Sometimes fun, sometimes learning!

This is from email of GenieKids and copied the same for my reference

A young boy appeared for an interview for the job of a shepherd. The farm owner asked, “Why do you wish to do this job?”. The boy answered, “Its gotta be fun being with the sheep.” The farmer remarked, “But what if some sheep are difficult to be with?” The boy answered, “Its gotta be learning with the sheep”. The farmer questioned, “Which one do you want, fun or learning?” The boy had his answer ready, “Sometimes fun, sometimes learning”.

 To me the boy’s answer shakes a common misconception – that learning is fun, or should be made fun. But learning is far from fun – it is tough, challenging, frustrating, overwhelming, and even painful.

A child  at 7 years wanted to write cursive. But the pencil wasn’t ready to cooperate so readily. It would hardly follow the instructions his brain was giving. An hour later the pencil and notebook were found on floor and my son swinging from tree-branches outside. “I will type” was his emphatic decision. But as expected, the child would come back to their learning field soon. What followed was more effort, more struggle, more failures, more persistence and learning! Yes, it was not the fun that drew them to learning, but the desire to learn that drove through all its trials and tribulations. Its amazing that inspite of all the bumps, all its non-fun ingredients, we love to learn.

 Let us highly valued the love for learning, usually expressed with the expression “I hate learning this”. Far from making learning easy or fun for children, we throw the whole challenge to them and sit back at the flanks and enjoy their bumpy ride.

The amazing part is the kind of comments we get from children, like “I totally enjoyed it though I hated doing it so many times”; and another, “I liked that I only had to decide and do. I did not like what i made. I will make again next time”. and yet another, “I want to come back every day – me and my friends made a complete mess. Hope my mother does not ask to show what I did.”

What we have learned from children is that while fun is not important, a more sublime joy runs deeply through our veins when we engage in challenging diligence. If you want any proof, watch a ten month old learning to walk!

The farmer after listening to the boy’s response, exclaimed, “Ah, that’s life for you, my boy: Sometimes fun, sometimes learning!”