Every year thousands of children are being taken out of the educational system and start being homeschooled. 13-years old Logan Laplante is one of them. One of the advantages of home schooling versus traditional education is not only enabling the child to learn at its own pace, but also enabling the child to actively participate in tailoring his/her education according to its interests. As for traditional education, no reforms did improve its capacity to provide a more individualistic approach in the classroom.
Logan Laplante’s life story is similar to many other homeschooled children, including the young prodigy Jacob Barnett, whose parents pulled him out of standard education because it was ruining his potentials. We shouldn’t be surprised if some of these homeschooled children turns into an award-winning scientist.
The ideals of education: is traditional education up for the task?
The idea of a prosperous and productive society has always been based on quality education. The idea is that education should mold the young generations into wise and knowledgeable people, capable of critical thinking. However, the mass standardization and commercialization of education had opposite effects – instead of people who are creative and capable of out-of-the-box thinking, the education of today produces conservative, submissive and obedient workers that work not on changing the system, but preserving the status quo.
Traditional education, in fact, has never been focused on the students’ individual needs and potentials, but on satisfying a standard that really does not correspond neither with the needs of the students, nor with the needs of society. In this, traditional education persistently supports mediocrity, which has devastating effect on the potentials of the students below and above the average mark. In the USA especially, more and more parents opt for homeschooling their children, not only to avoid the educational trap, but also to protect their children from the social deviations that the school, as an institution that is also in charge of children’s upbringing, has miserably failed in doing so throughout its history.
Taking a look at the statics on the matter, we can see that currently in the USA about 3.8% of children aged 5-17 are homeschooled. Canada has a lot smaller percentage of such cases – around 1%. These numbers are expected to grow in the following years and decades as the limitations of standard education become more and more visible. What comes as an even more interesting fact is that homeschooled children have much better results than their peers that are enrolled in public or private schools.
Still, we should not take for granted the idea that homeschooling immediately turns children into more adaptive, creative, and forward thinking persons: many parents opt for homeschooling for the wrong reasons, and since more children are tutored by their parents, sometimes parents are not the best mentors. Homeschooling is not for everyone for sure, but if it means an opportunity for certain children to develop their potentials to the fullest, it should sure be given a thought. If not, it should be expanding the idea of more individualized methods of education, and an education that serves the children, not vice versa.