The love of learning is a philosophy. We've applied it to our children and have seen remarkable results. As I've been immersing myself into this idea, it seems only fair that I ask myself if this love exists in my own life.
I enjoy reading, but if given a choice between a mystery and a non-fiction text, the mystery will win every time. As a matter of fact, I very rarely quit a novel before it's done, but there are several unfinished expository texts on my shelf. Is this indicative of a failure to embrace a true love of learning in my own life? Of course not.
As with any element of education and learning, results must be viewed in a broader context. A singular measure is not usually the best way to determine if learning is occurring. The best way to measure learning is to find a way to see if it lives up to its purpose. In my case, I may not love reading deeply meaningful books, but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy learning.
Recently I have been prompted to reflect on all the side jobs I have created for myself over the years. In addition to a full time job, I have almost always had something else going on. Sometimes it's been going to school myself and other times it's been starting my own small business. Each of these endeavors have forced me to learn and grow. Sometimes its been through reading, Other times it has been watching videos or listening to others or asking questions, but the way I learn the best is the old fashioned way. Some people call it the school of hard knocks. Others call it trial and error. Regardless of what you call it, I love to jump in and just give something a try. I learn as I go. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. Either way, I am always learning. And I love it.
As of today, we are officially the proud parents of a transitional kindergartner. For those of you not in California, TK is designed for kids who turn five during the school year, but after the cutoff for school registration. Even though we homeschool, we told our little guy that today was the first day of school for him. He was thrilled.
As part of the first day activities, Annette and I had to attend a park day for the charter school we work with and we took the kids along. After about an hour, Nate appeared disappointed. "I haven't found my class yet," he said. We assumed he knew what homeschooling was since its all his brothers and sisters do, but he was still confused. We let him down gently and explained that he was going to learn at home.
I'm sure many kids entering the traditional classroom setting have anticipated their first day of school with the same excitement as Nate had. They eagerly look forward to meeting their new teacher and making new friends, but the thrill eventually wears off. Our goal as homeschooling parents is to do everything we can to help our little guy maintain the excitement he has for learning. We want it to be something that never stops because he is enjoying it so much he doesn't even know it's happening.
So for now, we'll continue to learn all we can about dinosaurs and dragons. We'll count them, we'll name them, and we may even spell a few (but not pterodactyl yet). Yes, he's in school, but he won't really notice anything different. Even so, he will be learning every day, whether he knows it or not.