1/15/2007

Condense

I was walking on the treadmill the other day reading Surprised By Joy by C.S. Lewis. This quote is amazing about education:

"...the greatest service we can do to education today is to teach fewer subjects. No one has time to do more than a very few things well before he is twenty, and when we force a boy to be a mediocrity in a dozen subjects we destroy his standards, perhaps for life. "

This struck me because here I am teaching my own children a bit of everything and feeling spread very thin. Now, I have realized this truth in the quote above for a handful of years now, and have been focusing on some subjects more than others and I think this is good. I think at some point I have to realize that my Oldest needs to focus more on how to form himself into the profession that he would like to take part in as an adult, say, like architecture. He has voiced that he would like to do this. So, naturally, I have been focusing on math. Knowing the basics of math will make it easier to handle geometry and algebra later, so forming that foundation is crucial for him if indeed he is really going that direction.

It is still difficult to figure out what Eraser Eater will want to do as of yet so I will look at that within the next couple of years.

This quote also brings to life the fact that one can not be good at everything, which is what I always say. I sing well, but it does not mean that I can play guitar well! I have a handle on Victorian novels to some degree, but it does not mean that I have a handle on Victorian poetry. Frankly, poetry does not interest me much. I can make lots of chocolate confections, but I can not bake bread especially well. I have just come to the conclusion that even though some people appear to be good at many things, it does not mean that they really are. They are probably accomplished at a few things instead of fifteen things. They are in reality probably accomplished in one thing instead of ten. We only have time for so much and then that is it. Life is short. I can't go around stressing myself out because I want to be good at everything. I can't be jealous because this person plays guitar exceptionally well, or this person bakes tremendously good bread or can sew herself up an outfit.

Stick to the things that you are good at, people, and keep it to a minimum.

5 comments:

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

That is very good! Thank you for pointing it out.

Lisa said...

The true recipe for life... Keep it SIMPLE! *Smile*

shealyisnottheantichrist said...

All schools, both here and in America, ought to teach far fewer subjects and teach them far better.
C.S. Lewis

I have this taped in my school cabinet. It takes the edge off of the guilt induced by the fact that I do not teach science.

Emma Sometimes said...

okay, call me dense, but economics? Am I really that slow today? Huh?? What? Were you talking to me?

I was headed over your way and I see my mail yelling at me, "R" is in the email house commenting at my bloggage.

I have a tendency to have too many irons in the fire, but I'm such a wus, I don't do things if I am not good at them. (no, I'm not putting a big "L" over my own forehead)

R said...

First---Emma, I just wanted to know how you pronounced "economics" that is all. You said something about knowing the better way to pronounce words and and so I thought it would be funny if you told me how you pronounce that one. Dear sir and I always duke it out over that one. I pronounce it "EEEEconomics" and he pronounces it "ehconomics". Just wondered stupidly if you were on my side.

Shealy---Don't feel bad about science. I am bad with history but working on it.

Lisa--you are right

Redneck---thank you