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Learn how to learn: Finding the link

All this Covid talk sparked a discussion with my kids the other day.  Their excitement about not having school has dwindled.  Boredom has started to set in and they want out.  

Who would have thought right?

At least that seems to be my daughters’ take on things right now.  The two of them are bored and missing their friends.  

My son however is happy as a pig in shit. Living his dream, being in pajamas all day, playing video games, online, with his buddies, not having to leave the house. He is showing a, slightly, concerning amount of pride in having to socially distance himself from education.

This lead us to a discussion about the reasons for social isolation/distancing.  The preventative measures we as a global community are taking and why.  I’m not going to rehash it, we are all living it. Oddly, the dive, into or current “why”.  Lead to a more productive discussion about school, education and it’s importance.

The surprising part was how easily I was able to associate our current situation with the principals of learning. School isn’t just a place to learn about different subjects, theories and practices.  It’s an institution that is supposed to teach you how to learn. Providing you the tools to decipher the world around you.

We take a lot of things for granted here in North America.  Especially education.  What most of us seem to dislike is the individual subject. Negatively focusing on the compartmentalized way we set the system up.  One subject at a time, point by point, step by step, slowly amalgamating all of it together over time.

A good teacher can bring everything together, help the kids see the relationship between subjects. Like anything in life though, there is the good, the bad and the mediocre. So we as parents, roll models and guardians, need to inform our kids of that. The point of school is of course to get good grades and move on to great things. More importantly, in my opinion, is understanding the subject well enough that you can find it’s application in others.

For a kid like mine.  Who is adamantly against going to school.  This is a great way to get him more excepting of the education process. He’s convinced he’s going to be a YouTuber. I have no problem with him wanting to be or do that.  I’m not one to stifle his dreams or his aspirations.  I’m not unrealistic in his capabilities either.  Our world has been and is changing drastically, especially right now.  Some of the beliefs and theories I’ve had for the next generation, don’t seem as far fetched any more.

Technology is a huge part of our lives it’s only going to become more intertwined with our existence. I’ve always been of the mind that limiting screen time is necessary, but having set times isn’t. I’m not saying I’m right about this. It’s just my theory. So I got them used to having to walk away from screens when asked too. Instead of having an hour here or there, or having to have home work done first. Instead they are constantly forced to make the choice on their own. They probably get more time than is recommended, but by the time they are in the workforce they are going to be interacting with technology from the time they wake up until the time they go to bed.

HELLO SMART PHONES!!

So why not get them accustomed to having to utilize their time on their own. (I give them nudges in the right direction now and then). Hopefully helping them learn how to learn.

Teaching our kids self discipline, responsibility and how to interpret information can only propel them into greatness. That starts with the understanding that school is not just a series of subjects mashed together and crammed into their little heads. The point of each is much like a vine.  Plant the seed, the vine grows and intermingles with all the other plants in the garden. The key to the growth of that vine, is maintaining and guiding it’s progress.  You have to trim it back every now and then. Finding new ways to accentuate the other flowers.

Having a big picture or outside the box view of the challenges they face in life, will greatly help them navigate the hard times. That kind of broad thinking, promotes problem solving, relationship building and personal development. The earlier you can create a foundation for that type of mind set, the more prepared they will be, with the resilience they need for the independence they want.

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