Monday, October 15, 2007

Inspire not Require

One of the principles of a Thomas Jefferson Education is "Inspire not require". This has always been something I have struggled with. It is so much easier to just require. And I do a lot more require then I should. Here is one way in which I am trying to inspire while learning a great skill at the same time.

Sophie has expressed interest in learning music. Her primary teacher plays the organ at church. Sophie has been telling me for a while that she wants to play the organ. I, and her primary teacher, have told her that she should start by playing the piano. I don't play the piano. I took lessons for a short time when I was little but just didn't catch on. I did play the flute and in high school switched to the Euphonium. So I can read music and know a lot of music theory and such. I just couldn't play both hands together on the piano. I know this just takes a lot of practice. So I borrowed some of my old piano books from my youth, my Mom still had them. And I also bought a few easy piano books. We also splurged and bought ourselves a keyboard that is touch sensitive just like a piano. So now I practice playing the piano every day. I can already see a lot of improvement. Not that I am playing anything substantial. I can play a few primary songs and a few hymns and I can play most all the songs in the 2nd grade piano book. I am enjoying this practice time each day. It is very relaxing to sit and practice. The best part is that Sophie is taking a lot of interest in playing. Not that she is ready for lessons yet. I did buy us a book called "Teach yourself how to play piano" and have gone through the first few lessons. Sophie can play a few little tunes. I need to give her more "lessons" but she has a lot of fun just making up tunes on her own and playing those few short pieces that she has learned.

One day Sophie asked me "Why do you play that same song over an over again?". I told her it was because in order to get it right I have to practice. So if nothing else she is learning that you have to work and practice at something. It isn't coming easily. But at least I am getting slowing better and I can tell I don't stumble through nearly as much and learning new tunes isn't as difficult.
Hopefully I am inspiring her to one day want to play as well. I would love for her to play music. I am happy for now to just learn something new myself.


Me and Them said...

This is what I love about homeschooling--I get to learn great things too! I think it is wonderful that you are learning to play! It's great that you were inspired and then following through. I am going to try to add more "inspiration"to our learning!! Thanks for your example :D

my5wolfcubs said...

I'm learning Latin for my "inspire not require" -- well, okay, I require Latin of them also. But I'm learning Latin, on my own, from my own book, for myself. And loving it! We have a keyboard (packed away) and I can play some...and I have one dd who wants to learn to play, perhaps I should get it out!
Thanks for sharing what you're doing!!

Cellista said...

Way to go! I need to work at the piano more, in fact you're farther along than I am. I think it's a miracle that I ever stuck with the cello, now that I know how much work it is to master an instrument. I am seriously amazed, but impressed, by my adult students who start cello because they honestly want to and Mom isn't making them do it. It's such a difference.

Sarah Gray said...

We're also eclectic homeschoolers, as I enjoy taking pieces from Monetessori, Charlotte Mason, 5-in-a-row, and now Thomas Jefferson. It'll be fun to correspond with you and share ideas. Have you discovered Ambleside yet?

Sea Star said...

Sarah Gray, Thanks for looking at my blog. You must have found me through the one TJED carnival I participated in. I always mean to participate more but never see to remember to do it.

I would love to talk more about what you are doing and sharing ideas but I don't have your email and your profile doesn't allow anything. So if you email me.... we can talk all about Ambleside. I don't follow it but I go there a lot to get ideas for books and such.