One of the greatest dilemmas that my wife and I — and millions of others like us — are facing is the education of our children.
Ten years ago I was facing a bleak and uncertain future. An unorthodox approach got me results, and I’ve been dreaming and succeeding ever since. But I got lucky. I don’t want my son to be 20 years old and already feeling like a failure in life, like I did.
My goal with the 12 points below is for Onyx to graduate with the ability to study, understand, and apply any skill he chooses. I believe this is the way to develop his confidence and self-esteem so that he’s not prone to be swayed onto paths that aren’t true to his goals.
If you’re a parent who faces this same dilemma, please look over the following 12 points and feel free to send me your feedback directly in the comments section on this page. I will personally read and answer your constructive ideas.
- 10 Levels: Onyx will do 10 levels of education, one level per year. This compares to 12–16 years of education elsewhere. I believe 10 years is plenty of time to build a foundation for success.
- Choose What You Read: Onyx will majorly choose what books he reads. I believe this will increase his chances of enjoying reading as a lifelong skill.
- Write For Volume: Onyx will majorly choose what he writes about and he will write for volume, with equal value throughout the year. That approach is how my articles were read over a million times last year, and how my book has consistently been the #1 seller in fitness on Amazon. This entire time it’s been FUN and EASY for me to write. There will be no high-pressure test or conclusive paper at the end. I believe this will cultivate his ability to enjoy pumping out written content without fear or backoff or procrastination. I also believe the act of creating your own writing builds the ability to think and solve problems. I want Onyx to improve that ability all 10 years!
- 10 Years of Business Class: Onyx will take business class all 10 years. In year 1 this may be a lemonade stand. By year 10 he will know exactly how to start, build, and manage any type of business. I grew from zero to over a million followers by studying marketing myself, so I will personally be keeping that portion of the curriculum up to date because it is constantly changing.
- Numbers: Onyx will graduate able to think in numbers without having to break out a calculator or a pad and pen — and he’ll know how to use them. I believe this will increase his chances of being able to predict business outcomes and avoid mistakes. He will be exceptional with addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, percentages, and statistical graphs. He will not be required to take algebra, but depending on interest level, may move forward with more complex math by choice.
- Words: I’ll start by taking the 1,000 most commonly used words in the English language, breaking them up into 10 levels of 100 words, and casually allowing Onyx to build up ease of use with these words in his writing and speech. Not knowing the meaning of words could block his ability to understand and communicate.
- Athletics & Arts: Onyx will spend daily time on athletics and aesthetics, pursuing both physical and artistic/musical skills of his choosing, with no one telling him whether his work is “good or bad.”
- How Things Work: Onyx will take 10 years of a class called How Things Work, where ALL study will include the real things he’s learning about — no lengthy speeches or extensive reading. He will graduate able to change a tire, give CPR, use all common tools, and survive in nature. He will have an exceptional grasp of how the human body works and how food works.
- No Student Debt: The curriculum will be kept up to date online so that as things change, the curriculum can be updated rapidly. Onyx will not use any expensive textbooks. And since this is online learning, he won’t have to travel to and live in costly places.
- Go at Your Own Pace: When I didn’t fully understand something but was forced to go on to the next step of a subject, it was very frustrating and I didn’t retain what I had studied. Onyx will study at his own pace so that he’s not forced to go through that, and can master one step before going onto the next step.
- No Memorization For Tests: The “quality” of each class will be in terms of the ability to apply the data in real life. I believe Onyx will retain more useful knowledge at the end of 10 years if he never memorizes for a test, but instead uses each key thing he learns.
- Build Up & Maintain a 1 Mile Walk Each Day: We spend so little time in nature and so much time in front of screens. I believe getting outside and walking can help balance that out. Most of my best ideas have come about on walks. I want Onyx to grow up thinking of walking as part of life, rather than a chore. Credit to Kelly Starrett for the idea to integrate this into the daily education routine. He has great ideas on this subject which I look forward to exploring.
I’ve long joked that I graduated from Common Sense University…
Well, these 12 points are how I’m going to educate Onyx with common sense.
I want to solve this problem not only for Onyx but for other like-minded parents.
Onyx is only 1, but I’m starting the work now so that my system will be accredited by the time he’s ready to go.
The curriculum will begin forming this summer on a public website so you can follow every step of the way.
And for the social aspect, I do think I’ll wind up building a real school around him as he grows older. Hopefully some of my friends want their kids to join Onyx!
Yours in Solutions,