Hackschooling Values

When my wife and I decided to look into homeschooling for our oldest we didn’t have a comprehensive plan or strategy or anything even close to anything like that.

We simply knew that what had been working  was no longer working and that it was our responsibility and opportunity to do something about that change, that discrepancy.

So in December of 2014 we jumped in with both both and started experimenting, iterating, and exploring the options as we encountered them. Quickly we were getting the type of feedback that we had hoped we’d get from the only customer that mattered: Our kiddo.

It’s interesting to read that post a few years down the road from where we started:

It’s also incredibly satisfying for myself knowing that I’m able to create an experience for her that will be special and unique to the way that she’s been created, that just “works” for her behavioral patterns, her proclivities, and her perspective.

And we’ve been able to do just that. Incredible experiences that are building into her person and character. And we can do this even more now that she’s a bit older – some really special and unique stuff, like giving her a revenue-generating project and business to run, even though she’s just 10 years old.

Is this what “homeschooling” is? No, but that’s not what we’ve been doing. What we’ve been doing is “hacking school” and chronicling our journey, here and there, taking more mental notes than physical ones about how things are going, pacing, and proceeding.

But I can distinctly remember, earlier in our conversations, establishing a baseline of what we believed to be true and what we wanted to “accomplish” in this grand experiment. We asked ourselves two very simple questions:

  1. What do we value?
  2. Who do we want our child to be, to become?

After much thought we came up with this statement, which is something I’m not sure I’ve shared publicly before (you would have thought that I’d have done it already…):

We want her to be independent, autonomous, curious, and excited about learning. Deeply relational, a person of integrity. Empathetic and emotionally intelligent. Multi-cultural, diverse. Happy.

These were things that we ultimately valued as adults and in our own selves. We wanted the exact same things for our kids.

It’s impossible to know, at any given moment, if we’re achieving our aim or if we’re “on track” but, at the end of an exhausting and tough day, we have, more often than not, felt good about our implementation and feel like we’re generally oriented in the right direction.

And that’s enough to keep us moving forward.