This Is What Happens When A Kid Leaves Traditional Education

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Logan Laplante is a 13 year-old boy who was taken out of the education system to be home schooled instead. As a result, he was given the opportunity to receive an education tailored to his interests and his unique style of learning – something traditional education is not always able to offer. In a pretty remarkable show of wisdom, particularly for someone so young, Logan has said that when he grows up he wants to be happy and healthy. At a TEDx talk in 2013, he discussed how hacking his education is helping him achieve that goal.

Logan’s story parallels that of another boy, Jacob Barnett, who was put into Special Education by his school until his parents intervened, electing to home school him instead. Jacob is now seen as an incredibly intelligent young person with a level of genius that marks him as on track to winning a Nobel Prize one day.

I also recently did a TEDx talk in 2014 about my story of leaving college for good. You can check that out here.

More on Education & Homeschooling

Education is often considered to be the foundation of a well rounded and productive society, but this belief usually stems from an underlying assumption: that those coming out of the education system will keep the cogs of society turning in order to maintain profit margins of large companies in a system that requires constant growth. Instead of encouraging creative and out-of-the-box-thinking people, today’s education paradigm tends to promote more submissive, obedient, and trained graduates, thereby ensuring that the current system is always maintained.

What this means is that standard education is focused less on each individual and their growth and more on creating a supply of worker bees that can go out into the world and operate within the confines that the system has set out. Sir Ken Robinson gave a famous TED talk in 2007 where he discussed his beliefs about how education kills creativity. This video is one of the most viewed TED talks of all time and  has inspired many to re-think the way we are educating our children. Since traditional education is still taking its time with adjusting to the demands of a changing society, many are turning to homeschooling as a solution, as it allows children to explore education much like Logan did.

Currently about 3.8% of children ages 5 – 17 are home schooled in the US. In Canada, that number drops to about 1%. This is a number that is expected to continue growing in both countries as more people become aware of the limitations of traditional education. Also, studies done in the US and Canada show that home schooled children outperform their peers from both private and public schools.

In my view, home schooling is much more likely to create a creative, adaptive, and forward thinking person who is less conditioned to think only within the small confines of a crumbling system. Does this mean it is for everyone and that one can’t turn out that way through standard education? Of course not. I simply feel the chances are far greater with homeschooling.

My decision to leave school behind when I was in college came from the same beliefs I hold today about education. I felt confined within the system and I felt it wasn’t going to lead me somewhere I wanted to be. It didn’t matter whether I was studying business, engineering, marketing, or music, I did not enjoy the methods and couldn’t see a way to change things except by leaving. Aside from what society would have us think, leaving education and a diploma behind was one of the greatest decisions I have ever made, as I was then able to explore and learn anything I wanted without having to worry about a rigid structure which promotes memorization and useless testing. I believe we will be OK if we leave the current education system behind and choose other methods. This isn’t to say home schooling is for everyone, but I truly believe that a drastic, and I mean drastic, change in the way our education system functions needs to happen, and soon.

Does Education Kill Creativity?


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More From 'Alternative News'

CE provides a space for free thinkers to explore and discuss new, alternative information and ideas. The goal? Question everything, think differently, spread love and live a joy filled life.

  1. Sara Cooper

    I’d like to suggest that an organization dedicated to education should consider spell checking… the word “tailer” in the second line should be “tailor.”

    • Daud Nissan

      Einstein was a horrible speller. After moving to the US, Einstein became completely bilingual but could never recall how to spell words correctly in both German and English. Please explain to me how intelligence relates to grammar or spelling?

      • Einstein also had a ton of untrue, apocryphal stories floating around about how he couldn’t do basic things to save his life. This is one of those stories.

      • bigmomma

        Thank you not everyone can spell, not everyone can fit into the perfect world people consider perfect. I believe people are holding back society with the standard those who are self claimed better than others. I loved home school with my son, i have let him back into the public school system and I am very disappointed with the whole system. It is very clear to me they pick and choose who will suceed on thebasis of back ground, they are teaching my children the exact opposite of what I want them to become. With that I will leave with saying I want my children home with me.

    • - Collective Evolution

      Thanks for pointing it out Sara! Simple typo, but it has been corrected.

      • Renee Gomez

        What is the name of the home school program Logan attends? He mentioned squaw valley kids institute but I don’t think that’s it. I would love to know if there are any schools in the San Diego area or sacramneto area.

      • Mar Harris

        Mark Are you related to the DeNicola’s in Portland Or. ?

