Good Ideas – “Hackschooling”

Published on: Author: bette 2 Comments

Richard and I are back in Brookings and I’ve already spent many happy hours in my office above our motorhome garage.  This space has been little more than a storeroom since it was built – and it’s just now beginning to be used as we intended.

The main reason we built this space was for me to have a great place to write.  I’ve never been exactly sure what I wanted to write, but knew I wanted to write.   No . . . that’s wrong.  I have known what I’ve wanted to write, but have never been able to focus on finishing just one thing.

Which brings me to the title of this post:  Good Ideas.


My problem is that I have just too many of them.  Some have been original  – but most have been new ideas that have spun off someone else’s good idea.  And they are all stored in this room!

In a way I feel like I’m starting over today because I disciplined myself to pick up just one notebook, sit down, and take the time to go through it page by page.  I tossed out all multiple copies and unnecessary files – all the while thinking about what is worth keeping and what I want to do with it.

The folder is called “WORLD CLASS” – and is a collection of materials my friend Shelley Shepherd and I developed for an experimental elective for 6-8th graders in 2004.   As I was going through the notebook, I realized that even though the class was only offered one semester because Shelley moved to Kentucky the following year, the ideas that we collected and developed during those few months have somehow continued to evolve in other forms and in other places for the past decade.

I remembered WORLD CLASS the other day when another friend sent me a link to a TEDx talk given by an amazing young man, just about the same age as the kids in our class.  On a YouTube video he tells about what he calls “Hackschooling.”   That’s his term for the “curriculum” he’s developed for himself since his parents took him out of public school and let him homeschool himself.   Yes, I do mean homeschool himself.  He explains this much better than I can – so just click here and listen to him tell his story.


2 Responses to Good Ideas – “Hackschooling” Comments (RSS) Comments (RSS)

  1. Wow! I wrote that almost exactly two years ago!

    Once again I’m heading back to Brookings after spending the winter in Palm Desert, and once again I’m looking forward to spending time in my office over the motorhome garage. But this year I find that I’ve learned something about “good ideas” the hard way. I’ve been dragging several large file boxes full of “good ideas” back and forth from Brookings to the desert for several years now telling myself that I need to go back and decide what’s worth keeping and what’s not.

    As usual, I brought them down – and now, 5 months later, I packed them, untouched, for the return trip to Brookings. This time, however, I guess “The Universe” got sick of my good intentions and decided that none of it was worth keeping. So on May 8th, the day that Marle and I (at 14 years old) decided that “something wonderful” would happen … my car was stolen. With, of course, the file boxes that always seemed so important.

    It has been a bit of a shock … but I think I’ve learned something about “good ideas.” They stick.

    What’s interesting to me is that the file boxes that were stolen mostly contained materials that I’ve been collecting since about 1985 and was planning to revisit as I move forward with Learning to Write / Writing to Learn: Ten Core Competencies. Now I realize that most of that was other people’s ideas that have influenced me along the way. I can always google anything I remember and need to quote the source, but now I have the freedom to move forward without all the baggage – literally! 🙂

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