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Hackschooling makes me happy | Logan LaPlante | TEDxUniversityofNevada


Translator: Stivens Arango
Reviewer: Pei Fang Ng When you’re a kid, you get asked this one
particular question a lot. It really gets kind of annoying. “What do you want to be
when you grow up?” Now, adults are hoping for answers like “I want to be an Astronaut” or “I want to be a Neurosurgeon”. You adults and
your imaginations. (Laughter) Kids, they are more likely to answer with
pro skateboarder surfer or Minecraft player. I asked my little brother,
and he said, “Seriously dude, I’m 10,
I have no idea, probably a pro skier. Let’s go get some ice cream!” (Laughter) See, us kids are going to answer with something we’re stoked on What we think is cool. What we have experience with, and that’s typically the opposite
of what adults want to hear. But if you ask a little kid, sometimes you’ll get the best answer, something so simple,
so obvious, and really profound. “When I grow up,
I want to be happy”. For me, when I grow up, I want to continue to be happy like I am now. I’m stoked to be here at TEDx, I’ve been watching TED videos for as long as I can remember. But I never thought I’d make it
on stage here so soon. I mean,
I just became a teenager, and like most teenage boys, I spend most of my time wondering: “How did my room get so messy
all on its own?” (Laughter) Did I take a shower today?
(Laughter) And the most perplexing of all, How do I get girls to like me?
(Laughter) Neuroscientists say that
the teenage brain is pretty weird. Our prefrontal cortex is underdeveloped, but we actually have
more neurons than adults. Which is why we can be so creative,
and impulsive, and moody, and get bummed out. But what bums me out
is to know that a lot of kids today are
just wishing to be happy, to be healthy, to be safe, not bullied, and be loved for who they are. So it seems to me when adults say, “What do you want to be
when you grow up?” They just assume that you’ll
automatically be happy and healthy. But maybe that’s not the case. Go to school. Go to college. Get a job. Get married. Boom! Then you’ll be happy, right? We don’t seem to make learning
how to be happy and healthy a priority in our schools. It’s separated from schools, and for some kids,
it doesn’t exist at all. But what if we didn’t make it separate? What if we based education on the study and practice of being happy and healthy? Because that’s what it is, a practice. And a simple practice like that. Education is important, but why is being happy and healthy not considered education? I just don’t get it. I’ve been studying the science
of being happy and healthy. It really comes down to practicing
these 8 things: Exercise, diet and nutrition, time in nature, contribution
and service to others, relationships, recreation, relaxation and stress management, and religious or spiritual involvement. Yes, I got that one.
(Laugther) So these 8 things come
from Dr. Roger Walsh. He calls them
“Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes” or TLCs for short, He’s a scientist that studies
how to be happy and healthy. In researching this talk, I got a chance to ask him
a few questions like: “Do you think that our schools today
are making these 8 TLCs a priority?” His response was no surprise. It was essentially “No”. But he did say that many people do try
to get this kind of education outside of the traditional arena through reading or practices
such as meditation or yoga. But what I thought was his best response was that much of education is oriented, for better or worse, towards making a living
rather than making a life. In 2006, Sir Ken Robinson gave the most popular TED talk of all time, “Schools Kill Creativity.” His message is that creativity is
as important as literacy, and we should treat it
with the same status. A lot of parents watched those videos, some of those parents like mine
counted it as one of the reasons they felt confident to pull their kids
from traditional school, to try something different. I realize that I am part of this small
but growing revolution of kids who are going about
their education differently. And you know what?
It freaks a lot of people out. Even though I was only 9 when my parents pulled me out
of the school system, I can still remember my mom
being in tears when some of her friends told her
she was crazy, and it was a stupid idea. Looking back, I’m thankful
she didn’t cave to peer pressure, and I think she is too. So out of the 200 million people that have watched Sir Ken Robinson’s talk, why aren’t there more kids
like me out there? Shane McConkey is my hero. I loved him because
he was the world’s best skier. But then one day I realized
what I really loved about Shane. He was a hacker. Not a computer hacker, he hacked skiing. His creativity and inventions made
skiing what it is today, and why I love to ski. A lot of people think of hackers
as geeky computer nerds who live in their parent’s basement,
and spread computer viruses. But, I don’t see it that way. Hackers are innovators. Hackers are people who challenge
and change the systems to make them work differently,
to make them work better. It’s just how they think,
it’s a mindset. I’m growing up in a world that needs more people
