The Four Steps to Amazing and Powerful Learning Experiences
Have you thought about the effectiveness
of our current one-size-fits-all "schooling"?
Some people have. Here's what they think:
Do you want to help your kid get out of oppressive schools and into the most powerful learning that can be experienced? Here's how you can do it!
Stop trying to make your kid like all the other kids!
The point of Education should not be to make all children the same, but to draw out each child's strengths - the things they're good at, the things they enjoy, the things that make them unique, the things that will make them stand out to future opportunities, including college and career.
You need to allow your children to learn outside the box. You don't get something new by doing the same thing that everyone else is doing. Just think about all the people you see Google Doodles for. None of these people would be featured if they had simply done what everybody else does. Your child can find his genius -- if you let him be himself instead of requiring him to be some sort of standardized or common kid.
Maya Angelou said, “If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be.”
Read the Animal School parable.
Let your child move!
Our bodies are made to move. Sitting on a computer or in a classroom for hours a day is not natural for anyone, especially children.
Developmental molecular biologist John Medina said,
"When people exercise, executive functions vastly improve. Exercise improves cognition by increasing oxygen flow into the brain. An increase in oxygen is always accompanied by an uptick in mental sharpness. Exercise acts directly on the molecular machinery of the brain itself. It increases neurons’ creation, survival, and resistance to damage and stress."
Let your child follow her curiosities.
Too often children are treated as if their interests and concerns are not valid. They are instead required to take an interest in whatever a teacher is serving up in class, whether it's relevant and interesting or not. Yet the most effective learning is NOT taught. The most effective learning happens when students seek out learning on their own, through their own search for knowledge.
Children crave knowledge. They are naturally curious. Boredom is what happens when children don’t have enough interesting stuff to research, to experiment on, or to create. Powerful learning environments allow kids to ask questions and to seek answers through research, exploration, experimentation, and reflection.
Mark Twain said, "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."
Let your child learn through adventure.
Shools should function at the speed of true learning. Louis L'Amour said, "We teach a child to creep when he should be running." Childhood doesn't last long. Let's not waste their time at desks.
Instead of having your child learn through the same curriculum as all the other kids, you can facilitate adventures that inspire him to ask questions, do research, and create. Let's compare worksheets to adventures.
Static: Students do not get to choose the outcome.
Uncreative: Students do not get to express themselves.
Set outcome: Students merely “keep up.”
Boring: Students don't enjoy the process.
Busywork: Students do work just for the sake of doing work.
Exciting: children look forward to each adventure.
Creative: open-ended work has room for expanded learning and creativity.
Inspiring: children are inspired to want to know more.
Flexible: students can skip stuff they already know and instead spend time doing work that can take them to the next level as soon as they are ready.
Impressive: Instead of a bunch of throw-away papers, students can create projects that they will want to show off.
Memorable: Children remember these things longer.
Powerful: Students get to increase their skills beyond the “common” expectations.
Children appreciate it when we inspire them with great topics, materials, trips, collaborations, projects, and challenges. Schooling should not be about shut up and sit down. It should be about get up and do. Crowded classrooms cannot provide this to kids. It's too messy, too energetic, too loud, and the teacher can't monitor the effectiveness of the provided activities. Textbooks and worksheets are not necessary when working with small groups, when the teacher can help and correct on the spot - no need to correct schoolwork later. This is also a more brain-friendly way to learn.
Children in authentic learning environments tend to move more, read more, write more, experiment more, solve more, create more, and still want more! Your kid will surprise you!
Unfortunately, it's not likely that your neighborhood school will allow this kind of flexibility any time soon. But your child wants more now. Families that are ready for authentic learning experiences may find the necessary flexibility through:
You don't need to stuff your kid into the box anymore. There's so much more to life. Your kid WANTS to learn more now!