Learning is one of those things best done by combining books with practical experience. Today we went to Whole Foods grocery store. The kids had a blast weighing foods and calculating cost, reading labels in the search for wheat or gluten, and tasting new foods. This was a huge amount of school work; reading, comparing, applying reasoning, science, math. I couldn’t have asked for a better day! When I told them all the things they had done for school they were shocked. Jameson said, “But this was fun, Mom!”. That’s what most learning should be. It should engage the child’s (or adult’s) mind in order to truly engrain the information. Books are only the backdrop for true education. It’s the application and experiences combined with the books that make learning happen. Yes, we can learn just from books and sitting in a classroom, but it won’t stay with us very long in the whole scheme of things. So, I want to encourage you, whether you are homeschooling, just a regular parent, or just have someone you spend a lot of time with that you want to teach, to remember that the most valuable learning is the experiences we bring to childrens lives.
Here is a picture our son drew after reading about planets for the upteenth time. We often talk about planets, galaxies, solar flares, etc. as they fascinate him. I love that he has learned all this, and continues his pursuit of knowledge. So, here is our son’s interpretation of space.