Everybody is a genius, but if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life, thinking it is stupid.- Albert Einstein
It breaks my heart to see how many young people are suffering because the school system doesn't work for them. Not everyone learns in the same way, not everyone has the same needs but the school system expects everyone to be measured in the same way and judged as good enough accordingly. I was one such young person who could have done so much better if I went to the right school. What I mean by that is that I was a hard worker, I never slacked at school but never got acceptable grades. I passed but never felt good enough because no matter how hard I worked I never got the grades that the clever kids got. So I spent most of my life believing that I was not intelligent.
What a waste!
I'm nearly 50 years old and only recently realised that I am actually quite intelligent, I'm not stupid at all. The way I learn is very practical and hands-on, I don't manage a lot of memorising and repeating what I memorised but if I am given a problem to solve I will learn the solution very quickly. For example, if I am given new computer software I won't read the manual but I will open the program and start fiddling. If I get stuck I will find the relevant part in the manual. That's how I learn and how I enjoy learning which is why school never suited me. I went to an academic school, had I gone to a commercial school, technical or art school I would have thrived, but I went to the one school type that was so opposite to what I needed.
I think it's so important to use the grades that you people get to understand them and their learning needs better and to accommodate them rather than push everyone to achieve a certain acceptable grade regardless of who they are and how they learn.
That leads me to another thing, school isn't for everyone. There is a growing homeschooling movement and many are finding this way of educating their children extremely rewarding.
How to start homeschooling:
- Choose a System: You do not have to follow the national curriculum. There are many different homeschooling systems out there, do some research and see what suits you. I have used and highly recommend the ACE. It's a brilliant system that allows your child to work at a pace that suits them. They offer fantastic support to homeschoolers too. Find out more here.
- Deregister: If your child is currently at school, you should send a letter to the headteacher of the school if you plan to educate them at home. The headteacher should inform your Local Authority that the child is no longer attending the school. You have the right to educate your child at home, they cannot stop you from deregistering your child.
- Set your day plan: Next choose how you will plan your day, you and your child can agree on times when they will work independently and times when you will work together. You need to provide between three and five hours of learning per day, depending on their child's age.
- Be creative: Have fun with your child's education. You aren't limited to a classroom or even the indoors. You can learn outdoors, you can go on road trips and learn whilst travelling. The world is your oyster and learning can be rewarding and fun.
- Find a local community: One of the biggest concerns for homeschoolers is that their child will become isolated but that doesn't need to be the case. There are many homeschooling communities you can connect with. You can also connect with your local church that runs a youth group and join interest-based groups such a sports clubs, theatre groups, art clubs, etc based on your child's interests.
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