The Destination Method is a new philosophy for homeschooling that focuses on the ultimate outcome of a child’s education. While many educators value any form of learning as an end unto itself, such an attitude tends to promote negligence towards the sorts of difficult yet crucial skills that determine a student’s quality of life after graduation. The Destination Method considers your child’s education far too important to squander on itinerant wandering. Students educated by the approach laid out in this blog will learn the life skills required to maintain a happy home, the technical skills needed for a fulfilling career, and the self-sufficiency characteristic of capable leaders. They will be exceedingly well-prepared for college and more than properly equipped to impress prospective employers.
Because of this focus on a clearly defined end-goal, the Destination Method differs greatly from existing homeschool philosophies. Seven key principles define the philosophy of the Destination Method. Each of these principles will be discussed in more detail in future blog posts, but a brief summary of each of them is provided below.
Principles of the Destination Method
Principle 1: Teach Life Skills
America’s youngest generations have fallen prey to a deeply troubling tendency to delay or ignore healthy milestones associated with adulthood, such as marriage, home ownership, parenthood, and community involvement. There are several reasons for this, but ignorance of foundational life skills is certainly a factor. To address this growing educational gap, the Destination Method introduces two subjects to the standard curriculum: Adulthood (covering basic life skills like cooking, home management, and morality) and Wealth (covering personal finances and career development). The Destination Method regards these subjects to be of equal significance to more traditional subjects like History, Literature, and English.
Principle 2: Teach Marketable Skills
Both public schools and most homeschools are doing a terrible job of preparing students for productive and satisfying careers. A straightforward review of the job market reveals that the most highly demanded skills fall into the following categories: mathematics, engineering, computer technology, computer graphics, and science. An unsettling trend in modern education is to lump all of these into a single subject called STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics), do a few half-baked activities, and then move on to something easier. The Destination Method instead honors each of these topics of study as an independent subject in its own right, deserving of the same amount of study as any other subject. Of particular note, students following the Destination Method will extensively study electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer programming, and computer graphics.
Principle 3: Embrace Technology
Although fear of children experiencing “too much screen time” has been something of a bogeyman among educators in recent years, even once-skeptical organizations are beginning to recognize what should have been obvious: some uses of technology are harmful for children, while others are beneficial. Within the past few years, there has been an astounding increase in the creation of high-quality software and online media with profound educational value, offering the best available approach to teaching certain complex subjects. Incorporation of these resources into your curriculum will have the additional benefit of improving your child’s experience with marketable computer skills. Journey With a Destination will help you make good use of modern technology throughout your curriculum.
Principle 4: Fill a Shelf
As a homeschool parent, you have undertaken to guide your child along a grand journey to a well-rounded education. There are many possible paths, and the intended destination may differ somewhat from child-to-child, but it’s important to have a rough outline of the entire trip.
The Destination Method will help you fill a bookshelf with the entire curriculum your child will need until high school graduation. It’s okay if this curriculum changes over time, especially in order to accommodate your child’s personal interests and life goals. A constantly improving plan is much better than no plan at all. In addition to ensuring your child learns everything they need to know, you will avoid the trap of creating busywork just to force them to do schoolwork or remain in a particular grade level for the “right” amount of time.
By filling a bookshelf with a complete K-12 curriculum, you ensure that both you and your child have a clear picture of what needs to be done. Just as importantly, you give your child visual proof of their progress: as they work their way to the end of the shelf, the promise of a complete education and an exciting new life becomes a powerful motivator.
Principle 5: Encourage Self-Study
Perhaps the most common complaint from homeschool parents is the enormous amount of time and energy seemingly required. Countless hours are spent creating individualized unit studies, preparing and grading assignments, and supervising time-consuming arts and crafts projects. This is largely unnecessary. Upon learning the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic (which unfortunately does require considerable hands-on instruction), your child is ready to begin self-study. Your job is to provide them with the resources they need, set expectations, monitor progress, and provide assistance only when needed. When it is possible for your child to learn a subject by studying a textbook, just give them the book and walk away. Your child will greatly benefit from the increased independence later in life.
Principle 6: Escape the Public School Schedule
By practical necessity, public schools adhere to a schedule in which each grade level corresponds to a period of 365 days. If you reject the public school assumption that each grade level should begin exactly one calendar year after the last, and reduce your child’s total yearly vacation time from the 16 weeks typical of public schools to a still-luxurious 10 weeks, something absolutely remarkable happens. With these changes, an average Pre-K student who would normally be expected to graduate from high school at age 18 will instead graduate at age 16.
Moreover, the rigid daily schedules of public schools represent an administrative convenience that often impedes efficient learning; over the course of PK-12 education, this amounts to years of wasted time. With these simple observations, perhaps you can begin to understand how the author was able to graduate high school at age 13. The Destination Method will help you explore all the incredible achievements that are possible when you escape the public school schedule.
Principle 7: Test Out of a Year of College
Numerous standardized tests offer students an opportunity to secure college credits while in high school. With the plan laid out in this book, students can test out of a full year of college coursework and waste only three years of their life in pursuit of a 4-year degree. Students who elect not to pursue a college degree (an increasingly justifiable decision) will emotionally and intellectually benefit from this proof of their educational attainment.
Subjects Covered by the Destination Method
As mentioned in Principles 1 & 2, the Destination Method defines several new subjects intended to be taught alongside more traditional topics of study. In total, we define 12 subjects, all of which should be studied to some extent at each grade level and are of roughly equal importance. In brief, these subjects are as follows:
- Adulthood: The study of cooking, home management, relationships, and morality.
- Art: The study of visual, performance, and music arts. We recommend placing special emphasis on computer graphics via a drawing pad.
- Computing: Instruction in typing, basic computer use, programming, computer architecture, and internet technology.
- Engineering: The study of mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, aerospace engineering, hydraulic engineering, and robotics.
- English: Instruction in writing and the rules of grammar.
- Foreign Language: Instruction in a foreign language of the parent’s choice, as well as the culture(s) associated with that language. If uncertain of which language to choose, we recommend Japanese. Hindi, Mandarin, and Portuguese are also good choices.
- History: The study of world history, U.S. history, state history, and other topics of historical interest.
- Humanities: The study of geography, world cultures, philosophy, world religions, psychology, and sociology.
- Literature: The study of classical works of literature, including American literature, English literature, Greek drama, and Shakespearean drama.
- Mathematics: Extensive study of mathematics, including calculus and statistics.
- Science: The study of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, and astronomy.
- Wealth: The study of personal finances and economics, along with career planning and preparation.