Marcel's blog

Dismantling the Inner School

Speaker David Albert builds a metaphor for the journey to setting ourselves free in homeschooling: we must dismantle our inner school, brick by brick, smashing with a sledgehammer the assumptions we have about how learning must work.

David H. Albert

David H. Albert

David opens with an illustration of how the first day of school might have been for us. Full of excitement, fear, and hope, we let go of our mother's hand and board the yellow school bus. With that, the first brick of our inner school is laid.

Dismantling the Inner School is the title of David's upcoming book, so I don't want to spoil it for you. But here are a few example bricks mentioned on his handout:

  • Learning starts on the first day of school, not before, and especially not at home
  • There are "special" places for learning, with "special" equipment, and these cannot be had outside of school
  • You must learn things on a schedule, not when your curiosity is piqued
  • Your life outcomes will be determined by how well you do in school

He offers those bricks as myths that homeschoolers (although he dislikes the reference to "school" in both "homeschooling" and "unschooling") must overcome to liberate themselves.

He offers these keys to education:

  • Love and listening, which are least likely to be found in a classroom of dozens of kids
  • A curriculum of patience does a long way. David is not a fan of schedules nor of preset lists of topics
  • Average kids don't exist, so don't try to compare yours to one
  • It's ok to feel tired, especially if you're happy
  • As a parent, have fun, learn, new stuff, grow. Learning is not just for the kids, and modeling the process can help demonstrate its importance
  • Trust Children More - John Holt says, "Trust the Children," but David admits complete trust might be too hard
  • When in doubt, figure out how the situation would be handled in school and to the opposite

David Albert spent 25 years in school and mostly learned that he was never satisfied with what he learned there. After several degrees he still found "holes" in his education. He has written several books about homeschooling.

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