Learn It and You'll Use It

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My mother always told me that I would use everything I learn.

She probably said this when I was complaining about some subject that I wasn't entirely enjoying. I'm just sayin'.

But despite my protests, this has proven to be true. While interning with Toshiba, I was put in charge of rebuilding a training course in Spanish. Why? Because I had studied Spanish and so I "spoke" the language better than anyone else in the office... including my two ethnically Latino coworkers who only spoke English. I found it annoyingly ironic then.

I find it fascinating now.

Psychology tells us that we must "use it or lose it." And there is evidence that supports this on a biological level. But there is another law that seems to be at work--a law my mother knew way back in my early years of homeschooling: Learn it and you'll use it.

To this day, if forced to speak Spanish, I can't do much more than ask directions to a bathroom. Worse still, I have about a fifty-fifty shot at understanding the response. But even with my rather pathetic foreign language skills, I was able to complete a translation project in a language I hadn't touched in over four years.

In another example: I took a single drafting course in High School. I still use that knowledge to sketch diagrams now and again.


Beast's Castle: Jr. Year of High School

And today I added another aspect to my job description: Web content management for Sonlight.com. They're starting me off small with fixing typos and moving articles around. But eventually I'll start writing and posting content on Sonlight's site (and then fixing my typos after that <smile>).

When did I learn HTML and the other skills I need for this? On my own. In college. For fun.

And so once again, I learned something that had nothing to do with my major, my goals, or my interests but is now a nascent ability that has brought me to where I am today.

The same is true of you and your children. May this encourage you when you are wrestling with a subject that just isn't "clicking." May this inspire you as you consider your opportunities to study various subjects. And may this free you to enjoy the wonder and awe of life.

...because no matter what you learn, you'll end up using it somewhere.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father


Nascent: emerging; just coming into existence

Brought to you by Mrs. Sprinkles

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  1. Pingback: Why Bother Teaching? They'll Forget It All Anyway | Sonlight Homeschooling Blog