Hacking & Happiness

After reading Bud Hunt’s blog about making, hacking, and playing and watching Logan LaPlante’s TED talk I feel a strong sense of duty not only to my own children but to my future students as well. I always trusted that the public school systems and institutions of higher learning were doing their very best to educate their pupils in the core curriculum but I never put much thought into whether they were encouraging life skills, creativity, and a general knowledge of being a well-rounded person. It never occurred to me to question whether my children were being encouraged to seek happiness.

The ideas expressed in  both the blog and the TED talk were invaluable to me. I can’t think of one single idea that I could view as being “bad” or “wrong” but each separate idea sparked many new ideas within my own mind. In my own teaching, be it with my own children or with future students, I hope to be able to encourage a creative mindset, inspiring students to find out what makes them happy and to use that to fuel their creative drive. Time spent in nature is something very few schools use currently and I would love to help spark some interest in utilizing this. Not only do children grow up not knowing how to write a resume, balance a checkbook, or change a tire often times but they also have little knowledge of how to survive in the wild or even basic survival skills. What about teaching children skills such as fishing or hunting or even cooking in nature? Maybe even classes such as woodworking should be revived in our schools.

The fact that Logan LaPlante says that hackschooling is more of a mindset than a system stumps my brain a little but I believe it’s only because I was taught in a way that did limit my creative thinking processes. I look for concrete examples of how to teach children using this type of mindset rather than opening my mind to all the possibilities. I would like some clarification, for instance, on how parents who have pulled their children out of traditional schools are structuring the curriculum for their children and how they set up a class schedule. I would like to know more about the entire theory of hackschooling as well as using “making’ in a classroom environment. The ideas brought forth are enough to encourage me to research this topic much more thoroughly in the future because I did gain a bit from both of these media and I enjoyed every moment of each of them.



Photo cc by National Park Service



4 thoughts on “Hacking & Happiness

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  1. Spedlearn,
    I too trusted that the public school systems educated to the best of their ability. I never considered that happiness was something that was taught in school. But, I do feel that it is important to the learning process and the future generations. Nature should be more incorporated in the education of children. I totally agree that things such as cooking and woodwork should be added to the curriculum. Great post!


    1. Thank you. While core curriculum is important, I think students should have more of a voice in what classes they are taking. Afterall, it is THEIR future they are working toward.


  2. I think we rarely question whether students are happy in the system. We’re hyper focused on whether they’ve made the grade, whether their attendance is perfect, and whether they write/read enough in their spare (non-school) time. But there are things that “standards and objectives” cannot account for. Hopefully this class helps us get prepared to look at the whole child before we enter the classroom as full-time teachers. Good thoughts here…


    1. Thank you! I have seen with my own eyes students who are academic overachievers but emotionally scarred. We as instructors need to have a better basis for understanding how to help every child, not just those who achieve in great measure academically.


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