Thursday, June 11, 2009

Sharpen The Blade

“Earlier is not better! Abraham Lincoln said that if you have four hours to cut down a tree, spend three hours sharpening the blade. Likewise, it’s ultimately inefficient—and possibly harmful—to press children to attempt intellectual activities for which they’re not ready. It’s like trying to cut down the tree with a dull blade. Instead of getting the tree cut down sooner, you waste all four hours. Better to sharpen the blade first, and then proceed.”

Guerrilla Learning: How To Give Your Kids A Real Education With Or Without School, by Grace Llewellyn & Amy Silver

1 comment:

blessedintexas said...

So true! With that dull blade, you not only waste four hours but you also have a terrible looking cut when you are done. With children, there is no reason to push them to do things they are not intellectually, physically, or emotionally ready to do. First, the child just wastes their time doing these tasks when they could be doing something that is appropriate for their level from which they will not only learn but also gain a sense of accomplishment and confidence by completing it. By doing work they are not ready for, they will feel bad when they are not able to do the task correctly and this will hurt their self-confidence, even when they approach the task at a later time that they should be ready to perform it. As parents we need to help our children succeed. This is not done by just pushing information at them and making them regurgitate it and get a grade for it. Teaching them to succeed needs to start with teaching them a love for learning and a curiosity about their world and then helping them develop the tools they need to make the most of themselves and find their own personal fit in the world.