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View Diary: I am going to be a teacher. (78 comments)

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  •  Yes, they should learn the purpose. (1+ / 0-)
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    It doesn't make sense to make the effort to remember anything unless you have some notion of why you are doing it.  But if kids remember the tables, they will be in a better position to make sense of how they work.  Likewise, if they learn how the tables work, they will remember the tables more effectively (and be able to think through calculations more quickly).  

    But there is more at stake than just remembering tables or word lists. Remembering information is itself a skill.  If you are at a business meeting and can't remember the name of the person you are trying to negotiate with, that's a problem.  If you sit down at a table with ten other people, and you command ten important points about each of them, you have a powerful tool, and likely a terrific advantage over the others.  If you prepared seven presentation points and can only remember three when asked to speak, you need to find another occupation.  If you are a clerk at McDonald's and you have to turn around three times to check whether your customer ordered fries, you are worth less than a packet of ketchup.

    You mentioned crafts.  I think a bit of artisanship can be a good thing in life, whether it means knowing how to hold a pencil well enough to write clearly; or learning a musical instrument (it takes a lot of craftwork before one can even think of reaching Mozart); or knowing how to splice an electrical cord (and thus fix a light socket without getting electrocuted and without having to spill $75 for an electrician to spend 10 minutes doing it for you).  

    I think it's very cool that you and your children have explored many different methods.  So long as they are skill-inclusive, the more the merrier.  Several years ago, I met a family that was renting a house up the street and homeschooling their kids. I asked how they approached math education.  "Oh, we don't do math," they said. "We don't think it has any value for contemporary life" [or something to that effect].  I was very curious about how they managed their home financing, but they quickly disappeared from the neighborhood.  Maybe they got the rent wrong.  

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