Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Signs of intelligent life

I cannot tell you how many times a day I answer a 'W' question. You know the kind I'm talking about.

Who? What? When? Where? And of course the most frequent....Why?

In the case of Carter, these questions aren't always asked correctly. For example:

Me: "Who wants noodles for lunch?"
Carter: "Where?"

But for the majority of his questions, he gets them right, and there is always a bunch of questions following whatever answers he is given.

Tony is a "need all the information" kind of guy. You can't just brush him off as he is easily worried and I think having all the knowledge he can possibly get makes him feel more secure.

Needless to say, there is a lot of questioning going on in our house and at times it drives me crazy.

Lately on Facebook, I have seen a few different videos/quotes about how the way we measure academic achievement and how what is taught in school may not always be relevant/useful in a students life.

This actually got me thinking a little about what I think IS of value that I learnt in school. Obviously basic math and English are crucial. I loved to read so I enjoyed English. But I was bad at math. I don't have a mathematical/scientific kind of mind. I recall being taught matrixes in Year 12 math (much of which I wagged to go to Pizza Hut and get free pizza from my brother I must admit). I have not once, in the 12 years since I finished high school ever used a matrix. I know in some professions it may very well be useful, but I knew my abilities and was going to be avoiding any Matrix-using professions like the plague.

Now as a parent, the biggest skill I would like my children to acquire in school is the ability to receive information, and to question that information. To be able to ask the questions that will help them understand WHY that information is of worth to them. To understand that they may be presented with an idea, but to know that there may be other ideas, perhaps even better ideas for them to consider. I want them to WANT more information before accepting something as fact. I don't want "because I said so" to be enough.  I want them to ask why it's of value to learn about a matrix. I want them to ask why certain events in our history as mankind happened and how they were allowed to happen, in a hope their generation doesn't make the same mistakes, perhaps even the mistakes we are still making today. I want them to have an education that's relevant.

The only way I see them finding that is by asking who, what, when, where, and why.

Of course I expect they are not rude about it, but that they have an inquiring mind, in the hopes that by finding meaning in what they are learning, they will desire to master that knowledge.

So as much as it may drive me crazy on a day-to-day basis, today I realized that the constant questioning is my boys making meaning of the information we give them. It's their own way of making it relevant to their life. Even questions like:

"Why can't I wear thongs and tracksuit pants?"

"Why is my boogas sticky?"

"How many minutes til next Saturday?"

"Where did I leave my DS charger yesterday when you told me to put it somewhere safe?"

(I know I'm not the only one who would have to take a calm breath before a answering some of these).


  1. You paint the perfect picture of your boys. I can picture their tone as you quote them. Love these boys!

  2. So good your boys have an enquiring mind Jo- I love hearing their questions -reminds me of when you were all little..trouble is most of my replies were "I don't know" love you lots, Mum xxx