My precocious (too smart for his britches) 6-year-old son returned to school Monday. His comical attempt to feign leprosy or any other disease he could think of that would keep him out of school and extend his already 2 ½ week holiday vacation got me thinking.
I dug around asking what exactly he was dreading. At first, it appeared to be the regiment of schedule and classes.
I explained the sun rose, most of us went to work or school to prepare us for work. I pointed out the cars around us packed with people doing just that, and when the sun set, most of us slept. That was the way of life. Life has a routine.
I knew that most of us had no desire to fall in line with another’s dictated schedule and life style, so I had to give him that. But, I was also tasked with getting a six-year-old mind to not only accept but embrace the idea.
Heck! I am 7 times his age and I still choke on the idea.
I dug further. Lo and behold he coughed out a gem. In a meek voice, staring out the window at traffic, he told me, “ I want to do more advanced stuff! I want to mix things up. I have so many questions. Who invented electricity? Who invented metal? Can I mix them up?”
Okay… now this is something I could work with. When properly challenged life no longer becomes “regimented”, it becomes fun!
Education has to align with a purpose to give pleasure and create a desire to seek it out.
Purpose is necessary to change the view of education from a “dictated” must-do style, to a fun and effective challenge.
A wonderful home school/on-line education group www.appliedscholasticsonline.com recently sent out a quote that aligns with this idea.
“Pleasure is the positive commodity. It is enjoyment of work, contemplation of deeds well done; it is a good book or a good friend; it is taking all the skin off one’s knees climbing the Matterhorn; it is hearing the kid first say daddy; it is a brawl on the Bund* at Shanghai or the whistle of amour from a doorway; it’s adventure and hope and enthusiasm and “someday I’ll learn to paint”; it’s eating a good meal or kissing a pretty girl or playing a stiff game of bluff on the stock exchange. It’s what Man does that he enjoys doing; it’s what Man does that he enjoys contemplating; it’s what Man does that he enjoys remembering; and it may be just the talk of things he knows he’ll never do.”
L. Ron Hubbard, Dianetics: Modern Science of Mental Health (page 39)
* Bund: a famous landmark in Shanghai, China, a boulevard along the Huang-p’u River lined with parks and European-style buildings.