What if a truly individualized education were really possible?
Spoiler alert: it is!
Imagine what would happen if, instead of sending children to conventional schools where their natural ways of learning are curtailed, we provided them with the resources that would allow their curiosity, playfulness, and other natural ways of learning to flourish.
WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?
Every member of our core staff went through formal educator training at some point.
When we did, we all heard the same things. Kids learn differently. There are multiple different forms of intelligence. What’s good for one kid might not be good for another. Kids need an educational program catered to their individual needs. Kids will learn from you better if they trust you.
Full of vim and vigor, we all jumped into working with kids, only to find that the modern educational paradigm is simply not equipped to meet the above goals for each child.
It works for some kids, sure. Most of us would like to believe that we “turned out okay.” But what if we want to dream bigger than “okay?”
We’re ready to help kids imagine something bigger. BigFish has no academic demands that it places on young people, instead working with them and their parents to pursue the education that they agree upon. We’ve got kids trying to get into MIT. We’ve got artists, musicians, video game console builders, dancers, historians, debaters, gardeners, poets, Minecraft experts, story-tellers, game designers, athletes, and chefs. We’ve got kids who are just trying to recover from traumatic public school experiences.
With such a diverse crew, we know that we couldn’t possibly guess how each child should spend each of their days. Instead, our role is to listen and help. When our members and their families want advanced math classes, we provide them. When they want internships, we help find them. When they want friendships, we try to facilitate them.
Instead of coming up with our own prepackaged curriculum and trying to fit every kid into it, we help our members pursue whatever educational path feels right for them.
being human first
With so much emphasis on academic goals, the conventional educational paradigm allows very little time for children to grow as people. We take the opposite approach.
We help our members figure out how to coexist with one another regardless of differences in background, opinions, and interests.
We encourage them to make a mess, and ask them not to leave a mess.
We love to hear belly laughs, and ask that they happen where they aren’t disturbing someone else’s endeavors.
We don’t tell kids what they should think is important, but we help them hold themselves accountable to their own goals.
We believe that the most valuable lesson is learning to love what we see when we look in the mirror. We believe in being content with what we have, but knowing that we are capable of anything.
the present matters
When you’re 5, everyone wants to talk to you about what school will be like. Once you’re in elementary school, they start telling you to prepare for middle school. Once you get there, you better take it seriously if you want to get into the good high school classes. If you make it to high school, you better start thinking about college. Time for clubs you may or may not like, lots of extracurricular activities, and volunteer work - to say nothing of the good grades you’ll need.
Made it to college? What’s your major? Are you going to grad school, or getting a job? When are you getting married? Having kids? Retiring? Grand kids?
Our society is obsessed with worrying about the future, and we spend so much pining for the day when we’ve finally “arrived.”
At BigFish, we believe that the best preparation for a meaningful and productive future is a meaningful and productive present.
Too often, education is thought of in terms of preparation: “Do this now, even if it doesn’t feel connected to your most pressing interests and concerns, because later on you’ll find it useful.”
We believe that helping teenagers to figure out what seems interesting and worth doing right now, in their current lives, is also the best way to help them develop self-knowledge and experience at figuring out what kind of life they want and what they need to do or learn in order to create that life. In other words, it’s the best preparation for their futures.
we hope to get to know you soon.
BigFish isn’t right for everyone, but when it’s a good fit, it tends to be a really good fit. Aren’t sure? Want to learn more?