13-year-old Logan LaPlante talks about a real-life education model that makes learning relevant. This works.
The best part of hackschooling or homeschooling is that it can be tailored to fit your student, as well as your life and budget. That’s what Logan’s talk illustrates. Sure, you could listen to this talk and list all the learning activities he enjoys, then try to apply them to your own students, but that’s not the point at all. His education wouldn’t fit you or me–it’s tailored to Logan’s interests and needs, and that’s why it works.
You can make your homeschool more effective simply by opening doors and allowing your students to take advantage of opportunities in church and community. Encourage them to take a more active role in planning what to learn, and leave enough time open each day for them to learn, be, and do what they are gifted for.
Your life circumstances will affect what you do and how you do it, but if your student wants to do something you feel you can’t afford, let him start a microbusiness and pay for it, or figure out how to barter for it. Everything is a learning experience, and a student who owns an idea and follows through will gain much more than the student who is spoon fed a standard one-size-fits-a-few curriculum.
I’m sure I was an odd child, but despite being in institutional schooling, I read like crazy. I managed to study and learn things that interested me, even when adults didn’t see the relevance. I spent much of middle school studying everything connected with interior design and architecture–color theory, history of furniture design, drafting, whatever else I could find. In high school, I found a course on COBOL programming in a book at the library, and worked my way through it, despite the fact that I’d never seen a computer, and my grandmother thought I was crazy. It didn’t matter what anyone thought, I found it interesting, and I’m certain that I learned more from reading than I did from K-12 classes.
That’s an important point, by the way–even if you don’t see how something could be “useful,” help your student find a way to learn what interests him. Knowledge is never useless, and you have no way of knowing where his calling will take him in adulthood. I’ve never had to program in COBOL, but understanding a bit of how computers think has made it easier to work with technology as an adult.
When you homeschool, you have the opportunity to open doors and let your children soar. I hope you’ll be encouraged to try it.