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Learning with dirty hands…

So this weekend just gone I sat down with my daughter (who turns five next week) and spent the best part of the morning swapping out the front forks of my mountain bike. This was something I had never done before, and something I was a little nervous about, but as I was keen to get back on the bike after quite a hiatus, I waded in.

We started, Miss K and I, sitting in front of YouTube clicking on a number of various videos on the topic until we found one that seemed to have someone credible explaining the process, and began to listen. Thankfully the office is only two steps from the garage, so over the course of the next few hours we listened and learned and applied, and listened and learned and applied, and so on. I undid this, wrenched that, smacked the round thingy with a hammer, greased this, tightened that and in the end successfully swapped out the old broken forks for the exciting new functional forks. Then I jumped on, rode out onto the street and proceeded to enjoy that feeling of riding a full-suspension mountain bike in places where bikes are generally not supposed to go.

It was a great morning that started with a very clear end goal which I had no idea how to achieve. I researched, analysed and filtered information at hand to direct my own learning and then immediately applied it. I got dirty. I made mistakes. I repeated a number of steps a number of times. I became frustrated. And at the end of the day I rode my bike off a two foot high ledge and lived to tell the tale!

And all the while my daughter was watching me, handing me tools, bringing me cold drinks and telling me stories. She clapped when I jumped on and rode the bike.

I hope when my daughter goes to school that her learning will be self-directed, engaging, relevant, challenging and rewarding. From day one. Every day. If not, I’ll be telling her teachers a little story about the day I swapped out the front forks of my mountain bike…

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