Skip to content
Home » Posts » Unexpected Lessons

Unexpected Lessons

unexpected lessons

Today, I am excited to have a guest post from regular contributor (and also my son) Josh Rudd. In today’s post, Josh looks at unexpected lessons which can happen when learning something else.

* Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase after clicking through, SelfEducatingFamily will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Today, we’ll look at some of the unexpected things that I learned as a result of taking two classes in the Ron Paul Curriculum (RPC) which uses self-paced video lessons as the instructional method. Here are two of my original essays which were posted as part of the coursework.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase after clicking through, SelfEducatingFamily will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Business Classes

I took Business I in 9th grade and Business II in 10th grade. In addition to business and economic concepts typically taught in a general business class, I learned so many practical skills, that I am still applying them today.  And the classes have given me a solid background for pursuing a dual-enrollment Associates of Arts degree in Economics at the same time as finishing up my high school degree this year.

This first article, which was called “Learning in Business,” talks about practical skills I learned from the class. I learned some skills that could be expected from a business course, but some lessons were totally unanticipated. 

Keep in mind I wrote the following article when I was in 9th grade!

“Learning in Business” Article

Since starting RPC’s Business I course, I have learned an incredible amount about starting and running a small business. Before starting the course, I had a vague idea of how running a business worked but no real information on what it was really like. Now, nearing the end of the Business 1 course, I have learned an unbelievable amount. Among other things, I have learned time management, how to write and test advertising, and how to run a digital advertising campaign.

One of the most useful and universally applicable skills I have learned from the Business 1 course is time management. At the beginning of the course, I didn’t think much about the future or how I spent my time. A few weeks into the course, my outlook had completely changed, and I was spending my time much more productively.

Probably the most powerful business skill I learned over the business course was how to write an advertisement that sells. At the beginning of the year, I had no idea how to write advertising, or even what made advertising a success or a failure. Now, I probably know more about advertising than most people ever will.

Another useful and unique skill I learned was how to launch and run a digital advertising campaign using Google AdWords. Before I started the business course I had never heard of Google AdWords, which is a tool that allows you to pay Google to have your website show up at the top of searches related to your site. Recently, I learned the technical skills to conduct an AdWords campaign.

The difference between my knowledge at the beginning of the course and right now is like the difference between night and day.  I now possess much greater business ability than I did when I started out because of the incredible amount I learned in this course.

Three Lessons Learned

Here’s some of what I learned in the course:

  • time management
  • how to write and test advertising, and
  • how to run a digital advertising campaign

I never expected that first lesson – time management, but I have used it continuously since 9th grade.

Unexpected Lessons: Tangential Learning

Learning can be unforeseen. 

My learning time management was a case of tangential learning.  I was specifically learning business concepts, which I was really excited about.  However, when I did a little self-examination of what I had actually learned from the class, I noticed that I had learned a great deal about a skill that was not on my radar at all. If I had picked up a book on time management… well, let’s just say that I wouldn’t have ever picked up a book on time management.  The lessons I learned were completely, unexpectedly useful.

More on Time Management

I wrote a second post for my school blog that same year called “To Read Faster”.  If you plan on learning anything via reading, including from books or on your computer, increasing your reading speed can only shorten the time it takes for you to absorb the information. 

Please note that faster reading is not necessarily the same as learning something quickly. When increasing your reading speed, be sure to increase or maintain your comprehension!

When I re-read my post, I did think it was funny how short it was.  I was supposed to be aiming for a 500-word essay!  This essay was one of my earliest, from a time when I was struggling to write anything whatsoever.  Nevertheless, here’s the essay.

Essay called “To Read Faster”

One of the most useful skills you can possess, which will help you in almost every aspect of your life, is speed reading. If you could double your reading speed, it would increase your efficiency in a number of areas in your life.

When I started school this year, I had a fairly high reading speed, but after taking the RPC’s Academic Boot Camp course, I started using a free speed reading software called Spreeder. I have increased my reading speed by one hundred to two hundred words per minute.

I started using Spreeder because of the articles written by Dr. Gary North in the Academic Boot Camp which encourage students to use this tool. Dr. North convinced me, that by adding ten minutes of speed reading into my daily schedule, I could greatly increase my reading speed.

I implemented Dr. North’s advice, because ten minutes is a fairly inconsequential amount of time, which could be easily squeezed into my daily schedule, and I realized that if I increased my reading speed I could get much more school work done every day. This investment of time has been well worthwhile, and I will continue this practice.

Study Habits

Once again, I was able to pick up an unexpected skill from my regular lessons.  The first 15 lessons from the Academic Boot Camp (part of the RPC) are free to the public and you can get them here.  The ABCs, as they are called, are lessons in study habits and how to learn efficiently and independently.  When I started the course, I had no idea I would be motivated to increase my reading speed! However, learning to read faster ended up being one of the most important lessons I got from the ABC course.   

These unexpected lessons certainly helped me to be more of an independent learner and got me well off on the road to self-education.

Keep on Learning

I thought you might enjoy hearing how I learned unexpected lessons while I was learning my regular coursework.