All parents want to educate their kids in the best possible way. We want to nurture body, spirit, and mind of our kids. When our kids are very little we might just leave them at home, but once they are 6 or 7 and about to learn to read and write, it´s mandatory in most countries that we send them to school.
At school, they are going to receive some type of education. If you remember your days in school, there will be a lot of things that you don´t like to remember that happened there (I even had a nightmare a few nights ago about being trapped in high school for not passing in my Chemistry exams – if I hadn’t cheated on that subject for the last 3 years of school, I would never have passed).
Things like having to stay in class during boring lessons, classes that back then seemed useless and now are proved to be completely useless. Maybe some sort of bullying but especially the bad curriculum that was teaching you what to think and not exactly how to think. Here I mean the typical traditional school, ok? I know there are marvelous ones, I´ll get there, just hang on with me a little longer.
There is a hidden agenda behind what´s being taught in school. It´s about engaging the kids to be productive members of society leading them to find careers and jobs that will keep them in line. In traditional schooling, personal growth is not a concern, happiness is not considered, but making people fit into the economic and values system that we live in is the major concern.
Traditional education is made to uphold existing institutions, living no room for change.
What I´m saying here is nothing new. The elite of a society sets the rules of how the people are going to be taught in order to perpetuate a system that is going on.
On the other hand, there are alternative methods of education that focus on the children´s growth as individuals, independent thinkers, and joy seekers. I will write much more posts about those methods but for now, I just want to mention the existence of Waldorf, Montessori, Homeschooling and Unschooling, as examples of alternatives that are available.
There are many parents around that agree with what I´m saying here and yet they keep sending their kids to traditional school anyways. There are many reasons for this. Lack of financial resources (unfortunately usually this alternative schools tend to be expensive, so parents many times feel they have no choice), living close to a school (in big cities, the distance from the facilities you need plays a big role in choosing everything), not really knowing any alternative (lack of curiosity as well) and the worst case: being too busy to think and do anything different than what the other parents are doing (their families, neighbors etc).
What I want to do is shake those parents up! And I need your help. There is nothing more important in life than how your kids are growing up and all those problems I just mentioned can be solved. For finances and living away from good schools there is Homeschooling and Unschooling with the method they would choose, some available for free. For lack of time, there are ways one can get organized or even rely on some community for help. Even create a community to pull this off, if necessary.
As a mother of a 3-year old, I many times wonder about the school I´m going to send my daughter to (if I ever will). Right now, we have a wonderful and inexpensive school in our town where she is in a mixed group of ages from 2 to 5. As in opposed to what I’ve seen in traditional schools where from a young age they are all separated by age (something that stimulates the competition – subject for a future post).
And this school she is going is still great but ends when kids are 11 years old, what would make me probably move to another city. But as I decided to take 2011 to travel with her, I´m not really sure where I´ll end and the more I read about Home and Unschooling I get more inclined to do so. But time will tell what´s gonna happen to the two of us.
I know what I won´t do for sure. And that is to simply conform and let her end up going to any school because it´s more practical. I want to take action towards a better education for her and for others. I truly hope to inspire other parents on this quest.
If our education system is so screwed up, we need to do something different with our kids, right? What are you doing differently (or what are your plans) with your kids, even if you don´t have any yet? Enrich this conversation with your comments. Even if you never have kids, let´s talk about the kids of our race, humanity. Everyone is involved in this process.
Let´s question the present authorities and let’s let our children keep questioning the authority the more we can handle it. Let´s check the most effective way to inspire them to be curious, creative and benevolent. I´m sure it´s just a matter of searching, acknowledging and acting on it.
Let´s start to use the best educational methods there are available and from those we start building up, making it better and more adjustable to what could be a universal culture or to local communities. Let´s talk on this blog about kick ass educational methods, shall we?
I´ll show you when I think I´m acting on it and hope to get great inspiration from you as well. If we all help each other, it´s going to be fantastic!