With the new academic year in full swing, and me still not having decided on all of DD-14’s courses, I began to feel a little uneasy about my job as a home educating parent. After all, how can I possibly claim to home educate my daughter, when I’m not offering her enough educational challenges?
Then, as I was having a drink with my friends at Coursera Cafe (my favourite online hangout) I was reminded of all the wonderful courses Coursera offers. I quickly headed over to my online college of choice, and took a look at the courses on offer.
Let me tell you, I found so many courses I wanted to sign up for, I really had to restrain myself and only signed up for the following five:
- The Ancient Greeks
- Exploring Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas
- Fantasy and Science Fiction: The Human Mind, Our Modern World
- Søren Kierkegaard – Subjectivity, Irony and the Crisis of Modernity
- Introduction to Philosophy
Did I already tell you I’m a major geek and really love learning?
However, me signing up for those courses still didn’t solve the little problem of DD-14 not getting enough to keep her magnificent mind entertained.
But… I gave her a year “off” last year. A year to try out new things and expand her horizons. A year to find out what she’s really interested in. And it worked. Because now she has a better understanding of what she wants in life. She wants “something with music and/or the arts”.
This may not sound very specific, but honestly, who expects of a 14-year old to already know exactly where she wants to be, say twenty years from now? It’s quite enough for her to know roughly which path she wants to go.
Now, armed with the knowledge that she’s most interested in music and the arts (no big surprise there; I could see that coming a couple of years ago already, but she still needed to find out!) I have a much better idea of which courses would be good for her to take. No need to force the Pythagorean theorem down her throat, when she’d be much better served knowing her histories: World history, art history, and music history. No need for her to memorise the periodic table when she’d be better off studying philosphy.
And so we decided she would join me in my journey to gain a better understanding of the Ancient Greeks and their culture.
The be honest, she thinks the professor is boring. But she does like the subject matter, so I expect she’ll be doing fine.
In fact, she took her first quiz today (as did I), and had a great score. A higher score than me, which bugs me just a little as I’m not used to being second-best. Honestly though, I am so proud of her!
Now to find some more courses she’d enjoy. We’ll turn this year into an exciting educational adventure for her.