It’s summertime! That means that over 50 million children are savoring three months of no school, free from the mandated learning that they were subjected to for the previous three months. While many children are celebrating three months without learning, at Abrome we are encouraging children to dive deeper into learning.
We want our Abrome Learners to live remarkable lives, and a remarkable life is contingent on continual learning. In order to master a craft, a profession or relationships with others, one must constantly seek out answers or solutions to the questions and problems that they face. However, in schools the message is clear – you don’t seek out answers or solutions to the questions and problems you face, you seek out answers or solutions to the questions and problems that teachers give you (based largely on curriculum requirements dictated by politicians or bureaucrats). Further, in schools you don’t seek out answers or solutions whenever you come across questions and problems you face in life, you seek out answers or solutions within a seven hour time frame, for five days a week, for 180 days a year, for thirteen years. Schools inhibit learning by trying to force young people to learn what schools want them to learn, and by limiting learning to select periods of time during a young person’s childhood.
At Abrome we are fans of the families who choose to pull their kids out of traditional schools so that their children can be freed from the coercive structures of school. However, we are also saddened to see so many families bringing those coercive structures of school into the home. For example, many parents believe they are doing their children a favor by forcing them to do worksheets each morning. Most do it for what they believe are good reasons, such as making sure they don’t fall behind their peers or making sure that they have a sufficient base in numeracy and literacy that they can build off of in later years. The problem with worksheets, or mandated readings, or other coercive traditional school structures that are brought into the home is that they undermine an inborn desire to learn. These coercive school structures that are brought into the home are convincing the young people that there is a time to learn, and that the learning that matters must be prescribed by others.
At Abrome we emphasize that learning happens at any time of the day or night, any day of the year, and well beyond childhood or adolescence. We also emphasize that learning need not conform to the desires of the adults in a child’s life, and that it can go far beyond the limited expectations that adults may have given the constrained educational freedoms they most likely experienced. For that reason we don’t demand that young people redirect their interest from fashion, Lego’s or sports in order for them to learn long division or how to write a five-paragraph essay. We understand that learning shouldn’t be something that one is forced to suffer through, but that it should be cultivated, always. And when we embrace and celebrate the learning that a Learner chooses to engage in, then learning happens all the time. That is why Abrome learning doesn’t stop during the summer; Abrome learning never stops.