Home schooling, Horizonte 2020 and new ways to educate
April 14, 2015  |  Written by Carlota Nelson

From Plato, who developed the first educational plan to Novack and Montessori, including Aristotle, who believed in an intuitive education, history´s great educators have proposed different ways and methods for learning. What these philosophers and teachers defended (play, exercise, poetry, music and freedom to choose) have practically disappeared from schools. That is why many parents decide to educate their children at home or enrol them in different schools or workshops so they can continue learning and have a great time while they do so. Discover the options here.

Home schooling

In the United States, for example, home schooling is on the rise. Newsweek, in this article, states that urban parents and even celebrities have now decided to leave aside the old prejudices and educate their kids at home.

Pros and Cons

Educators and parents defend the idea of home schooling because they believe that children learn better, feel more creative and free and home is where the important values should be taught. Just like this article points out “many universities in the United States reserve a spot for kids who are home schooled because of their high degree of motivation.”

One of the main reasons why parents don´t home school is because they´d rather have their children learn social skills, and schools are a great place to start. Plus, many parents do not have the time and resources they need to home school and they´d rather follow the tradition.

Horizonte 2020

Very recently, the Jesuit Schools in Catalonia, Spain have begun to integrate a new educational model. There are already 13 thousand students who enjoy this new way of learning. According to El Confidencial, this model has eliminated subjects; exams, schedules and classrooms have become work areas.

The reason? Just like Xavier Aragay, director of the Jesuit Foundation for Education in Catalonia, suggests in the article mentioned above: “the current and traditional educational model bores children and they have disconnected themselves from the system.”

Their classrooms have sofas, tables big enough for teamwork and access to technology. That way, students can discover what their vital project in life is as they learn to reason and reflect on the important issues. Here at The Toy Blog, we published an article titled Mindfulness at School, in which we wrote about how this practice calms the mind, reduces stress and offers children the tools they need to concentrate and enjoy. Horizonte 2020 includes “reflective” 20-minute sessions at the start of day and another 20 when school is out.

We each learn differently. That is why there are so many different types of educational models. From Montessori schools to the revolutionary VARK model, developed by Neil Fleming, each one has a unique style. But there are 8 things that they don´t teach children and without them, our kids will have a hard time making good decisions and learning to be happy. The good news? We can do all this at home, whether they attend school or not.


The 8 steps to wellbeing

No matter what educational model you choose for your children, its important they practise these 8 steps to wellbeing. After all, shouldn’t happiness be just as important as multiplication tables?

That is precisely what drove Roger Walsh, professor of psychiatry, philosophy and anthropology at University of California in Irving, to discover. He has spent over 30 years dedicated to finding a way to educate children and adults in wellbeing and happiness.

Walsh, together with Lizzie and David Kennard, created the “8 ways to Wellbeing” whose mission is: “to inform, inspire, support and empower people, by providing exemplars, to support them with multimedia materials and social media groups. Teach them that effective behaviour changes strategies. The larger goal is to catalyse a national, and eventually international, movement towards healthier lifestyles, self-empowerment, and greater mental health and wellbeing.” Find out how it works here.

Would you like to meet a 14-year-old boy who has been home schooled following the 8 steps of wellbeing? You´ll be happily surprised when you listen and watch him speak at Ted Talks.

What do you think of these new educational models? Please write to us and share your opinion with our readers.

Photo Credits:UpSticksNGo Crew

Photo Credits: Roberto Santiago


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