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Within the School Walls or Out in the Open?

When we describe this method, we underline that the best result is achieved when a child goes through all the phases of development, starting from the right kind of conception, through the prenatal period, followed by the period of nursing, and so on.

– But that’s how Nature is arranged as well. Do you see how it starts out? We evolve from a drop of semen, and we have to take this into consideration in our subsequent development as well.

Look at early, primitive societies: A child grew and was naturally included in the process of life. Once he reached a certain age, he could mingle with the adults. As he grew, he could increasingly participate in their activities. That is how he naturally joined the process together with his peers.

But what happens with us is that by putting a child in school, we cut him off from the life around him, creating artificial, impertinent conditions. And in addition, we prolong the period of school study. Starting with age 6, we sit them down behind a desk for the next 12 years. When I was a child there were only 10 grades. And as soon as children finish school, they have to go to college. And after college there are additional studies. The end result is that a person doesn’t take part in the broader social life, and only by age 25, sometimes even 30, does he join the common system.

We have to arrange things so the study is completely integrated with his participation in the life of the society. And that shouldn’t happen when he has already become an adult (considering that by age 16 or 17 he is already an adult), or when he finishes school and is thrown out to real life, not knowing what it is. This causes him to be under great stress.

Until now he was forgiven for everything, everything he did was praiseworthy, and everyone did everything for him: here’s a ready to eat lunch, clean laundry, and some pocket money. He received full service for many years, and suddenly he is told, “Go and do everything for yourself, and make your own living.” But no one prepared him for that. He was stuffed with some kind of unnecessary knowledge (if even that, because maybe he just sat in class all these years without even listening).

All this time should be used for raising a person in society! But this is not being done. A person is raised artificially within four walls of some learning institution, and after that at different clubs and parties, which are artificial as well. This is not enough. We have to let him take part in real work. We have to let him feel like an adult long before he actually becomes an adult and enters adult life.

I would open up a bank account for children after a certain age and would hire them to do community service jobs for which they would receive a certain salary. That is, they should start “playing” life in a way that’s close to reality. The benefit of this will be tremendous, both for them and for society. They will understand their parents better and will develop a sense of responsibility. This is how we will gain a human being.

– In Soviet Russia there was an educator named Makarenko who worked with street children and juvenile delinquents. He is notable for demonstrating that a child’s correction takes place under the influence of a constructive, creative activity. Under his management the children assembled FED cameras, which was the only thing that gave some kind of results.

Within your program of upbringing, can groups of boys or girls take part in some project, create certain values, and earn money by doing it?

– The projects they work on have to be necessary. We let them film things, then edit the video and audio materials, as well as texts about education and upbringing.

On the one hand, this turns them into specialists: They learn to work with computers, video, audio, and texts. They work with the materials and publish the results of their work on the internet. And in the process of working on creating these materials, they acquire specific skills that will help them with their professional orientation later on. In addition, they become creative.

On the other hand, this helps them understand themselves. That’s because the children are working on their own material and experience it on themselves.

For example, they visited a factory, then a planetarium, and then a hospital. They have to film all of it, discuss it, and edit it. So they have a lot to keep them busy. We don’t have time to give them some kind of “irrelevant” jobs. This is similar to what we had in school when I was a child. We had a class called “handcrafts,” and I liked this class very much. This type of work develops a person.

Besides, we hold large unity events where children work together with adults. This lifts them up tremendously and lets them feel that being together with everyone is important. That is how they work, and that is how life is arranged.

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