So… not that today’s school system is completely devoid of value, but I’ll be the first to admit that through studying education, I most assuredly believe that it doesn’t provide children with the greatest chance of success. (This belief was most swayed by this video by Sir Ken Robinson).

As I’ve looked at alternative methods for educating children, the idea that has appealed to me the most is that of “unschooling.”

Unschooled child

Ironically, children taught using this method, perform worse than students that are educated under a structured homeschooling method, and worse than the students that attend public school. So, why then do I see so much value in this model? Well, I’ll tell you…

“Unschooled” children are taught to think for themselves. They may be poor at regurgitating the words and findings of others, but they are the students that enjoy learning the most. Learning for them is not about sitting in a sterile classroom listening to a boring lecture. They are taught and encouraged how to use learning to investigate every interest they have throughout their childhood and adolescence. For children that are “unschooled,” learning is a way of life. And I believe there is not another skill that will garner more success than that of a habit of learning.

From a recent blog post I read: “We can’t give our children a set of data to learn, a career to prepare for, when we don’t know what the future will bring. But we can prepare them to adapt to anything, to learn anything, to solve anything, and in about 20 years, to thank us for it.” – Leo Babauta, Zen Habits

So what skills do you need to teach your child (whether or not they are formally schooled) that will help them develop a love of learning and productive, adaptable habits for a lifetime of success? Here are ten suggestions from the author of the above quote, Leo Babauta:

  1. Teach your child to ask questions
  2. Teach your child to solve problems
  3. Teach your child to tackle projects
  4. Teach your child to find passion
  5. Teach your child independence
  6. Teach your child how to be happy on her own
  7. Teach your child compassion
  8. Teach your child tolerance
  9. Teach your child how to deal with change
  10. Teach your child how to read (added by myself)