with the hacker mindset, and not just for technology. Everything is up for being hacked,
even skiing, even education. So whether it’s Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg or Shane McConkey, having the hacker mindset
can change the world. Healthy, happy, creativity, and the hacker mindset are
all a large part of my education. I call it “Hack-Schooling”. I don’t use any one
particular curriculum, and I’m not dedicated to
anyone’s particular approach. I hack my education. I take advantage of opportunities
in my community, and through a network
of my friends and family. I take advantage of opportunities
to experience what I’m learning. And I’m not afraid to look for shortcuts or hacks to get a better,
faster result. It’s like a remix
or a mashup of learning. It’s flexible, opportunistic, and it never loses sight of making happy, healthy and creativity a priority. And here’s the cool part
because it’s a mindset not a system. Hack-schooling can be used by anyone
even traditional schools, So, what does my school look like? Well it looks like Starbucks
a lot of the time. (Laughter) But, like most kids, I study a lot of math, science,
history, and writing. I didn’t used to like to write because my teachers made me
write about butterflies and rainbows. And I wanted to write about skiing. It was a relief when my good friend’s mom started The Squaw Valley Kids Institute Where I got to write through
my experiences and my interests while connecting with great speakers
from around the nation and that sparked my love of writing. I realize that once you’re motivated to learn something, you can get a lot done
in a short amount of time and on your own. Starbucks is pretty great for that. Hacking physics was fun. We learned all about
Newton and Galileo, and we experienced some
basic physics concepts like kinetic energy though experimenting
and making mistakes. My favorite was the giant Newton’s cradle
that we made out of bocci balls. We experimented with a lot of other
things like bowling balls and even giant jawbreakers. Project Discovery’s Ropes Course
is awesome and slightly stressful. When you’re 60 feet off the ground, you have to learn
how to handle your fears, communicate clearly and
most importantly, trust each other. Community organizations play
a big part in my education. A High Fives Foundations
B.A.S.I.C.S. Program: “Being Aware and Safe
in Critical Situations” We spent a day with the
Squaw Valley ski patrol to learn more about mountain safety. The next day we switched
to the science of snow, weather, and avalanches. But most importantly, we learned that making
bad decision puts you and your friends at risk. Young Chautauqua brings history to life. You study a famous character in history, so you can stand on stage
and perform as that character. and answer any question
about their lifetime. In this photo, you see Al Capone and Bob Marley getting grilled with questions at the historical Piper’s Opera
House in Virginia City. The same stage where
Harry Houdini got his start. Time in nature is really
important to me. It’s calm, quiet, and
I get to just log out of reality. I spend one day a week outside all day. At my Foxwalker classes, our goal is to be able to survive
in the wilderness with just a knife. We learn to listen to nature,
we learn to sense our surroundings, and I’ve gained
a spiritual connection to nature that I never knew existed. But the best part is
that we get to make spears, bows and arrows,
fires with just a bow drill, and survival shelters for the
snowy nights when we camp out. Hanging out at The Moment Factory where they hand make skis
and design clothes, has really inspired me to
one day have my own business. the guys at the factory have showed me
why I need to be good at math, be creative and get good at sewing. So I got an internship
at Bigtruck Brand to get better at design and sewing. Between fetching lunch,
scrubbing toilets, and breaking their vacuum cleaner, I’m getting to contribute
to clothing design, customizing hats, and selling them. The people who work there are
happy, healthy, creative and stoked to be doing
what they’re doing. This is by far,
my favorite class. So, this is where I’m really happy, powder days. And it’s a good metaphor for my life, my education, my Hack-schooling. If everyone skied this mountain like most people think of education, everyone would be skiing the same line, probably the safest, and most of the “powder”
would go untouched. I look at this and see
a thousand possibilites. Dropping the cornice,
shredding the spine, looking for a tranny
from cliff to cliff. Skiing to me is freedom,
and so it’s my education. It’s about being creative,
doing things differently. it’s about community,
and helping each other, it’s about being happy and healthy among my very best friends. So I’m starting to think I know what I might want to do
when I grow up. But if you ask me
what do I want to be when I grow up, I’ll always know that
I want to be happy. Thank you.
(Applause)

100 Replies to “Hackschooling makes me happy | Logan LaPlante | TEDxUniversityofNevada”

  • Just kids' talk. I saw many comments from people more naive than a kid. Everyone wants to be happy, but to achieve the happiness you have to prepare for hardship, challenges, competitions, and failures. There is a balance between independence and learning from others.

