It usually takes me about four months to “unschool” my kids. To get them from the point where they walk in believing that I have all the power, to the point where they believe they have the power. This year it might take longer. This year I have a great group of rule followers. They are eager and ready to follow any and all directions without offering any alternative or complaining. They are still very hesitant to break out and dare themselves to do something risky. Next week they have a presentation on the Preamble of the Constitution due. Yesterday instead of going over lots of ideas, directions, or giving very specific advice, we discussed only two things that I wrote on the board:
Some kids have started asking if they can do “this” or “that,” things that I did not specifically talk about. My answer is always “if you are going to do something awesome no one will stop you. Forget the rules…be awesome.” Behind each of their questions is “I have a great idea but can’t do it because it is not ___________ enough.”
As we talked I told them advice that I once heard from Neil Gainman…
You only need to do three things in life:
1-Have people like you.
2-Be awesome at what you do.
3-Hand things in on-time and be on-time
The advice I wrote on the board is aimed squarely at helping them achieve the first two. The reality is that you only have to do any two of the three to get or keep almost any job.