I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious...Albert Einstein

Looking from the outside, I don't know if we would agree with Al about that! What is interesting, I think, is that he viewed himself that way! He had no special talent?! He had a great brain but the real gift was his insatiable curiosity. He was tenacious and would not let unanswered questions lie. Many times, we don't appreciate the talents and gifts we have been given. Others may look from the outside and see what we have more than we do. I believe we all have a responsibility to share our gifts with the world!

Now try this: Make a list of the things that come naturally to you. Are any of these things hard for others? How can you use your gift in the world? How can you ease the path for someone else?

We are going to visit the home schoolers!

We are so excited! 14 Rooms will be visiting the Great Home School Conventions in Texas! Come visit us in booth # 406 at the Fort Worth Convention Center March 15 - 17. We will also present two workshops; "How to Understand Shakespeare (for those not born in the 16th Century)" at 10 am on Friday and "Is Shakespeare for Kids...Indeed!" at 1pm on Saturday.

If you are in the area, come by and visit us!

“If you’re not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.” Zig Ziglar

The great library of Alexandria is said to have held over 500,000 scrolls. The libraries of Timbuktu held over 700,000 manuscripts during the Medieval period. The Imperial library of Constantinople housed over 200,000. The collection of knowledge in the ancient world was astounding. Today, we have an endless stream of knowledge pouring into our homes (and pockets) from all over the world through this miracle called the internet. We have more knowledge at our fingertips than any generation before us. Why are we so ignorant? Why does it seem that each successive generation suffers from short term (and long term) memory loss? In a world where we could literally learn ANYTHING in the comfort of our home, why do we seem uninterested in our history? In expanding our understanding beyond pop culture? We should be determined to learn. We should embrace the precious little time we have on this planet to absorb everything we can!

NOW TRY THIS: Be determined to learn today! Choose a topic “how books are bound”, “how to make soap”, “the top ten list of pop songs in 1953”… whatever suits your fancy! Learn something new today! You can even use that computer you carry around with you – use it for more than just texting!

“There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live.” John Adams

The education that teaches us how to make a living is easy enough to understand… the occupation that allows us to gain enough resources to take care of ourselves and our families; but what of the other education? Where do we obtain that one? How do we learn how to LIVE? What does it mean to live? The store shelves are filled with books on how to “get ahead”, “get things done”, “get more”, “get up the ladder”! With all of this getting, I wonder when we realize that life is more about the giving, than the getting? For me, this is the purpose of that other education. The one that comes from parents, siblings, friends, children… the giving education. The education that one cultivates over a lifetime…The one that teaches us that giving is really living. All of the best moments in our education on how to live involve giving. Giving our time, talent, love, respect and patience to the people and things close to us and perhaps, sometimes, to those half way around the world!

NOW TRY THIS: Do one thing this week that is not about getting. One thing that is purely giving…with no attached obligation for return. If you have a habit of doing this each week, encourage someone else to do the same.

Read as a family

A home without books is a body without a soul – Marcus Tullius Cicero

Love, some say, transforms the empty shell of a house into a home. I agree with that. When we fill a home with books, however, we give that home a soul. Books read individually and shared, books read as a family and discussed around the kitchen table, books passed from one generation to the next. This creates a tradition of love and literacy that extends far beyond the individual home and into the very fabric of society.

The traditions that we pass down to our children and communities are so important. The reading of good books should be one of them! Unfortunately, rushing from school to gym practice to volleyball to homework and dinner, we forget to breathe! To read and breathe.

The true test of character is not how much we know how to do but how we behave when we don’t know what to do -  John Holt

NOW TRY THIS – Grab a book that you think all of the family would enjoy. It could be fairy tales, poems, a novel or short story. Read with your family! Read after dinner for a few minutes. Read while breakfast happens before school. Don’t feel that you have to finish the chapter or finish the page or finish the paragraph! Just read for however many minutes you have!

Curiosity and education

“It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education” A. Einstein

So true! It seems that “formal” education inhibits the natural growth of curiosity. Isn’t it our nature to be curious about the world…the universe…each other…ourselves? It seems that education should follow this natural bent while exposing us to ideas and conclusions derived from those that have gone before us. Perhaps that is why, at this point, I am an advocate of classical education. The best ideas of the past combining with modern, curious minds. This has always been the way of man, has it not? Looking back, learning and moving the baton down the lane a bit more.  

NOW TRY THIS: Go online and type in the search engine “Best ideas of all time”. You will be surprised what you find! From modern ideas about using coat hangers to the best philosophical ideas from Ancient Greece…Foster that curiosity!

Welcome. Let us begin...

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.
— Nelson Mandela

14 Rooms is on a mission. We want to help pave the way for change. Each person is many things. We each fill many roles and carry with us responsibilities to ourselves and responsibilities to others with whom our lives touch. 14 Rooms is created to respect some of the roles that we play. We are creative educators, historical detectives, artistic servants, book lovers and, in all ways, curious.

I am curious. Journey along with us! Learn with us! Explore with me... because “The more I give thee, the more I have, for both are infinite” W. Shakespeare