I had a chance to read Grit by Angela Duckworth the other day. If you remember, it was one I was looking forward to for a while.
It did not disappoint.
A must read for homeschoolers and unschoolers alike
It is a book I think every home educator ought to read. There is much talk today about grit and instilling grit in children and how to do so. In some cases, teachers are even grading children on grit.
But what does grit mean to a homeschooler and what can we learn from this book?
I think the best takeaway for me from this book was simply her reminder that before we can require the work of grit comes play. Grit is not something that can be taught in a vacuum. Indeed, before grit develops, there must be some level of interest. The best way to cultivate that interest is to expose children to a variety of activities that might turn into something in the future.
Before those who’ve yet to fix on a passion are ready to spend hours a day diligently honing skills, they must goof around triggering and retriggering interest. […] Novices aren’t obsessed with getting better. They’re not thinking years and years into the future. They’re having fun. In other words, even the most accomplished of experts start out as unserious beginners.
Duckworth mentions two more things about grit worth mentioning – one that it grows as you get older, something all of us reading will agree with, I imagine; and that the best style of parenting for developing grit is both demanding and supportive. This, she refers to as authoritative parenting. Not authoritarian, which it is often confused with.
I can’t recommend this book enough. I found it a fascinating read. And one that I believe belongs in every parent’s library.