If you have followed me for any length of time, you probably know I live in the South. I love this place. It’s gorgeous, and we have a lot of natural space to do fun stuff. But I have to admit that I don’t like it very much.
Mainly because many people here are openly hostile to innovation. My subculture romanticizes the “good ole days” without a full understanding of what those days were like. Most people seem to think the fiction of Andy Griffith was a universal experience for all Americans. They see each technological or medical invention as a way to make money with no real value to the human experience.
I just want to clear something up.
There is nothing to be hostile about, and our lives are vastly better than the “good ole days” because of the rapid change in technology and communication. We are all better off because of it. On top of that, good innovators share some of the great character qualities our society deems as most desired.
What are these most desired traits?
A good leader encompasses all these traits. A good innovator embraces these traits as strength.
So how does this affect your homeschool?
Not every child is going to grow to be an innovator, so what does this matter?
It matters because these character traits, paired with basic logic and reasoning skills, are the foundation for a lifetime of easy problem solving, of being able to make important decisions as an adult, of being free of undue influence for your life, so you can do the things that are truly right whether it’s the popular decision or not.
The person I described above is hard working and thoughtful, willing to see their own mistakes but also able to stand strong when they know they are right.
You want to equip your child to LEAD, not follow. You want to teach your child power comes from respect and not force.
I want my children to grow up to do great things then turn around and use their accomplishments to benefit mankind, like Dr. Jonas Salk. He invented the first polio vaccine and did not patent it himself in an effort to make it readily available to everyone despite their ability to pay.
I want my children to be as dedicated to knowledge as Marie Curie, who worked and was miserable her early years. No traditional universities would accept her because she was a woman, so she took up with Flying University, an illegal Pro-Polish organization when Poland was occupied by Russia.
I want my children to go on to break down barriers, like Wang Zhenyi, a Chinese woman born in 1768, a particularly trying time for women in China. She was a self taught scientist, who eventually taught male students (GASP!) and writer who is still applauded for her accuracy in complex mathematical calculations today. She wrote educational material in language that made the information accessible to all the people of China.
I want my children to be as excited about knowledge as Edward Alexander Bouchet, who was the first African American to be admitted to Yell (1870). When racism kept him from getting a job as a researcher (despite his doctorate), he began teaching, He dedicated his life to inspiring others to blaze a path to knowledge and strength.
I want my children to have the grit of Granville T Woods, who started his own company when he couldn’t find a job. He eventually went on to create the telegraph.
How can you build these characteristics in your kids, even if they don’t plan on going on to careers in science?
How can we equip our children to be leaders who can stick with a problem until it is solved?
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