I found a great article in my Inbox this morning by Dustin Timbrook titled, WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO SURVIVE THE FUTURE? SEND THEM TO ART SCHOOL . I was intrigued and the article didn’t disappoint:-
“If preparing your kids for a world in which hard-working, knowledgeable people are unemployable frightens you then I have some good news. There is a solution, and it doesn’t involve tired, useless attempts at suppressing technology. Like most good solutions it requires a trait that is distinctly human.
I’m speaking about Creativity.
Send your kids to art school. Heavily invest time and resources into their creative literacy. Do these things and they will stand a chance at finding work and or fulfillment in a future where other human abilities become irrelevant.”
By the time I had finished reading, one thing was very clear: Unschooled kids will thrive in the future ” Post Work” world.
I won’t attempt to summarise what the article was about, as you can just read it for yourself, but I will list the skills I believe unschooled kids have that will help them thrive:-
- Self Motivation – Most unschooled children do not follow a set curriculum. Instead, they follow their own interests and they get to dive in deep into the subjects they feel passionate about. In the process of exploring and developing their interests, unschooled children develop excellent research skills. This makes them “Active” learners rather than “Passive” learners. By not being fed facts and knowledge by someone else, such as a teacher, unschooled kids become self motivated to learn for themselves.
- New Technology – Many parents worry about their children spending too much time on screens, but unschooled children often use technology as a creative learning tool. Instead of using technology and social media as a way to “Zone out” after spending six hours (or more) sitting behind a desk in a classroom, unschooled children are using today’s technology to support their learning and interests and connect with mentors and peers who share their passions. Unschooled children have the time to explore the latest apps, programmes, and gadgets, they learn as fast as the technology develops and will be prepared for the future world they will be entering into as adults.
- Exploration – We live in an age that offers us the world at our fingertips. The limited subjects children are forced to learn in school pale in comparison to the wide range of subjects an unschooled child can experience. If an unschooled child decides they want to learn Japanese, Russian or Bookbinding, they can do so by finding free lessons on the internet. They get to explore their interests and discover what their skills and talents are while still a child, so by the time they reach adulthood they often have a clear idea of which direction they are heading.
- Communication – Unschooled children are not confined to a classroom all day surrounded by peers of all the same age. (Apart from the teacher!) They are communicating every day with people of different ages and backgrounds. They learn how to communicate with people in the real world whether it’s the librarian, shop assistant, post person or children of different ages at a home ed group.
- Independence – Because unschooled children are free to choose What, When and How they learn, they develop a sense of autonomy long before their schooled peers. This autonomy leads to a greater understand of who they are and what brings them alive. Unschooled children also become independent learners as they are given the freedom to follow the threads of an idea until they are done with it.
- Creativity – “My contention is that creativity is now as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.” – Sir Ken Robinson. Children are born with the natural ability to create. Play is creativity and yet play, gets pushed aside with each grade / year in schools until children are having less than 30 minutes recess a day. An unschooled child gets to play all day, every day. Their creativity is not squashed or controlled, neither is it belittled by being put aside for “Serious Work”.
I’ll finish with one more quote from the article that inspired this post because it’s a really good one….
“The person with creative literacy — a basic understanding of the mental, emotional, and sociological tools used for creative thought and communication — is able to find purpose and apply meaning to her world rather than having meaning handed down and purpose assigned to her.”
I would love to hear what qualities you see in your unschooled/homeschooled child that they might not have developed if they had gone to school?