Real learning is connecting the dots between experience and information you encounter everywhere you go, all on your own. There is no age limit. From birth to death, this is how humans learn best.
Since I have a couple hot dates today, I’m heading out the door early, so I’ll have to keep these short and sweet today. That’s a good thing because I tried writing about this idea yesterday and it came out all preachy and annoying.
“But we know today that the more connected information we already have, the easier it is to learn, because new information can dock to that information.” From How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens
This quote reminded me of why we homeschooled our boys the way we did. My husband and I didn’t do well in school in different ways, for different reasons. When the boys were very young, we started looking into alternative education models and found that people learn best from simply experiencing things. We decided to live without any kind of school for the first few years to see how it would work and the model stuck.
Instead of school, we lived with the boys right along side us. We went on adventures, read books, watched movies, and played. As parents, we were deliberately setting up the network of ideas and experiences that they would later hang all their learning on.
The older they got, the more involved they became with the direction we took. Which led to this quote.
“Learning itself requires deliberate practice, and I mean actual learning that helps us increase our understanding of the world, not just the learning that makes us pass a test.” From How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens
Once they got to a certain age, they took to deliberate practice like ducks to water. I couldn’t stop them from diving deeper into anything that caught their eye. Music, dirt bikes, languages, and then cars, travel, and jobs. Now I find them reading classic literature and listening to podcasts.
College was a priority for one and travel for the other. Both have been done in ways it never occurred to me were possible.
Yeah, I’m taking the moment to plug the whole “life without school” idea. How can I not, especially now? Our lives were so much more beautiful because we took that step toward freedom. And when I read things like this, I’m reminded of how awesome it all was.
Go back to my first post, How to Take Smart Notes, for more thoughts inspired by this book.