I am a serious user of the dictionary. Yes, that big, fat, heavy book with lists and lists of words. I can find a word in the dictionary faster than my kids can look it up online. My parents were both teachers and when I would ask how to spell a word or what a word meant they would tell me to look it up in the dictionary. At the time I thought it was torture. How can one possibly look up a word if you don’t know how to spell it? Unbelievably, I learned. Perseverance and the desire to learn prevailed.
I find that the older I get the more I want to learn. I read more news and articles and books, and yes, blogs. One of my greatest challenges is to pass this desire to learn on to my kids. How can I show them how amazing the world is? How can I give them the gift of passion for knowledge acquisition? School seems to have zapped that desire from them. Learning means school…school means agonizing boredom and torture. Therefore, learning sucks. Something is wrong with an educational system that zaps a child’s natural capacity for exploring life and their innate desire to learn.
A few years ago my son asked to be home schooled. After researching, reading, and talking to friends we pulled him out of traditional school. What I have learned from this amazing adventure in home schooling is that I have learned more than my son. I find so many things I want to share with him and I can’t wait to include these things in his daily lesson plans. But then, sadly, he often isn’t as excited about these things as I am. I now realize my role in his home school adventure is pathfinder. I must find new paths for him to learn the things he needs to know in order get along in life and to reach his goals…those things he is passionate about. Maybe someday he, too, will become a serious dictionary user.