I have more food for thought today. This is such an interesting article for me to read, especially having three boys with very different personalities and strengths.
Mike Rowe's Testimony Before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
May 11, 2011 @ The Discovery Channel
In general, we're surprised that high unemployment can exist at the same time as a skilled labor shortage. We shouldn't be. We've pretty much guaranteed it.
In high schools, the vocational arts have all but vanished. We've elevated the importance of "higher education" to such a lofty perch that all other forms of knowledge are now labeled "alternative." Millions of parents and kids see apprenticeships and on-the-job-training opportunities as "vocational consolation prizes," best suited for those not cut out for a four-year degree. And still, we talk about millions of "shovel ready" jobs for a society that doesn't encourage people to pick up a shovel.
In a hundred different ways, we have slowly marginalized an entire category of critical professions, reshaping our expectations of a "good job" into something that no longer looks like work. A few years from now, an hour with a good plumber—if you can find one—is going to cost more than an hour with a good psychiatrist. At which point we'll all be in need of both.
In my constant attention to the education I want to provide for my children, I’m reminded of this quote from The Core by Leigh Bortins:
Classical education encourages us that we are capable of becoming an Oxford don who builds bicycles, or a plumber who reads Milton, or a business owner who spouts theology. The classically educated are not defined by their occupation so much as by their breadth of knowledge and understanding.
She also writes:
When you ask someone, “What do you do?” do you really mean, “What’s your job?” Can you imagine asking George Washington what he did for a living? He would have answered that he was a farmer. He worked at home, except when he wasn’t at home. His role in history reveals that he could have responded, “I’m a farmer, a citizen, a stepfather, an army officer, the president, Martha’s husband, etc.” Even a craftsman such as a cooper or a goldsmith in colonial Boston would have farmed and constructed and participated in church and community government.
I have such a heart full of gratitude for the family surrounding us! My father built my childhood home (where he and my mom still live), and I spent hours in the wood shop with him as a child. My mother tackled projects such as refinishing furniture. My brother-in-law, Casey, is a skilled machinist. My brother-in-law, Ben, is skilled at construction. He is currently in the middle of a big project. My nephew has been spending time working with him. The morning I read this article, my skilled plumber uncle was there working with them. My husband’s skills amaze me. He will tackle almost anything and figure it out as he goes. My father-in-law often helps Russ with projects, such as refinishing the upstairs room for Lola.
Today, Russ is repairing his car with the help of Luke. The boys always get on their ‘dirty jobs’ clothes to help Daddy with projects. I think we’ll be watching more Mike Rowe this next week…
We got a new mini trampoline. The boys take turn jumping while reciting memory work. Two birds with one stone.
Sing the Word From A to Z (reviewed verses)
Levi: Day by Day Kid's Bible
Hymns For a Kid's Heart (Praise to the Lord, The Almighty)
(Luke: weekly hymns on piano)
[patriotic hymns/songs (CDs)]
Teaching Textbooks or Singapore workbooks daily
CC weekly memory work (focus on skip counting the 15s)
CC Memory work review
Bill Nye: The Sun (DVD)
Bill Nye: The Planets (DVD)
Piano lessons (Luke)
Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists: Mary Cassatt (DVD)
(The Artists’ Specials) Mary Cassatt: American Impressionist (fabulous full-length movie also ‘starring’ Louisa May Alcott and Edgar Degas)
Lives of the Artists: Masterpieces, Messes (and What the Neighbors Thought) (Mary Cassatt) by Kathleen Krull
Song School Latin (review @ Headventure Land)
Spanish Words and Phrases Flashcards (Usborne)
CC Veritas History Timeline Cards (solidifying memorization, Creation-Pompeii)
Reviewed CC history memory work from Cycle 2
The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault (Levi)
The Complete Fairy Tales of George MacDonald (Levi)
The Literary Adventures of Washington Irving, American Storyteller by Cheryl Harness (biography)
Rip Van Winkle picture book retelling by Kay Brown
Rip Van Winkle and Other Stories by Washington Irving (complete and unabridged) (Levi)
Oliver Twist (animated DVD)
Rabbit Ears Storybook Collection (DVDs): Rip Van Winkle, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Peachboy, Puss in Boots, Rumpelstiltskin, Stormalong
Old Mother West Wind by Thornton W. Burgess
About TEN Magic Tree House books!
The Big Kerplop! The Original Adventure of the Mad Scientists’ Club by Bertrand R. Brinley
The New Adventures of The Mad Scientists’ Club by Bertrand R. Brinley
The Big Chunk of Ice: The Last Known Adventure of The Mad Scientists’ Club by Bertrand R. Brinley
And lots more…