The case for educating the whole child and keeping doors of learning open (strongly leaning on the art of reading reading books!) is becoming even clearer in our age of technology. According to valuable research, people who have what some may label as “too many interests,” are more likely to be successful. As Charlie Munger (Warren Buffett’s longtime business partner) so artfully expresses: “In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn’t read all the time- none. Zero.”
The 5-hour-rule and deliberate learning are fascinating and necessary notions to embrace and to condition our children to accept as status quo. Bill Gates has let the world know that he reads about fifty books a year, mostly to do with non-fiction, and that give him a better understanding of how the world works.
In our age of growing artificial intelligence and the majority of American childrens’ addictions to screens, it makes sense that those who are prepared to handle unpredictability in real life will thrive in the future, because such ability to deal hands-on with what may come ones’ way is becoming rarer by the day. Jobs for our kids will require the ability to uniquely combine their own personal talents with the needs of the market they choose to work within (and may, of course, require computer-related skills) and this requires a definite mental/emotional agility and sharpness.
The Financial Times’ Employment Correspondent Sarah O’Connor writes, “Artificial intelligence tends to solve problems methodically, but the human brain is far better at making logical leaps of imagination. It is more intuitive, creative, and better at persuasion. Humans can also combine their creativity with robot-surpassing dexterity to cut someone’s hair, for example, or cook a delicious meal.”
In an article entitled, “How You Can Raise Robot-Proof Children,” Alexandra Samuel, the Editor of Top Technical Solutions points out that a recent McKinsey report predicts that by 2030, up to 30% of today’s current work will have been automated. Among other varied skills (including trying to open their own Etsy shop) she recommends teaching your children to code; “The point of learning to code is that there’s no better way to anticipate where automation is heading than to understand what kinds of problems code is or isn’t good at solving. Coding knowledge will also help future workers survive or excel in fields that become increasingly automated. For example, lawyers may do less contract-review work, but more work establishing the rules for contract-reading bots.”
The long-term effects of not learning are just as insidious as the long-term effects of not having a healthy lifestyle. The CEO of AT&T, Randall Stephenson, makes this point loud and clear in an interview with the New York Times; he says that, “those who don’t spend at least 5 to 10 hours a week learning online “will obsolete themselves with technology.”
Advice for parents includes focusing an arts education, to nurture emotional intelligence, and to please skip entry-level service jobs in favor of entrepreneurship for your children; “Frontline service and retail jobs are widely predicted to disappear, so the experience children gain in these jobs will be far less useful than the experience of starting their own business, since many of them will need to create their own jobs as small-business owners, consultants or freelancers.”
Futurist and businessman Alvin Toffler states, “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”
For parents who may personally be interested in implementing the 5 hour rule into their own lives, there’s a free webinar offered to help get things started; and for those who would like to dig deeper into how to integrate a higher standard of modern-day learning into your childrens’ lives, highly recommended is this book: “The Whole-Brain Child.”