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Get Smart

Learning is a natural human need. And nothing damages development like the American compulsory education system. But we can heal ourselves and our children from that damage by fostering the joy of discovery

No Child Gets Ahead

As a child, I loved learning. I remembered everything I heard and read. I had all the answers. But when I raised my hand, I was dismissed because "it was someone else's turn" to answer the questions. I was subtly conditioned to be ashamed of being "too smart." But I also I felt social empathy for the kids who were embarrassed for not knowing the answers. But I was not allowed to help them. So I started to act stupid.

Traditional schooling damages our ability to develop independent learning with enforced "equality." The "smart kids" can't excel, or accelerate their learning while other kids can't keep up. Those who fall behind feel increasingly stupid.

Let's forget about unpacking that luggage and just haul it to the trash

Quality is not Equality

Quality learning engages intellect, emotion, imagination, sensory experience and physical activity.

No person is the same as another. We all have different interests and varying degrees of motivation. But educational efficiency dictates uniformity for society over individual fulfillment. However, it is individual interests and desires that drive motivation to learn. People only remember learning when it is something they are personally interested in. So it is exceptionally inefficient to require everyone to learn the same thing at the same time. (Educational Philosophy has been wrong for nearly 200 years. Maybe we should do something about that.)

If a child loves dinosaurs, they will quickly and easily learn and retain the names and traits of various species, and may even learn which belonged to what time periods. This may naturally grow into an interest in geology, climatology, zoology, or botany. Adults can deliberately cultivate and expand those interests with books, toys, models, and media.

Be careful not to pigeonhole a child's special interest, or over identify traits. "My child is a naturalist," is an example of turning interests into identity. Just because they are excited about the natural world, does not mean they are incapable of being mechanical or technological as well. They may find skill creating a robot dinosaur. Or they may become interested in film making and special effects dinosaurs. They may do drawing or storytelling related to their dinosaurs. If integrative learning is well cultivated, their interest in dinosaurs can become extinct, but their passion for learning and skill development will continue.

Making Decisions 

We have an Intellectual Need to make decisions. When a person takes personal ownership of learning, intellectual satisfaction increases.

In contrast, when people do not have choices about when, what, and how they learn, a fog descends on the learning motivation. Give children multiple opportunities to make choices and share their interests. Allow them to teach you and others to multiply efficacy and empowerment.

Explore, Work, Play. Its all Learning

Give yourself and your children choices to cultivate the joy of discovery and personal empowerment. Love who you are now. Be excited about what you are becoming together. That is the essence of true human learning.

 We love feedback. How else are we going to learn. Please share your thoughts.

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