Ever notice how fast you learn something when you’re interested in it? Even if it takes practice, you practice more if it’s something you really want to do, and therefore learn it faster. Learning really doesn’t require sitting in a classroom 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. Or maybe it does if you are being force fed subjects about which you have no interest and which are served like dry toast.
Last week, while many kids were writing reports on obscure topics or memorizing math equations, unschoolers were busy with other things. In our house, for example, a business was started. Maya & her friend opened an Etsy shop to sell their handmade earrings. Opening the shop required getting a bank account and a Paypal account, as well as figuring out how much to charge for the earrings and shipping, both domestic and international. If you’d like to visit their shop (inventory is currently limited) you can click here.
Ben, on the other hand, saw a video today that inspired him. It’s the British Honda commercial, which you may have seen. If you haven’t, here it is:
None of that was done with computer animation, which is what makes it so remarkable. (People can still build stuff!) Ben watched it and then disappeared into his room, emerging a little later with his blocks. He made several attempts at rudimentary ‘domino effect’ projects, none of which worked. Finally he called me in to show me this one:
Not bad for a seven year old. I hear more blocks crashing to the floor in the bedroom as I write this, so the effort continues.
I had nothing to do with either Maya’s idea to open an on line shop or Ben’s idea to try and do what the Honda guys do. They did it on their own and I put in the assistance necessary (co-signing the bank account, filming the project).
That’s learning. As valuable as anything ever learned in school.