“Time in nature is really important to me. It’s calm, quiet and I get to just log out of reality. I spend one day a week outside all day. We learn to listen to nature. We learn to sense our surroundings. And I’ve gained a spiritual connection to nature that I never knew existed.”
– Logan LaPlante
Logan LaPlante is just an ‘ordinary’ thirteen year old kid. A kid who wonders how his room got so messy, how to impress girls – and why on Earth adults keep asking him what he wants to ‘be’ when he grow up.
I can relate to Logan’s frustration. I distinctly remember having a conversation with my legendary history teacher, Mr Munday in my senior year about this very topic. Having achieved amazing grades and being one of the ‘brightest’ kids at school, my teachers were extremely eager to send me off to University. You should have felt their dismay when I dropped the bomb that I had no intention of going there. (Thankfully my parents supported this ‘reckless’ decision…) “What a waste,” the teachers said, “You could get into any course you like?”
As an academic and creative child who found school quite easy, I was always baffled by the ‘hierarchy’ of intelligence. When I entered my choice of subjects as dance, art, drama, english, history and maths, I was counselled and warned that it may be in my best interests to include ‘harder subjects’ such as physics, chemistry and trigonometry. It would be “best to cover my bases” and it would be a shame not to complete them because I was intelligent enough…
I could never understand why subjects such as science and maths were classed as more difficult than the others. More difficult according to whom? Sure, some people find physics extremely difficult. Others find it difficult to write an essay. Some would speak or dance in front of the assembly, whereas others wouldn’t be caught dead playing a part in the school play. Isn’t this what being human is all about? It would be boring if we were all the same!
Logan LaPlante feels the same way as I. He is somewhat confused by conventional education and the assumption that a child should grow up and ‘be’ something. In his mind, what he wants to ‘be’ when he grows up is a very simple choice. He wants to be healthy and happy. Simple.
He poses a great question within his TEDx Talk;
“What if we based education on the study and practice of being happy and healthy?”
Logan LaPlante likes the idea of doing things differently. He sees that a working system must consistently assess, challenge and change in order to work efficiently. He sees that our current education system is not succeeding at encouraging kids to be creative, healthy and happy.
“What bums me out is to know that a lot of kids today are just wishing to be happy, to be healthy, to be safe; not bullied and be loved for who they are.
Education is important, but why is being happy and healthy not considered education. I just don’t get it?”
Saying no to conventional education
Logan LaPlante oozes gratitude for the decision his parents made to remove his from ‘conventional’ education, in favour of a more holistic, experiential learning style. It’s clear that Logan LaPlante is a very intelligent, connected human being, with great potential and passion for life.
Isn’t this the kind of children we should be nurturing in our world? Children who appreciate their own creativity, their surroundings and who live each day fulfilled, with passion and drive to make this planet a better place.
I feel that our world would be much richer if children were encouraged to be unique and outspoken; just like Logan LaPlante.
Watch and listen as Logan gives a great perspective of how our world perceives its children. And ask yourself, what can we do better to nurture our up and coming generations?
Logan LaPlante: Hackschooling Makes Me Happy
Live at TEDx, University of Nevada
How do you feel we can improve our education system? Do you feel we nurture our children and give them a well rounded perspective on what’s really important in life?