Hey! That's me! I'm in the book!

Rethinking School by Susan Wise Bauer

I have a quote in the book as one of the parents. It was a pleasant surprise to get a message from the author saying she's using a post I made in her new book. It was a thought experiment about if you had unlimited funds and resources, what would your homeschool look like? How far outside of the K-12 box would you go?

Here is my response

I would fill the day with fun and interesting lessons in the early years and apprenticeships when they are older. Art classes, dance lessons, music lessons, martial arts, read alouds, writing about what interests them. As they get older and interests start to get more evolved, apprenticeships and mentorships could take over. Developing skills that could be useful in life and jobs.

Think Star Trek, where people could pursue interests simply because they believed it would better society and themselves. Not to check boxes for a degree for a job that doesn't even exist yet.  Chapter 16: Solving for X

Two admissions.
1) my nerd flag was flying high that day.
2) if asked today I might come up with something completely different.
This thought experiment is not one and done. It constantly evolves; especially when thinking about would work best for your very different children.

This isn't quite as outside of the box as I would like to go, but I do believe it would be a way to discover a child's strengths and build on them.

I'll admit I've been a little jealous when I  hear of a child who has a singular interest. A child who has always known what they want to be when they grow up. For the majority of kids (heck even a lot of adults) it is difficult and unfair to try to pin down who or what they will be when they grow up. Trying many different things allows for growth and opens them up for opportunities to succeed and fail. Failure is just as important as success, in fact it's more important because it provides an opportunity to learn and grow from mistakes.

Once I find a strength or interest, I figure out ways to develop it. For example, if I have a kid who is more STEM-oriented, then I would find opportunities that are within their realm of strengths. Reading and writing can all relate back to those strengths and interests. STEM students reading non-fiction all day is nothing to sneeze at. Writing lab reports and papers on sea tortoise migration is a completely valid way to integrate interests and subject matter.

Kids who excel at working with their hands can learn basic carpentry and plumbing or use Snap-On Circuits to learn electrical engineering. A child who can cut and measure wood to make a bench is learning math. Have you watched an episode of Master Chef Junior? I would have never thought a 9-year old could make some of those dishes on their own. It just proves that kids will teach themselves when it's something that is important to them. Your job is to provide the opportunity and a safe environment for that pursuit of interests to happen.

Now it's your turn to ask yourself what your child's education would look like if you had unlimited funds and could go as far outside the K-12 box as you want. Does it look like that now? What little changes could you make so it becomes more like your vision?

Share this:


I have been homeschooling since 2009, but have been reading about it since 2003. Homeschooling is rapidly growing. Whether you are a veteran or new to homeschooling, I hope to filter some of the vast amounts of information for you


Post a Comment

Comments welcome.