2e Tuesday: The Re-education of Mom.

It has been a long and winding road, going from public school to homeschool to funschool (as Naturalist calls what we do now).

Our culture is indoctorinated to believe there is only one path to intelligence, and it includes years and years sitting in a classroom listening to a teacher tell you about stuff you otherwise wouldn’t know.

Except, guess what?

We live in an age that has been as dramatically changed as the history of The Reformation, or The Industrial Revolution, or the Renaissance. It’s the technological age, and anyone over 30 is too old to ‘get it’, really. The world was shifting for us, who started out with boom boxes that are now the size of a credit card. But for the 20 and under crowd, the world now is how they’ve always known it. They don’t have to search the Dewey Decimal system to find a book. Heck, they don’t even have to have a book. Just a computer, an internet connection, and google. They’ve never touched or read an atlas to get from point A to point B, never had to become friends with someone just to read their complete collection of Encyclopedias to get some info on penguins (like I did!), never had to wait until Saturday to see a National Geographic show.

For these kids, information is cheap and immediate. My daughter was watching Jeff Corwin tramp around Africa the age equivalent of 8 years before I even knew where Africa was or what it looked like. She knows more about the world at 12 than I knew getting out of high school, thanks to cable: Discovery, Nat Geo, Military, History & Science channels.

Our society has kept up, mostly, with our Blackberries, ipods, and plasma screen TV’s. But education has not. We’re still educating kids as if they have no access to information 24/7.

I had a particularly vexing time with this just this past year. I signed Naturalist up for a year long science class once a week since we’ve had so much fun with our science ‘explorations’ at home. The class ended up mostly being about writing your name in the correct spot on the paper, reading a textbook, and finding definitions. Once upon a time, that would have been the norm. But when you can watch Alton Brown give a chemistry lesson while making a souffle, or see the universe expanding in HDTV on Discovery channel, that kind of classroom just won’t fly. And it didn’t for us, who dropped out of ‘school’ a second time.

Those people complaining that our kids are falling behind the world in Science and Technology don’t need to look much further than our outdated school system to see why. I don’t think this will be the case for much longer–once all us ‘dinosaurs’ in the over 30 category start retiring, and the techno savvy kids become the teachers/administrators, things will change. And something that I think will happen is more video games will be introduced into the classroom. To us 30+ fuddy duddies, video games and the ilk are nothing but brain and time wasters. But to kids, they are a way of exploring complex and detailed worlds using higher level thinking.

For 2e kids, this will be a great day.

Until then, you can get a head start on the educational revolution by going out and getting World of Goo. A computer game for Window and Mac (thank you!) described thusly:

The millions of Goo Balls that live in the beautiful World of Goo are curious to explore — but they don’t know that they are in a game, or that they are extremely delicious. Drag and drop living, squirming, talking, globs of goo to build structures, bridges, cannonballs, zeppelins, and giant tongues so that you can direct the Goo Balls to their goal on the other end of the stage.

This is physics and basic physical science at its best and most fun. A game that gives you very little direction but encourages direct interaction, exploration, problem solving and inferencing. In short, a fantastic game for a mind that is gifted and creative in its higher order thinking that usually gets bogged down in the ‘textbook’ part of the sciences. Naturalist struggles in a science classroom, but excels at solving the physics puzzlers sprinkled throughout this game. ::insta love!:: It’s on heavy rotation around here, and is worth a try! And, everyone wins! Kids get to play a computer game, we get to tick off all the stuff they’re learning while doing it!


12 Responses

  1. My daughter and husband both LOVE World of Goo. It’s a great game and I would second your recommendation of it.

    • I love playing it with my daughter, mostly because she can solve the problems so much easier and faster than I can, and I enjoy having her explain it to me. πŸ™‚ It’s a nice switch!

  2. I got this for Owen for Christmas last year…. it’s a GREAT game!

  3. Thanks! We definitely will look into this game. πŸ™‚

  4. Thanks for the tip Tiff! That looks like a great game and is available for Wii. Four can play together!

    • Jodi–I looked for you at Costco today, I was up there for lunch. πŸ™‚ I’m seriously considering getting the Goo game for Wii for myself this Mother’s Day, because as of now we all crowd around the computer. It’d be much better on the big screen!

  5. Hey. I tried to email you about the Jiggle Jam in KC, MO. TMBG are playing and tickets are only 5$ for adults and 10$ for kids! It is May 23rd and the weather out here is delightful……;)

  6. Exactly! I’m amazed at how much my 6 yo knows just from pursuing his interests via DVD, book, computer, etc. So much more than he would ever get in a classroom!

  7. Great post! I totally agree…especially about Alton Brown! Good Eats is one our favourite shows – as it happens we’re making the braised beef he did on his show yesterday for dinner tonight.

  8. Ooh, that trailer is amazing! I’m going to buy it right now!

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