  • I dont even know what makes me happy anymore, the few things that do make me happy, (weed thats it) i dont control, it controls me.

  • I think what I'm drawing the most from this is the lack of options in my community.  There are cities an hour from me that have amazing options for children, but in mine not so much.  My child is interested in animation at 8 and trying to find a way to get a hands on education in that for my child is near impossible.  I'm really going to have to get creative and luckily there are some amazing Youtubers out there that educate in their videos.

  • I feel like more college teachers are implementing similar things in their classes. My writing class was one of my favorites in college, but I hated it in school. The reason I liked it so much in college and did so well in it, was because I was always allowed to choose the topic. We had to write specific kinds of documents, but we were given choices. (Also my writing class in college let me put pictures in my documents to more effectively share my thoughts.) My programming class was AMAZING. I would always stay for the full two hours. The first half was spent learning a specific thing we can do in programming. but my teacher (who was a final fantasy 8 fan) used video game examples for programming. Heck our first test was to code an RPG battle system. But most importantly he would talk to us about the future. Tips we can use to get ourselves a job faster. He was amazing and kind.

  • Different aspects of learning, helping people/society and giving back already at such a young age… I hope you know you are blazing an amazing path and inspiring us all. You earned this opportunity to be on TED! …you gave us more than words…Thank you.

  • OH for the love of… OK so I have no idea what this kid's wealth status is, but since a bunch of people are missing his message and touting that he must be rich to have this work out for him, I just want to chime in and say that there are days I've had to go to the food bank to feed my kids. We have had times with NO money and certainly not any extra. I have homeschooled them for ten years and one is 15 at a grade 12 reading and math level (which is actually not that important to them but that seems to be the two subjects that people judge on) and my 11 year old is also at least two grades above his age in every subject WITH a born speech impediment AND markers for stuttering, which he has never developed BECAUSE we homeschool. They have been out in the community since day one, take every opportunity offered for experiences they would never have in school and they do everything this guy does EXCEPT ski, because they put in an effort to connect with people and offer their time. My youngest was never told that classical music is for sissies so he plays Mozart when he's not enjoying Bowie or Imagine Dragons. My eldest was cooking pizza from scratch when he was ten. Seriously if anything it costs us LESS to homeschool. I have no idea how I'd afford sending them to school with field trips etc.

    ANYway… my point is that I really don't want people to be turned off homeschooling because they aren't wealthy. You don't have to have tons of money. Just be creative and connect with programs that are non profit, use the resources available on the internet and encourage your kids to find ways of making things happen! If it means something to them, show them how to figure it out.

  • I’m pretty sure that whatever school he’s going to right now will help me pass 😂😂 tired of regular school can someone hack my school like ???🤨 we got no fun engaging learning activities

  • Anyone know which homeschooling curriculum that this kid follows? I am having a kid soon and is seriously thinking to homeschool my kid.

  • Türkçe alt yazıyı koyan kişi hiç koymasaymış keşke. 2-3 cümle çevirip gerisini çevirmeyip tekrar 2-3 cümleyi çevirmesi sinir etti. İngilizce alt yazı ile daha rahat anladım.

  • And then there are some countries (like Germany or many other countries in Europe) where homeschooling is illegal 😧

  • Dang. His verbal skills are so, so good. It's so wonderfull to see a kid with such high verbal skills. Standing strong in life. And being so intelligent.

  • This talk is always a breath of fresh air. "much of education is oriented for better or worse towards making a living rather than making a life"

  • He’s basically saying that school is useless. Truly, the people who can’t get anything from school are the ones who don’t put effort into learning. This kid is using the “hacker mindset” but he seems to be locked on skiing. You must have backup plans of most other subjects, languages, etc. Only 1% of athletes make it in the big leagues. It’s ok to have a dream but “hacking your education” seems a little insufficient.

