I have over a year of video footage that I haven’t done anything with. All our time in Mexico this year, our last trip to Bali, to Europe, to the U.S. – almost none of that footage has made it into a video or blog post, as I’ve had other priorities.
But my daughters love video editing, and they’re very good at it! (Better than me, in some ways, thanks to their own passion for it and the time they’ve had to dedicate to practicing.) So they’ve excitedly agreed to take this footage, edit it, and turn it into videos to help us remember our travels and to inspire other travelers to visit these places and make the most of their experience.
Emily (age 14) has started writing scripts for several videos about San Miguel de Allende, which she plans to voice record and then overlay onto the footage with other text. You can see one of her latest videos here!
When I read through the scripts, I couldn’t believe how good they were! It sounded like professional travel writing.
But this girl has never taken an English class. We’ve never spent a solid hour at home discussing the intricacies of the English language. We’ve read a bit together. I’ve answered random vocabulary questions when asked. I’ve corrected her grammar on occasion. But she’s basically self-taught, with video editing, with animation, with voiceover acting, with piano, and with just about everything in her life. (Speaking of which, she recently finished the first draft of her 5,000 frame hand-drawn animation as a music video to a song she wrote and recorded about Dancing in the Rain – a metaphor for appreciating life’s struggles. It’s tear-jerkingly beautiful! Though she’s not ready to release it publicly yet.)
Not to say she hasn’t sought out education, whether from free videos online, or a live mentor or teacher for a specific skill such as songwriting or oil painting. But this girl knows how to learn, and how to use the resources available to her in this information age. I have no doubts about her ability to learn whatever she needs to succeed happily in this world. In fact, she’s already employed part-time as a video editor for a big-name children’s blogger and she’s loving the work.
Life is learning, and it is freely available. Yet we’re continuing to be fed the myth that learning must happen 5 days a week inside buildings called schools where children sit with others of similar age to be taught a pre-determined curriculum that may be largely irrelevant or at least uninteresting to the student.
But the world has changed. This approach is no longer necessary, nor is it the most effective way to learn in this rapidly changing world where anything we want to learn is available at our fingertips, often for free. Still, so many people still buy into the myth and this system for various reasons, even though many see it not working for them and their children on many levels.
There are benefits to schools, sure. But are those benefits worth it for the trade-off, especially when they can be found outside the system? If you’re fed up with “normal” educational approaches, know that interest-led learning can absolutely work, and has never been more possible or practical.