Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Continuing Education Or Learning for Learning's Sake

     It is usually at this time of year when I take a close look at our educational methods and practices.  I evaluate what works and what didn't.  I examine what used to work and why it doesn't any more.   And I also recall my own attitudes of learning and wistfully long for the days of just learning.  

     I cannot say I ever hated school.  I may not have been interested in the topic at the time, but the work was always fun.  Husband and I joke often, laughing at ourselves and how much we loved spelling tests and SRA reading programs.   I paid a pretty penny a few years ago to purchase the SRA reader I learned to read on.  Mrs. Hartman, Kindergarten.  At recess, sitting on the merry go round.  We read through A Pig Can Jig.  That's when and where my world got bigger.

     I always hope my children will catch that spark of just digging deep and learning.  To be hungry and focused.   I plan and scheme and always end up laying on the floor staring at the ceiling wondering what went wrong and contemplate giving up.

    And then this summer it hit me.   What I want for them is what I want for myself!  Why not pursue my own learning.   True, I have been on a trend of reading non fiction only.  Fiction requires too much of a commitment of my time and inclination for wanting to do only that.   But the non-fiction I read (picking up and putting down at my leisure, not getting too involved) deals with homeschooling, parenting, housekeeping.  I realized that I wanted to read for myself all of the books I wanted my kids to read and that I never got to!  I realized that I wanted to learn just to learn still.  And I didn't want to do it alone.  I needed interaction, adult preferably.   It had to be convenient and fit into our busy days.  Mommy book clubs never seemed to work out.

    Enter Coursera.   I spent hours in giddy happiness one afternoon perusing free online college courses.  The children could not quite comprehend why I looked as if I had discovered gold.  I signed up for a few, then spent days collecting the required reading.   I counted down the days until the first course started.  On the morning of I was thrilled to dig into the reading.   And what I found in those selections confused me and ticked me off...and it was GREAT!     I shared what I had been reading with the family (because they asked, mind you) and they laughed and let me to it.  

     My aim is purely selfish:  to exercise my brain, to "wrestle with the minds of great thinkers."   A side benefit is showing my enthusiasm and hope the children catch on.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Texting Jesus

B (age 5): Mommy, can I text Daddy?

Me: Sure, sweetie, what would like to say?

B: Daddy, Daddy, I love you (via Siri)
Can I text Jesus?

Me: You don't need to text Jesus. Just say what you want to say to him and he hears you

B: Jesus, you are in my heart. I love you.