500 Words At A Time: Family Learning

A quick thank you to Mrs. Fever for suggesting this topic. I am huge on learning for myself. I am even bigger on learning for my children. I want them to know what I know and more. Thus, from day one, I have tried to include them in on everything that I have learned. Well, most things and try as I might, some topics are not that interesting to grade school children, such as the greater issues of life and my philosophical pinning’s. It is possible that I am planting seeds of knowledge and interest that will bloom at a later date, but many times I get the feeling that I am wasting their time or boring them.

Family learning has been part of our family since Barb started her college odyssey. She learns something in one of her classes and brings that information home to share with all of us. This has had a couple of interesting side effects. The most interesting side effect, because she has shared her learning with the kids from day one, now that they are in school they share what they learn with us. However, unlike Barb who shares at appropriate moments, the children often share at truly random moments.

“These are really good tacos,” I said at Taco Boy.

“Did you know that jelly fishes can sting,” began our boy, who was on a roll about jellyfishes and man-o-wars for the next half-hour.

Truly random moments of sharing aside, the children sharing with us has done a few of things. The first, is reinforce what they have learned. The second, we can expand upon their information with information of our own. The third, is from time to time we learn something. While I did not learn anything about jellyfish, he did have some interesting factoids about man-o-war (men-o-war or people-o-war?).

There has been some funny downsides to sharing information, mostly due to the medical side of Barb’s pharmacy degree. The following is from the post, No Son, There Isn’t A Rhino In You:

Donovan asked my wife why he was sick.  She said “You have virus.”  Not bad I thought to myself, when he told me he was sick because he had a virus.  A day later my boy comes running into the room and says, “Dad, Dad!  I have a rhino inside me.”  He has seen a rhino at the zoo and the thought of having one of them in him was obviously disconcerting as it would be to anyone who was not already rhino sized.

“What are you talking about?”

“Mom told me that the virus was a rhino.”

“Hold on a sec son.”

I find my wife and ask her what did she tell him.  She says without batting an eye, “I told him that he most likely had a rhinovirus.”

“Why would you do that?  Now he thinks he has a rhino inside him.”

As you can see, family learning has a lot of upsides and the potential for a lot of fun moments. The best part of family learning is, now that both children are in school there is a lot of sharing, bonding, and information going around. I feel that due family learning, all of us are doing better in school, than if we were going it alone. Having other people to share with gives you a chance to shine and demonstrate what you have learned. That the other people are in school, even grade school, means that they understand and appreciate the process. Share what you learn with your family. 🙂



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