Star Wars and the Learning Curve


In everything, there is always a learning curve.  This I know.  What I did NOT know, pre-motherhood, was just how many DIFFERENT FORMS of learning curves there were.

My son sat at the desk, complaining how “hard” his math homework was.  What you need to hear in that sentence is how BORING math is, because it comes easy to him.  The “hard” part was sitting still long enough to get it done.  I wish math had been this hard for ME in school.

George Lucas - A random picture I pulled from the net (I do not own the rights to this)

George Lucas – A random picture I pulled from the net (I do not own the rights to this)

He finally stopped complaining and began working.   I wonder what kind of student George Lucas was.  I wonder what little Georgie’s mom thought on her pull-your-hair-out-homework-torture session days.  Did he sing little songs like my son?  Songs that sweet Georgie Porgy PUT in my son’s head??

Drake sat at the desk, multiplying numbers in his head, belting out the answer in long streams of Star Wars theme music.  Take the most dramatic score and instead of instrumentals, insert the sounds of a 9 year old belting out “64, sixty fouuuurrr, siiiixxxty FOUR, 6 and 4! Six Six Six, Sixty Four, Sixty Four! 64, 64, sixty foooour, 64 ,sixty fouuuurrrr…..  Okay, you get the picture right?  In other words, the answer was 64 and he drilled it into his head by singing his favorite song, and had zero clue he was helping himself learn his number facts.  He was just surviving his math homework.  It’s genius really.

This is WHY I truly suck at math.  I have absolutely zero desire to belt out numerical facts to ANY song you could come up with.  None.  I cant even think of ANYTHING I would want to know bad enough to sing it over and over like he was doing.  But again, HE had no clue that was what he was doing.  He was just surviving math.  Because he was bored.

There is a reason God chose to have us come into the world as children, and learn nearly everything we are to know by the time we are 10.  Oh we will learn a great many things more after that, but the majority of the things that we need to learn to survive in life are truly learned before age 10, and some argue before age 6.  Why?  Because learning is play, and play is learning, and if it cant be fun, then kids will find a way to MAKE it fun.  They have a learning curve that is unmatched by the adult population.  Adults find it far harder to insert facts and new concepts into their overloaded brain spaces than do kids.  The learning curve is simply skewed in a child’s favor.

I wont get all scientific or explain anything rational.  I will simply say that kids got a good thing goin when it comes to learning new things.  We who are tasked with helping them along that learning path?  Well, I think I know why OUR learning curve is somewhat bent.  It’s all the head banging (and no, not heavy-metal-rock-out-head-banging) while listening to the number 64 being sung over and over and over… soon to be replaced by the next fact on the list, and the next, and the next… till a math sheet of 100 is done.

Somewhere along fact #32 my brain went numb and I began to wonder what I would say if I ever were to meet Mr George Lucas, live in person.  I probably would relate to him a thank you for helping my kid learn his number facts.  I’m sure he’s heard plenty of, “I’ve seen all your movies” in his day… but I bet he’s never heard this one yet.  🙂

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