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Because every child is destined for a unique adulthood, we believe that every educational path must include profound differences. Therefore, beyond the basic tools of learning, we have abandoned a cookie cutter approach to education in favor of a customized plan that will help each child to become their own best. We call it “End Result Education.”
It starts with helping the child discover his or her deepest interests and talents. For us, this is the primary goal of the elementary years, and we have found that it is best accomplished by offering children a wide range of experiences and fanning the flames of all the little flickers of interest.
By middle school, End Result Education serves as a laboratory of experiential learning, where students can experiment with their interests in real world settings — job shadowing and apprenticeships, for example. If it appears that a child’s interests will require higher education, this is a great time to build excellent study skills and stamina for critical thinking and hard work.
By the end of the middle school years, it’s time to set the course for whatever will happen after high school graduation. That may include some type of schooling, but it may not. Regardless, when students are educated with the end result in mind, they can make choices all throughout the high school years to help them become the ideal candidates for whatever the next step may be.
In the 8th grade, Jenni’s daughter Sky knew that she wanted to become a music recording artist. She set her heart on Berklee College of Music. With more than 250 Grammy-winning alumni, Berklee calls itself “the world’s premier learning lab for the music of today — and tomorrow,” and that’s where Sky wanted to be.
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Having never been traditionally educated, but having always been educated with the end result in mind, which included a strong foundation of soft skills such as stamina, work ethic and a sense of personal responsibility, she excelled as a dual enrolled student and graduated high school with 60 college credits and an unweighted 4.0 GPA.
Jenni Stahlmann and Jody Hagaman host POP Parenting, a one-hour weekly talk radio show in Sarasota, Fla. (Photo: Advertiser file)
Sky did not study the traditional menu of high school classes, but instead worked closely with the admissions office of her dream school to take the classes that were important to them. She achieved her goal and even published an article in the Washington Post about some of the experiences she has had in her first semester at Berklee.
“I’m a strong believer in the saying, ‘If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will go its whole life believing it’s stupid,’” Sky said. “From an early age, it was quite clear that I was not built for the standard education system. My short attention span and hyperactivity often prevented me from retaining information in a classroom setting. Homeschooling not only allowed me to explore and master the best method of learning for me, it also allowed me to explore my passions and gifts in a more hands-on way.”
Whether your family chooses public, private or home school, we urge you to do so with the end result in mind.
Jenni Stahlmann and Jody Hagaman host POP Parenting, a one-hour weekly syndicated talk radio show. For more information, go to www.jenniandjody.com, visit the Jenni and Jody Facebook page or follow them on Twitter @JenniandJody.
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