If you've never heard of TED University, it's a great program that unites a variety of schools of thought and brings them together under one umbrella (TED) to educate and inform the world in generally, brief, informative (sometimes entertaining) talks. C has been watching them regularly for a while and so he first introduced me to TED. Find the talks online or even on Netflix, if you have an account. There are probably DVD's available, too.
But this video, made at a TED event, features a speaker who is just 13 years old. He talks about what he refers to as Hackschooling. He never says he's homeschooled, but he does talk about being removed from the traditional school system when he was nine. When you watch his presentation -- which I highly recommend you do -- you realize that his schooling usually keeps him away from home most days.
He's a well-spoken, motivated and inspirational teen who put together a really great presentation and represents those of us living every day in nontraditional educational environments and represents us well. Kids are pretty amazing, especially when they are fostered and educated in a way that best suits their learning styles and needs.
Watch and see if you don't agree...
He makes some pretty good points. He inspires me to start thinking a little more outside the box and to courageously step out and not worry so much about what worksheets were left undone. There is a whole world to explore and learn about.
While I'm not feeling the term "hackschooling," for what we do ... I am starting to think there is some better name for our form of education than homeschooling. After all, we're all happiest when we're doing stuff in the world, whether it's visiting museums and government offices, hiking around in nature, outside riding bikes or serving others in a community program.
There will be books and reading and writing and all that stuff. But why should I feel confined or restricted in some way to do a certain amount of that each week or feel guilty because we had two adventure days and skipped a whole page in my lesson plan?
Our goal is to teach our kids to love and glorify the Lord, to be able to discern right from wrong and to grow up desiring to walk the right path no matter what. We want them to love others. We want them to represent our family and our Christian family well. We want them to understand important things like grace, mercy, self-control and perseverance (among others ... this is just to name a few). Through these things, most of all, we want them to find peace and joy.
That all fits the mold of this boy's idea of hackschooling. It fits the mold of what we try to do with field trips and meaningful conversations and life experiences. Why should all that be the extracurricular stuff? Why isn't that our core?
I guess it's because I grew up attending traditional schools and so it's difficult for me to see education differently -- even still, after six years of homeschooling. But I'm learning. Homeschooling, hackschooling or whatever we want to call it ... it's teaching me as often as it is teaching our children.