What Happens When Kids Leave Traditional Education

Meet thirteen-year-old Logan Laplante, former student of the public education system. Not only was he placed in home schooling, he was given the ability to tailor his education to his own interests and learning style. When was the last time you heard of that offered in a traditional school system? Never. As Logan states in the clip, his ultimate desire is to be happy and healthy. In a 2013 TEDx talk, he presented how “hacking” his education is helping him achieve his goals.

Logan’ story is similar to that of Jacob Barnett, who was placed in Special Education classes until he got out of the traditional education system. He is now recognized as incredibly brilliant and is on track to obtaining a Nobel Prize.

Education is often considered the core foundation for generating well-rounded and productive citizens. The sad part is that most of society has confined “well-roundedness” to the beat of Wall Street and the tune of quarterly profits. Rather than fostering innovative thinking, creativity is often stifled and students are merely crammed through a careless system. The true problem is that what is produced are cogs in wheels rather than new systems altogether.

In 2007, Sir Ken Robinson gave a TED talk on how the current education system kills creativity. As this is one of the most popular, in terms of quantity of views, TED talks given, many were left re-thinking the existing education system.  In the mean time, as society waits for public schools to adjust, many started to turn to home schooling as a remedy.

Approximately 3.8% of students between the ages of 5 and 17 are home schooled in the United States. In Canada, the percentage for the same age demographic is near 1.0. These numbers are expected to climb in both countries as studies continue to show increased performance of home schooled students over that of public schools.

Homeschooling is likely to generate an innovative, adaptive and socially conscious citizen who is less conditioned to think only within the box defined by the existing education system. Does this mean that everyone will be a success? No, it just means that the chances are much higher for success in homeschooling.

Many are of the opinion that we will be alright if we consider alternative methods of teaching. After all, we have certainly discovered that we have alternative methods of learning – most of which are not incorporated into our classrooms today.  While homeschooling might not be the answer for every single student, something drastic needs to be available for the masses – and fast.

Finally, Sir Ken Robinson’s TEDx talk: “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”  You be the judge.


By Hannah Jones

Hannah is a Manchester based writer who has spent many years studying and working in the field of journalism and psychology. Hannah enjoys swimming, meditation and dog walking. Her favourite quote is, 'If it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you.'