It feels like a big decision like this requires a big explanation.
Not sure why I feel my recent decision needs a “coming-out” style announcement but for some reason I feel like it does, so here it goes… At the end of this school year, I will be pulling the boys out of school and will be educating them from home going forward. After YEARS of considering this as an option I’ve finally decided to pull the trigger. I can assure you this decision hasn’t been made lightly and for those who know me well, they won’t be surprised when I say that I’ve spent countless hours researching the topic, and investigating its viability for our family. It has been a long journey of waffling back and forth until finally I realized that there is nothing left to do but take the plunge and give it a go.
I want to be clear that the decision has nothing to do with the quality of education our boys are currently receiving. They are attending an amazing school with an International Baccalaureate program that is one of the finest in the world. Their teachers are and have been fantastic instructors who have taken on a sincere interest in the their wellbeing and education. They have built beautiful friendships with the other kids in their classes as well as David and me with their parents and the school community. And yet, I feel that I can better tailor their education to their unique wiring and needs, in a way that traditional education cannot.
Maybe it’s because of my upbringing and my background but I’ve always felt that the education system wasn’t sufficiently preparing kids for the real world. I know that the curriculums and programs are, in their form and structure, supposed to do that however, I do not think many would disagree that the success of these programs is contingent on the ability for teachers to execute them, despite the limitations of the classroom. In a room of multiple kids, all requiring different levels of assistance, the intention might be there, but the actualization of it, is more difficult to accomplish.
I strongly believe that by bringing my boys home I can better expose them to lessons that are custom suited to their interests and learning styles. I want them to experience more of what the world has to offer in a tangible and real way. I also want to provide more opportunity for JJ to focus on his passion projects and Nuno to master the basics of reading, spelling and math; skills and abilities that we just haven’t been able to hone and expand on in the few short hours available between end of school, sports and bedtime. In the time that they would have been going to school, our goal will be to plug them into more sophisticated classes and experiential opportunities that drill deeper into the world that interests them.
Additionally, I’m a huge advocate for entrepreneurship and the fostering of skills necessary to be a successful entrepreneur. I am convinced that the world our children are about to inherit will reward those that can identify opportunity and act on it quickly and efficiently. I believe that the best environment to practice this, is one that offers the freedom and grace to try and fail, unbound from time constraints, judgement and standardized outcome expectations. Because of this, the learning they engage in will have an entrepreneurial framework in a “failure IS an ok outcome” atmosphere, something I do not see being practiced in the traditional education system.
All this said, I’m going to be the first to admit that I’m a noob at this (to pull a word from my kids vocabulary). Our first year or so is likely to be messy, unorganized and a little less like my utopic vision. That said, I really believe we are on a track that suits our family’s philosophy and lifestyle much better. No matter what, our time together will be exciting as we explore this new world as a family.
Finally, having shared my thoughts on this topic over the years, I know there are people, who have expressed interest in doing something of the same. I hope that my journey will be one to follow for those who are also considering an alternative form of education for their children. I hope that some of you will use me as a guinea pig for what could be for your family if this is something you want to pursue. My intention is to share what education looks like for our family and the tools and support systems that I find along the way.
Co-Founder, Live Learn Launch
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