Tag Archives: online learning

The pleasure and the importance of learning

“Isn’t it a pleasure to study and practice what you have learned? Isn’t it also great when friends visit from distant places? If one remains not annoyed when he is not understood by people around him, isn’t he a sage?” Confucius.

One of the things of supreme importance (after health, good sleep and pedicure) is the importance of constant learning. This is relevant especially for moms with young children, whose brain (the mom’s, not the children’s) tends to be occupied with routine tasks for 24 hours with short breaks for sleep and pedicure.
A dangerous illusion is to think, that if you are “occupied” your brain is working. Partially, this is true, but not true enough to ignore the damage to the thinking apparatus caused by automatic silly tasks every mom performs almost on autopilot from the moment she gets up in the morning.

book

What do I mean by brain training?

think

Anything, that makes your brain “suffer” a little, anything that makes you struggle and think trying to solve a numerical problem, understand a model, find a solution, memorize a poem, speak a different language… anything out of the ordinary. Or, like it is acceptable to say, out of your comfort zone.

Of course moms solve problems every day but these are not the problems I am talking about. House management, kids management, husbands and wives management – this is more or less intuitive, we get used to it, problems arising are repeating themselves, we get adjusted super fast and find ways to avoid our brain to think too hard. It’s the nature of things – no one want to suffer and struggle too much.

But I’ve noticed one thing: once I give myself a break and stop learning, something bad and weird is happening: I get sucked in. My judgment abilities are slightly blurred, it’s harder to meditate and get abstracted. I get too much involved in things I should be looking at from aside. Learning and coping with difficulties on a daily level helps me (and probably not just me) look at ordinary family issues from a different angle. Or in other words, helps take things easy.

Here are my favorite resources for gaining knowledge and brain training:

online classes (you can take them toll-free, without certificate):

www.coursea.org

www.datacamp.com (everything related to learning about data science).

www.edx.org

www.ocw.mit.edu

www.alison.com

for language training:

Besides forums, where students can exchange language experiences with each other (today I teach you, tomorrow you teach me), there are great free website to learn any language at any pace.
My favorite one is

www.duolingo.com

It’s free, it’s friendly, it’s professional and there is a lot of gamification in the studying process – this is the only website, that keeps me leveling up (we all know how easy it is to drop out from a free, online class with long lectures or boring exercises).

I am sure there are a ton more resources out there to make mom’s life more scientific. As much as I like exploring my opportunities, it’s important not to get lost in the ocean of virtual studying options that exist in the market. So I mostly focus on the few websites that make my life less complicated. Remember the goal: learning, for the sake of learning (and who knows what will come out of it?).