Saturday, December 27, 2008

What's the Purpose of Education Anyway?

What's the purpose of education anyway? Have you ever given it a lot of thought?

Here are two quotes worth pondering. Do you agree or disagree?

"Character development is the great, if not the sole, aim of education".
William James O'Shea

"Education is hanging on until you've caught on" Robert Frost

Monday, December 22, 2008

Cattle-call learning???

I'm a firm believer that kids will learn when they are ready to learn and if they are exposed to opportunities to learn.

As adults, we're the same! We usually learn things because:
We want to learn them
We are excited about something
We have a desire to increase our understanding or knowledge
We feel like it
We're motivated to do so etc.

I believe that children are the same. But, if 'forced' or 'coerced' to learn at a pace specified by some remote group of so-called 'experts' --- it seems to take the desire or excitement out of it. We're not cattle, afterall. We all learn to sit up, crawl, walk etc, at different stages. The same is with reading, math, science, music and all subjects. Some are passionate about a particular subject earlier than others. And...all have different talents, interests and God-given gifts. We do them a disservice when we place them into the same mold as everyone else. Life's purpose is not ONLY for getting a job! It's for becoming a good person, citizen, friend, neighbor, worker etc. and in contributing something worthwhile to others on this planet. If we allow that opportunity then each individual can contribute a God-given gift -- not just a regurgitated message that someone else has produced.

If the true purpose of education is to become like God (which I believe it is) -- then all the things that we do should be towards that end. And, I believe that the Spirit will guide us into making those choices which are best for each individual child. And not just what the Jones' are doing.

Joseph Smith said that "not all truth is of equal value". Are we spending our time on the things that are most truthful and matter most or are we the 'fast food' educational generation. Eating much of little value -- and never being nourished or satisfied?

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Poem: Be Glad Your Nose is on Your Face

The past few weeks we've been doing some poetry with our studies. It's been very fun. I printed out a copy for each child and we've gone around reading them, discussing them, illustrating a few of them, and acting some of them out.

Youngest daughter won the 'acting' contest yesterday with her dramatic and very funny interpretation of this one:

"Be Glad Your Nose Is on Your Face"
Be glad your nose is on your face,
not pasted on some other place,
for if it were where it is not,
you might dislike your nose a lot.
etc.

The children have also started writing some of their own poetry. I was amazed that my 12 yr. old son was able to do it so well. It came easier to him than other types of writing -- and he spent hrs. in his notebook expressing himself, writing verses, etc. It was a real blessing to have a break-through with him in this area as he is able to express himself in ways that he otherwise hasn't been able to.

I love that we can be led to do things that will bless our children's lives. Each child is unique with their own gifts, talents, needs. It's always a blessing to watch them blossom and grow.