The More You Know, the More You Know

 

I don’t know if you’ve heard of BrainPop, but if you have kids, you might have. It’s a website where kids can watch short educational cartoon videos on almost every subject, from math to science to history. They are usually amusing and entertaining, and always educational. My kids LOVE them.

We first heard about them two years ago when they would watch different ones in class. Even now, in virtual school, they get assigned different videos to watch. Sometimes they’ll move on to different ones that catch their eye once they have finished the required one.

What really caught my eye, however, was their slogan; The More You Know, The More You Know.

My kids thought that was kind of funny, but it really stuck with me. It’s not cocky or arrogant; it just states things plainly. The more you know, the more you know. We often tell our kids to never stop learning, and then we graduate from high school or college and don’t pick up an educational book again. When do we get too old to stop learning?

I get that we, as adults and moms, get busy and can’t always find the time or resources to attend higher education classes or training in a new field of study. But the internet and libraries have made learning new things super easy and much more inexpensive. And learning new things doesn’t always mean going to a classroom with a professor teaching once or twice a week. If you want to broaden your knowledge, here are several ways to go about learning a new skill.library-1147815_1920

I’m going to offer an old-school style of learning first: read a book. Go to your library or browse around Amazon to find a nonfiction book in a genre you are interested in. Language, science, math, politics…there are all types of non-fiction to choose from. This is one of the cheapest ways to learn something of substance. It’s free if you use the library! Pick up a couple of different books in different genres so if you decide after a chapter or two that you really aren’t that interested in the topic, not a big loss; simply move on to the next book.

Take an adult education class. Many community colleges or county education offices offer these, typically at a local high school. You can find language classes, computer classes, arts and crafts classes, photography classes. The list goes on and on. They might cost as low as $20 or as high as a couple hundred, depending on the class. These classes usually take place once a week and can run from six weeks up to a whole semester.wool-knit-knitting-needles-basket-48199

Attend a one-time class at an arts and crafts store. Is there something you’ve been dying to learn how to do with crafts? Many different classes are held at crafts stores, from painting to sewing. You could even join a quilting or knitting group at smaller, independent shops. Not only will you learn a new skill from people who typically love to teach it, you’ll make some new friends who enjoy the same things you do.

Sign up for Lynda.com if you are into computer learning. Lynda.com is a very popular and strong online community that teaches things like photography, design and web development through online courses. Although there is a membership fee, many libraries offer a free subscription if you have a library card. Another bonus for being a library card carrying member of society!Web design

YouTube! YouTube has a wonderful collection of lectures and classes online for free. A lot of universities, such as University of California at Berkeley and MIT  offer lectures, classes and sometimes entire courses online for free. Many of the courses offered are several years old, but the content is still good. The reason that many of the universities are no longer uploading new videos is because they have switched over to a newer, personalized program than YouTube.The More You Know, the More You Know

edX is a program that I’m very excited about. I hadn’t heard of it until recently, but it seems really cool. A lot of different universities and companies, such as MIT, Harvard, and Galileo, have come together to offer classes to high school students, college students and people who either want to further their careers or learn something new. They offer something called MicroMasters, which “are a series of higher-level courses recognized by companies for real job relevancy, and may accelerate a Master’s degree.” Many of the courses are self-led, but they each take anywhere from 4-6 weeks; a MicroMasters certificate usually consists of at least four or five courses. While these are not free, they are not that expensive, either, for what you receive; courses start as low as $150 each.

No matter which style is more “you,” you’re sure to find something you like. What I like about all of these is that the entire schedule is up to you. While a community class or craft class requires you to attend at a certain day and time, if you have a busy season coming up, don’t register for something; take a break. The rest can be done in fits and spurts throughout the week. It’s perfect for busy moms. You don’t really realize until you start to work your brain again how much it was floundering around before. Don’t let your brain flounder! The more you know, the more you know. Now get out there and know more!

 

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