How my story of deschooling brought more freedom & purpose

Over my years of mothering and homeschooling four kids, I gradually learned to deschool. 

FYI that term, deschool, wasn’t even a WORD when I began homeschooling, so I would have described the experience with a different language.

If you’ve heard me share my story before, you might have heard me say that I was done homeschooling in a way that was self-torturing (requiring my kids to sit still, be quiet, and open their baby brain beaks widely so mama force-feeds them an education).

Deschool your Homeschool Checklist

This is my story of deschooling.

Not to be dramatic or anything, but I really did feel like my version of school-at-home was just force-feeding my baby birdies.

A little bit more about my story of deschooling…

If someone could have walked alongside me, challenged my notions of what an education was anyway, and helped me get clear on whether my approach was actually working for me and my kids, I would have enjoyed my homeschool a whole lot more.

I also would not have felt like I was pushing a boulder uphill (aka four kids), and I would have been at ease and peace as we followed our path and as I trusted myself and my kids more.

my story of deschooling our homeschool

I’m a self-described “classical unschooler”. Even though you might wonder if I were a full-on unschooler. I wasn’t.

My story of deschooling: I had a plan.  

That plan was built on the back of Susan Wise-Bauer’s Well-Trained Mind. 

I loved my plan.  It worked like clockwork.  Until, or unless there was a child in the room. 

Because ya know…they didn’t have the fortitude I had to get through the plan. There was bickering and they just wanted to play or do other things than to follow my plan.  

It was a plan that a newly minted teacher would salivate over.  

There were seasons in my homeschool that didn’t reflect that classically unschooled approach.

Those seasons arrived when I became aware of the child right in front of me.  

Case example, number one.  My oldest.  

She was the reason  John Holt, his teachings, and a self-directed education made a whole lot of sense.  She didn’t care for my plans.  

Or at least she liked to make her plans, thank you very much.  

So I radically unschooled for my firstborn daughter.  

Case example, number two.

I quickly discovered that my well-crafted plans were also my second daughter’s default setting.

She wanted a plan. And a daytimer. And colored markers and something to do that she was required to have completed before the end of the week.  

Case example, number three.  

She didn’t care how we did it. Or what we did. She just wanted someone to do it with.

She naturally understood everything. Nothing was hard for her. She was charming and animated (and still is), and just wanted to have fun! 

Case example, number four.  

He was happy to follow along.  At times, I was concerned that as the youngest, he wasn’t getting a focused intentional education.  

I learned later that he may have had the most robust home education.  

He also was the most naturally academic. So leaning toward a self-directed education wasn’t challenging.  

What was challenging was ME having to learn openings for chess games.  

Releasing him from my scripted plan so he could study chess openings instead of completing my daytimer plans was my challenge.

Now, I did figure all this out, but I figured it out the hard way. 

It took a whole lot of boulder-pushing, frustration, and hitting the wall of my own unrealistic realistic expectations with my kids when I told them to “sit still, be quiet and open their baby brain beaks.” 

(Not a direct quote, but you get the idea…)

When I did learn to let go (after I read John Taylor-Gatto, thanks John!) and with a whole lot of trial and error AND a whole lot of contemplation about what unhelpful mindsets I might not want to be thinking anymore, I discovered that I had a homeschool lifestyle accompanied by a whole lot more freedom, purpose and individualization.

Deschool your Homeschool to Reimagine your Homeschool Life…

My story of deschooling brought us a whole lot more freedom and purpose.

I’ve been writing about how to deschool your homeschool if you want to make your journey easier, more purposeful, and freer too.

the wiedrick family learned to deschool their homeschool: my story of deschooling our homeschool

You can reimagine your homeschool life too!

You can use the Deschool your Homeschool Checklist for more freedom, individualization, and purpose in your homeschool too.

Get the Deschool your Homeschool Checklist here.


Teresa, your Homeschool Life Coach

ps You’ve got this girlfriend! But if you wonder if working with me one-on-one would make the process smoother and simpler, book a free coaching call here.

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Teresa Wiedrick

I help homeschool mamas shed what’s not working in their homeschool & life, so they can show up authentically, purposefully, and confidently in their homeschool & life.