Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Learning Languages

There are several languages that we use everyday, many of which we are not really formally taught in that I want my children to learn. These are tools to all them to express themselves better:

• English
• Second Human Language
• Mathematics
• Music
• Art
• Body
• Computer Language

I am going with English as a first language, but you can go with whatever your native tongue is. And I want her to also learn another language. I learned a lot more about English in my German classes then I did in my English grammar classes. I don't really care if its Latin, Spanish or Mandarin, learning a second language is a bit for work that provides great insight into your native tongue.

Mathematics is the language of money, business and science. It doesn't get much more important then that. Lots of people seem to be proud of not getting math. I think that is sad. It is much too useful not to master.

Music enhances emotional experiences. It is also pervasive, go into any store and music will be playing. Music is a wonderful way to express yourself. So learning a instrument and how to read music is a great gift.

I am classifying Art as virtually everything outside of music just because music has a vastly different notation, but whether you are using watercolors, marble or photography as a medium you still learn the vocabulary of dimension, color, perspective and balance.

You body is expressive as well. I use body instead of sports as sports is often linked to a game like baseball. It could just as well be dance or rock climbing. Knowing how to use your body is a good thing. Learning to control and maintain your body is a big deal it needs to last and knowing how to take good care of it is important.

Computers are everywhere, they are an integral part of our lives now and for the foreseeable future they will only become more pervasive. Learning to program a computer may just be as vital a skill as driving a car. At least a good understanding of it can only be helpful.

Finally, each of these languages provides a mindset, a way at looking at problems and how to solve them. I found a lot of my learning in school locked these into different compartments in my mind. Breaking down the walls between them has been very valuable to me and I am sure to my children.

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