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Want to truly learn something? Learn it through your kids.

"I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession." -- John Wooden

So, you think you know about a topic? See what your kids learn during a school project then compare that with what you thought you knew.

My 9-year old did a school project on John Wooden. I thought I knew Coach Wooden pretty well.

Turns out I had a lot to learn.

Learn through what your kids learn.

My son chose John Wooden for his biography report. My dad would have been, to say the least, extremely proud as he was a huge fan of Coach Wooden (as he called him as some of his college buddies were coached by Wooden). I was proud too as Wooden is a legend and I was happy that my son would learn something about him. I figured I knew it all: 10 NCAA basketball championships for UCLA (the most ever) and 7 of those in a row. The next most titles in a row is 2. I have a signed book of Wooden’s from the 70’s when my dad brought me down to his seat at Pauley Pavilion to meet the famed coach and ask him to sign my book (which he did).

Don’t read the article or the book and come to your own conclusions. Read the article (or sections of a book) aloud to your kids and then do not give them your opinion. Listen to their opinion. Listen to what they have to say about it. You can coach them or ask them follow-up questions (my son usually has a dorky or funny comment first, so I wait for the second one for the good stuff).

The Pyramid of Success in 28 Seconds

The Pyramid of Success in 28 Seconds

What did they pick up from what you read? Was it anything close to what you got out of it? You’re learning about the topic, but you’re also learning how your child is learning. Did they pick up important details? Did they miss something important? Were they listening at all? 😉 This is good way to see how much comprehension they actually have from content.

Was your child dribbling a basketball while you were reading? (I know, irony galore–supposed to be listening to a biography about a great basketball coach who paying attention to the teacher in high regard.) If they didn’t listen, read it again. What did you learn? What did they learn? What might you know that could help make the topic more interesting? How could you rephrase the questions the homework or report is asking to make it more fun or easier to answer?

BONUS: Can’t get your kids to do their homework? Turn on the time-lapse video option and let your kid know he’s the star (and everything he does is being recorded).

The more we learned, the more we wanted to learn.

Coach Wooden didn’t like being called “The Wizard of Westwood” as he mentions below (see quotes) that a wizard “being some sort of magician” and he thought things like hard work, making mistakes and sweating the details.

Without reviewing the books we looked through and articles we read, just have a quick read of a select few of the quotes below attributed to Coach Wooden.

He didn’t like being call a wizard, but we could at least call him a wise philosopher.

John Wooden Quotes

If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.

I’m no wizard, and I don’t like being thought of in that light at all. I think of a wizard as being some sort of magician or something, doing something on the sly or something, and I don’t want to be thought of in that way.

Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who’ll argue with you.

If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.

It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen.

Be true to yourself, help others, make each day your masterpiece, make friendship a fine art, drink deeply from good books – especially the Bible, build a shelter against a rainy day, give thanks for your blessings and pray for guidance every day.

Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.

I think the teaching profession contributes more to the future of our society than any other single profession.

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.

The most important thing in the world is family and love.

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

It isn’t what you do, but how you do it.

Today is the only day. Yesterday is gone.

Don’t give up on your dreams, or your dreams will give up on you.

The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.

Well, your greatest joy definitely comes from doing something for another, especially when it was done with no thought of something in return.

You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.

If I am through learning, I am through.

Failure is never fatal. But failure to change can and might be.

Repossible Recap

  • Possible: hope for the best
  • Impossible: win tomorrow
  • Repossible: play (hard) today
By | 2017-05-24T13:21:22+00:00 February 9th, 2016|Parenting|1 Comment

About the Author:

Bradley Charbonneau was sitting with his 8-year old reading a bad children's book when he said to his son, "We can do better than this ... and you're going to help me." Then they did it. He hasn't stopped since.

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  1. […] Want to truly learn something? Learn it through your kids. (Feb 9) […]

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