5/24 – What is school for?

How do I as a parent prevent my kids from loosing their inspiration?
Should I take my kids out of school?parents at fault

Now, if you’ve followed Seth you know he is a staunch critic of the current school system, but besides the fact that it’s a industrialist system designed (originally) to produce compliant cogs, he actually took me a bit by surprise here. Because he blames parents. (Now I’m not into blame games normally, but he has a point.) Parents should be asking what is school for, of everybody, anyone with a power to make changes, on all levels. And since everybody actually does influence somebody else, this really is something to ask of everybody.

What is school for?

Or, to use the twitterified question of the Swedish movement #skolvåren (translates to school spring): #WhySchool?

But, the real answer to the question affected me even more. Seth said that there is one thing that he loves about public schools and that is the fact that it’s such a mix. Where a kid from the projects can sit next to a kid with a billionaire mother. A kid with five older siblings, who never got a brand new piece of clothing in his life, can sit next to an only and severely spoilt child. (Perhaps a current risk we are facing is that the eclectic mix seems destined to become a thing of the past, the way the school system is run at the moment?)

So rather than think that you have to take your kid out of school, look at what you can do outside of school. In the afternoons. Weekends. Holidays!

Edit Wikipedia articles together, help your kids set up a blog to write in, give them a camera, buy them (or you all) a Raspberry Pi to experiment with, go to museums and art galleries, play together, read books, write books! Join a local toastmasters club, play instruments and sing together, travel the world, or go walk-about on roads in your local area that you’ve never walked along before. Grow vegetables in the garden, or sow a sunflower seed in a small pot of soil, get chickens for your backyard, cook together. Have fun! Live, love, laugh!

So even though, generally speaking, we don’t have a school system designed to create free-range kids, that doesn’t mean your kids can’t become free-range kids anyway. (What a free-range kid is? Check out this post: Part 4, Seth at On Being!)

So just get cooking! Homeschool (or unschool if that is more to your liking) your kids after ordinary school is out for the day, the week, the semester, the year! There is so much more to life than school, and learning for life can take place just about anywhere and anytime. I think the reason this affected me such was that I’d somehow forgotten about this little fact. But now I’ve been reminded.

Reflection #5 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. These reflections will constitute my Advent Calendar for 2015, and will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

Podcast 34/52 – The gift of failure

I am very interested in school development and life long learning, with the firm belief that schools and how they are shaped actually shape the society we live in, to a large extent. Hence I was thrilled to listen to Jessica Lahey on Good Life Project, since she’s a teacher with a passion for learning.

And was I ever rewarded! Jessica and Jonathan had such an interesting conversation that when I was finished, and still had several kilometers left on the bike ride I was on, that I just pressed PLAY and started to listen one more time.

BoldomaticPost_The-gift-of-failures-an-opporJessica Lahey wrote an article in The Atlantic in January 2013 entitled Why parents need to let their children fail and since then, she’s written a book on the subject of failure as well. And she’s telling some fascinating stories in this podcast, around failure (amongst other things), and on the opportunity for growth that most (all?) failures bring with them. I especially like the way she balances her own experience both as a teacher and a parent, demonizing neither party, but totally seeing the pro’s and con’s each role can provide in the development of a child.

So, are you a parent? Listen to this episode.

Or perhaps, you are a teacher or work in schools? Listen to this episode.

Maybe you are lucky enough to be a parent yourself, or have any kind of relationship with children, such as being an aunt, uncle, grandfather, cousin, neighbor, scout leader or anything else where you come in contact with children and young adults? Listen to this episode.

There. I think I covered the lot right then and there, didn’t I? Have I convinced you yet that this is simply a no-miss-podcast that you definitely will listen to?