What’s a sadder reflection on our modern educational system: the fact that “School’s Out” by Alice Cooper is the de facto theme for students everywhere this time of year, or the fact that almost no one stops to consider that maybe it’s a problem that so many people feel this way about school?
I wonder… is “Thou shalt be excited when school’s out for the summer” a rule that doesn’t need to exist?
I’ll admit, the first day of summer vacation for me was always gloriously delicious. It meant freedom. But freedom from what, exactly?
- Freedom from being told what to do all day long.
- Freedom from having to jump through hoops for other people.
- Freedom from having to spend most of the day memorizing facts and being lectured to about things I had no interest in whatsoever.
- Freedom from the pressure of having to measure up to the artificial standards of coolness as decided on by a consensus of my immature peers.
- Freedom from tests and book reports and homework!
What if you reimagined school so that every day felt like the first day of summer vacation?
- Freedom to finally spend most of my day on projects you are interested in.
- Freedom to spend a whole day (or week!) on a project if you wanted to.
- Freedom to spend more time outside in nature.
- Freedom to spend more time around (and be friends with) people of different ages and backgrounds.
- Freedom to be yourself and not worry about what’s “cool” or not.
- Freedom to do nothing once in a while.
That, my friends, is called homeschooling.
For me, it’s weird to think of taking a break from learning. The truth is that kids are learning every day, whether they are in school or not. So am I. So are you. But I get it. For kids, school is associated with learning. That’s why we’re sent, to learn stuff. So naturally, if school stinks, so must learning.
Maybe I’m alone, but I think it’s sad that the surge of freedom associated with the first day of summer vacation is such a common feeling in our society.
One of the things that excites me most about our homeschooling adventure — especially with the interest-based approach we are taking — is the chance to make Mr. Cooper’s rock standard sound like a song from another planet to my kids.
Now that would really rock.