July 20, 2019

Homeschooling - the agile of school

For the last few years, we have been home schooling our two boys. We started off with a traditional home schooling syllabus called Clonard, which is a South African curriculum, and aligns to the Department of Educations standards.  My wife teaches them including her nephew, at home. They have a standard set of hours, from about 8am till 11am, but its very flexible depending on what we need to get done.

There are other options as well, like Cambridge. We have many friends and family who go to home-schooling school, which perhaps has one or two teachers, with a few kids there.

Even though we have not gone onto something like un-schooling, where they don't follow any set syllabus, we have swopped out certain subjects with more fun and relevant subjects.

One one the very inspirational home schooling stories come from Asim and his family. His 3 kids have completed the typical school course, and finished it a few years earlier than is usual -  they are the youngest ever to write and complete their IGCSE levels. And they all got A+ results. The most amazing part is how they managed to accomplish it - purely by the power of focus. They mostly did it through self learning (apart from a few Skype lessons with a tutor). They choose a particular subject, say Math, then start with some past-exams, and figure out everything from there. The parents will help if they get stuck. They might watch some online material to get them understand a specific section, then study by taking the exams over and over again. After a few months, if they getting high enough results, they go and take the official exam. Then move onto the next subject.

The power of focus - choose a particular subject and master it

This is really different to a normal school, where you do 6 subjects all at once, with no chance to master any specific one.

And thats what practising agile methodologies lets you accomplish - by focussing and time-boxing your activities, you manage to accomplish much more. You get rid of all the distractions and wastage caused by switching between different tasks and hand-offs, and you get to focus on what really matters.

So our kids get to learn the normal things they meant to learn in school, but in half the time. At the same time, we allowing them to focus on some extracurricular activities, that otherwise they might not have the chance to do if they were in a regular school, or might still do but suffer from over-working.