Deschooling During Summer & All Year: Myths & Tips

We often hear from parents who are planning to use the summer break after their child exited traditional school to deschool them. This seems like a good idea -- in theory. Summer is a long break, during the longest days of the year, with friends and opportunities all around to allow children to relax and have fun. Deschooling during summer seems like the perfect time to get them ready to homeschool, right? Well, maybe not.

Myth: Deschooling is Perfect to do in Summer

Fact: Summer Break is Still Part of School

Summer break (or any long break, if they're going year-round) is still part of the same routine and schedule that your child has been used to during the course of a normal school year.

Summer break is accepted as a time for traditionally schooled children to kick up their feet and avoid all things academic. It's the accepted cultural norm for children to shed themselves of everything school-related and be FREE during summer! Summer is this rare time in our culture where it's acceptable for children to finally be seen and present everywhere that fun and recreation exist: beaches, parks, movie theatres, restaurants, stores, and so much more. It's sad that this is our norm, and that children are almost always expected to be invisible the rest of the year. But, as you embark on your deschooling and homeschooling adventure you can happily leave that norm behind.

Trying to utilize summer break as a convenient deschooling time is not necessarily going to work simply because it won't feel like a departure from what your child has known in school. This is especially true if they can still see all of their school friends and continue activities, camps, and plans during the summer. So, please consider that summer break may not be the start of your deschooling. Your deschooling adventure might instead begin in the fall when school is back in session and your child doesn't return with their friends and classmates.

Of course, you'll both will be processing their departure from school on some level this summer. They'll tell their friends, and move on to playing and enjoying summer. You have everyone to tell as well (and the school to deal with if you haven't already), and you'll be busy with their normal summer routine. However, your new choice to homeschool is not a full-fledged reality until school resumes and your child doesn't return there. So, please prepare yourself that if things are smooth all summer, and you think you've moved past any grief or emotional experiences, that the return to school in the fall might be the time when reactions and emotions surface. This will be the time when it's finally apparent that you're embarking on something new, and different.

Myth: Deschooling only lasts for a certain amount of time

Fact: Deschooling is a process that continually unfolds over time