What I’m reading—May 2019

I’ve been doing a lot of reading lately. Some of the books that I’ve read so far this year include:

  • Atomic Habits
  • The Passion Paradox
  • The Simple Path to Wealth
  • When:
  • Show Your Work by Austin Kleon
  • The Alchemist:

And while I typically read multiple books at a time, one book has me sucked in deep.

I got Becoming Brilliant not long after having Riley and I started reading it, but the message of the book didn’t really hit me till I started reading it again.

Why read it now

It’s relevant now that Riley is about to be of school age and we’re trying to figure out the best place for him to go to elementary (or primary) school. You see the schools around where I live aren’t that great. There are only a few good public schools and the norm for upper middle class families is to send their kids to private school.

It’s an option for us, but it’s one we’d rather not have to explore. For one there’s the cost…private school can cost anywhere from $6,000 – $25,000 per year per child depending on the type of school you choose. And you don’t quite know how to vet the quality of the education your child is getting from a private institution because they don’t have the same reporting requirements that public schools are.

The other reason we’d like our children to go to public school is that there is way more diversity in the public school system than you’d encounter at most private schools around here. There are resources available at public schools that may not be available at private schools like social workers on site.

What I’m excited about with this book

There’s a lot we don’t know, so we’ve been turning to books and resources that are available through work benefits to help us navigate the school system around here.

I’m excited about this book because of the expectations they set at the beginning e.g. to:

  • help us figure out what our children should be learning in school
  • understand the skills they need to thrive and get a gauge for when the age is appropriate to introduce them or expect them to emerge
  • show examples of how these skills show up in the workplace and in life in general

It’s been eye-opening how some of the daily interactions we have with the kids help build these skills that’ll help them thrive.

Here are some of the skills I’m hoping to pass on

For the longest time, I’ve been interested in using project-based learning to afterschool the kids and reading the chapter on Collaboration gave me some ideas on how to structure that aspect of their learning…here are some of the notes I took:

  • Encourage them to have independent projects, but also joint projects that incorporate what they’re both learning in school.
  • To ensure Riley (my older one) is always challenged, joint projects would need to be coordinated to where there’s an older child as part of the group or one of us adults is working the project with them.
  • The idea behind this is to simulate the real world where you always have a boss (whether it’s a customer or an actual manager).
  • When we collaborate this way, I see them learning valuable skills that’ll challenge to the real world:
    • You’re never too young to lead i.e. Sofia (my younger) will model that for Riley by taking the lead on some aspects of the project and Riley would model that for the older kids that he works with or the adult. It’s amazing how much watching the kids interact helps me be better at work.
    • You’re never too old to learn i.e. Sofia learning from younger kids and Riley learning from Sofia.
    • Your ideas can be made better by working with others.
    • Don’t spend all your time refining your ideas and forget to ship your ideas or at least prepare them for shipment. This is why projects will have deadlines so they don’t fall into perfectionist all-or-nothing thinking.
    • Experiment your way forward to ship, but anticipate what could happen downstream if failures happen so you can fix them.

These are great lessons for us adults to keep learning as well and I’m excited to see what I can learn to help me level up my own skills.

What books are you reading right now?