Children who have attended school frequently require a considerable amount of time to recover their innate curiousity and desire to learn, particularly if school was a negative experience.
Allow at least one month of downtime for every year your child was in school. Some children will need more. It is not uncommon for children to need an entire year before they are ready to hit the books again with mom.
During this time, do not pressure your child to study or focus on book work. Many children do nothing but read and play video games. Try not to stress about this, your child is certainly learning more than it appears, and the breathing space is essential to rediscovering internal motivation.
You can use the deschooling time to your advantage as it gives you the necessary space to research and plan your homeschooling approach, organize your home, purchase materials, and to become accustomed to spending the entire day with your child.
Instead of focusing on whether or not your child is learning, during the detox period, focus on shaping your home into an environment in which it is easy to learn new things.
If you purchase new materials, introduce them casually---perhaps simply adding them to a bookshelf of materials. Provide interesting materials, but do not require your child to use them.
The detox period does not last forever. Over time your child will show more interest in the materials, and may become more willing to do structured school work with you, or you may find that unschooling is a good fit for the entire family.
Tips and resources for getting started with homeschooling.
Homeschooling From Crisis
A reassuring guide for parents who suddenly decide to homeschool mid-year.
Organizing Your Home
Suggestions for home organization.
One must not forget that recovery is brought about not by the physician, but by the sick man himself. He heals himself, by his own power, exactly as he walks by means of his own power, or eats, or thinks, breathes or sleeps. - Georg Groddeck
©2000-2013 Barbara L.M. Handley