Inspired by this great post at LifeLearningToday on the top 10 tips for Britney Spears and anyone feeling lost in life, I offer a parallel list.
Top 10 Tips for Deschooling
1. Slow down and let learning happen. Our culture encourages us to push our kids to learn faster, better, more. What if we said, “It may take a day, it may take a year, it may take 10, but they will eventually learn. We’re in no rush?”
2. Let go of our grip on fear. Fear is a natural emotion. It tells us things. But if we let fear control us, we don’t make wise decisions (or we don’t make any decisions at all). Feel the fear, explore why we have it, then walk right on by it and discover our own path to education.
3. Let go of the notion that making mandates on our kids’ learning means we’re good teachers. Good teachers are listeners, watchful, adaptive, curious, supportive, non-judgmental and accepting. Not controlling.
4. Create a circle of supportive people. Whenever we make a major life change, it’s important to have people around us who support our decisions and trust us. Create a group of supportive people around us by going out and supporting others and accepting them.
5. Seek out help, but don’t follow advice blindly. There is an infinite amount of literature out there about learning, homeschooling and parenting. Seek it out, learn and explore. But remember the final decision on which advice is appropriate is up to us individually.
6. Have a concrete understanding of why we want to homeschool. Create a list of positive reasons to homeschool. That list can remind us why we are putting so much effort into our new life when it seems like nothing is working. It can also help us refocus on what’s important so we don’t get lost in the details.
7. Find a mentor or someone to emulate. LifeLearning said find a life coach. I think that’s fine too, except, that there really aren’t any life coaches in the homeschooling community. (Would you use one if there was one?) Instead, we can find role models or mentors to help us on our way.
8. Take baby steps. Lasting change is easier to accomplish with small changes. Also, pick one thing at a time, instead of working on everything at once. Big changes and working on too many things is the psyche’s way of setting ourselves up for failure so that we don’t have to change, since it’s so easy to give up with such overwhelming self-imposed demands.
9. Exercise daily. Good advice for anyone.
10. Get involved with something outside of homeschooling. School is restrictive because it keeps kids insulated in the world of “education”. Get involved with things that have nothing to do with education, and teach kids what life really is about.
Got something to add? Any of these tips resonate with you?