Logan Laplante is not like other kids. He doesn’t follow a weekly school routine. He doesn’t wake up early to catch the school bus, get to school on time, and sit through a whole day of lectures.
Instead, he studies in different kinds of ‘classrooms’ and goes through learning without following a rigid curriculum.
He studies subjects that are tailored to his interests, with the ultimate goal of being happy and healthy.
Logan belongs to an emerging group of modern students, those who are going through learning via a process that Logan calls ‘hackschooling’. These students opt to go out of the traditional classroom and into the world, where they pursue subjects that they’re interested in.
Instead of being jack-of-all-trades, they choose to become a master of certain skills. They discover their core gift and pursue a learning model that revolves around this gift. And in the process, they become happier, healthier, and more fulfilled.
Hackschooling: What’s the Need?
This will be the question of parents who send their kids to traditional schools and who believe that it’s the best thing for their children. For some parents, though, schools are becoming a hindrance to the development of their kids.
The curriculum is too rigid and too confined to meet the specific needs of children as unique individuals. The methods are too traditional to motivate kids to think creatively and develop their potential. And, the subjects are too general, designed for average learning without any room to accommodate the gray areas. And thus, kids who fall outside the average (the special kids, the geniuses, the future Einsteins) are not catered to and often taken for granted. They are left to their own devices, bored and unmotivated and left to believe that they have a problem since they don’t fit with average kids. Many of these children, who are brimming with talent, often end up neglected, their potentials unrealized.
Because of this, many parents opt to look for learning opportunities outside of the school. They ‘hack’ the education of their children in order to allow them to learn more freely, to explore and be more creative, and to follow their ‘calling’.
The Pros and Cons of Hackschooling
Most parents who choose to hackschool (homeschool) their children relate having encountered oppositions from friends and family members. The most common reasons are:
1) The kids won’t learn to socialize properly if they study at home.
2) It would be difficult for the kids to adapt to society in the future.
3) Finding a job when they grow up might be a problem.
These are all valid points. But, many parents have learned how to deal with these. Logan, for instance, joins small groups and visits places in order to learn – learning doesn’t happen at home all the time. Many parents also follow a program aimed at promoting balanced learning for the kids – just like the 8-point program followed by Logan.
And because learning is tailored to the needs, interests, and skills of the children, they become more motivated to learn and more involved in the learning process. The variety of activities also guarantees minimal boredom, and most kids have fun while learning – something that cannot be said of many students who go to traditional schools.
Logan Laplante is a picture of a child who has confidence stemming from the knowledge that he is learning for his own sake, that he is in the right path. He may just be 13 years old and may be unaware of what he really wants to be in life at this point, but what he has become because of his parents’ choices is a guarantee that he will always be above many of the average students today.
So is hackschooling the best choice for education? Well, it depends on the needs of the child. Some children may do well in traditional schools, but some will need more focused attention and more varied learning. And if we are to be honest here, it would also depend on the needs/capacity of the parents. Hackschooling is not easy; it demands more involvement from parents – more time, more money, more effort. But, if done the right way, it can develop children into the best individuals that they can be.