Homeschooling vs unschooling and deschooling can be confusing when starting home school. Let’s take a look at the difference between unschool and deschool and where they fit in to homeschool and important tips for homeschoolers.
UNDERSTANDING HOMESCHOOLING VS UNSCHOOLING VS DESCHOOLING
You may be wondering about unschooling vs deschooling and how they fit into the whole home school process and homeschooling learning experience?
If you’ve been around the homeschool community (or doing homeschooling research), you may have heard the terms unschooling and deschooling.
The two words deschooling and unschooling both fall under the umbrella of homeschooling, but they have distinct meanings.
Home school terminology is confusing sometimes (even if you’ve been homeschooling for a while).
So, let’s clear up the differences between unschooling vs homeschooling vs deschooling and give you a better understanding of how they all fit into the home school umbrella.
What is the difference between homeschooling and unschooling?
Homeschooling is taking control of your child’s education and facilitating learning in a home environment. Both unschooling and deschooling fall under the broader umbrella of homeschooling. Unschooling is often seen as a homeschool method or educational philosophy where a child is allowed to lead their own learning. Deschooling is the decompression period that you allow your child after switching from a traditional public school environment to homeschool.
CHECK THIS OUT NEXT:
Let’s take a look a closer look at unschooling vs deschooling and why they are important to you for homeschooling.
So, what exactly is unschooling?
HOMESCHOOLING VS UNSCHOOLING 101: How Is Unschooling Different From Homeschooling?
What Is Unschooling Homeschooling?
An unschool definition is that unschooling is child-led learning or natural learning. Children take the lead in what they want to learn and how they want to learn it. Some in society may think that unschooling a child means that they receive no education or learning, but homeschool requirements for each state will determine a homeschool unschooling schedule.
Some hear that unschooling is “whatever the student wants it to be” and may equate unschooling to NOT parenting and NOT schooling — like, kids run wild doing whatever they want, whenever they want or kids playing video games for hours while their friends are in traditional school. These are all untrue.
Unschooling is actually very different.
Unschooling doesn’t mean “no school” or “not parenting.”
So, what is unschooling and is it legal?
Unschooling is a method of homeschooling supported by educator John Holt who believes in an unschool movement because children learn subject matter naturally. For example, instead of learning from textbooks and worksheets, an unschooling approach might incorporate a child’s interest of cooking as a way of learning science and math naturally from recipes.
Is unschooling legal?
Unschooling falls under the bigger home school umbrella. Because homeschooling is legal in every state in America, that makes the unschool method also legal. However, you may still have specific state law requirements for homeschool, so check your laws!
Learn more about how to unschool legally…
CHECK THIS OUT NEXT:
Example of an Unschooling Schedule
Let’s take a look at unschooling examples to help you better understand:
Cooking is great way for children to naturally learn basic addition and subtraction when determining how many cups or tablespoons are needed, as well as a way to learn about more advanced concepts like fractions.
Additionally, cooking is a fun way to learn science principles like chemical reactions and about liquids, gases, and solids.
With an unschooling approach, the child will learn concepts naturally as they spend time cooking and reading recipes.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be cooking.
It can be anything that you child is interested in!
How To Register For Unschooling
Before you start unschooling, you need to check the homeschool laws for your state. Some states require registration for homeschooling, while others do not. That will determine if you need to register your unschool homeschool or not.
There is no specific unschooling homeschool curriculum or set of unschool rules, but your child may be interested in specific homeschool programs or interactive online curriculum during unschool.
What Is Deschooling?
What Does Deschooling Mean?
Deschooling is a decompression period when switching from traditional public school to another method of education, like homeschooling. For example, if a child attended public school, he or she has been conditioned to raise a hand to speak, ask permission to go to the bathroom, sit at a desk quietly for several hours on end, and eat lunch (or do other things) on a specific schedule.
This is very different from homeschooling.
Getting out of those traditional habits and disconnecting from the traditional way of schooling doesn’t just happen on the first day of homeschooling.
How do I deschool my child?
You deschool your child by allowing children to have a relaxed schedule in order to reset their thoughts, minds, bodies, and emotions. Deschooling will feel uncomfortable because it is based on letting your child “be” and work on what he or she wants.
There is no set time for deschooling.
For some homeschoolers, they may deschool for a week or two before moving on to scheduled activities.
Other homeschoolers may find that one to three months (or more) is necessary for deschooling and becoming accustomed to learning at home.
It’s up to you and your family to determine what works best for you!
Every family is different and there are no wrong answers when deschooling.
LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW TO DESCHOOL and get tips for deschooling!
Now, let’s learn the difference between unschooling and deschooling…
PIN TO SAVE
Unschooling vs Deschooling
What is deschooling vs unschooling? Unschooling is a philosophy of learning outside of the norm that often allows the child to choose how and what he or she wants to learn; while deschooling is the process of decompressing from the traditional methods of education.
During deschooling, you might let your child sleep in, choose his or her own books to read, and direct if they want to go to the zoo, a nature hike, or the museum that day.
Or, maybe your child wants to watch some videos on learning to draw cartoons.
Or, maybe during your deschool time you travel to different areas and experience different cultures.
During the deschooling process, you may actually use the method of unschooling.
For example, your child expresses an interest in learning more about birds in your state.
During de school, your child may naturally gravitate toward library books about birds, or ask to see the traveling Audubon exhibit that he saw on a commercial, or maybe your child wants to go on a bird watching nature hike.
Jan Hunt, of NaturalChild.org, writes:
“Unschooling children, free from the intimidation of public embarrassment and failing marks, retain their openness to new exploration” — which is something that many of us lose during traditional schooling.
The unschooling method is helpful during the deschooling process of switching from traditional thinking to a more open educational concept like homeschooling.
However, after deschooling you may decide to choose another homeschool method that is not unschooling.
After deschooling, you may decide that you want to follow the Charlotte Mason method or an eclectic method or even another method or learning style.
Or, you may decide that unschooling is a good fit for your family!