I personally hold a bachelor’s degree, a master’s, and an entry level teaching certification.
BUT you need none of those to #HomeEducate and especially to #RadiCoolUnschool Your #Neurodivergent Little Human.
Honestly, these days I believe it is not even necessary for you to be literate yourself.
Yes, whether you yourself cannot read because of dyslexia and cognitive death…or because English is not your first language…You too can still educate your little human…
And do it well.
I know that is a radical concept for most people. But it is one PROVEN by a world famous EDUCATOR and TED Prize winner…Sugata Mitra.
With his Hole in the Wall experiments across India, Mitra proved to that GIVEN A COMPUTER WITH INTERNET ACCESS little humans CAN educate themselves, including learning English and how to read.
And put several of those children together…even unsupervised…they can teach one another…more accurately SHARE KNOWLEDGE…in a way that makes teaching and schools virtually obsolete.
Do you when those children responded even better? When they learned even more?
When you added, not a teacher, but an uninformed and empathetic adult. Someone who merely praised their efforts…asked challenging questions…someone that THEY taught.
In fact, in Mitra’s native India, you cannot achieve your GCSE equivalent in English, unless you prove that you TAUGHT it to someone else. It has been a wonderful tool for spreading English language knowledge to older people as youths seek out grandparents, parents, aunts, and uncles to TEACH.
If you are illiterate, don’t worry (though of course if you are reading this book that is not the case). You can still do better by your neurodivergent little human than schools can.
Of course, that is an extreme example. But the truth is that many parents say things like…I would love to teach my child at home…BUT
- I’m not smart enough.
- I didn’t go to college…have a teaching certificate…finish my degree…etc.
- He knows more about Maths than I do.
- She wants to be a veterinarian, what could I do to help her?
The truth of it is…NONE OF THAT MATTERS. You can still do a better job home educating your little human than schools can.
Don’t believe me…then read this recent Guardian article…
Children taught at home significantly outperform their contemporaries who go to school, the first comparative study has found.
It discovered that home-educated children of working-class parents achieved considerably higher marks in tests than the children of professional, middle-class parents and that gender differences in exam results disappear among home-taught children.
- Working-class children outperformed the ‘rich’ kids…
- Girls did as well as boys in maths and the sciences and boys did equally well in English!
Miracles that schools have been trying to achieve for decades…and in fact are falling further and further behind. Home education can achieve it.
While that study was not specific to our #neurodivergent little humans, it is even more applicable to us. The home environment is the absolute BEST place to learn the social and life skills that our little humans need as much as or even more so than academics.
In fact, as this Spectrum article points out, intelligence and even academic success do NOT guarantee success in life. Not when an autistic person cannot manage to take a bus, budget, or engage in conversation. Those life skills while given a nod by schools and local education authorities are often left up to parents to teach anyway.
And with WHAT time? Our little humans are exhausted and collapse into anxious heaps after long days of holding it inside at school. So instead they finished school with GCSEs or A-levels, then cannot manage at college because they do not know how to do a load of laundry. Far enough that ‘normal’ young adults may not either…but they cope better with the chaos of university life.
Trust me…YOU CAN #RadiCoolUnschool Your Neurodivergent Little Human.
The truth is that in this cyber age a little human can be educated all the way to the PhD level while only attending a handful of days on any school, college, or university campus. They can then find work in the comfort of their home environment. And rather than be socially bereft and lonely they can have rich, deep human relationships…with people they never meet face-to-face, occasionally meet, or see everyday. That is the reality of the world in which we now live, folks. While schools are still teaching little humans to the Industrial Age standards, systems, and measures.
You are in fact better able to prepare your child for that brave new world as we have seen than schools…
The ONLY Qualification You Really Need to Support Your Little Human Is…
You must LIKE him/her. And truly enjoy BEING AROUND her/him.
Oh, come on. Of course, I LOVE my child and want what’s best for her. Most parents do.
