Here’s your Friday moment of EduZen to think about over the weekend. Read the whole thing, and embrace the push.
In Indigenous societies all over the world, on every continent, we see babies and young children held close by parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings and cousins. We see children intimately embedded in the natural world and free to move and use their bodies outdoors. We see children embedded in their communities and free to observe and participate in adult work, leisure, and celebration. We see complex social structures of mixed-age extended family and clan which provide child care and teach respect and hold anti-social behavior in check far more effectively and with less conflict than the institutions we now rely on. We see people connected to the land with a depth and richness and sense of reciprocal ethical relationship that is unimaginable to modern urban humans.
We do not see children confined indoors for twelve years of their childhood, we do not see children segregated with same-age individuals under the care of strangers, we do not see a state of perpetual competition in which children are measured and ranked against their peers and in which “helping your neighbor” equals “cheating.” We do not see parents having to choose between raising their children alone with no support and paying strangers to do it for them. We do not see young people starving themselves, cutting themselves, killing themselves.
The comments are worth it as well.
Would love to hear your thoughts.
Wow. With Black’s observations in mind, the homeschooling model — when done well — makes a ton of sense. Thanks for sharing, Will. And cheers from Finland.
Gina Grothoff says
I have been homeschooling/Unschooling my children from day one- my oldest is 18. I have always followed a child-led approach even when I had never heard that term. Our life looks so different from the lives of kids who go to school and yet my 18 year old now holds a part time job at a company of his interest and choice and attends community college- and got a scholarship from his local homeschool key club. My 14 year old daughter is interning and working with her aunt in the world of dog training and dog sports- her aunt is a certified animal behaviorist and dog trainer with her own business. We don’t use curriculum, unless it fits a need for the child. We don’t have any required subjects. My children are surrounded by a community of people of varying ages- my 7 year old son gets along best with kids ages 9-12 and has the freedom to do that both with neighbor friend and at his TKD classes and often in co-one like situations. My children have interacted with the plumber and electrician who have come to our home to do repair work and then there was the woman with the dog who came to assess for mold- right up my daughter’s alley. I write a blog called Childled Learning on WordPress. People have no idea the options available when you choose to homeschool your children. I even manage to do so and juggle 2 part time jobs in my field as an Occupatioanl Therapist while my husband runs his business, in part from home. I laugh at people who ask the questions “what about socialization” in regards to homeschooling. My children are being “socialized” in the real world with a variety of people of different ages and in our community and the places we travel, not in a room with kids all born in the same year.
Thank you, Gina. Your response was very insightful. And the child-led homeschooling approach you described sounds powerful.
Joël McLean says
Well, you really got me thinking Will ! I think there is definitely some truth in that quote. Like you suggested, I think I will sit o. This one for a couple of days.
Danny Wahl says
It’s an interesting thought with regard to education, and reads like an excerpt from Jared Diamond’s book “The World Until Yesterday”, which is a fantastic read.
Joe Koss says
School currently also fills a societal and economic role as a contract between the parents and the state which allows for, among many other things, a work day. It will be interesting to observe the changes to this contract as the “future of work” continues to evolve.
Of course the contract does not delineate what school ought to look and feel like. And in that regard I think we can take away quite a bit from Black’s observations. And design a better system.
Kaila O'Callaghan says
I had an Anishaabe student a couple of years ago who was so brilliant and so disenfranchised. He used to ask me all the time why he couldn’t just be outside doing the things that culturally and personally made sense to him. He couldn’t see himself in school and he continually asked me why he had to be there. I could never give him an answer that felt true enough. I can see and hear him in all of these words. So powerful.