Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ideas Ideas Ideas- and the next great video designer.

As I review my goals for Andrew, both academic and otherwise I am reminded again that we should not do something just because it is on a list. Thankfully in Michigan we are not required to have homeschoolers take standardized testing. Any teacher will tell you that the test is not about learning. One time when I was standing outside Andrew's preschool classroom and I overheard a fifth grade teacher telling her class, "When they say THIS on the test, they don't really mean what they are saying. It is a trick and they are really saying THAT." There is something basically wrong with that statement.

So the next reason kids learn is to generate ideas. Lessons should generate ideas that can be taken to the next level. Charlotte says it better:

The dictionary isn't quite accurate in its definition of an idea. An idea is more than a mental image. It is more like a spiritual seed with living energy--it has power to grow and produce after its own kind. It is the very nature of ideas to grow and propogate. It has the same mysterious properties of plant seeds. If an idea is planted in a child's mind, it will secrete its own food, grow, and bear the fruit of many more similar ideas.

This isn't the best example but Andrew has developed his video game habit into a desire to design new ones! This has taken his creativity, fine motor and artistic abilities to new levels. His game, thus far, has three volumes with 10 levels in each volume. That's thirty pieces of paper with detailed information on how the game should run. I have uploaded three of the more complicated ones here just as an example but Andrew wants me to send them all to HubbaBubba where they have great online, waste your time away, video games.

At first glance I understand that video games ARE a waste of time; especially the ones with no educational value. But we all twaddle a bit of our time away and we all need diversions. If you take your wasted time and turn it into in interest which develops your imagination then I say that is time well spent.

Rest assured we spend plenty of time on the academic subjects but I am reminded by this current creative endeavor that if there is no interest, it may not 'take.' I'll leave you with this quote from the Charlotte Mason summary relating to interest and ideas. My prayer is that God will direct me in finding those few ideas that best fit with Andrew so that I will not twaddle our time away on things that are not necessary for God's future plans for Andrew.

But what does this theory of dominant ideas have to do with education? This: give a child one single valuable idea, and you've done more for his education than if you tried to stuff a barrel full of information into his mind. Any child who grows up with a few dominant ideas in his mind has his own self-education taken care of and his career marked out.

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