        • Gottfried de Lawrence

          My wife was telling me about this through a closed door, so I might not have heard her correctly. I, too, am in favor of “home-brewed children. It’s about time they start working to earn their freight!

        • - Collective Evolution

          Hey Mar… I am not related to the DeNicola’s of Portland, OR. I’d say there is a chance and I just don’t know about it, but I can say no as a fact since my actual heritage last name is DiNicola. It was changed unintentionally when my grandparents came here from Italy. Apparently it happens quite often. LOL

  2. Some factors that should be considered: home-schooled students’ parents are likely have higher education, and would be very motivated and involved in the education of their offspring; availability of learning materials/ access to information near the home; as the content of homeschooling must follow the standard regional curriculum, what may be more important is the education climate and culture in the region (for example, I bet homeschooling wouldn’t work as well for Korean or Japanese students), especially with respect to home much critical thinking is valued and practiced (Canada and US want students to experiment, analyze, give opinions, write and read, whereas other systems don’t.).

  3. Also, please realize that Nobel Prizes have not always been decided on merit.

  4. Johnny Quid

    This kid is motivated to do great things, and will absolutely achieve such things. The huge, glaring problem with this is the complete lack of motivation for anything positive, much less, great from most children and adults. I believe that to be true for traditional and non-traditional schooling. However, I do appreciate, and did enjoy the article – many thoughts and ideas to take from such thinking.

  5. Michelle Whitten

    I took my daughter out of school after 2nd grade. She is very smart, but also has a learning disability, Dysgraphia. It effect her fine motor skills, mostly writing. (She is great on a computer, just not in putting pen to paper). She is a verbal learner which her school was not set up to handle. All the school wanted to do is drug her.

    She joined a 4H homeschool group. Which she enjoyed and had many friends. She learned how to get a long with people of all ages. The group has kids ranging in ages from 6 to my daughter’s age, 18.

    Homeschooling gave me the opportunity to know her friends and what her and their interests were. She was judge on who she was, not what she had or did not have. It gave me the opportunity to know her and spend time with her, much more than parents get who go off to school. I decided what was best for her. Not a school.

    She has just finished her first semester at college. She had no problems adjusting to being in a classroom setting. I don’t think she had any more problems with the classes then any other student. Right now she is going to a 2 year college. I have no doubt that when she transfer to a 4 year college she will have any problems.

  6. This kid would get a kick out of Tim Ferriss. :)

  7. Requited

    You have to take into consideration exactly what homeschooling kids entails. And it isn’t for everyone.I’ve learned that from personal experience. To me, home schooling is a prison. I left school in the 6th grade to be home schooled due to severe social anxiety. It was awesome, for the first few weeks. Then it happened. I’d stop paying attention at all. I’d always say I’d do it later but never did. After months and months of doing nothing I’d just look up the answer. This went on until my sophomore year. By then, I was as so depressed I could hardly function. I had no friends and I felt the same as I did as when I was in the 6th grade.Then School started. It was like time had frozen for me while everyone else moved on with their lives. It wasn’t until my first day of my Sophomore year that I truly realized what all I missed out on. Then came the classes. I’ll admit, I was terrified of the classes more than anything else. All the subjects were initially horrid for me. But after a few weeks of adjusting, I was making decent grades in all my classes. Except math. Math was my most dreaded subject before homeschooling, but now, it’s has been amplified by infinity

    It was even harder for me to adjust to the fact that all the people I once knew were now completely different. It was difficult talking to people, but I did my best. I had to grow from the mentality of a 11 year old to a 15 year old over a year, It was a lot to take in.

    I could write a whole book, so I’ll just skip to my point.

    Homeschooling isn’t for everyone. Kids have to KNOW that they are going to work. And their parents HAVE to be ACTIVELY involved. Last thing I want for anyone is to end up in a personal Hell like I did. It’s seriously the number 1 regret of my life.

    The kicker? I’ve warned kids my age before when I was in High School, that Home Schooling was a bad idea. They didn’t listen. They ended up in juvenile court for truancy because, unlike me, their work was being monitored and they got caught doing nothing.

    • I’m sorry but there are kids out in the world who would take home schooling seriously just because you couldn’t doesn’t mean the other cannot. It’s about self helping and understand responsibility. You were suffering from anxiety where as some just want to be home schooled because they have creative freedom. Don’t bash something you cannot relate to fully.

      • Requited

        I wasn’t bashing. I never said others couldn’t take it seriously. This article makes Home Schooling out to be some kind of saving grace from an evil school system.. But in reality, it’s conditional. It’s not for everyone. That was the point I was trying to make.

