Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Learning is Serious Work.

I just watched a TED lecture about being an inspiring speaker and the graphic and speech (yes, it was inspiring) gave me an "aha" moment.  And, of course the speaker used one of my favorite words:  WHY?

Why did I decide to home-school our children and why am I working on a game which is a tool for students to determine if college may be a good direction?  Well, I had to go back to kindergarten for the beginning.

I was a challenging child because at that point I was an only child and had lots of attention from all of the adults in my life.  School was a foreign concept, and the idea of being in a group of kids my own age following rules for the herd, and competing was a very FOREIGN concept.  But, when one was five years old with both parents working to provide, and living in a rural community, one goes to kindergarten.

My memories from kindergarten are sketchy but I do remember drawing a large giraffe and then trying to erase it because I wasn't happy with my picture.  I remember pink frosted animal cookies and running in the hall when I wasn't supposed to.  And, then I have these two very, very distinct memories.

Remember Weekly Reader?  It was a staple of kindergarten and if my memory serves me there was a story and an activity.  Well, once, the activity focused on putting plums in a pie.  Okay, okay, everyone knows the "little Jack Horner" rhyme.  I knew what was coming so I drew my plums in the pie.  CUT TO BIG PROBLEM!!!!

My teacher, who was a well-respected and very capable lady who had taught for years, made me stand in the corner.

 This was a very large moment in my young life.  I did not connect it to disobeying (a major point of classroom teaching).  I connected it to having an original thought.

So, that was the

Remember our friend, Plato?

"With anything young and tender the most important part of the task is the beginning of it; for that is the time at which the character is being formed and the desired impression most readily taken."  Plato, The Republic

Years and years go by filled with lots of stories, and when I have children I send them off to school.  But, I, also go to school.  And, even with that sometimes it is not enough.

WHY do other people get to make decisions about how to EDUCATE my children?

WHY did other people get to make those decisions about MY EDUCATION?

LEARNING is serious work.  I am not the end all expert but I am invested in my children getting what they need.  And, I know the importance of asking WHY.

[What is "learning"?  In my experience, you have learned something if you can pull it out and use it after you figured it out.  And, to do that, either you have to want to use it or there has to be a really good reason for using it.]

Why did I decide to home-school our children and why am I working on a game which is a tool for students to determine if college may be a good direction?  I did and I am because I believe that learning is serious work and I want to make it COUNT.  I'm like him -- sometimes you have to forge in a different direction and sometimes you have to see opportunities that others may not be able to see yet.

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