How we educate our children

Why we do it…

“Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.” – Mark Twain.

These lectures from Ken Robinson many people have already seen sum up some of why we home educate and why we object to using the current school system –

Do schools kill creativity?: too much memory work, not enough innovation. Creativity is undervalued, an ability to regurgitate of facts – largely out of context – is greatly overrated. People are taught to be afraid of making mistakes and are unable to admit they’re wrong. People are afraid of change and are unable to adapt and accept new information.

Changing education paradigms: The current education system was designed and conceived in a different age: the Age of Enlightenment. Why use the Industrial Revolution model of education when we are living in the Information Age? Automation is going out the window – instead of conformity, creativity and innovation should be at the front and centre of education. “The economics of the future are somewhat different…”

How to escape education’s death valley: Look, a classical education is great but it’s just not broad enough or creative enough – or curious enough – for the modern world. Children shouldn’t be doing clerical work. Children are suffering from childhood, not an inability to focus. “If there’s no learning, there’s no education going on.” Tests should be diagnostic, passing exams should not be the goal of education. Tests should support learning, not obstruct it.

What we do… and don’t do!

We do a mix of literature-based learning and online learning, combining the best of the old school with the new school! All without any school. We encourage a broad education rather than an accelerated one. A great deal of time in schools is devoted to the management of large groups of children, so, as we skip that, our children “do school” (ie. are tutored) – supervised reading and guided educational activities – for only about 1-3 hours a day at most, so they get a great deal more time for creative play, further reading/independent learning, and physical activity – and all of these activities are educational as well, we do not clearly separate these activities out or keep “learning” confined to regular school hours. I like Charlotte Mason’s motto: “Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life.” Education/school (and later in life our work and careers) should not be thought of as separate from “the real world.” (As much as possible, as circumstances allow: do what you love and love what you do.) We try to do what best suits each of our kids and what works for us both as parents at the same time – meet in the middle: we’re in this together.

Resources we use
Vegan education
Home ed registration in Australia