Memorizing facts may be impressive, but it’s not learning, at least not in any meaningful way.
You only have to listen to kids from about the age of 10 on up talk about school to know that what happens there is not meaningful (although they are taught to believe it is).
The things I remember from my time in school and at college are the people, a few stand out books and some radical ideas.
My kids have already been exposed to more of those than I ever was; I am exposed to more of them now through and because of my kids.
Anyone who tells you that without school a child cannot succeed is not really thinking about what success in life means.
I would rather my kids grow up to be empathetic adults who are passionate about their lives than people who did well in school, did well in college and are on an upwardly mobile career path that may or may not work out and for which they went into massive amounts of debt that they may or may not be able to pay off.
We had our book club tonight, for which we read Ray Bradbury’s “Fahrenheit 451”. None of the girls loved it. Or even liked it all that much. We talked about why that was and tossed around a bunch of theories. Then we adjourned and the girls disappeared into the next room where they spent almost 2 hours shooting a video about two incompetent spies amid much laughter and involved discussions over scenes and shot selections. Maya is now engrossed in the editing process.
It doesn’t really bother me that “Fahrenheit 451” wasn’t a favorite, despite its’ being a “classic”. They read it, commented on it and then dove into a project they all loved.
Maybe they won’t grow to be literary critics, dissecting the great works of our time. But they will be passionate about their lives and their work.
And that’s worth more than all the facts in the world combined.