I am inspired and excited after speaking with a group of moms in Ojai last night. A friend of mine, Stephanie DeRosier, founder of The Love Project, hosted a meeting to introduce SelfDesign to her friends. Eight women gathered together in a living room to explore schooling options for our children. It was a diverse group – women in their early twenties to early forties, with their children in Montessori, homeschool, and in public school.
My friend started our discussion by asking everyone to share their experience in school (focusing on the K-12 years). The conversation became quite emotional as woman after woman shared their school experience. “I learned to play the game, stay out of the teachers’ red zones, and take the tests. But, I didn’t figure out who I was and what I wanted to do until I was 28 years old.” “I was so bored in school. I don’t want my children to experience the same thing. I am still trying to figure out what my passions are.” “School was about driving the right car, wearing the right clothes. It wasn’t about learning.” “I love art class, but slept through the other classes. They didn’t seem relevant to my life.”
Tears were shed. Hugs exchanged. How could such a diverse group of women, from several different countries, experience the same pain and suffering? It’s hard to fathom that all eight women are dysfunctional learners – after all, we are functioning quite well as adults outside of the school system.
The fantastic truth revealed to me again that night is that school doesn’t work for most children. It never has. It wasn’t designed to work for children.
We then explore our associations with the word “education”. Without exception, all of the associations were negative: “prison”, “school bells”, “tests”, “competition”. Then we asked these women to share their associations with the word “learning”. This brought forth a different energy in all of the women. “Curiosity”, “fun”, “open”, “invention”, “growth” all came to mind.
Why the disconnect between education and learning? How can we possibly work together to design different experiences for our precious children?
I invite us to forget about finding the best “school” or “education” for our children. Let’s forget about “alternative schools” which are often a milder, kinder version of what doesn’t work. Let’s focus on creating the best learning environments for our children. Let’s look for alternatives to school.
Each child learns differently. Each child has unique gifts and abilities. Each child is a unique gift to this world.
SelfDesign is the only learning model that I have discovered that supports children as they learn at their own pace, following their unique interests and abilities. SelfDesign-ing children don’t need to wait until a mid-life crisis to discover who they are and what they love. They are discovering their passions and purpose every day of their lives.
Join me on this unique learning experience with this amazing global learning community. I invite you to enroll in SelfDesign’s distance learning programs – award-winning programs based upon self-directed, enthusiasm based learning.