The GeekDad blog quoted parenting advice from sci-fi author Neal Stephenson today. Talk about cool. :)
Even though I'm not a parent myself, I find myself really enjoying the GeekDad blog for the insights it offers about how to be an encouraging geek parent to your little ones. I know first hand about the stupid social forces which often succeed in dissuading bright girls and boys from pursuing their childhood interest in geeky pursuits like science and maths, so it's great to read ideas on how to let your kids know that geeky is ok.
It quotes Neal Stephenson's example of how just doing things in front of your kids can be a way to inspire and teach them 'in the background':
"Stephenson said when he was a kid, his dad was constantly tinkering on some garage project or another, and despite Neal's complete indifference for any of his dad's enthusiasms at the time, he was influenced by this embedded tinkering. It was part of the family scene, part of his household, like mealtime style, or the pattern of interactions between siblings. Later on when Neal did attempt to make stuff on his own, the pattern was right at hand. It felt comfortable, easy. Without having to try very hard, he knew how to be a nerd."
I love this notion. It's not forcing kids to participate, it's not 'do as i say' - it's leading by example.
The other thing which rocked about this GeekDad post was that it linked to an audacious Australian experimenter who dabbles in Tesla coils, high voltage and a lot of things that look incredibly cool. His name is Peter Terren and his website is called Tesla Downunder. The image I've used is a screenshot from the website. I imagine visiting his house would feel like visiting Doc Brown in Back to the Future. Woo!
Subterranean Tutoring [GeekDad]