Saturday, December 12, 2009

How people learn

Just in case you're wondering if your children are learning anything much right now...I have been there. This week J-Man (nearly 11) decided he would like to do a stop motion video. He found software that he thought looked good. It was $US295. He looked around and found a trial for the same software for free.

I watched him at work, so skillful though he had only seen the software for the first time an hour ago. He made it look terribly easy, and the end result looks reasonably simple- but there is so much that goes in to even a short animation.

I thought about how cool it was that he decided to do this, and that he did it without a teacher, without any assistance at all actually- beyond reading help files and googling questions he had.

Then I got to wondering if everything he did last week, that was nothing new, was somehow "less than" what he has done this week. Crazy really- because all that went before helped get him to this point.

I thought about how he learns, with a bit of a cruise, just enjoying life, then a sudden flurry (like a whizz round an off-road track) then back to the Sunday drive. I realised too that it's a bit how I learn.

Looking in at my life, people wouldn't say "My goodness see how much she learned today"...or "Yes, I see it- a little bit more than yesterday, progress is being made".

Real life isn't like that. In school you get nice little dollops spoon-fed, and children can often recite what (the teacher said) was learned toady. Real life learning is far more random. Far more beautiful.

Princess discovered this week that she can read upside-down. It never occurred to her to check before, but it came up naturally whilst waiting for a bus, and it was cool to watch.

When J-Man gets home, I'll see if he can work out how to put his little animation on to here.


Ruth said...

Thanks soooo much for this Lishelle, you are such a source of encouragement. And you are looking so gorgeous in your profile pic over the by the way. xx

Shell (in NZ) said...

Thanks Ruth- well, it was encouraging for me too :0) And thanks for the comment, lol- it means a lot coming from a gorgeous young Mama like you!!