But the bigger question within that is - who, exactly, decides that for you? Most adults will answer the latter query by responding, "why, I do, of course." Why then does our culture believe it is OK to tell young people what, how, when, and where they need to learn (or do) to be a "successful," "productive," and "accepted" member of society?
Children from a very young age know what they need. And with very little guidance, they will seek it out. Some little ones are attracted to nature - they pursue any animal they can find, including the creepy crawlies. They will lay in the grass with their little faces upturned to the wide-open sky - keenly watching the wind-blown cloud patterns, migrational habits of the birds and butterflies, bugs buzzing by, the rain or snowdrops falling on their tongues, or even the shadows made by the sun shining through the leaves. Or they will stomp in every puddle, wade into the ponds, lakes, or streams to feel the ooze between their toes - no matter how cold, squishy, and uninviting it may seem to the rest of us. These kids are so attuned to the seasons and all the living creatures - plants, animals, and fungi - that they can tell you anything you would like to know.
Other kids will immerse themselves in music, art, dinosaurs, history, geology, languages, wordplay, cooking, gaming, number play, sports, or __. All are valid pursuits. Every single one of them!
No one should ever have the authority to tell any child what they are passionately absorbed with, at the moment, is unimportant or useless. But yet, that is what we do every day - even if it is an implicit message.
You know the standard comments, "you can't make a living as an artist, writer, musician, or ... " Tell that to all of the people who are thriving in this world doing all those things.
Or how about the ubiquitous, "how will you learn to read, write, and ... if you don't study them in separate and distinct classes." As I mentioned two weeks ago, life is not separated into subjects - so why should we disconnect our learning experiences from each other?
And lastly, the ever-popular "you are behind." I have to ask, behind what - the predetermined, incongruous timetable set by the disassociated officialdom? Sounds ridiculous when stated like that, right?
Within all that (the traditional education system), we are shutting down every child's innate curiosity and intense desire to explore, discover, and create - essentially destroying their natural love of learning.
I want to live in a world where every single person is happily engaged in pursuing the things they love the most. Imagine working together to fill all the niches within each community. And, no one would be forced to do the thing they hated, simply to make a living. Utopia(?) - maybe. But, I am willing to do the work to get us closer - especially, if it means I can help one more child break free from the system and realize their dreams.
DRC Seedlings program is designed specifically for younger children to explore the world on their own terms. You can learn more - here.
We have openings in all of our programs for the coming year. Get in touch to learn more.
Thank you to Coakley's Hardware for donating supplies to prep the exterior of our Canton facility to be painted. (If you have seen it, you understand how badly it needs this facelift!)