Ten reasons why we are ditching the school system

6 Sep

IMG_4004“Education is what remains after everything he learnt at school is forgotten.” (Albert Einstein)
It always puzzles me why so many parents put their kids into the system that they themselves admit was unfulfilling and a waste of time. Nevertheless, even us as anti-school parents were tempted by the allure of the ‘free’ term time babysitter when baby number two arrived and life became more full on. On asking if my reception aged child would be interested I received a clear and definite “no”.

Sensible choice seeing as how he enjoys to learn and discover at his own pace, in natural environments and in an autonomous fashion. Below are ten reasons why we all decided together that school, at least for the early formative years, is a bad idea:

1. Conformity is valued over individuality, affectively turning children into a uniformed, flock of sheep. Peer pressure creates insecure children who strive to be ‘normal’ and fit in.

2. The system gears you up for a lifetime of obedient compliance in the robotic, work trade. A successful entrepreneur is our goal which doesn’t fit with values and aims of most school systems.

3. If you want a true critical thinking child then school is possibly the worst idea as it merely teaches children to be critical of those who think. I remember getting the best grades when I simply rote learnt someone else’s opinions and regurgitated them.

4. Children learn best whilst they are moving and physically interacting. Classrooms are the anti-thesis to this with long hours spent at desks, sitting on chairs.

5. Everyone learns best when they are passionate about the topic. School forces you to learn a whole range of uninteresting subjects at a superficial level. Learning is adult-led, rather than child-led. Consequently the child learns to become a Jack of all trades and master of none. Not good for creating an entrepreneur and certainly not good for creating a love of learning.

6. Bullying occurs often due to forced association rather than true socialisation. i.e a bunch of kids, the same age are imposed on each other rather than naturally mixing with people of all ages, voluntarily in groups based on shared interests.

7. Standardised testing and lack of outdoor unstructured play time creates anxiety and psychological health issues as well as destroying self-esteem. Furthermore, schools drive for competition encourages anti-social behaviour such as cheating. Co-operation and natural altruistic helping behaviour are de-valued in a competitive system.

8. Government are implementing free wifi into schools which may have adverse health effects (particularly for females). Furthermore, standard fluorescent lighting can also have negative health effects for many children include headaches and dizziness.

9. Phonics is all wrong: When we first learn to speak we pick it up from the ‘whole’ conversation/context, not from breaking exposure up into small increments of sounds. Reading and writing are best learnt in the same way. Furthermore most children, boys especially, are not ready to pick up these skills until closer to 7/8 years when they will likely pick it up much quicker.

10. Ancient and wise civilisations such as the Spartans kept their young enjoying a free range childhood with the mother or primary caregiver up until 7 years old as they understood that any formal instruction before such an age was futile. If you investigate you will find that many countries in Europe and Asia have also adopted a later school starting age of around 6/7 years.

So there you have it, my child has chosen to select his own friends from all age groups and not be told when he is and isn’t allowed to converse with them. He is taught how to think, not what to think and encouraged to be curious no matter who/what it questions or contradicts. He is learning from everyday living and experiences. This is not a luxurious choice we have made but one of sacrifice and hard work with little spare time or money left over. There is after all no distinction between play, learning and living.

2 Responses to “Ten reasons why we are ditching the school system”

  1. PM July 22, 2016 at 7:55 am #

    Hi! I find some of these points very interesting. I’m wondering where you draw your sources of evidence for this? Alternative schooling methods are fascinating and appealing to me but at the same time feel somewhat ‘risky’. I’d be keen to hear where you pull your opinions from? Thanks.

    • Adele Allen July 22, 2016 at 3:21 pm #

      Hi there, there is a huge unschooling movement out there. Have you checked out John Holt?

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