(Haida Gwaii Observer/File photo)

FOREST INK: Learning through hard work

Columnist Jim Hilton writes about the different ways people learn

As I was working on an article about a career in forestry for those students thinking of their options following high school, I was reminded of my experience in preparing for university.

As well, I was also thinking of the value of students returning to class versus the ones that are homeschooled.

My daughter has been homeschooling my three grandsons up to now, with the oldest soon to become a teenager.

The importance of socializing is often brought up when I mention homeschooling.

It is important to note that many homeschooled children have a number of opportunities to participate in a variety of events and programs that include other classmates, and they are not isolated at home with their parent teacher.

For many, it may mean less time spent on a school bus, and I think they may also develop good study habits so they can finish their school work in order to go onto activities they enjoy better.

I am not going to debate public schools versus homeschool but rather share some of my misconceptions regarding my responsibilities versus the school system.

I am surprised it took me so long to figure out that homework was not my teacher’s attempt to make my home life miserable, but it was to teach me some good study habits on how to learn the subject matter.

READ MORE: Interior city working on forest diversity

In my generation, going to university was a way to have an occupation other that staying on the farm where I grew up, but my high school marks were not sufficient for entrance into college. After a couple of tries at school, my last resort was a private tutor to improve my results, but unfortunately, I was still relying too much on the teacher and not doing the required homework.

Fortunately, my older brother suggested a work book that he found useful. This book not only contained a good summary of physics principles but also many good examples, lots problems and many questions with answers. For the first time in my life, I kept reviewing the material until I was getting all of the right answers and was able to finally get one of the highest marks in any subject I had taken to that point.

That high mark not only got me into university but provided valuable insights into the many methods that each student must develop to learn the wide variety of material that I would encounter through the six-plus years of my university education.

The conclusion I came up with was that depending on the subject matter, I often needed a number of examples or ways of describing a new concept in order to master the material. I also learned that the more approaches you use the better, i.e. reading, listening to lectures or tapes, visual, hands-on demonstrations and lots and lots of repetition, especially with multiple choice exams.

READ MORE: Climate change convert

Making my own study notes also proved useful, which allowed me to quickly review prior to an exam, and also practice teaching the material has proven useful for some students.

Although I did not enjoy all my courses, I found my university time did allow me the opportunity to have a very interesting and productive career.

Some students may know very early on what they want to study, but for others, like me, I had to experience a variety of subjects before I found the ones that I enjoyed and did the best in.

Jim Hilton is a professional agrologist and forester who has lived and worked in the Cariboo Chilcotin for the past 40 years. Now retired, Hilton still volunteers his skills with local community forests organizations.

forestry

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The best photo of the Fraser River Walking Bridge taken on Oct. 23 or 24 will be rewarded with a donation to the Polio Plus Fund on behalf of the Rotary Club of Quesnel. (File Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel’s footbridge set for scarlet spotlight

The Fraser River Footbridge will be bathed in red light to mark World Polio Day Oct. 23 and 24

A police officer speaks to a driver during last year’s Shift Into Winter event in Quesnel. The annual road check reminds drivers to slow down and be safe during winter. (Karen Powell Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
It’s time to Shift into Winter

The annual campaign offers winter driving tips

Jeff Malin nears the finish line Sunday, Oct. 11 in downtown Quesnel. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
No travel, no problem: Jeff Malin completes ninth marathon in Quesnel

The Quesnel firefighter has been running marathons since 2012

The owners of Motherlode Wash on Juniper Road in South Quesnel are hoping to construct a new wash building that would accommodate larger vehicles like RVs and semi-trucks. The new building would be two storeys and would match the existing buildings on the property. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
South Quesnel’s Motherlode Wash applies to add wash building for large vehicles

The new building will include three large-vehicle wash bays and one touchless wash tunnel

Sherry Jasper and Juerg Feldmann show off their third-place trophies from an outdoor Quesnel Pickleball Club tournament earlier this year. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel pickleball going back in the jar

The indoor season will kick off with strict COVID-19 prevention guidelines

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ Western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson visits a North Vancouver daycare to announce his party’s election promises for child care, Oct. 9, 2020. (B.C. Liberal Party video)
B.C. parties pitch costly child care programs in pandemic

B.C. Liberals say they’ll deliver on NDP’s $10-a-day promise for lower-income families

A B.C. man decided to create a website to help people find family doctors accepting patients. Because Victoria is considered high-demand, clinic openings can’t be posted publicly. (Unsplash)
Vancouver Island man starts website that connects B.C. residents with doctors

Nanaimo man started project to help people find family physicians accepting patients

Voting station at Tzeachten Hall in the riding of Chilliwack-Kent on the first day of advance voting in the provincial election on Oct. 15, 2020. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. VOTES 2020: 380,000 British Columbians head to polls in first 4 days of advance voting

Some of highest voter turnout so far has been seen on Vancouver Island and in Shuswap

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Kootenay couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Fort St. John councillor Trevor Bolin (B.C. Conservative Party)
BC Conservatives leader fights back after BC Liberals leak 2018 workplace harassment case

Sexual harassment case was connected to employee being terminated, WorkSafeBC found

Employee Sophia Lovink shows off a bag of merchandise in Toronto on Thursday, June 11, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Canada gets C-average grade on 2nd year of cannabis legalization

Cannabis Council of Canada releases report card on federal government and legalization

Most Read