Questions. Decisions. Actions.

Published by Catalina on

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

‘One cannot make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.’

Many parents are currently forced to decide whether to break some… in order to make changes in their children’s education. The alternative would be to go ahead with the changes the school system is likely to put in place during and beyond the current situation. And then… hope for some ‘palatable and digestible education’? Maybe even somewhat ‘nutritious’?

Every child is different and thus one education path cannot fit all. Even within a family, siblings may require and enjoy different education paths. Education is a very personal journey that a child begins at birth or even before it. It starts with the parents asking QUESTIONS, at least until children can also do the same. For example:

1. EDUCATION OWNERSHIP

One of the first parents’ questions should never be if, but how can parents and children engage in as well as own the design of their best possible education?

And then, how can parents walk on a different education path with each unique child, with a unique potential and multiple talents, wishes and dreams, so they can fulfill their potential and live a meaningful life for themselves and the planet?

All of this while parents keep their sanity intact, continue their careers and pursuing their own passions, and not enroll in a PhD in education?

Yes, it is possible! You may find some ideas at https://www.self-directed.org/sde/ and here https://workspaceeducation.org/

2. FULFILLING AND ENRICHING CHILDREN’S INNATE POTENTIAL

Have you ever thought that your children may be missing out on developing their natural gifts and pursue their passions, if kept in the ‘one fits all’ schooling models?

For some insights into what happens to too many children in school and later on in life, please watch gifted education expert Linda Silverman’s videos such as this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctYVIYggRfg Even better, read her books. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Books-Linda-Silverman/s?rh=n%3A266239%2Cp_27%3ALinda+Silverman

Also learn about how children learn and about Shichida Method at https://shichidaeducation.com/what/

And check out the ‘geniuses coach’, Prof. Florian Colceag, at https://www.facebook.com/HKRDIorg/?__tn__=%2CdK*F-R&eid=ARBf091ZiEUXUKWchkVvHjU9fqwftA-mn2tkIPenw0JO48L3gUmuAJMlcG4Y-iCwKEPeMJnlT3v2kebv

3. CHILDREN AT THE CORE OF EDUCATION DESIGN AND IMPLEMENTATION

Did your intuition ever give you a hint that children’s talents and interests should lead the design and implementation of a meaningful education?

Yet you didn’t think that you have what it takes (skills, patience, time, space, finances, etc.) to create, together with your children, their own dream education?

Did you ever consider that there may be many brilliant resources out there, free or at a fraction of the tuition fees, and that you don’t need to reinvent the wheel or… education? Your children may already have their own favorites, such as:

https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse

https://www.ck12.org/student/

https://www.khanacademy.org/

https://brilliant.org/

https://school.bighistoryproject.com/bhplive

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsXVk37bltHxD1rDPwtNM8Q

https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulations/category/physics

4. CHILDREN and PARENTS’ TIME

Do you find that school takes up most of children’s waking productive time (about 15,000 hours until university graduation), leaving parents little time to engage with and know them well enough to support their development?

Did you ever feel that you sent or brought your child to school in the morning and got someone else back, at the end of a very long day? And that ‘someone’ is often full of either frustration or apathy, tired and cranky, and not wanting to engage with you or do anything else?

For more on what school may have done to you and your children, check http://deschoolyourself.com/ Take it as free post traumatic therapy. It will make you laugh and cry at times. It is as liberating as inspiring!

And after recovery try https://discoverpraxis.com/meet-education-director-tk-coleman/ if you need extra help to come (back) to a meaningful and fulfilling life.

5. BEHAVIORS & RELATIONSHIPS

Are you concerned about behaviors your children pick up in school? At the same time, are you afraid that taking them out of school would prevent them from making positive and meaningful relationships? Though, how many truly positive meaningful relationships that you approve of full heartily did your children have built in school?

Do you feel that your relationship with your children becomes more challenging the more time they spend outside the house (and only with people their age)?

For more on the topic of meaningful relationships, check https://www.amazon.com/Hold-Your-Kids-Parents-Matter/dp/0375760288

6. ESTABLISHED ‘BRANDED’ VERSUS EMERGING UNBRANDED EDUCATION

Do you perceive the best education is an internationally recognized ‘branded’ education, and so justified to cost a fortune for its claimed quality and potential employment opportunities later on? And that parents should make all the possible efforts to provide children with it? Or at least with the next best alternative? Yet, you are not sure that it is worth it and its claims likely to be delivered, especially under the current and near future circumstances?

Moreover, your intuition tells you that there must be another way of achieving a great education and leading a fulfilling life? However, you don’t know how and where to start finding it?

Try here https://www.self-directed.org/sde/ and here https://workspaceeducation.org/

One last hint: try HOME by asking your CHILDREN what they want.

7. ACCREDITATION, LICENCES AND UNIVERSITY ADMISSION

Do you fear that an education outside of the school system (un-accredited by authorities and regulatory bodies) would prevent your children from admission back into the school system?

Also, are you afraid they would not get into the best universities due to the non-accreditation of what they learn? Thus you must keep them in the school system, despite all its shortcomings?

Have you ever wondered if and how home educated students get into top universities? And if there is an admission path to home educated students? Or how do autodidact people fair in life, in general?

