Ben Patrick is a best-selling author and CEO of ATG - which focuses on improving fitness results for people experiencing knee pain. Ben now has a young son and is already thinking about how to best organize an education for his child(ren).
As a young adult, Ben created his own educational and self-development path that took him to where he is now. But it seems that was in SPITE of his earlier educational experiences. I believe that those disparate experiences - first one that did NOT work, followed by one that DID - has allowed him to put together his solid list of 12 points that he plans to incorporate into his child(ren)'s education. I highly recommend you check out his entire article here.
Some takeaways from Ben's plan:
- Focus on the Whole Child. Ben is clearly thinking purposefully about mental and physical health as well as educational outcomes. He is also thinking about his child(ren)'s financial health.
- Offer Choice. Ben specifically mentions offering children choices in music, art, and reading. I can't say enough about what a GREAT IDEA THIS IS!!!!!! The amount of buy-in you get from kids who feel a sense of agency in what they are doing is simply amazing. Often it is like flipping on a light: from apathetic to excited and self-driven in the blink of an eye.
- Do what works for your family. Ben is on the right track: thinking about the BIG picture and what his values are in order to guide his child(ren)'s education. Getting clear on your values and what you most want your kids to 'have' at the end of their education with you will help you feel confident that you are doing things that work in YOUR family. Each family can (and should be!) a little or a lot different. It is obvious Ben wants his kid(s) to be healthy, happy, and able to support themselves - the same things we all want for our kids - and he has good ideas on how to get them there based on his experiences. When you read his 12 points, take what might work for your family and leave what doesn't.
One more idea that I would add:
- Experiment. Don't be afraid to pivot if something you had planned isn't working. It took me some time to get used to the idea that if something really isn't working it is actually GOOD to just drop it. I know I am stealing the phrase 'fail quickly' from SOMEWHERE but can't quite remember where: it's the idea that you want to identify what isn't working so you can stop wasting your time on it. In my experience no one sticks with every part their very first homeschooling/unschooling plan - and that is a GOOD thing. As your child grows, and you learn how the two of you work together, you will have new ideas. Your child's interests and abilities will grow and change, you will meet people, make friends, have serendipitous encounters, all of which might lead you in a direction you wouldn't have tried on your own. And that makes this homeschooling/unschooling gig a wonderful adventure - you don't know quite where it will take you but everyone will learn a LOT on the way!
You will notice in Ben's article that he is going to be creating his curriculum around his ideas - he's one I would follow for ideas in the future! I know I will!
I have no affiliation with Ben Patrick or ATG. But I am now a fan!