Is Traditional School a ‘Must’?

Earlier tonight, I uploaded a video where I discussed the advantages of homeschooling, and the K12 program in particular. The response has been overwhelming in a very short time. For instance, my assistant Kat homeschooled her daughter last year for a semester. She researched tons of different programs, and ended up creating her own. You see, homeschooling using an accredited course is quite expensive. Her daughter returned to public school this year to attend 8th grade. However, they’ve been looking and researching ways to homeschool again through high school. K12 offers her a perfect way to do so! Kat was really excited by this, knowing this is a great program and something she can afford.

This raises the question of why she is so set on homeschooling. Why are so many thousands of others turning to non-traditional means of education these days? In many cases, it’s not a matter of the public schools not being up to par. It has to do with the fact that the schools and teachers are limited in what they can teach, and for how long. There are strictures placed on kids who learn slowly – and ones who are much faster. There isn’t always an “accelerated” or “gifted” program available in smaller, rural communities.

So, we turn to non-traditional means. I’ve always been able to learn better and more outside of a classroom environment than in it. I know there are thousands and thousands of other kids who are the same way. I was forced to start thinking more about whether attending a traditional school is a must after receiving this email tonight from Om:

I am 18 years old, and I dropped out in grade 10. I have never been happier in my life. I now run my own business as a technical support guy – and am doing great! Since I started my business, I have been offered a job by an ISP and another computer repair company.

I have heard a thousand times from friends and family members that I “need” to go to school or I will end up with a bad job. Had I finished school, I wouldn’t have started my own business – and would not be living the almost perfect life (not to brag).

Now I’m not saying that traditional schooling is bad. I just think that is certainly isn’t for everyone. I also believe that traditional schooling needs a lot of redesigning. They’re still teaching the same basic courses that they did some 300 years ago. I think a class on how to run a computer would be more important that something like history or grade 12 math.

So my advice now to people is, instead of going to school and then figuring out what you want to do – figure out what you want to do, then go to school if you find it fits your needs.

What’s your thoughts on this? Is it imperative that kids attend a “traditional” school? If so, for how long? Do you believe that some non-traditional methods just may be even better for them in both the short term and in the long run? Let’s hear what you have to say!