Radical Unschooling

#100 Days of Home Ed…Day 37

Yesterday, we began examining how the UK home education law…AGE, ABILITY, APTITUDE and ADDITIONAL LEARNING NEEDS translated into what I do with PanKwake. Today we will continue that with…

APTITUDE – A big fancy word for strengths. Those things that we are just good at.

Once upon a time, that was what education was all about. Preparing you for life…the future.

Going back in time…although not that long ago…apprenticeships were a major part of education. By late childhood (ten to twelve) once they had matured a bit and began to exhibit qualities that might pair them with a career then arrangements were made for the child to spend the next several years learning a trade. The beefier boys were often taken on by the blacksmith where their size was an advantage. But other tradesmen offered similar opportunities. Of course, the family farm remained the mainstay of many. And the home most definitely the center for educating all females.

I am NOT advocating a return to such a feudal system. Because the truth was that things like gender, size and class were the primary determinants of your potential in life. Even the absolutely best and brightest of the poor had no opportunity in life for advancement.

But not so long ago, schools offered more variety as well. Things like woodworking, shop class, home ec, cooking, sewing and even rudimentary/introductory childcare and nursing. For those not inclined for books and further education, it offered a venue not unlike apprenticeships.

Then along came standardized tests and the belief that everyone should have ‘equal’ opportunity for further education.

AND THEY SHOULD! The best and the brightest should have the chance to attend university regardless of their ability to pay (not commenting on the how and politics, folks).

But the truth is that little or no consideration is given to the wants or talents of the individual.

This system makes you feel less than…if university is not for you. If you don’t do well on their tests then you are branded. Even though you might be the best cook and make Gordon and Jamie move aside. Or a great electrician (trust me I have a new respect for these guys).

Not so with our home ed.

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David Attenborough step aside…a PanKwake original.
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Or maybe Everest awaits?
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Graphic artist or baker or cake designer? 

PanKwake’s talents are…

  • Physical Activities like her trampolining, gymnastics and anything that goes…higher, faster, more, More, MORE!
  • Arts and Crafts whether it be painting little wooden boxes, getting her hands dirty with clay or using one of her three KiddieZoom Action Cams, PanKwake loves making things.
  • Computer Gaming is her passion. She has even gotten Cookie Monster addicted to Minecraft. Heck, even I started to build a house there yesterday.

But we have learned and explored other life skills too like cooking, gardening and animal care.

What does it all add up to? PanKwake’s dream is to be a YouTuber like her favorite Aphmau, Pat and Jen and Shane (too many to name).

Is that realistic? Perhaps. It is certainly worth a shot. We have promised her the chance as soon as things are a bit more settled here. Fingers crossed that before these #100DaysOfHomeEd are complete, PanKwake will release her first YouTube video. Not sure what it will be yet…

  • Gaming…
  • Roleplay (she is really good at that) with her Barbies or Shopkins…
  • Extreme sports (she used her KiddieZoom watch to record a crazy ride at the Fun Faire)…
  • Or any of the Crazzy practical jokes that she plays on us…like waking Cookie Monster with a water gun fight or hiding my coffee…
  • Maybe even a joke of the day…she tells some horrid ones.

But whatever it is, it will teach her the most important lesson of all…

No matter what your challenges in life, you have strengths too. Strengths that you can use to contribute to society. 

That is something that few schools teach.

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Whatever PanKwake becomes I know that she will be a success…on her terms. And mine…because HAPPY is the most important one of all.
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