Run Away When They Say Learning Is Fun
The kids and I and a friend of theirs went to a local amusement park on a homeschooling "field trip" set up by someone who got a group discount for us. When we arrived, the amusement park had provided us with the standard things they hand out to school groups, complete with an activity book titled, in bold capital letters, "LEARNING IS FUN".
The reactions of my kids and their friend was priceless. As the lady handed us the book and they saw the cover, they recoiled in mock pseudo-horror. "Acccck! Run Away!"
"What is it?" the lady asked.
"Well," my son answered, "we've discovered that any time someone tells you that learning is fun, they're trying to get you to learn something you really didn't want to know in the first place."
"But this book is full of facts and information about the rides and fairy tales," the lady replied.
"Yes, I'm sure it is," my son went on. "And I might be interested in that stuff. But then again, I might not be. If I was interested in it, and I had a guidebook as a resource, that would be great. But if I'm not interested in it and someone was trying to make me be interested, then they would tell me that "Learning is Fun" to get me to try to be interested. If someone is trying hard to sell you something, it's probably because you wouldn't want it or don't need it in the first place. The thing is, I know that learning is fun already, because I like to learn things."
"Oh, okay," the lady said, with a somewhat bewildered expression on her face. I'm sure she had never received this sort of discourse on the "Learning is Fun" packet before. After the kids had run off to the gift shop, she said "Well, your son certainly is articulate about what he does and doesn't like. I'm sure you want to take this packet anyways so the kids can learn this stuff."
I had to LOL because even after such a great explanation, most people still don't get that kids don't have to be forced to learn. I did take the packets, because it had lots of coloring pages which my youngest has enjoyed. And after going on all the fairy-tale themed rides, the kids did ask me to check out a copy of Grimm's from the library so we could catch up on the fairy tales we haven't read yet. And they wanted to look up the history of some of the more bizarre rhymes like "Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater" on the internet when we got home. Unfortunately, none of that was covered in the packet, which focused more on things like finding which ride started with the letter "A".
But even without the informative packet, we had a great time on the rides, in the bumper cars and wild west shooting gallery, the mazes and the fairy tale land. Yep. LEARNING IS FUN.