young_reader***

Have you ever thought what you would want to learn or what you would have paid more attention to at school if you were a child again?  Children absorb information a lot easier than adults as anyone learning a language later in life will tell you, but so many of us no longer seek out information or we feel daunted by learning.

A couple of weeks ago I took an exam.  It brought back many memories of taking GCSE’s and A-levels but it just wasn’t as stressful – it was just another task I needed to do as part of my day.  This was most likely as I took the choice to take the exam as part of the Open University degree I’m studying for in my ‘spare’ time.  I start another module in October – I’m hooked!

When I finished formal education, I thought “That’s it I will never write another essay or sit another exam ever ever again – WHOOP!”  but I realised just before I had my son nearly 5 years ago (and 7 years after finishing university) that there was so much more out there that I wanted to learn about and know about.

Realising this just before having a baby was probably not great timing in the same way as moving house when pregnant, it’s not great but it always seems to happen that way, but I digress. As I sat in our flat, beached on the sofa like a whale, I was studying for a certificate in event planning. After that I started to take modules with the Open University, just picking any that I was interested in and after a time it turned out that I could build my own BA with the modules I had done (plus a couple more).

There are also those free online courses, they call them MOOC’s – Massive Open Online Courses.  They are really good and they can be done from anywhere in the world. Look up Futurelearn and you can do a course for free in anything from branding to cyber safety and from psychology to coding.  They can last 2 weeks to 10 weeks and the courses are run by UK universities. Ooo and workshops and talks – they are great! Talks and learning events like the Work and Family show or Stylist Live – I’m really looking forward to that one coming in October!! (For those in the UK check it out Stylist Live or if you’re not in the UK – come on over for a trip! Stay a while and pop in to say hi)

I guess in our own way we are all constantly learning. My husband likes to visit castles and explore the surrounding areas working out the history and imagining how it used to be (now I’ve written that down it looks so much more geeky than it sounded in my head).  But we are all children at heart and we all like to learn in our own ways.  We can learn a lot from each other and we live for the most part in a world where people are very happy to impart their knowledge and we should use this vast and amazing resource.

Just remember, you are never too old to learn and it is never too late to start.  There is nothing to stop you, make the time. Money is no object as some courses are free or for those that aren’t you can pay bit by bit in most cases (OUSBA does this for the OU).

Go for it, you never know what you might learn.

***Author: Young Reader by Francisco Farias Jr

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