Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Stop Stealing Dreams by Seth Godin

There are few things that I enjoy more than free books. So when I heard that Seth Godin was offering his book free, I checked it out right away. His book is written as a series of essays, and he says right at the beginning that part of his intention is to get people talking about education. I liked most of what he had to say. His perspective on comparing our test scores to other countries has definitely changed how I react when I hear that the United States is behind other countries on test scores. As a homeschooling mom, I have thought a lot about education and what it should look like. I have done a lot of reading about education and come to my own conclusions about what the aim of my children's education should be. A number of my thoughts line up with things that Seth Godin has to say, but I also found some of his thoughts to be new ones.

I think that Seth Godin has a curious blind spot about homeschooling for a person so interested in innovating education. He states several times that a homeschooling parent will make mistakes that a seasoned teacher will be able to avoid, but he ignores the fact that a homeschooling parent is more seasoned than many teachers by the time they have a child for ten or fifteen years. All teachers have to start somewhere, and in public school you don't always have a choice if you have a first year teacher. Seth Godin posits that teachers need to fill a coaching role, locating resources and getting students interested. Who is more energetic and creative in finding resources and getting kids interested in learning than their own concerned, invested parent? In fact, homeschooling is the only place that I know of that many of the creative ideas in this book are being put into action right now. As a homeschooling parent, I can get started immediately on changing my child's education. I realize that Seth Godin is hoping to energize a revolution in the school system, but I think he is hurting his cause by marginalizing the homeschool option. Even though I don't agree with Godin about all his ideas, I got a lot out of his book and I highly recommend it.

You should read this book. People that care about children, are part of the education system, or help pay for our education system should read Stop Stealing Dreams and start talking about education.

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