If you’re thinking about switching to homeschooling, now is a great time! Many families pull their children out of unsuccessful school environments over the winter break. This gives the family time to get used to the idea of learning at home and to adjust to the homeschooling routine. The winter break is also a great time for de-schooling.
WHAT IS DE-SCHOOLING?
De-schooling is a process where parents give their kids some “time off” from academics. It’s a time to bond with your child, enjoy some quality time together, and re-kindle a love of learning. De-schooling time is very important, especially for students who were struggling in school or were in a negative environment due to bullying, peer pressure, or other frustrating school factors. Here are some important steps to take to de-school your child and ensure he/she is ready to begin academics again in a few weeks.
1) Order your curriculum. Don’t forget this important step! Be sure to enroll with Calvert so you will have all your books and supplies on hand when you’re ready to dig in. Call 866-816-7157 to speak with an Enrollment Advisor and place your order.
2) Put away all books, worksheets, papers, and other academic tools and do the following:
Spend time bonding with your child – watch movies together, play a sport together, ask your child questions about his/her favorite video game and play a game with them! Anything you do to bond and form a connection with your child during the de-schooling time will create a positive relationship for homeschooling. Enjoy and relax!
Show your child that learning can be fun – Invest in some hands-on activities that are of interest to your child. Order a microscope and look at slides together, do some kitchen chemistry experiments or baking, watch a documentary, visit a museum to see an educational exhibit, or read a funny book together. Be sure to allow your child to select topics that are of interest to him/ her and let them take the lead too!
Help your child develop confidence – Many students who have been in a negative school environment have developed poor self-esteem. Be sure to give your child some genuine compliments and have discussions that allow your child to give his/her opinion. Compliment your child on his/her ideas.
Talk briefly about your future homeschooling days – Periodically discuss what your homeschooling day will look like in the future, when you begin your Calvert curriculum. Discuss a possible schedule and be sure to allow your child to provide some input on your daily routine (if age appropriate). Also, briefly discuss your homeschool rules and expectations to set the stage for a positive learning environment at home.
3) Assess the situation and start homeschooling.
Does your child seem refreshed and more confident after two or three weeks of de-schooling? If the answer is yes, then you’re ready to dive into the curriculum!
If you’re experiencing any behavior issues or if you had a difficult time bonding with your child, it’s ok to begin to introduce the curriculum, but do it in baby steps. Introduce a subject that might interest your child (usually science or history) and start reading together. Do an assignment or two, but don’t expect to cover a full day of work everyday. Instead, mix some of the academics with hands-on activities and bonding time. Continue to proceed at a slow pace until your child builds confidence and adjusts to the new routine.
4) Enjoy learning!