Much to the dismay of family and friends, we started home schooling our kids this year. All I can say is, I am quite happy that looks do not kill.
What is the point of going to school?
The point of going to school is to get educated. The point of getting educated is to discover what’s possible and acquire tools to solve problems. It turns out, helping people solve problems is the basis for all happiness. So we can say, we should be going to school to learn how to help others solve their problems and spread happiness.
Where does our current education system come from?
We must first understand that the current method of schooling was designed a little over 200 years ago during the industrial revolution. That was a period when mechanisation and therefore the development of new manufacturing processes was introduced.
Before the industrial revolution, people made a living by being a member of the royal family, military, the best carpenter, painter, artist, musician or merchant (as an example); in essence those that managed to create a better mouse-trap made a good living, while others became peasants or servants to people in the “upper-class.”
The industrial revolution made it possible for people to create machines that manufactured great products in large volumes, thus shifting the balance of power from kings and artists to people that had the skill and knowledge of running factories.
Labour and minerals became primary ingredients in running the industrial machine. Slavery became rampant (to extract minerals) and a new education system (in the form of schools and universities) was created to mass-produce factory workers. Certifications were introduced as proof that people were qualified to push the buttons. Incidentally, marketing was also invented around the 1900’s as a means to distribute mass-produced goods.
another revolution; the information revolution has changed everything
Another revolution has swept across the globe. Similar to the industrial revolution almost 200 years ago, we are undergoing a fundamental shift in the balance of power. Big companies are good at leading big tribes rather than simply ramming products into the market.
Rather than being spell-bound by mass media such as radio, news papers or television, people can choose which information to consume at any given point in time. This changes everything because people are driven by their own interests rather than what’s hot on the market (as dictated by mass media)
Secondly automation makes button-pushers (factory workers) increasingly obsolete. The demand is rising for scientific artists – people that combine scientific processes and heart to produce works that connect with other people at the soul-level. Our historical trajectory demands more soul-workers – people that apply themselves and create products and services to change how we live at a more fundamental level. The first people that did this are the likes of Bruce Lee with his Jeet Kune Do; Marc Zuckerberg with facebook; Elon Musk with his dream to go to mars… the list goes on. What they have in common is daring to change the way we look at things. We find that the culture in their workforce and followers is no different – people that thrive in their companies are those that dare to do something big that changes how we see things.
What is the point of going to school?
It is absolutely essential to learn how to read and write. Be that as it may, it is no longer essential to be “well-rounded” and spend half of one’s life learning about things that are not interesting – I would go on to say it actually a disadvantage because more and more people are spending time doing and learning about the things that interest them most and that is how they become really good.
We learn from Malcom Gladwell’s Outliers that the common factor among all great people is simply that they have put in at least 10 thousand hours into their craft. With this in mind we can infer that helping people find their love and passion at an early age is crucial for their happiness (in service of others).
Thus I conclude that our current school system is fundamentally misaligned and cannot, in it’s current form, produce the ilk of people necessary to thrive in this information revolution.
Home Schooling Our Kids
Nevertheless, I have had to practice the mantra, “forgive them Father, they know not what they do,” having been crucified for taking my kids out of school and “denying” them an education.
I can say, however, that spending more time with our kids, walking 3km every single day with them and learning how to get through and connect with them has been the greatest experience of my life bar none.