Learning by Doing

I’m not entirely sure of the source for my compulsion to “do something productive, don’t just sit around” personality. It’s probably my father; he is always “doing something.” If I don’t have work at the office or a project at home to do over the weekend I don’t know what to do with myself. It causes me to get into a fidgety, anxious, moody state. I’m not claiming this is healthy—very likely it’s not.

I like to be with my family…working. It’s traditional. The real value of working with my family is that it allows them, and me, to learn together.  In the past, as in early American History, fathers and mothers did things—worked—and the children learned skills from them.

Children are more likely to be mollycoddled than taught nowadays. Few people develop real mechanical skills and even fewer know how to design a project from concept to completion. Most people think they can contract these skills but the pool of truly qualified individuals to do that work is diminishing quickly. Besides, if we don’t have any understanding of the job being performed, how can you know it’s being done correctly or even merely adequately?

We don’t do all the work around the house but we do major projects—the real important ones—together. We’ve done quite a few projects as the kids have grown, here are a few of the more recent: