Take a look at the picture above – two simple sketches which are expressive of a very powerful concept.
You can have plenty of knowledge, but it isn’t until you obtain the experience that it all links together.
I think of how I learn, how my daughter learns, and how things click into place, sometimes long after the initial learning experience took place.
For me, life is a series of “a-ha!” moments. I learn a new skill, a fact, something seemingly unrelated to anything else.
For me, this simple picture is indicative of the tremendous gap our education system presents. It isn’t an across the board failure, but there is far too much of the facts on the left, and not enough of the experience on the right. For true learning to take place, these have to happen together. Perhaps this is why I continue to find homeschooling the better choice.
I’ll give you an example.
Emily loves buying ice cream from the ice cream man. “Look Mama! I got a SpongeBob ice cream with gumballs for eyes. The ice cream man took my $5 and gave me $2.50 back!
I can use this to explain a couple of different things to her. Addition and subtraction for one, but better yet, how about a trip to the grocery store. A day later we were standing in Aldi’s.
“Look Emily, ice cream, boxes of it.” She danced eagerly and asked if we could get some. “Only if we first compare the price you paid to the ice cream man against what these cost.” She learned that, for fifty cents less she could get a box of eight chocolate pops. Not quite the same as a SpongeBob with gumballs for eyes, but still, EIGHT ice cream enjoyment moments instead of ONE.
I explained that, when people come to you, it costs more, for convenience. A whole lot more.
Basically, we covered:
- Instilling a practical side of economics (is the juice worth the squeeze?)
In other words, linking knowledge to experience.