    • I’m sorry you had a bad experience with HS. There is a right and a wrong way to do everything. I quote “parents HAVE to be ACTIVELY involved.”

  8. Tonya

    The content is more important than the spelling. Excellent points made in this article.

  9. Erica Cramer

    He is adorable. Not to mention extremely intelligent.

  10. Lisa

    It is great if someone can be schooled at home in a way that takes their interests, strengths etc into account and allows them to grow up happy and healthy. BUT, having a parent that has the time and capacity to provide you with that kind of home schooling is a luxury. Therefore, it is important that ALL schools strive to see the individual child and hir needs, so that kids of ALL backgrounds can grow up happy, healthy and with the necessary tools to get by in society and follow their dreams. Smaller groups if often a step in the right direction. More resources and appreciation for teachers too..

  11. Alan Boulter.

    I, as a Father to 6 daughters, and a Grandfather brought up with 1950’s values have passed this to ALL my children; in the hopes that they will consider this topic for their children.
    As an ambassador for alternative education, he gets my vote.

  12. Courtney Ostaff

    The official number for HSing is often higher, FWIW

  13. I’m a self taught programmer. I knew I wanted to be someone who made video games from the time i a wee lad. I knew or with complete certainty. As a kid who grew up during the era where video games were just a gimmick fad that rotted my brain just as sure as any TV sitcom. Game degrees didn’t exist. My mum and dad both didn’t graduate high school. They both grew up in West Covina very poor. Both of them are essentially millionaires, small time, but still they are the American dream. Because they had vision and drive. They didn’t talk about what they were gonna do as so many do in LA; they just did it and did it and did it. They still do it. I have a great career, no degree. I make $90k a year making video games. I make my own schedule. It’s dope. Fuck a degree: just a $100k piece of paper that says either you’re in debt for 25 years and you make sht or you’re the child of an affluent man

  14. We homeschooled. Three of my kids are adults. They are happy and successful. I have one teen still homeschooling. This is great but you can tell his mom wrote most of this and he memorized it.

    • k

      Why would you belittle him and his abilities? Who says he didn’t write this?

    • Amy Barnhart

      I homeschool my 3 boys as well. My impression is not that it is memorized but that he is using a teleprompter. I believe he is totally capable of writing this speech.

  15. Dave

    i got mixed feelings about this. Education is important for sure. However i think schooling is necessary. Doe school kill creativity, in a way yes. I believe that’s because everyone has to learn how to do a specific task in a specific way, with restrictions, with guidelines and they must be judged on that. the person is not being judged, but the work they do. This is a life lesson because once you get in the work force, you have to adjust and produce based on guidelines and restrictions, i have experience in this so i know. and i hated my job because of the lack of creativity, but i understand why it was like that. in my next job i should have more creativity, but also i’ll still have restrictions to follow, that’s how it is, no matter what you do 😛

    the thing i agree with is that most schooling, is theoretical work, which doesn’t work for most people, especially me. i do think schools should do more actual work, practical hand on stuff, and i see they are trying to do that.

    this kid is a smooth talker and not stupid, but i wanna see where he is in 10 years from now.

    i agree happiness is a must, it’s hard to find a job that will make you happy and put food on the table for sure. however i still thinking some things in life are necessary to do and go through. some people fail in public or private schooling, some fail in home schooling, and that’s no the system, that’s the person who is or isn’t able to handle what those systems dish out. guys like Einstein, Jobs and others, were gifted people, naturally good and smart at what they do/did.

    and even when doing something you love, after a while it can become mundane like any other thing you do. the only thing at the end of the day is that it will be easier to wake up in the morning and go do your stuff when it’s something you love or like.

    anyways this isn’t black and white, nothing is anymore these days, but these are my thoughts :p. is Logan can pull it off and be successful and happy, then props to him.

    my goal in life is to be successful at whatever i do and to enjoy it.

  16. I agree with home schooling 100% but must say that the experiences this child has had with his teachings seems like he comes from a family with money. I don’t think a child from a poor family with 2 parents who work 4 jobs would be able to do this.

    • Cecilia

      2 parents working 4 jobs would not be able to homeschool their children, I home schooled our 3 sons from kindergarden through College with an family income of $30K. I was able to stay at home, live very simply. We had one 20 year old car. We ate well, did lots of activities, travelled finding inexpensive ways, like camping. They are bilingual. Our sons are now 22, 24 and 25. Two have graduated from College and University, One graduated Magna Cum Laude, the other one graduated with 3 degrees, the third one is not academic so is working and learning lots from life experiences. I never graduated from College and neither did by husband. If there is a will there is a way.


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