Homeschooling

Unedited Thoughts #1: Homework, Homeschool and the concept of teenagers

Unedited Thoughts 1

A New Unedited Style Of Writing

I’ve decided to try out a new style of writing for this blog: unedited thoughts.

I haven’t been able to post on this blog for many months because my writing has been stunted by too many factors: political correctness, worrying about the readers’ feelings, SEO issues, and focusing too much on catchy headlines.

So I’m trying something new.

These past few months, I have found myself writing more consistently when I write to myself. My unedited thoughts flow much better when I don’t worry about sentence structure, grammar, political correctness or offending the liberals and extremists.

Eventually, I decided to start posting these thoughts. Thus giving you a glimpse into my unedited mind.

This is the first in a new series of articles which are simply my raw unedited thoughts on topics I care about. I will post them as a write them, without worrying about whether people will be offended or not. Instead, I hope people will engage with me in discussing these topics and developing new solutions to the problems facing the ummah.

So here are today’s unedited thoughts on three topics: homeschool, homework and teenagers.

The Happy Child

Happy.

That’s how I’d describe a homeschooled child.

Happy, excited, enthusiastic and loving life!

We really don’t realize how negatively school affects children until we meet a child who hasn’t been through the traditional school system.

Compare these two ten year old boys:

One loves to read, play, explore, and spend time with family. He can engage you on almost any topic: business, politics, history, religion, entertainment. And he speaks with confidence and excitement about a multitude of topics.

The other has only one interest: his videogames. He hates school, find life boring, is always stressed out about exams and homework, and just wants to play videogames. Videogames are the only escape from his stressful life.

The first child is how I would describe most 10 year old homeschooled boys I have met. The second is how I would describe almost any 10 year old schoolboy I have to teach or counsel.  

The first is natural. The second is not.

Stress and Homework

Homework is not what it used to be.

It used to be hard…now it is unbearable.

Homework has become a genuine cause of stress for many parents and children.

Why?

More importantly, why do we even have such a concept as homework?

My experience is that humans don’t need that much time to learn something. They do not need 6 hours of school every day for 13 years, along with 3 hours of homework. Nobody does.

A child learns a lot more with 3 hours of discussion, interaction and research a day, than with an entire week of school and homework.

Throw it away. Homework is a useless concept that is ruining childhood.

If society cared about children’s mental health, they would get rid of the concept of homework altogether. It is really unnecessary and serves no real purpose.

Let school hours be learning time, and home hours be recovery time. Children need space and free time to recover, recharge, and absorb what they learned during the day.

Get rid of homework and just let them be.

Stunted Development

The twelve year old homeschooler is considering starting his own business, and already has his goals and career mapped out.

The thirty year old who went to school and university still lives with his parents, playing videogames all day and is still ‘figuring life out’.

What went wrong with our education system?

Many things but I want to highlight just two:

1.      Too many years of schooling

Children do not need 13 years of school. I believe schooling from age 7 until 12 is enough to live a fulfilling life.

I wish I had a way to convince the world about this, and reform the world’s education systems accordingly. 5 or 6 years is enough to teach people everything they need to know about language, maths, life and religion.

After that, education should be self-directed and personal.

High School is one of humanity’s worst inventions.

Don’t believe me?

Spend a day in your local High School and ask yourself what is the point of everything you see around you. This leads me to point two.

2.      Lack of clarity regarding what is an adult

For the first time in human history, we have 30 year old children. Why? Because we have no clue how to define an adult, so some people just never grow up…ever!

In Islam, it is very clear: puberty = adulthood.

This is agreed upon by all schools of thought. Yet I have even had Muslim parents challenge me on this and refuse to accept this, because it isn’t what the dominant culture teaches.

What does the dominant culture teach is an adult?

18? 21? 32?

There really is no logical method to work it out, just arbitrary numbers.

Islam is clear and biologically sound: humans that have a sex drive are adult, humans that haven’t developed one yet are children.

Society must start considering puberty as the differentiator between adults and children again. Or else, we may end up with a generation of 75 year old children. (It’s coming…believe me)

What is a teenager anyway?

Throughout human history, humans post-puberty were considered young adults. They started working, went through rites of passage, got married, and started living their lives.

Then in the past century, we invented a concept called Teenagers. We took a bunch of sexually-charged young adults, threw them together in a prison (High School) for a few years, and decided to just make that a normal part of life.

I really believe one reason why teenagers are so rebellious and angry is because their bodies are saying one thing and society is saying another.

Their bodies are saying: I’m an adult now, treat me as one, and give the rights of one.

Society says: You are not a little kid anymore, but not one of us yet either. You are meant to be a problem, so we’ll just ignore you for a few more years.

Here is one simple tip for raising teens that are less rebellious: treat them as adults.

Treat a teenager as an adult, and he will behave more respectfully, more maturely, and more confidently. He knows what he is and understands the changes to his body better. This will ease his mind and help him find his way in life faster.

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3 thoughts on “Unedited Thoughts #1: Homework, Homeschool and the concept of teenagers

  1. I do agree to most of your concepts specially the no homework policy for young children but the age limit for schooling (7-12) is debatable. I believe in inculcating more of practical concepts like life skills, personality development, debating skill etc than just exaggerated theories. More of deep thinking and research method approach where students are completely involved verbally as well as practically rather than as a passive listener..this would i guess bring more of life and fun to school life which may make it much worth it.

    1. The beauty of educational theory is that everything is debatable and open to discussion. There is no clear guidelines on how long children need schooling for.

      I believe five years of obligatory schooling is enough, and anything beyond that should be optional. However, a case can be made for 8 or 10 years too.

      Would you agree that 13 years is too much and needs to change?

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