Over the years, our big guys have both gone to school and been homeschooled. The last of the big ones graduates from high school one month from today, and the little guys are home with me for the foreseeable future. I’ve always been more concerned about making sure my children know where to look for answers than requiring them to memorize seemingly useless information, and that has served us well. So far…
I’m finding some things are true. With the big guys, who grew up ‘pre-Google,’ they are pretty competent at scoping out information from a variety of sources. Google makes life much simpler, and they rarely call me looking for answers. They’ve learned HOW to search. The little guys? Not so much. They live in the age of instant answers. When they ask a question, “I don’t know. We’ll have to look it up.” is no longer an acceptable answer. They immediately ask me to Google it, even when I’m driving! As if. Sheesh. :) Telling them that I don’t understand something, that they’ll need to ask Daddy when he gets home doesn’t seem to work any more either. Then they just ask me to find it on YouTube. Ahhhh…the joys of technology. With the ready access to tons of information, I’ve had to adjust my goal for the two of them just a bit. They now need to know where to find information, but also how to carefully evaluate it! Makes my job MUCH harder.
The other big truth I have discovered? Making sure they know WHERE to search for answers isn’t quite enough. Not too long ago, I had a child who needed some information for a job application. Not a problem—I figured it was something like social security number or other slightly obscure (in their world) bit of info. Well…not quite. This child called ME to get the number off their driver’s license! After I choked back some laughter, I said “Um…how about you open your wallet? I can’t see it from here.” Peals of laughter erupted on both sides of the phone line, and we all enjoyed the humor of the moment. Later, though, as I was telling Jim about it, I mused that perhaps I had failed this particular child, if in fact a phone call to Mom was needed for information of that type. His immediate reply? “No! You taught them how to find the information they need. Clearly, this child learned well. After all, Mom is the source of all the useful, necessary information of life, and they know that! You did great, and they will make it! In the meantime, enjoy the laugh.”
Hmmm…mission accomplished? Mostly. I think. :) We’ll see.