Going to The Failure School Was Not a Mistake

Kristo is going to the last session of The Failure School this weekend and he’s not happy about it. For the past 4 Saturdays he’s been waking up early for class and not once did I have to drag him out of the house for it.  That’s always a good sign. He works on his homework well before the deadline and I’ve seen him put a lot of effort into whatever he needs for class. One time I asked him what his least favorite thing about the program is and he said it’s the part when it’s time to go home. He says Phil is such a cool teacher and he’s learning so much from him, plus the class is a lot of fun.

Phil Smithson was one of the speakers at the startup boot camp I went to a few months back. Over dinner, he sat at our table and told us about his idea for a failure school. As a homeschooler, I thought the idea was exactly what students of today need. It’s what my kids need. I wish I could’ve gone to something like it when I was younger.

A few weeks later, Phil announced the launch of this brilliant idea and I signed-up right away. I would have been crazy to miss such an opportunity to have Kristo be part of such an unconventional and genius program.

That talk over dinner during the boot camp was a eureka moment for me. I must admit that even in our own home, failure wasn’t as welcome as it is now. Unfortunately, most of us have grown up with the mindset that failure usually isn’t an option, especially in the school setting. Failure has always had a bad reputation. We have been trained to win and get it right the first time, but we all know that doesn’t always happen in real life. Unfortunately, not much training has gone into how to cope with failures and how to solve problems.

I knew I had to unlearn that mindset as soon as possible. I would rather my kids make as many mistakes and failures as early as now and give them the tools they need to figure out the situation they’re in. The goal is to have them become failure-experts by the time they’re ready to go on their own adventures. Instead of giving failure a bad name, it’s about time we treated it as a tool to learn and improve whatever it is we’re doing.

Kristo and the wall of 316 ideas made by 10 tweens to solve several problems

So many things have changed in the way Kristo and I approach things ever since he started going to the Failure School. In the past, failures and mistakes during learning time usually meant fights and drama. I know, that doesn’t make sense and that was totally my bad. Now, whenever we hit a bump in the road, you’d see us pause, think, discuss and figure out what went wrong as if we’re solving a game or mystery.

Failure no longer has a bad name in our home. As our five-year-old now constantly says, “When we make mistakes, it’s okay. Just figure out what went wrong and try again until you get it right.” It sounds so basic but we usually forget that, don’t we?

Intrigued by this program? Phil is starting a new run for 12-21-year-olds on August 19 and slots are filling up fast. Signing up for it won’t be a mistake. That’s a guarantee. If you only want your child to do the first day, they’ve opened 10 super early bird tickets at only 2,500PHP for the one-day workshop.

He’s also got a corporate program that’s totally worth looking into. After all, learning doesn’t stop. To know more about The Failure School and how to register, click here.You can also check-out what they did during the first run here.

May you have a wonderful day with moments when you can actually stop, look up and make out the shape of the cloud you’re looking at. 



  1. what do they learn in failure school? Except from failing XD and trying again and again until they succeed? I wanna ask my My Mom if I can register for the 2nd wave

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