When I listen to parents stuck in the mainstream education system and hear how concerned they are about their young people I really feel for them.
For when I say ‘stuck’ it really is like that; the systems binds them with a glue that not only keeps their education mainstream but also clogs up their thinking. And they end up believing the propaganda about how doomed their kids will be how if they don’t achieve in the same way everyone else is achieving and at the same time.
When did we stop believing in individuals or possibilities and start believing cloning, I wonder? For isn’t this what we’re doing?
I think about all the home educating families in comparison who have managed to break out of this sticky approach and see education as it should be; the all round development of an individual that equips them with skills to learn – for life, not just between the ages of five and eighteen, in individual ways if needed.
The trouble is that by gluing people to beliefs about achieving GCSEs or A’ Levels by 16 or 18 for example, it’s led everyone to believe that if these results haven’t been achieved by these ages then there is something wrong with their kids and they’ll never have a life!
I want to shout very loudly that this is utter CODSWALLOP!
And even more codswallop comes in the form of making youngsters believe that they are failures without these results and they’ll never work or achieve other things.
If this is what you believe then you need to examine your thinking very carefully and unstick it!
The reality instead is this:
- Anyone can take GCSEs at any time of their life if they wish; courses, opportunities, tutors, facilities are there for youngsters to do this if you look.
- Equally, it is the same with A’ Levels, other qualifications, degrees, whatever.
- These can be achieved in a range of ways and within a range of time frames the only downside being there will probably be a fee.
- NO ONE need ever be doomed for doing it differently. Youngsters can add to their achievements any time they’re ready. Some people are not ready until they’re much older. This is their right and is absolutely fine.
- It is not necessarily better to have done it early – it just suits others if it happens like that! We all develop and mature at different times and that’s allowed.
- There is no law that says that anyone has to do any of this anyway. These are merely convenient hoops to pass through to get places – some of us don’t want to go those places or by those means!
- Having exam results is not always a measure of intelligence. It is a measure of whether you can pass exams or not. You can be just as intelligent and educated without them.
- There are all forms of intelligence and most of the useful ones, like emotional intelligence for example, are not examinable anyway. An educated person is not merely a qualified person, it is a person who can behave in an educated and responsible way. Many qualified people don’t!
So even if you don’t want to break out of mainstream schooling you can still break out of mainstream thinking and decide what’s right for you and your young people.
There are all sorts of ways to progress and all sorts of pathways to do so. Mainstream is easy if it’s working. Dire when it’s not. Don’t stay stuck in mainstream glue if it’s not working for you and yours!