  • Typical bubble-wrapped know-it-all talking as if he already knows everything and has it all figured out. He's ten years old and should be asking questions not telling older people 'how it is'. He'll only get himself into serious troubles with this kind of attitude. Eventually it'll come back to bite him hard.

  • You will go far young man, tell your parents to have faith that they made the best decision. How do I know? I pulled my daughter out of a top private elementary school to homeschool her. Now she has her master's degree in Speech language pathology and is happy. So will you whatever paying profession you find for yourself. P.S. The reason adults are always asking about what you might do one day is we are always looking for. New and better jobs for ourselves!

  • I don’t go to school either. I homeschool, hackschool, and worldschool!

  • Hey, Logan. You're an awesome dude, even to this day. I didn't meet you back when you made this talk, but looking back, you're still just as awesome as when I met ya. Your brother is awesome, too. I hope he recovers soon. Sincerely, N.

  • I'm a grown man and I'm in tears (of joy) that there are actually kids like this in this world!
    Great job, Logan.
    What a great head on your shoulders!

  • He is more educated then a lot of grown ups. Keep searching out of the box, not everyone is happy in the regular school system. Sure many are, but it’s not for all kids a good system. It would be great if parents can search the one system which fits their kids Individual.dont push the wrong system true the ykids which fits another system. Be open minded. But some people only see there own. And in their mind that’s the only good thing, let them watch en listen to this teenage boy! They can learn something,

  • Well,the only that schooling has given me is tension and stress,thanks to that i really can cope up with my present stresssful situation.

  • When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life… John Lennon

  • I can relate so much about how other people don't understand why anyone could take a kid out of public school, and even today after nearly 5 years of being home educated, some friends still believed that being taken out of public school was a bit 'dramatic' and everything would have worked out fine if I had stayed in mainstream school. I suppose some people will never fully understand what the school system can do to the kids/teenagers that just can't handle the pressure that they put them under in today's world.

  • My take away from this video makes me wish for better education in the public sector to assist children of all backgrounds develop as this child did. I think that is his point. It wasn't about him being home schooled. It was about the education system changing and realizing there is more to life and learning than what's in the text book or on the test. There is more to making a life than book learning. How to deal with other people. How to try things even when they scare you. How to be introduced to all sorts of jobs, careers, innovations, ideas; things you don't often get in a public school system. I understand the struggles of trying to make the best education choices for your child. My child had learning disabilities. He went to public school and although some of his teachers did notice and tried to assist him outside the school system itself, his experiences made it so he hated school. Getting him the help he needed was very hard and by the time he was in high school, he didn't want to go through the testing and proving again. You see, my son tested "average" in subjects that required writing. But when giving an oral answer and it was rated way above average. (Try proving that year after year). Being a single mother and the sole income of the house made it impossible for me to home school or private school, however I did get time off from work in the form of vacation days and personal days. I chose to use those days to take him on "hooky" days. We'd skip work/school and go to places like the Museum of Natural History or the Science Museum. I encouraged him to research things online and to do experiments here at home. I encouraged him to go see other things and try everything. There is always an issue with not having enough money. But a trip down to the local beach or creek was free and we could hunt crayfish (crawfish) or catch minnows, explore tide pools, etc. and then come back and look up more information.

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  • I was homeschooled my whole life until college and I had to watch this video as one of my assignments for my freshman seminar class, and the whole time Logan was talking, I was like, "This is what I've ALWAYS been doing as a homeschooler!" XD

  • I wish I could live like this. I really don't like what I do or where I live. I hate my country and very often I hate myself. I feel trapped. I feel weak.

  • Revisiting this video here in 2019, this kid is beyond his years and has an amazing grasp on what to do about our broken school system. The only problem that I just recently seen in his hackschooling is that it would only work for the wealthy and those that can afford it. All the stuff he talks about doing arent free, the classes and courses, I mean skiing alone is expensive to someone in low income housing. Obviously skiing isnt mandatory but my point is all that stuff requires your parents to have the time and money to see it all through. I for one wouldnt of been able to, single mother raising 2 boys working 2 sometimes 3 jobs with government assistance. Would of been impossible … that said this kid really is on to something and I wonder if hes taken any steps to try and further this idea for the masses.

  • That’s crazy, this kid and I live in the same place, I see him at Starbucks all the time and I never knew he was so brilliant

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