Monday, September 29, 2008

One of the lessons we are trying to teach our daughters

Over the last couple decades there has been an explosion of available and recorded information. There are thousands of magazines. Something like 50,000 books written in English are published each year. The last I heard there were around 100,000,000 blogs.

I believe that all information may be of use, but not all information is of equal value. If you live in Anchorage Alaska you would find it helpful to know the average rainfall, the population of the city, where the super markets are located and so on. But the majority of people outside of Alaska would find this information of much less value.

Clearly some information and knowledge are of more use and interest than other facts and data. One of the challenges we have in life, now more than ever, is to be wise in what we spend our time learning.

Early in our blog Janine wrote about how we are trying to stack the deck. We are trying to make sure that our daughters learn the important lessons early in their life. As parents we don’t accept everything that public schools seems to consider important to really be important. This is one of the reasons we homeschool. For example we value an understanding of the scriptures.

There are a couple ways we are trying to teach our daughters to recognize that some information is of greater worth.

One of the ways is we talk with our daughters about what they read, and what they are learning. We’re trying to get them thinking now them to consider and analyze how important it is. We are trying to get them into the habit of asking themselves: “Is this information useful? Should I be investing my time learning this?”

Another way we are trying to teach them is to model this behavior. Janine and I talk with each other, in front of the girls, about the books we read and what we are studying. By listening to us go through the process of evaluating a book hopefully this will plant a seed and down the road they’ll step back and thoughtfully decide where to spend their time.

As the amount of available information and knowledge continues to grow at an exponential rate, this lesson will become more and more important. I can only image what it will be like for my grandchildren.


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2 comments:

Kim said...

What a timely post for me. Just the other day, I was thinking about the U.S. History project that we are planning on taking two years to get through. I think of all that has hapened in history just since I graduated from high school twenty years ago. The amount of information is incredible and impossible to cover in our alotted time. So, just as you talk about in your post, we will sort through it and figure out what is most important and relevant.

Henry Cate said...

One of the best ways to learn history is to read biographies. I great enjoyed David McCullough's biography of John Adams and Henry Mayer's biography of Patrick Henry: A Son of Thunder