In Ken Robinson’s excellent book, The Element, he discusses one of the biggest problems of today’s public education system where the focus of the entire education structure is based around standardization.
When you have an education system that attempts to force all children into a mold where their intelligence is measured by proficiency in a very narrowly defined set of academic subject, primarily mathematics and certain sciences, those who don’t fall into the middle of the bell curve are systematically excluded. It doesn’t really matter that much that someone is gifted in the arts or music or the humanities, or if their intelligences are strongest in other areas than those measured by the infamous “IQ” (you did know there are multiple intelligences, didn’t you?), public education is designed to produce a specific type of product and by it’s very nature is incapable of truly educating.
That’s one of the driving principles behind Homeskoolie and the idea behind our tagline, “Think Outside the Class.” We are all individuals who are born with natural talents. We as home educators are sensitive to this and rather than feed our children to the machine of government education, we understand that to see them (and ourselves) flourish and be the men and women we were created to be, education must see them as unique and individuals. Our educational approach must understand that as individuals we think and learn differently and that there is generally no one better able to understand that individuality quite like the parents who are raising them.
At Homeskoolie, we believe that we are living in a time where home education is more critical as a cultural agent of change than ever before. There are a couple reasons for this. First, the system of public education is not preparing children for the future. It is stifling creativity and the entrepreneurial spirit that has been the basis of the American economy. Can there be any doubt that a culture of standardized testing and educating to the lowest common denominator in students is not yielding well educated children.
Second, the fundamental shift in our economy has shown the fallacy of the education system’s classic proposition, that is, get educated by the public school system, go to college, get a degree and be virtually guaranteed a job, work for a corporation for your career, retire and ride off into the sunset. Does anyone really believe that anymore? Is public education fulfilling it’s promises? Of course not, and if many of the current ills of society are any reflection on the public education system, ills such as illiteracy, drop out rates, promiscuity and drug abuse among children to name a few, can anyone fathom the economic cost of poor education?
Thirdly, the technological revolution and the internet have created unprecedented opportunities for entrepreneurship for those who are independent minded and creative in their thinking. Never before have the barriers to entry for those who want to start their own business been so low. However, at a time when we have more information than we know what to do with, the education system is producing children who don’t know how to engage that information and use it to create something worthwhile.
We believe home education is not just an education alternative. We believe that home education is a means by which parents are changing the culture, redeeming it. It’s a way to combat the decay in cultural education. It’s not just about producing children who are smarter or who know more facts than those in public education. It’s about raising a generation who can engage the culture, who have a spiritual, moral and ethical foundation, who understand how to think about what’s going on around them in politics, science and business, who can make a positive impact in the world because they are independent minded and not simply at the mercy of the spirit of the age.
It’s about helping our children realize their full potential. And when we are living the life that we were designed to live – where we’re maximizing our talents, gifts and natural aptitudes – we can truly have an impact on our communities and our culture at large. We believe that we really can truly change the world. Home education is really about the future. And that’s the idea behind Homeskoolie.