My kid hates studying, Can’t seem to find himself in school, he is always bored and nothing really intrigues him and I’m so worried about him – What will become of him? How will he make it in the big world? Today without (at least) a Masters degree no one in the market would ever look at him… What do you do? A desperate anxious mother.
Learning Experience – That’s the only way to study!
Who said so? I did :))
Personal confession and proper disclosure.
Let’s start with a personal confession and a proper disclosure, alright? I never enjoyed structures! Structures in general and educational structures in particular. I never put up with them as a child, a teenager, a college student (for one miserable year) and even to this day I have a hard time and grind my teeth, every time I tried putting myself into an educational environment I failed miserably. And although from a young age I was characterized as a gifted child, in my old age I have no degree to hang up on the wall, no certificate, and not even a certified profession. And despite all of that, others might call me a vast fountain of information and knowledge, and the more I know the more I aspire to learn more and more, praise the lord, I never went hungry and always found a way to make a living, and surprisingly enough to hundreds (or maybe even thousands) of my clients I never had to provide any form of education or certificate. strangely so, in some regarded aspects in my life I dealt with a form of… education! To many of my students I honestly say that the only way you can find me in a class room is if I’m allowed to be the… Teacher :))
Maybe that’s why I always understand all of those kids who can’t find themselves in a class room setting and maybe it is also why, for many years, I was attracted to planning and developing products, books, games and learning methodologies that encourage informal and outdoor learning methods. Sadly for most of my students and adults, learning is a hard task, obligation and even hardship (in extreme cases it is even a form of punishment) which is why we tend to associate learning to educational structures and while going out offer pure enjoyment – But what happens if we change the definition and structure and create a whole new equation where learning = Enjoyment and fun?
So what do you do with school? Skip it?
Believe me, I have no intention of getting into this important and complicated issue: “So what do you do with school? skip it entirely? choose anthroposophical, democratic, open education courses or maybe even home schooling?” Mainly because I believe that the answers to these questions change from child to child and one family to another. Both of my children went to community schools and still study there and both of them don’t intend to stop now (Although I did suggest the subject a number of times). Apparently school holds other aspects besides the educational part and not every child is suitable for different options than the regular education process.
Which is why I will try to show you and offer you a different approach, one that can be performed in every household, during leisure time and outside of the educational system.
Learning= Enjoyment and fun! How to create that equation?
Food for thought…
Learning experience, as it is aptly named: Learning out of experience, encounters and adventures. In learning experience the student hardly knows he is in a “class” and the material becomes a part of his consciousness without him even noticing it. Learning experience uses all of our senses and art methods and tools familiar to all of us, the learner is invited to smell, feel, observe, listen, crawl, jump, peak, open, close, dance, sing, paint, film and more – and while doing so exploring, understanding and realizing new worlds of information.
Another magical aspect of learning experience is its independence from time, in experienced learning you don’t stop one activity in order to do another but you learn-as-you-go… how?
Simple! By folding pairs of socks you learn to sort by size, type and color. In grocery shopping you learn to identify quantities and numbers, subtract, add, multiply, and calculating percentage. By cutting a pizza or a pie you learn about fractions, and with baking a cake quantities and chemical reactions… path is clear, right?
Where do you learn?
learning experience can be performed everywhere while considering the difficulty that might arise from the location of the place and creative therapy with every challenge, for example: Can you learn under the night’s sky? Tourist attractions, parks, petting zoos and nature hikes summon a different form of learning, but the advantage of this education is in fact its disadvantage- multiple sounds, visions and sights might create an over stimulance for kids and thus triggering an adrenalin reserve that will create the famous “can’t sit still” syndrome which just means over franticness and damage to their attention and focus. Which is why many people revert to the conclusion that learning should be done in a closed setting, where there are four walls and the children can focus on the board and the teacher… But what if we turn the weakness into a strength? It is most definitely possible.. The whole secret lies in one aspect: Instead of attempting to stop the bursts of energy you can channel them to the desired outcome.
Genius tip: Look back!
Oftentimes in order to understand the present we should take a peak in the past… of course they didn’t teach children in a closed setting throughout the history of mankind, and in the past kids learned while performing various tasks and became knowledgeable adults through observing, mimicking, experimenting and trial and error. So I defiantly do not suggest leaving your child in the nearest meadow and going off to work. but on the other hand leaving the learning space up to the educational system alone might create the known equation: Studying=punishment, necessity, burden – a thing you can easily change. Well then, desperate mother – There is a better chance your child loves learning, just not in the old and familiar way, and not everything bores him – It just looks like it.
Here’s what you should try!
What can you do? First and most importantly: Ask him! You don’t always have to be the one with the answers, sometimes it’s much simpler to just ask.
And if the answers you get aren’t good enough, wear your sherlockian hat and go on a small exploration and research journey. Observe him and try to see what sparks his excitement, what intrigues him? What brings a smile to his face? Then try different experiences – Trip, cooking, gardening, picnic, camping… And in each of these experiences try to implement a little experimental learning – I guarantee you that soon enough you will find the answers and the whole learning experience will become much more enjoyable both for you and your child in every educational aspect.
And who knows, he may even find himself in the school system, finish high-school, college, university and bring home as many certificates and degrees as the eye can see.. and even if not, console in the fact that these days you can be happy and bring home a living (and an even fair one) out of almost everything – weird as it may be… Even from playing video games!
And just before we say our goodbyes… If you haven’t watched this lecture – There is no way you are off the hook now! It is not only your privilege but your duty, so press here.
Hope I helped!
To your success and mine!