Home » The Ten Types of Kids and How Self-Directed Learning Will Benefit Them

The Ten Types of Kids and How Self-Directed Learning Will Benefit Them

“Well, sure,” plenty of well-meaning people say to me, “letting a kid do whatever they want all day would work for some kids, but not my kid.”  This is such an easy, and common, way to sidestep the difficult questions about institutionalized education that I’ve put together a handy table below for the labels your child’s school might have privately, or publicly, used on your child.  Look for your offspring, and let me know if I missed anyone. . .

My Child is . . .

The Objection?

How Would Self-Directed Education Be Better?

“The Wallflower”

“He wouldn’t know what to do all day, so he would just sit and watch others all day.” Your child would find his voice and no longer wait for others’ permission to grow.

“The Slacker”

“If nobody told her what to do, she’d just [play video games/ insert other “waste of time”] all day. Your child would be free to learn from everything, even playing.  Also, scarcity breeds desire – that tablet isn’t as persuasive if it isn’t restricted. . .

“The Misfit”

“He’s just not like other kids, so he has a hard time at school and/or on the bus, but getting tough is part of growing up.” Your child can shape, and enjoy the benefits of, a healthy school culture that actively cultivates uniqueness and diversity (instead of just talking about it in generic terms once a year).

“The Class Clown”

“She acts out all day and gets in trouble with her teachers, so even less discipline would be a disaster.” The restrictions your child is fighting against don’t exist here – and she’ll get a chance to examine her true motivation like never before.

“The Achiever”

“He already has great grades, and tons of homework, but that’s what you have to do to get into a good college and be successful.” Your child can use that drive to pursue topics that he will actually study in college, thereby preparing him better for his future than the grab-bag of knowledge at a traditional school.

“The Prodigy”

“She’s so talented – removing her from a big school will stunt her ability to progress.” Intrinsically-motivated growth, under the mentorship of experts (who may have been otherwise unavailable), combined with unlimited time = explosive talents.

“The Enthusiast”

“He’s super into one thing – we can’t indulge his desire to only do [sports, computers, drawing] all day long.” Learning is learning – and learning how to learn is what we do.  Once he knows how to learn, he can do almost anything – and that’s one skill that is not taught in schools.

“The Ambassador”

“She is well-liked and is everyone’s friend.  A small school would be stifling.” Your child will perfect the skills of diplomacy, planning, and coordinating in real-time, with people of differing ages, just like in real life (as opposed to same-age cohorts in 3-minute breaks).

“The Entrepreneur”

“He’s been talking his way in and out of trouble for years.  He’ll make a great salesman someday.” Why not now?  Your inventive, creative, enthusiastic child can blossom instead of being squashed by a system that rewards sameness.

“The Fidgeter”

“She can’t sit still.  Ever. The school is suggesting we might see her doctor about it.” Movement is another way to learn!  We don’t care, frankly, if your child can’t sit still for long.  Neither can we.

“The Zygote”

“He’s not born yet.” Check back in with us in a few years.
We all deserve to be recognized as unique!

Photo courtesy of Michelle via Creative Commons Licensing

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