Two Parents Are Using Netflix And YouTube To Educate Their Children
Two parents are using Netflix and YouTube to teach their kids after deciding to keep them out of mainstream education.
Taylor Catron, 24, and husband Derek, 28, from Ohio in the United States, made the bold decision after researching primary schools in the local area.
The couple's journey of homeschooling began with their first child Dereon, seven, who they took out of school in 2016.
Since then they have taught all three of their younger kids - Aerity, three, Aeviny, one, and eight-month-old Derek James - in the same way.
Rather than focusing on academic rigour, Taylor and Derek take their kids on hikes, visit museums, and watch educational documentaries on Netflix, such as Blue Planet and Life Story.
But it's not all fun and games, they do also dedicate some time each week to using workbooks or worksheets.
Speaking about their parenting style, Taylor said: "We let the kids pretty much take charge. Whatever they ask about or want to know about is what our lesson will be, or what we plan for a future lesson.
"I try to do a lot of play-based learning as well. We go to the zoo and museums and learning centres a lot! We do some structured learning - we have various workbooks we use - but try to keep it as minimal as possible.
"We eventually want to school them around the world and travel to different countries and continents and learn about everything literally on the go.
"We want them to learn through real life, there so many lessons that can't be taught in a classroom of 38.
"There's so much not taught in schools that we want our children to learn and I don't believe in standardised testing and all that hoopla.
"What we do works really well for us and our children are so smart people are always amazed after having conversations with them. It's the best choice we've made for our children, I think."
The couple have found modern technology to have had a positive impact on their children's educational development.
Taylor went on: "Benefits of being able to use Netflix (and YouTube) is we can look up a show or series on basically anything the kids ask or want to know about.
"We've watched quite a few Netflix documentaries - Our Planet, Life Story, Abstract, Oceans, Blue Planet, Explained, Nature's Weirdest Events, Growing Up Wild, Age of Tanks and more.
"Some of their other favourite shows are Motown Magic, Wild Kratts, Super Why, Word Party, Storybots and The Magic School Bus.
"I think these are educational because they're watching and learning words, problem solving, kindness, creativity, fun facts, manners and so much more - in a way and through characters they enjoy."
The couple says part of the reason they decided to take their children out of the traditional system was the lack of importance placed on creativity.
Taylor explained: "Mostly what we find unappealing about traditional school is that it's all about standardised testing and regurgitating information.
"You're not there to learn you're there to recite information and get good test scores. Not to mention all the important things that they don't teach, like accurate historical events and African American culture and history.
"On top of that it doesn't nurture imagination and creativity. Children aren't meant to sit down and be still and quiet for six to eight hours a day. They are supposed to run around and touch things and ask a billion silly questions."
And while they may not be around other kids their own age, Taylor says her little ones still mix with their peers.
Hitting back at critics, Taylor added: "My children have lots of friends that they see regularly and absolutely no problem making new friends. My oldest is the most outgoing child I've probably ever met.
"They make new friends everywhere we go. My smallest worry in home-schooling is that they don't get enough interaction or socialisation with other kids or people.
"To anyone who might criticise this style of education, I say just because we do things differently doesn't mean we're wrong or not effectively educating our children.
"In fact, Finland has one of the best education systems in the world and they have no testing, no homework, and almost spend the entirety of their days outside and or playing.
"We're not withholding education from our children, were just allowing them to learn in a way that works best for them."
Featured Image Credit: Media Drum World