I love seeing young people who are so empowered and so inspiring! Their enthusiasm is contagious and their wisdom belies their age. One such young person is Logan LaPlante. I am so glad I saw his TEDx University of Nevada talk online. And since then, I’ve been trying to come up with our own version of hackschooling in our homeschooling.
Listen to What Your Kids are Saying and See What They are Stoked About
Early in his talk, Logan talks about how adults typically expect children to say that they want to become astronauts or neurosurgeons when they grow up. Many adults wouldn’t expect (or perhaps wouldn’t approve?) of kids saying things like “I want to become a pro skateboarder,” or “I want to be a Minecraft player.” But Logan makes the point that kids will give answers based on what they are stoked on (hearing his choice of words reminds me of my own generation gap with my kids; you would never hear me say stoked 😉 ). This is why my nine-year-old son tells me he wants to be a professional gamer and YouTuber.
Don’t be Afraid to Hack Your Learning
In learning and in life, Logan employs a hacker mindset. And he explains that hacking isn’t a negative thing. It’s not about spreading computer viruses. He says, “Hackers are innovators. Hackers are people who challenge and change the systems to make them work differently, to make them work better.” His homeschooling, which he calls hackschooling, isn’t tied to any one particular curriculum or approach. It is flexible, opportunistic, experiential and community-driven. “It’s like a remix or mashup of learning.”
Aim to Be Happy and Healthy
Logan reminds us that in many cases, education is focused on how to make a living and not on how to make a life. Children are taught that the focus and priority are getting skills and knowledge needed in the workplace. And many of these kids, while working hard in their schoolwork, end up being unhealthy and unhappy. We should remember that while skills and knowledge are important, happiness and health are much more important.
Logan LaPlante’s hackschooling is a great inspiration for homeschoolers. If we are not afraid to hack our education and if we make happiness and health our priorities, who knows what we can achieve?