I usually tend to think twice when I come across statements like “kids should do this” and “teachers must do that” and “the educational system needs to”. Why would a certain so-and-so believe that they have the ultimate answer and the best solution to these issues, when thousands of bright minds are struggling to solve this puzzle? And why should we do something, just because someone says that we “should”?
For this reason I was a bit suspicious when I first read the title of the article 9 Essential Skills Kids Should Learn, written by Leo Babauta in 2012.
However, I decided to read it anyway, to see what “kids should learn” now, in Babauta's opinion. I must confess that I was pleasantly surprised. Babauta’s reflection on his own education in the 1980’s and on his kids’ education in the 2000’s led him to the unsettling conclusion that back then, as well as nowadays, the schools prepared the kids for a future they couldn’t even imagine. Who can tell what the world will look like in 2030 or in 2050? Therefore, with his wife support, he decided to homeschool their children, actually to “unschool” them, as he says, and further explains it as “teaching them to learn on their own, without us handing knowledge down to them and testing them on that knowledge.” He made it his goal to teach his own children the following set of skills (which I thought were very similar to the IB Learner Profile and Attitudes, by the way, but due to the homeschool setting could lack the social factor in some regard):