Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Learning To Learn

My wife teaches our two sons at home. It is a great deal of work, of course, but she likes doing it.

If you remove all the wasted time out of a public school's school day, there might be three hours or so of education in it. I think I'm being generous there; I think sometimes there isn't any. It's all folderol and riding a cold bus. My son's friends all have school-issued laptops, and they all fart around on Facebook and play Age of Empires on them during their classes. My son works when it's time for school, and plays when it's not. Actually, he likes to do his assigned schoolwork a day early. Then he learns other things that interest him.

Technically, I'm his, and his little brother's, music teacher. But in reality, he's just his own music teacher. He has learned how to learn -- the only important thing in this life.

I hear him up in his room playing these days, and I can't tell if it's him or the recording he's learning anymore. I have to go up and ask. When he was done with Tuesday's Physics homework on Monday night, he wanted to learn a new song, and did. If you have an Internet connection, you can learn anything. Or you can idle your time away. I heard music yesterday morning and had to go see if it was him. It was.


dadofhomeschoolers said...

Isn't it neat!?
in our house the older taught himself visual basic, taking things he learned in physics, and made a model of how gravity works.
Loves calculus, because "your messing with infinity, how cool is that?"

the younger is sought after as a piano player, mix board player, projectionist.
I just hide in my garage.

Leslie said...

This made my heart happy. Such fruit.

Sam L. said...

By Jove, I think he's got it.

vanderleun said...

John Fahey or Robbie Basho. Take your pick.

Anonymous said...

Sippican Cottage, I genuinely hope your kid's happy but life ain't easy.

Do you really call him "the heir?"

I hope he doesn't know about that.

I'm quite sure he wants to think of himself as something separate and apart from your shadow.

And well he should.

After all, he needs to grow to be a man.

Best regards.

SippicanCottage said...

Shh. No one tell him/her that I call the other one "The Spare."

BigFred said...

Be very proud. He has talent, but you don't need to hear/believe that from me. He plays with passion.

jhc said...

"He has learned how to learn -- the only important thing in this life."

That's the Real Deal right there in one sentence.

I had a professor 35 years ago who told us, "My job isn't to teach you. My job is to teach you to teach yourselves."

Anonymous said...

raisin a psychic - wusn not tuh lake?

jes kiddin' uh course

home schooling is a lifestyle, life mission

for me p-school was utter drudgery interspersed with moments intense boredom

never look to the state to provide anything postive

Philip said...

Nice. In many ways.

Tscottme said...

I've learned at least 2 important things from the accident of my circumstances and paying attention. Low performing students and persistently poor people keep repeating the same bad behavior.

You can't make stupid people smarter by telling them things. They don't want to know. You can't make poor people better off by giving them money, they will blow it. Both groups have an inexhaustible supply of excuses.

amanda said...

As a substitute teacher I can tell you you have given your children the best education in the world. They value learning because they know what it is. They value their time because no one is wasting it. They value other people because their typical interactions are meaningful and they are valued.

I love reading your blog because I love how much you love the heir and spare.

SippicanCottage said...

Hi all- Thanks for reading and commenting and being my Interfriends.

Amanda- Thanks for your kind words. My wife and I find that many teachers understand exactly what we're trying to accomplish. Teachers often seem to feel like they've been put in a straitjacket, and wish they could just get on with it.

We show our respect for teaching and learning by doing it ourselves in a serious way, and likewise have a sort of reverence for things like libraries. But we suffer a lot of slings and arrows from people that think the library should be a kind of shabby free Blockbuster, and schools should be an East German social experiment and nothing else.

BigFred said...

The term "Homeschooled" for me sets off a lot of alarm bells for me, as my experience is extremely stilted with overbearing Jesus Freaks, women who only wear skirts and do not work outside the home, and men who do not wear shorts, even in the Virginia heat.

In your case? Sign me up.

Anonymous said...

Women not working outside the home??

Men who won't wear shorts?

Much as life was for oh five thousand years or so?

Believers in Christ who won't cut off your head, enslave or treat you as less than an equal, desiring only to share the Gospel

Great Scot!

What can be next - dogs and cats cohabitating??

shoreacres said...

Wasted school days? How about wasted years? I started teaching myself at about age 40, and the more I learn, the more I enjoy learning. I presume your son(s) have that down pat already.

Cruising through Sippican Cottage can be mistaken for cruising through Sippican College - always a pleasure, always a delight.

SippicanCottage said...

Hi Shoreacres- That's very kind and I appreciate it. Thanks for reading and commenting.