Is it the case, do you think, that those things we teach ourselves are often more important to us, and therefore more easily learned, than those lessons we learn elsewhere?
I have read 140 report cards from my own kids’ school lives so far. Only forty-four more to go.
They have varied in degrees of wonderfulness and, sometimes, I’ve shaken my head or my fist!
In those areas where they have real aptitude as well as a ‘good’ teacher, they have applied themselves and done well. In other areas, their responses to negative comments have been, ‘Well, he/she is a crap teacher,’ or ‘I hate that subject. Why do we have to take it?’ or ‘Mr./Mrs. So-and-So was off a lot and we hardly got taught anything, so it’s not really my fault.’
Ahem. Excuses, excuses.
Ok, sometimes, those things are true.
What amazes me, though, is the fact that, when they are interested in something – really interested – nothing prevents them from learning.
So, I have five children who are self-taught in guitar.
Six children who play chess well.
Six children who love dancing and will do so at the drop of a hat.
Seven children who are all adept at making home movies and editing the results to ensure maximum laughter.
Two children who can conjure up and proudly produce family meals that equal mine. (The others can cook but with varying results!)
Seven children who can paint and draw wondrous images.
Three children who compete with themselves for fitness and exercise.
One child who can tell you director, producer, actors and settings of every movie she analyses for fun.
Seven children who can find their way around every games console or computer programme they encounter.
The list goes on.
I don’t have 44 children, however the above reads.
I have seven and the range of their abilities astounds me at times. The most astonishing thing, however, is that those areas where they are self-taught are the ones in which they are really well-taught. Even if there has been some initial instruction. Their desire to do something well in an area they are fascinated by has been the pivotal drive in their successes.
Exam results not withstanding (and they have done well), I wonder what would occur in schools where more child-led learning occurred.
We’re making progress in some ways but I don’t think we’ve gone far enough yet to ensure that motivational learning leads the way.