Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A List of Things to Learn...

I guess you could call this one of my random musings posts.

I like to search the web randomly for interesting articles and ideas. Today, I googled two search criteria: "what you wish you'd learned in high school" and "learning to write by imitating classics". I collected some of the results into a list to inspire me whenever I feel like giving things a crazy twist here at Funschooling Academy.

11 Things We Should Learn (in no particular order, mind!):
  1. Critical Thinking - how to read deeply and actively question what we read.
  2. Networking - how to make winning social contacts to further our career and life aspirations.
  3. Personal Finance - how to consistently save for a rainy day. Also, how to be well-insured, and, why we should avoid using credit cards.
  4. Growing Our Own Food - see number five.
  5. Cooking - how to feed ourselves under any circumstance, and clean up afterwards.
  6. Repair and Maintenance - how to prevent and fix basic troubles like flat-tires and plumbing fixtures.
  7. Healthy Habits - how to live healthily, such as making daily exercise a routine we won't neglect...and to do this before it's too late.
  8. Orienteering - how to know at all times where we are and how to get to where we need to go.
  9. Knotting - how to tie a good knot in any circumstance...hey, a tight knot may save a life some day!
  10. Writing Well - how to communicate effectively and precisely (and if possible, humorously too).
And on the subject of writing well, I came across an interesting quote from W.H. Auden:

"In my daydream College for Bards,  

the curriculum would be as follows:
  1. In addition to English, at least one ancient language, probably Greek or Hebrew, and two modern languages would be required.
  2. Thousands of lines of poetry in these languages would be learned by heart.
  3. The library would contain no books of literary criticism, and the only critical exercise required of students would be the writing of parodies.
  4. Courses in prosody, rhetoric and comparative philology would be required of all students,and every student would have to select three courses out of courses in mathematics, natural history, geology, meteorology, archaeology, mythology, liturgics, cooking.
  5. Every student would be required to look after a domestic animal and cultivate a garden plot."
'Twould make a fun homeschool curriculum for a language-lover, I suppose.

Anyway, I don't know about you dear reader, but my daydream college looks like this:

The long room of the Trinity College Library in Dublin, Ireland. Sigh, isn't it fabulous? A panoramic view here.

No. 11 on our List of Things to Learn? How to visit Dublin. Cheap!


  1. Wow, I LOVE that library!!! I can live in that, seriously. Out of the 11 things you've listed to learn, I must admit that I haven't mastered any (I'm hanging my head in shame as I type...).

    I'm not so sure about the term 'networking' though. I think it's over-rated. The concept was beaten into us so much in b-school that I was totally put off by what I saw, which I would call "insincere interaction to achieve a business advantage". Personally, I think life is too short to be engaged with insincere people.

  2. I'll live in that library with you :) What a wonderful place - it probably has that gorgeous book smell too!

    I'm not quite sure of Auden's curriculum - sounds a bit full-on!

    Some fun - and very useful - things in your list.

  3. Whoa. Can I attend your daydream college? Pretty please? :D

    I am new to your blog and I really enjoyed this post! We have many similar "things to learn" here...with the hardest for me to learn personally being the personal finance thing, and orienteering. We don't do too badly each month, but we are horrible when it comes to saving. We pay all of our bills, then if we have extra we do a movie or dinner out, lol. We are working on it though.

    As for the orienteering? I am totally lost without my GPS. I have NO idea how I managed before them, lol.

    Again, I enjoyed reading this and I'm looking forward to reading more of your blog! :)

    Web-schooling family of four who geek out learning with web-based curricula, multimedia electives, and an online writing tutor!

  4. Isn't that an amazing place ladies? Sigh, I can picture myself living there, camped out each day next to a new aisle, sniffing that glorious book smell and soaking in the whole ambiance. Insert image of flashlight and candy bar wrappers next to my sleeping bag. What a glorious place to homeschool in, me thinks. Off to read your blog, Kat (thanks for visiting!).


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