fully exposed

Q:how do you go about exposing your children to things that you value, but that
they don't immediately understand the value of--without burning out, giving up,
or resorting to methods that don't feel quite right?

The biggest, most important thing to realize is that all the exposure,
exposition and explanation in the world won't produce interest or a sense of
value. Those things only come from within. You can't Make someone else care
about what you care about, or learn what you want her to learn.

That's the problem with education itself - not you, not your kids, but education

Start someplace else - how do kids learn what they need to know if no-one is
showing them what's important?

Kids learn because they are observant. I don't only mean modelling, I mean the
human brain is designed to notice patterns and there are patterns everywhere -
in speech, in social interactions, in shapes of things, in the relationships
between physical characteristics. Some sets of related patterns we call
"language" some we call "mathematics" some we call "music" etc. Kids can't help
but notice those patterns and think about them because that's what our big
convoluted brains do best.

Think about the things you're considering valuable in terms of education -
they're Prevalent. That's why you want your kids to know them, so they're not
lost and ignorant and helpless. I used to worry that my kid wouldn't know
anything about religion because I wasn't "exposing" her to it in any kind of
systematic way. But religious and mythological ideas are very prevalent - in
books, movies, tv shows, puppet shows, random conversations in the grocery
store. She can't avoid learning about a dozen different religions just from
going about her daily life, observing the patterns she sees.

In addition, kids learn because they are full of curiosity and wonder. That's
big. It's a marvel. Wondering is what takes people - including children - from
observation to something else, to asking questions and looking for answers. To
trying and finding out. Wondering is one of the reasons people push through
challenges - climb real mountains and metaphorical ones. You can't Give someone
that kind of motivation; it only comes from deep within. Sadly, you can take it
away, and teaching someone who doesn't really want to be taught is a proven way
of doing so.

how do you go about exposing your children to things that you value

Step back from the word "children" and replace it with "friends" - how does the
question change?

If you value something, make it part of your life. If you value music, play
music, listen to music, dance and sing. Invite the people you love to join you -
maybe they will. If you value scientific thinking, think like a scientist. If
you enjoy math, play with numbers and relationships. The catch is to live your
own values without trying to foist them off on other people - because that's not
a very good way of sharing what you love, and because personality matters. All
your singing and dancing won't make your kids musicians if they're not so
inclined - but they'll know a few things about music. If you push music at them,
they may associate what they know with drudgery and unhappiness - and then
you've failed and failed more utterly than if you never sang a note in their

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