That is not what I said. I said…
Enjoy Being With…
Those are different than loving. Like you said…MOST parents ‘love’ their children. But those same people…
- Cannot wait for Monday to arrive so those little ‘monsters’ will go back to school…
- And summer vacation/holiday? They are tired of it after only a week…
- They see childish conspiracies everywhere…their child did that to get to them, they are trying to ‘kill’ them, the child misbehaves just to embarrass them, etc…
- Of course, they were NEVER like this as a child…
I’ll be honest…I have huge issues with THOSE kinds of parents. BUT I also recognize that they are in fact the majority in this society.
#RadiCoolUnschooling is NOT for them.
Even if it is exactly what is best for their little human. It will never work. Because they cannot give up the control & conditioning that is too prevalent in our society. I’ll be honest I vacillate between feeling sorry for them…because at the root cause of it all is the need to be perfect…to be acceptable to society. That is sad because they will never know the freedom and joy of being exactly how they were born to be.
Then that pushes me towards anger. Because the bottom line is that they will never allow their child to be the human being that he or she was meant to be either. They will bribe and punish with whatever means necessary to ensure they mold that little human into the societally acceptable minion that they are. No matter the cost to that little human’s self-worth, self-esteem, and mental health.
I am hopeful that if you have managed to read this far…then you are NOT one of THOSE parents.
But here is the truth…the hard truth for me to face…
There is still a bit of THOSE parents in ALL of us!
Yes, even me.
You read that right…EVEN ME!
I have had it triggered in me lately. As much as I allow PanKwake autonomy (except for Health & Safety), there is still this tiny voice of…SHOULD…in my head. That trigger is ‘COMPANY’…having guests.
#HomeCrazzyHome has at times a seemingly constant stream of #HomeEd and #neurodivergent friends. I think that is what happens when you create a SAFE ZONE where everyone feels…
- Unconditionally Loved…
- And Laughter rings even after midnight when all we want is to collapse into bed and sleep.
People want that…little humans…and BIG ones too.
Not only do we open our home for #MommyMondays and almost monthly parties…we are even thinking of starting ANOTHER #HomeEd group. And our friends know they are ALWAYS welcome…just phone ahead to make sure we are home.
The thing is that a few times lately I have not been able to get PanKwake up when other little humans came over. And I feel…GUILTY.
Yes, even I, feel this OUGHTA, SHOULDA…She oughta get up and entertain her friends. She shoulda.
And RESPECTING her right to say NO, not this time. Not today. Has kicked my butt. The first time, I almost pushed her to a meltdown trying to wake her up. And even the most recent…a couple of days ago…I still felt that tug.
No, our friends understand. They get it. In fact, I think they are shocked that I still feel these SHOULDs at all.
But we have ALL been conditioned…a LIFETIME of it. And we need to face that. We need to understand that the absolute hardest part of this wonderful adventure called #RadiCoolUnschooling will never be for our little humans. They have not had as much of that control & conditioning as we have. This is still what feels RIGHT & NATURAL to them.
No, the most challenging part of all this is to…UNTRAIN yourself. To trust that your child knows best. That she will educate herself. That he will learn to ‘conform’ to the positive rules of society (and there are some) while freeing himself of the negative ones.
THAT IT WILL BE OKAY IN THE END!
You are not destroying your little human’s chances at success or fitting in or being a productive member of society.
I promise you…you aren’t. Unless you live totally off-grid in the woods somewhere and NEVER take your little human into town…I promise you that society will train them. They will learn what is and is not acceptable. Even the neurodivergent ones.
Your job is to balance that. To help them to navigate the waters of individuality…and find the balance.
You will never get it right all the time. I don’t. Obviously.
But if you yourself are not free of those bonds of society…the oughtas and shouldas of life…then before you make the huge step of #HomeEducate your little human…take some time to free yourself.
Begin small…start to apply these principles on the weekends. Then term breaks. Summer holidays. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
Oh…and find others like yourself. A support network of other parents who believe in things like #FreePlay and #AutonomousLearning.
You can always email me if you need an ear.
But the truth is…
I called this #RadiCoolUnschooling because it is the COOLEST thing imaginable.