How to minimise the damage the school system has on your kids.

"Gus you say that school kills curiosity and that by the time we are through the education system we are damaged goods…Do you send your kids to school? How do you avoid the damage?"

My job is to stretch thinking, to shake up your belief system and help you explore other possibilities; to find a way to suspend your disbelief. So when I say “school kills curiosity” I mean it generally, I don’t mean every single school or person working in education is out to kill curiosity, but unfortunately the system we humans invented has created this side effect even if we never intended to. By the time we finish our schooling years we are completely ready to fit inside the industrial complex (9-5pm, follow instruction, etc) but severely crippled to deal with the speed of change and adaptability required in today’s business world.

To minimise the damage the school system has in my kids I tell my kids the only thing that is super important about school is the playground. It’s a replica of life, it’s the way everything works. Every business is a playground, every industry is a playground every department is a playground. If my kids can hack they playground, they can hack life. The playground manages to avoid most of the industrial frameworks that apply in the classroom enabling your kids to explore curiously and safely.

My kids often come to tell me some new game they are playing to see if we “adults” play it in the “real” playground, and without fault every single one finds its match in the adults world…Chinese Whispers, Truth or Dare, etc. To help them explore I give my kids challenges: ”try this week to play a different sport with different kids you’ve never met” “see if you can convince 10 kids to play with you the same game over lunch” “go and observe 5 kids having fun and 5 kids not enjoying themselves what do you see?”

Photo by Doug Linstedt on Unsplash

Photo by Doug Linstedt on Unsplash

The reason why I feel so confident the playground will continue to be relevant in the future is that humans will continue to gather to achieve things they can’t as individuals and by default the shenanigans that go on in the playground will continue to apply. In contrast, I am not so sure that the subjects they are learning and the way they are learning them are going to be relevant for my kids to forge a life in Mars if they for example chose to do so. More on this on the book I am writing!




Gus Balbontin