Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"You always start with ideas. If you don't start with ideas, you get lost."

George Shultz, former Secretary of State

I was watching a very interesting biography the other night on PBS called, Turmoil and Triumph, The George Shultz Years. It was extremely interesting and informative. I felt a little bit a part of it, as some of the events took place when I was a young child and I remember some of the things they portrayed. The above quote was shared towards the end of the program. There was more to the quote, but I was not fast enough to write it all down. It said something about ideas being a compass to learning.

When I heard the quote, I thought immediately of some of the questions people ask me about our home learning. I often get the, "So, what exactly are you learning now?" or "How do you decide what to teach?". When I explain to them that I believe that as their mother, part of my responsibility is to expose them to opportunities or information that will ignite something in my kids to want to learn. Some people don't quite understand my response. I often times say that we read. We read a lot. We read all the time.

I am amazed at the looks of shock or confusion in response to my response. I am waiting for the day when someone actually says, "Really? That's all you do? Read?".

Yes, that's what we do. From reading, my children are introduced to a plethora of ideas from which they then, in turn, learn more about. For example, when we read the book The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White, they asked to learn more about:

Trumpeter Swans, foxes, TAPS, birds held in zoos, journal writing, swan boats, etc.

How do you get children interested in learning? You give them ideas. The way I give my children ideas is through reading. What are we reading right now?

Bambi, Ferdinand the Bull, American History Stories Vol. 2, the Old Testament, Aesop's Fables, Grimm's Tales, the list goes on and on.

So, as Mr. Shultz says, if you don't start with ideas, you get lost. Are you feeling lost? Do you have a child that just doesn't seem to click with what you are doing or teaching them? They need an idea to lead them into the exploration that is learning. They won't even realize that they are learning. It is amazing. Enjoy!


Rebecca said...

WOW!!! Great post. Thank you!!!

Being A Mother Who Knows said...

Reading is the best!!!! When people ask what we like to do and I say, "read," they are also very surprised.

I just "friended" you on Goodreads. Let's be friends and compare the great books.

: ) Deanna