De-Institutionalizing Children

Our great institutions. Perhaps you are an institutionalist, one who believes that our institutions are part of our nation’s greatness.  Many people admire American institutions.  But should we instiutionalize our children?  Yes that sounds over-dramatic since the word has many meanings, so bear with me.

Let’s consider for a moment if instiutionalizing our children, in the form of massively large public schools,  was ever  a great idea.  We are all love the idea of a free education for all children.  We all want every child in this country to get off to a great start, who would disagree?  But was a large institution ever the way to accomplish our goals? Did schools degrade only recently or were big institutionalized learning a bad idea from the start?  For all the years of human history, children were raised in the home and played in a community of neighbors and extended family. They learned in apprenticeship and from members of the community.  Only recently have we started institutionalizing our children, turning them from valued contributors to the family into a student ID number. Was it not always destined for failure?

Microschools are a new idea sweeping the nation.  They are an incredible way to teach young people. What could be better than a group of families sharing resources to educate the next generation?  With the kind of access people have to online learning and curriculum, why wouldn’t we start de-institutionalizing our children. Perhaps it is time.