You can find out how do home educated students get into top universities in US, Canada and UK in the links below. France and Germany seem to have similar admission process.

As for home self-educated (including ‘drop outs’) happy and fulfilled people, I let you discover some yourself, if you don’t already know or know of any.

https://admission.stanford.edu/apply/freshman/home_school.html

https://www.khanacademy.org/college-careers-more/college-admissions/applying-to-college/applying-as-a-homeschooler/a/whats-different-about-applying-to-college-as-a-homeschooler

https://www.accreditedschoolsonline.org/resources/homeschooler-college-applications/

Information for Homeschoolers

https://www.kings.cam.ac.uk/study/undergraduate/applying-to-kings/home-educated-applicants

https://uni-of-oxford.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/546/kw/transcript/related/1

https://medium.com/@lisadavis_homeschool/how-homeschoolers-get-into-selective-colleges-d5bbb0f51162

http://www.ahomeeducation.co.uk/home-schooling-making-university-application.html

8. EDUCATION > CURRICULUM

Are you contemplating leaving traditional schools and have been assessing options? However, you cannot decide which one is best suited for your children’s needs, interests and talents, and within your budget?

On which criteria do you assess the options? Who do you turn to for unbiased reliable expert advice?

Do you believe that you must ‘buy’ another ready-made curriculum because education must have a curriculum and you are not qualified to develop one?

However, after having been through the distance learning experience and seen what and how the traditional school teaches, you question whether the other available curricula would be any more meaningful and worthy of your money and your children’s time, especially if they will also keep your children in front of a screen unnecessarily?

There are hundreds of curricula, off and online. Here a comparison in case you don’t want to or cannot do your own. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319481773_Comparing_curricula

However, bear in mind that by the time the smartest and best informed, most knowledgeable, most experienced and trusted curricula designer has finished it and put it on the market, it is already obsolete! Not just content wise but method wise too.

Why would anyone buy a curriculum that is already obsolete when, with a bit of work and professional help from great teachers and educators, you can make your own, together with your children, as you go?

Let your children roam freely for a few months and observe what they are attracted to. Then go back to https://www.self-directed.org/sde/ and https://workspaceeducation.org/, talk to your children about their dreams and wishes. Make your own short or medium to long-term education plan (for one, two five or ten years). Then, if you still feel you need help, look for professional help to refine your education plan rather than develop or buy a curriculum.

9. LIFE > EDUCATION

Did you always wish to raise well-rounded individuals with life skills so they would turn into successful adults? Yet you thought that going against the norms is a risky endeavor and felt you are not able to stand the public scrutiny of your choices?

For inspiration and tools to help building children’s character, besides academic skills, check https://characterlab.org/ and https://www.amazon.ae/Grit-Passion-Perseverance-Angela-Duckworth/dp/1501111108

For how to deal with public scrutiny check https://ihomeschoolnetwork.com/homeschooling-naysayers/

In time you will develop your own strategy on how to deal with those who question you instead of themselves, and not just on education choices.

FROM QUESTIONS and ANSWERS to DECISIONS

Did any, all or some more questions along these lines have crossed your mind, kept you awake at night, and triggered lively spirited debates with your friends and family?

Yet, you haven’t made a DECISION and ended up with no ACTION? If so, it is time to educate and prepare yourselves for making a WELL-INFORMED DECISION. The links under each QUESTION provide some answers but are not exhaustive. By all means, carry on your own research and return the favor, please, if you find anything worth sharing.

Then follow your DECISION with some ACTION too! Else, the same people who sold you the last ‘education’ will decide on your and your children’s behalf, again. Thus a new cycle, similar to the old one, will begin.

The ‘norms’ and education models are being revisited by the school system as we speak. They have to. It was a long time coming! Yet, it is anyone’s guess whether it would be a meaningful school re-invention or rather a patch-up job wrapped up in a new glossy packaging.

In any case, who would and should know the children’s dreams and hopes, personalities, learning styles and behaviors better than their parents and children themselves? Who then would be best qualified to decide what is the best education forward for the children, other than their own parents and children themselves?

After finishing your homework about education real choices you may choose to make no changes, a few small changes or a fundamental change in the way you approach education. Your and your children’s evaluation of the current school/ education is one of the important decision factors in this process.

It is the end of school year after all! What ‘grade’ does your current school/ education get? Is it merely a ‘pass’, ‘satisfactory’ or ‘exceeded expectation’? And, most importantly, ‘what are the areas of development?’

The annual school fees and education costs, in general, can amount to up to a half of a family’s income. How do you invest it? How do you evaluate the return of your investment? What do your children get out of it? Is it enough? Too much? Too little? Is there anything missing? Could there be another way?

Are you going to continue spinning into a frustrating infinite loop? Or learn how to make your best possible informed DECISION and make it this time? Then develop and implement a course of ACTION to improve your children’s education?

So? Are you gonna break some eggs to cook your own omelet and spice it up to your taste? Or order one on a home delivery app? Or wait in line at the school canteen for whatever it is on the menu? The CHOICE is YOURS! Bonne… educate!

In the next article I will share a recipe… Education ‘cooking’ classes maybe later.

Categories: Education

1 Comment

Marita Peters · June 10, 2020 at 11:15 am

Bravo Catalina! Loved every word ❤️

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