I loved my family...) .  It makes you reconsider everything, and shed a new light on aspects of your life you never thought you'd reconsider. Pretty powerful process.

During our deschooling process ( I don't think we are completely done yet...) I think it is best to not do anything formal.  The entire process of questionning and finding ourselves was more then enough to deal with, and moreover, you need to look at your child differently then a machine that has been designed to learn.  Play, go outside, do things you wouldn't normally do, and try new stuff.  Yes, it does feel like you are just on a free go and that it is "illegal", but it is well worth it.

Another thing that I did regularly, was to think, go through our experiences and see what works, what does not, what we liked and what we hated.  I had many conversations with X lately, and I am much more able to understand how he thinks, how he work, how his brain works.

     2.    Being INSPIRED:

I think inpiration is very important in this process, or at least, it was for me.  I needed to see what life CAN be once you've jump out the bandwagon.  I needed to hear fresh thoughts, new ideas, different ways, and see it.  I am a visual...I am an empirical too.  I need to try it out.

Here are the books, videos and blogs that have been the most inspirational to me.

a. First, this video:

This has been a lightbulb for me after a (long) period of struggling.  
I love what this guys says, and there are a few examples that he gave that speaks to me like nothing before. 

this is the sequel

b. Blogs:

If you don't know Renee's blog, I urge you to go and have a look.  He last post about her oldest's curriculum

is a gem.  Renee's ideals are close to mine, I see things and have seen things the way she does for a long 
time so reading her blog is like seeing a glimpse of what I want our family life to look like.  Truly inspirational

Catherine is someone I met IRL and I have been following her journey for a while now.  She has always 

been a step ahead of me.  And she still is: reading her blog like a glimpse in a possible future. 
She has been through many experiences, many of which I thought myself of going into, 
and refrained for the exact reasons she describes after changing her path.
 She started her journey grounded in the Waldorf education, but she too had a lightbulb moment, 
and they decided into unschool their life through travelling.  This is my dream life, a life that I had the chance
 to experience when I was a child, but that I haven't found a way to make it happen for us yet.  I am working
on it...

As you can see, I am not a person that is used to staying put.  Zach Abord is a blog I started to read long ago.  

I am not a sailer, and will never be, but I love how this blog shows how 
special family experiences can foster a love of learningand bring rich life experiences that the child can 
learn through.  They are Waldorf inspired for those that are interested.

I talked to you about Lori's books before: Project based homeschooling.  I re-read this book many times, and

it speaks volumes to me.  If you don't know her blog yet, go ahead and read it. Very thought provoking!

Clean: there is a lot to take out of this!  Rachel is an unschooling mother a radical kind.  He trust her children 

and she trusts life.  I love her attitude.

Kate's family is younger then mine (well, generally speaking that is), but her educational philosophy is very 

inspiring to me.  I love what she does for her children. She is inspired by Lori's book, and manages to make 
it happen in a beautiful way.

c. Books

Free range learning: Love this one.  it just change the way you see things.  I am not done yet, but I have

 read some very interesting and inspiring passages

I talked about project based homeschooling already before.  My copy is already dogeared and notated.  I love it

Rapunzel's supermarket:  Did I mention we are working more toward creativity and exploring creative outlet is both interesting and so enriching.

The language of art:  A reggio inspired book (much like the other one I listed actually.  It was not written with the homeschooler in mind, but there is a wealth of information to gather in there.  It has make me rethink our way of learning, and is very much in tune with what X is asking for right now.

Heaven on earth: This is a resource that I have used in the past, and that is more geared for E now.  I was happy to re-read this book and have been implementing some changes in regard to E.  He looks like he is thriving in all this, and I can see his creativity is flourishing.  Note:  I do not adhere to everything in this book, I have used it as an inspiration and a basis for what we are becoming (as far as E goes).

Simplicity parenting: I have gone through a lot of simplification recently.  It was much needed, and it helped clear my mind and my life of the unnecessary clutter that we were in.  I had read it before, but I needed to go through it again. 

d. Methods: 

I have read a lot about Charlotte Mason.  Although I don't have a specific resource to link you to, her entire method is very inspirational for us.  The heavy use of living books, the nature walks, the power of habits are all things that are somehow making their ways easily in our lives.  I will not just blindly follow this curriculum, but I am greatly inspired by what she has to say about children and the philosophy behind it.

X has some life difficulties that seems to be more addressed by the Waldorf philosophy.  There are many things in Waldorf that litterally turns me off.  But the beauty of homeschooling is the possibility of making things happen the way that it works for us.  I have been tapping in the gigantic world of Waldorf for the things that could be useful for X, and have yield interesting results as for now. I am not sure how deeply we'll go into this, I am presuming not all that far, but it has proven to be helpful to us now.

This is our journey,as a family, my journey as a mother, a homeschooler and a person.  While these things speaks a lot to me on various levels and for many reasons, they might now speak to you at all, and that is OK!!  If you are going through a similar process, take the time to find the things that appeals to YOU as a person, a mother, a family...  Read things you wouldn't normally read, take the time to digest it and think it through.  A good night sleep often helps to see things with another set of eyes.  Do not rush this process, it is so powerful and amazing to be able to do this.  It is a life changing experience, and we are treating it like such.

So where is Montessori in all this?  As you can see, I have not listed any resources that are akin to this.  

I think Montessori's philosophies will always stay within me, they will always run in our family, but the method won't be applied anymore as it used to.  I am grateful for what I learned through Montessori, and we have habits that are deeply ingrained in us because of it.  But having gotten out of it makes us feel good. (I can now say this with conviction, my material is packed away, and nobody has been begging for it).  I still completely believe in Montessori's philosophy (at all times of a child's life) , and educational methods when used in school.  I wasn't able to make it work on a homeschooling level (I am talking elementary years here), and I am glad we are not trying anymore. I rather put my energy in my life and with my children.  I think some moms makes it works wonderfully, and I am glad they are managing so well.

So please bear with me while we are still adjusting to life.  I promise to come back more consistently once we are done with our "learning mooning"


  1. thank you for your honest thoughts. I think that you are such a wodnerful mother, with this will to follow your children's needs. I am still here, reading all your posts - they are very inspiring for me as I am looking for our own path through homeschooling and life
    many greetings ;-)

  2. thank you so much for your kind words about my book! i’m happy for you going through this process of shedding the old way of doing things and finding something that will fit you better. :)