In this short essay, Nathan Black, who has a home education background, explains how he schooled himself in the 'manual labor arts.'
He writes, "I, on the other hand, am a 'practical' mind. I can look at a problem and see what to do to fix it. This is just a gift from God. There is nothing that dad did growing up that taught me this, except to facilitate opportunities for me to develop this gift. I think that I probably passed him up (with regards to home repairs and fix-its) by the time I was 12 or 13 years old.
However, over the years dad has tried numerous times to teach me Greek, and that has never been accomplished! I have no ability to learn languages or philosophy. If it’s daylight outside, I’m gonna be in it! No time for studying or 'book learning.' This 'practical' mind has its disadvantages as well. The major one being a lack of diligence in studying and 'quiet time.' The many projects going on seems to distract from 'mind work.' All dad did growing up was to give me many opportunities to learn (he certainly didn’t have many skills to teach), and given the time and the 'need' for a particular skill, I was able to learn it on my own ... "
Isn't that what smart homeschooling parents/managers do - facilitate opportunities for their children to develop their gifts and interests?
It's commendable how Nathan willingly struggles to find the balance between being committed to mind work and hand work. Most individuals have neither the wherewithal nor the opportunity to successfully navigate both of those worlds.