An idea struck me this morning that needs fleshing out and maybe you can help. Abby's homework last night (with only 4 days of school left in the year) was to create a brochure for next year's 5th graders on their first day, to tell them all of the things they'll like about their upcoming year. She did good work, and I commented on how this is probably one of the few things she's worked on that she wouldn't get to keep.
While we were setting up the camera to remedy this problem, I made a few comments about how the mistakes she made in the brochure were things she could work on over the summer if she drew every day. "Just think about how many days there are in the summer, and how you'll be able to fill a whole sketchbook with drawings if you even did only one per day!" I told her. I started thinking about the structure of the school year, and how lessons are planned out and take a finite amount of time.
Wouldn't it be useful, as adults, to have something that guided our learning of topics that are outside direct academia? There are "night school" options locally, where you can sign up to learn how to cook or have tennis lessons, things like that. But there are disciplines - or even small, complex tasks - I'm sure that could benefit from direct, organized, time-structured training.
I think it would be worthwhile to catalog this training. Find some "experts" at doing some things that you would like to do and have them produce an outline of steps to become "trained" in that task/discipline. Provide written, audio, or video courses for these topics that common, interested folks could participate in. Finally, produce some way to measure efficacy of the course and the proficiency of the student.
What would such a thing look like? I realize that there are many places online to get academic training. Are there many places to obtain structured training for things like, say, gardening? Zymurgy? Home maintenance? Even topics that skirt the business world and tread lightly on official (who made them all-overseeing, anyway?) certifications, like project management and time management, would be fair game. I know that there are many topics that I don't want to dive into the expense and time and study requirements to achieve a certification that has little practical use other than matching it to a job I don't need that requires the embossed slip of paper saying I'm certified. I could benefit from some basic groundwork in many fields without getting too deep into anything.
Something like this seems useful to me. What do you think? What topics would you want to learn? What topics could you contribute? How could this idea become monetarily self-sustaining?