Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Pursuing My Own Education

One of the channels I am pursuing excellence in is my own continued education. Since I have began homeschooling my kids, I've realized how much I undervalued the time that I had in my own traditional learning years to really get an education. My attitude was probably the same as many -- put in the time to get the degree I need to get on with "real life".

I really regret that I was in such a hurry during this life stage. Most likely, never again will I get an opportunity to have concentrated study time to learn about the great ideas that have been set forth and the great minds that are preserved through literature. Now my learning must come through 15 minutes of reading here, 20 minutes of podcasts there, in between preparing meals and tending to needs.

That's OK. My blessings in life abound. One of those blessings is being on this side of the Guttenberg press, and on this side of the World Wide Web, so I can pursue ideas to ruminate on anytime the chance arises, not just when I can be with an instructor or tutor. Ahhh...this makes me smile.

In my early youth I had no interest in reading anything that could remotely come close to being labeled "classic", especially if it was assigned by a teacher. Talk about drudgery! And having to remember what color hat was floating in the water when some random character drowned for the pop quiz that was sure to follow the next day....instead of reading the assigned selection I spent my time figuring exactly how low of a score I could make on said pop quiz and still squeak by with an 'A' in the class. I did spend a lot of time reading; it was just twaddle and junk that I poured into my mind.

But somewhat recently I decided I need to be better read, especially if I plan to really educate my children and to encourage the enthusiasm for learning that I didn't have while young. So, I picked up Jane Eyre. I think it was because a friend had suggested it as an easy entrance to the classics, one that I would probably find enjoyable. Once I got into the book, I was *hooked*! And I felt enlightened to have figured out that there was an actual reason books were considered "classics", and that was because they were actually really good and were worthy of lasting through the decades!

So here I am, several years later, working my way through the classics as my primary means to self-educating. It is slow going, especially since many days the only time I have to read is the whole 15 minutes I can stay awake before dosing off to sleep at the end of the day. But, it has been satisfying. Depth exists in these classics that is rarely seen in today's sound bite hungry culture. Fascinating ideas that I personally have never fathomed are sitting quietly waiting for me to discover them. I love it. I think I can finally call myself a reader.

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