02 July 2013

you learn something new

Salted by Mark Bitterman
I'm compiling a mental file of Future Homeschool Projects. Our neighborhood has plenty of starting points. Graveyard: find the oldest or fanciest tombstone you can and research what was happening in Lancaster that year. Flowering trees in the park: perfect nature journal fodder. Asian supermarket: buy a different food every week, then learn about where it comes from and learn how to cook it.

(Dried squid . . . what could possibly go wrong?)

One reason I look forward to teaching my kids is that it will give me an excuse to learn new things. I love to research; I love listening to random stories on NPR; I love my books. Jared just got me this one. I've learned about history, chemistry, economics, and biology and I'm only a few chapters in!

I think it's important to keep learning. You're never going to know everything, or even most things. There is always some fascinating new tidbit to store away in your brain. Thankfully, though I seem to be finished with formal schooling (I fantasize about grad school sometimes but . . . babies!) nothing's stopping me from educating myself on any and every topic I please.

The laundry sometimes gets in the way, I suppose. Suzy Homemaker am I.

The wee gate.
{photo by triciamorimori}
One thing I enjoy about education is how it expands the world-- which was always so huge and so fascinating, of course, I just didn't know it. It's as if I have been walking down a wee country lane, hedged in by six feet of boxwood on either side, and whoa! a gate? a field beyond? what's all this? That approximates my mental state when I first read about an ancient culture in the Caucasus Mountains or see a picture of a far-off galaxy.

My parents did a great job of instilling intellectual curiosity in their six children; we all like to read and to tell each other about what we're discovering. (One of my brothers just started a thoroughly entertaining cooking blog. Go check it out and leave him a comment.)

One way Jared and I can do the same for our kids, I think, is to model an eagerness to learn. Another is to encourage their natural inquisitive bent. I know that someday Ellie will ask why? for the gazillionth time and I will answer because that's the way God made it and you may not ask any more questions for at least half an hour. But mostly I want to explain the world to her, and let her know that questions are good, and that life is a marvelous, befuddling thing well worth exploring.

1 comment:

  1. Education is based on our finite being.
    I am of the belief that we will go on learning for eternity since the Infinite (capital "I") will always hold discovery for we the finite.