So, you’ve ditched the curriculum and lesson plans, and now what? You’re twiddling your thumbs?
I doubt that very much!
But I was thinking about what kids need to know before they move into adulthood. What do I wish I had been able to focus on as a kid/teen? I created this list eons ago – when I still had three teenagers at home (and also a couple of grown step-kids with kids of their own!). I came up with my own list of what I thought would be good to learn.
- Kindness and compassion. Learn how to put yourself into other people’s shoes. When everyone else jumps on a bandwagon against something someone did, hold back a little bit.
- Live in the moment. Realize that there are about 16 waking hours in a day. And when they’re gone, they’re gone. There’s nothing wrong with having a little “down time” but make sure you have some “up time too.”
- Listen to people when they talk to you. Give them your full attention. Think about what they’re saying but also why they might be saying it to you.
- Get healthy. Learn healthy eating choices and find exercise that you like and can do nearly every day. You’re going to be in this body for a while – longer if you take care of it
- Learn your strengths and your weaknesses. Take time to get to know yourself.
- Manage your stress. Find a way to calm yourself – maybe meditation, visualization, yoga, journaling. Even just getting in the habit of taking your dog for a walk might work.
- Learn how easily it is to be manipulated. Learn about the nature of advertising and marketing.
- Learn how to pursue your interests. Learn how to find information on the internet and dive in!
- Be brave. Try new things. You never know what you might actually like.
Imagine if these ideas permeated school curricula with the same importance as academics. In our homeschooling/unschooling world, it can. Reading, writing, and math will present itself. And if you need these more traditional “subjects” for a job you’d like to pursue, that’s why we have community college. But it seems a far better plan to focus more on these kinds of characteristics/traits than something that may not even be part of our world in ten years.