I don’t even know what to write… Yesterday my boy who is 5 had his best friend from back home on Skype. I studied my son as he showed our apartment by walking from room to room with the Iphone. He had put his karate outfit on and he was showing his old friend kicks and punches. But when the two little boys came to talk about school my son choked up a little. With a tiny voice he said :
– The school in New Caledonia is not so much fun.
I can understand what he means because I take the kids to school every day, I pick them up for lunch and then I do homework with them in the evening. Where we used to live the school system is a lot more child friendly and both my kids used to love to go to school. They are used to learning by playing with numbers and words instead of studying them. In New Caledonia the system is French. The main difference that I can see is that it’s based on competition. You measure a child’s value by comparing him or her to the other students. You stress importance of diplomas and grades not personal progress. I haven’t seen any encouragement for individual talents so far. My five year old son already gets grades in 30 different topics over here. These grades are compared to the other kids in his class. So what we’re trying to do is to make all of them equally good at everything?
Already three months after we landed on the island our daughters teacher was expressing her worry about my daughters language skills. She thought the learning curve was not impressive enough and that my daughter should be able to speak already. A new language in three months, with thirty kids in one class room and one teacher?
One funny thing that has happened since we came to this French island is that our kids has learned English. How did this happen? They browse the web on their Ipads and they look at funny clips on Youtube. They just play around with it and suddenly they have a good base for a second language. The interesting part is that their progress with the English language is much more obvious than their progress with French. I understand that it will not be so in the long run since they are not getting the grammar and spelling skills from Youtube. But it really makes me wonder…
Let me add that I’m not judging, I’m just observing. When we decided to sell everything and move to the other side of the world we didn’t think that everything we’d experience in our new country would feel like a home run. There are a lot of things that are amazing over here but the school system feels a bit dated to be honest. What’s also worth mentioning is that personally I don’t really believe in the school system in general. My feeling is that there has to be a better way and hearing my kids anxiety about it makes this feeling grow even stronger.
When everything a human being needs to know is available on the web a couple of clicks away. Do we really need grades, grumpy teachers and noisy classrooms?
Let me brainstorm on the subject for a couple of minutes :
What if all they really need is the right Youtube channels?
– Language – History – Art – All we really need these days is a good Google search when we want to learn something new.
The basic physical activity for my kids should be something that they naturally love, which in my sons life could be Hiking and karate. The mountains and a Dojo could be this little boys physical education rooms. Then every now and then we could add a new and different activity to his schedule. It could be things like, swimming, dance, tennis etc. Just to broaden the horizon and look for new passions.
Perhaps they could follow the Tim Ferris formula for learning new skills which is 3-6 months of every new topic and then move on. This would make my children much more confident growing up. Just knowing that they have all these basic skills in different areas.
And whatever happened to philosophy? I think it should be taught early on in life. Why don’t we talk about the stoics in school?
I am not afraid to try new things and if someone has an alternative education method for my children. I could see myself pull my kids out of school, I am willing to give it a try. I would love to get some advice so please drop a message.
PS. English is my second language so you have to excuse my sometimes clumsy writing, I’m working on it! Read more about Welcome to Insight on my now page.