Saturday, May 02, 2009

Sharing Wisdom

As people go through life, progressing through education and careers, gaining experience and knowledge, they often come to a place and time in their lives when they are suddenly not so busy as they once were with career, children, etc. There are a wealth of such people in the world with specific experience to share, and possibly plenty of time to share it in. Homeschoolers do well to tap into the variety of experiences available.

We have been the beneficiaries many times in our homeschooling adventures of people's specific knowledge - whether its in music or art, writing or science, gardening or cooking. Not all adults are interested in sharing their abilities with kids, but there are many of them out there who are, so finding them and matching them to things my kids are interested in is always a part of our unschooling lives.

Recently, a woman who works at our local market heard that Asa was interested in singing, and she has come over to the house to practice singing with her. Another friend is setting up a physics lecture with a local expert. Another homeschooling mom has set up a really really cool activity, using this cow eyeball dissection kit, and a friend of their family who is a retired surgeon. Mackenzie is especially interested in this, since he has been thinking recently that going into the medical field is something he might possibly be interested in. We've been watching M*A*S*H this winter, in chronological order, and while it's full of lots of funny humor the show also includes a lot of medical terminology and action, so it's something he's become fascinated with.

I checked out the book The Way We Work, a book on the human body by David McCaulay, the same author who wrote and illustrated the excellent The Way Things Work series. We also just went up to OMSI in Portland to see the traveling DaVinci exhibit there. Along with some of DaVinci's codices, working models of many of his inventions and ideas, and an extensive exhibit on his paintings (including a fascinating portion on the Mona Lisa, including multi-spectrum photos taken with a 240-million pixel camera recreating how it looked when originally painted) there was a whole section of enlargements of his anatomical studies and drawings.

Once again, I love how so many of the things we encounter seem to dovetail and weave around each other - once you become interested in a particular subject, it seems that there are endless opportunities to study it from many different angles. One thing may spark an interest, but many different things can feed that interest, and one big benefit in our kids' lives that I see is the number of people who are willing to share their time, expertise, and interest with them as they pursue these different interests.

1 comment:

Jody said...

This is one of my favorite things too. I'm actually compiling an "expertise and skills" list to go on our homeschool group's member's only webpage, so that when a kid gets really into something or other he or she can look and see if there's a parent (or kid) who knows a lot about it or who is just really interested in it.