The Multifaceted World

I watched a video for the first time with Sir Ken Robinson (that guy needs to become Prime Minister), he was speaking at a TED conference and he said “We don’t know what the World will be like in 5 years time.”

Now he was in a room full of creative and intelligent people and they all agreed. So as I am now home-educating four very different children with very different skill sets and with very different learning styles, it has left me wondering how best to approach the future for them.

I went to University aged 30+, and I wasn’t alone. So why the pressure for GCSE’s at age 16. Who truly knows what they want to be at the age of 14? My life goals shifted massively between 14 and 37 years old. I don’t think GCSE’s will exist when my youngest would be old enough in school years, however they will more than likely still be here in 4 years. So do we start planning for them to sit their GCSE’s in 4 years, or concentrate on other skills, that will probably give them a head start in the real world. I came across a photo the other day that really has stuck in my mind. The photo was in an article on the World Economic Forum 

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These were the skills they said needed in the 21st Century. So my question to myself is how doe GCSE’s prepare children and adults for this? I can see it somewhat in No 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6. Yet after that, I can’t see how they translate in useful skills for our children.

I spend a lot of time researching different approaches, looking at the variety of online sources for children with regards to academic needs. I speaks to a lot of home educators to see how they do it. I know that what they choose may not fit my children, however there is such a wealth of knowledge out there it must be accessible. How do I know what works best if I do not give it  a try. I think it will still take us a few months (maybe a lot of months to work out what works for each child.. So I am not giving up. I see what they are learning ad its not all academic skills. And do I feel guilty, yes some days I do, I keep thinking we are not doing enough? However, these are my wobbles not my children’s. They will learn, children seem to have an innate desire to learn if you let them and give them the tools to do so. We will get there but Rome was not built in a day.

Having the wobbles…..

I suppose it was inevitable that some point on our path one of us would have the wobbles. I imagine it is to do with meeting new families. There is a mixture of those that have been to school and those that have not. Then you begin to think… do we do enough ‘academics’, do we do too much? Do we do enough sports or social activities or do we do too much?

Where is the balance? And what should the balance be? All any of us want is for our children to be happy, safe and secure (I hope). Then people argue that by home-educating are we sheltering our children from real-life. Yet is school real-life? School is a peer-based segregated environment. I know no office whereby the floors are arranged as 18-25 years, 26- 35 year olds. Where you allowed to maybe see your best friend for 20 minutes at lunch because they are on a different floor. This may be abit tongue in cheek, but real-life is not the education in school. However the real life aspect comes from the bullying that can occur, the peer pressure to smoke and drink, I know not every child will go down that route, however you can be assured that in a school environment they are exposed to that on prehaps a daily basis. I’m not saying that it also does not occur in home-educating families as I’m sure it does too. I know that people who know me, know I love a tangent, so I’ll get back on track.

The balance, surely if a child is happy and they want to learn, then the learning will take place in whichever form the child is happy and comfortable to do so. Again those that know me, know my love for the Leuven Scale and that deep level learning takes place when there are high levels of well-being and involvement. This is so true in Early Years however I feel that all ages can benefit from that philosophy.

Since we moved a month ago, I have thrown ourselves in to the home-educating social scene here! We are incredibly busy however we seem to have found ourselves a little group, hopefully our ‘village’ and for that I will be grateful. I wanted to concentrate on the children’s social and well-being rather than the academic side. If they are not happy I cannot teach them, they will not learn. So for now we start introducing things slowly and enjoying making friends. The academics will start to come when they are happy and things are settled. They are learning every day, just not in the conventional sense that we are led to believe in. (Nor the Government if you look at how much they now want to invest into free schools – but that’s a rant for another day).