Struggling to decide what to do for your kids’ education next year? Here are 10 reasons to quit factory schooling today. There are lots of well-intentioned, hard working teachers in the school system who are doing their best to educate kids in the factory schooling model. If we can create an alternative to factory schooling, we will give students and teachers a place where true education can flourish. Here are some drawbacks of the design of factory schooling.
1. Focuses on personal weaknesses
Schooling focuses on weaknesses. Since everyone is required to do and know the same things at the same times, if your child is not developmentally ready for something or interested in something, they will be labeled as having a weakness. The truth is that we do NOT need to be good at everything. Even Thomas Edison and Albert Einstein were not good at school. Einstein famously said, “I failed school and school failed me.” Thomas Edison hated and avoided math. By opting out of schooling, you can help your child focus on and grow strengths and talents. In the real world, you form teams with people whose strengths are different than yours.
2. Crushes the wonder, awe, creativity, imagination, and joy we are born with.
By the third grade, the light in schooled children’s eyes starts to dim. They are so worn down by endless information processing that is not connected to the real world, that they begin to lose the awe and wonder of childhood. You can preserve your child’s creativity, imagination, and joy by allowing unlimited time in nature and free play. When they are ready to learn more about the world and their place in it with a more structured learning experience, they will let you know.
3. Teaches kids to survive school, not thrive in life
Life requires creativity, imagination, the willingness to try new things and fail, resilience, cooperation, and passion. Schooling requires obedience, compliance, giving the right answers, competition, and passivity. As Seth Godin says, “Every year, we churn out millions of workers who are trained to do 1925 labor.” Unless you want to kids to be trained for jobs that don’t exist, now is a good time to opt out of factory schooling.
4. Kids don’t learn how to learn
Schooling is focused on information processing, memorization, and behavior control. It isn’t designed for learning. Once a person learns how to learn, anything is possible. Each human is wired differently for learning. I have included some fabulous resources to help you discover your child’s learning design in Instead of Schooling: Educating for Creativity, Resilience & Happiness.
5. Creativity is discouraged
Standardized curriculum requires kids to give the “right answer” to random questions. This kills creativity. Humans are designed to create. We are happy and satisfied when we are creating something we care about using our natural gifts and talents. Instead of marching through boring textbooks, allow your kids to create from a place of joy and freedom. Whether it is a painting, a sandcastle, a fort, a poem, a cake, let them create! Opt out of factory schooling and make “creating” your curriculum.
6. Intuition and inner voice are blocked
Schooling controls us with fear and shame for a promised reward in the future. It trains us to ignore our intuition, override our body’s signals, and shut down our inner calling as we are taught to misuse our thinking against ourselves. You are always guided moment by moment to action that serves your highest Self. Our intuition/inner wisdom is a quiet whisper that we can hear when we take time to be quiet. You were born with this innate intelligence until it was conditioned out of you. I know what my intuition feels like in my body. YES is light, expansive, and full of energy. NO is heavy and I contract and lose energy.
7. Standardized textbooks and curriculum are boring, biased, and inaccurate
There has truly never been a better time to opt out of factory schooling. Take a moment to explore free and low-cost learning resources and experiences that are fun, engaging, and relevant. Experienced unschoolers, home educators, and entrepreneurs have created an amazing array of educational resources, online schools, and engaging activities. I have included a carefully curated library of educational resources and inspirational videos and books in Instead of Schooling: Educating for Creativity, Resilience & Happiness
8. Limits learning
School is the great sorting machine. It sorts kids into levels based on academic ability at a young age. The truth is that less than 5% of humans are designed to learn the way that school teachers. By opting out of schooling, you remove all limits to learning so that your kid can focus on and excel in areas of personal interest and talent.
9. Success in school doesn’t equal success in life
There is no correlation between success in school and success in life. The average GPA of millionaires is 2.9. Do you realize how many people who did amazing things failed or hated school? The list includes Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Sir Richard Branson, Mary Kay Ash, and Elon Musk.
10. Makes kids hate learning (isn’t this enough of a reason to quit factory schooling?)
My daughter tried public school for 7th grade. She ended up hating the things she used to love: reading, writing, and music. Humans are designed to learn so that they grow into self-sufficient beings who self-direct their learning and lives. Learning to talk is the most difficult cognitive process and humans master this without anyone teaching them. You are designed to cooperate with your environment and continuously gather knowledge to learn how to best adapt to your current circumstances. Learning is not an object or thing that can be tracked and measured. It cannot be forced.
Learning is a natural, internal process of awakening to Self that best happens as the free inquiry of a relaxed, peaceful, playful mind. We need to trust that humans are designed to learn. Desire is the calling of the soul to learn something. It may be dance, painting, building, writing, or molecular biology. The point is that it is self chosen.
To make wise choices and feel relaxed and confident about your kids’ education, get my new book Instead of Schooling: Educating for Creativity, Resilience & Happiness