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Some education requires more than texts and lectures

Fall means back to the books, right? What about education beyond classrooms, books and computers?
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for learning, and I love books. But some education requires more than texts and lectures.
For example you can read about how to change the oil in your car, but to really understand, you have to put the information to work. You have to get under the car.
If you raise ducks, you can find helpful online videos about treating bumble foot, a not uncommon foot condition, but you will learn much more by observing your ducks and performing the corrective procedure when necessary.
You can watch a show about fishing, but you will have to pick up a pole and head to a body of water to know what a fish on the line feels like. Do you know the feel is different depending on the type of fish and the style of fishing?
Learning about history is vital in my opinion. As the saying goes, "Those that don’t learn from history are destined to repeat it." Usually that’s not a good thing. So it’s important to apply a knowledge of history to current events, not just get lost in memorizing facts.
What about something very practical, like food production? Do you know where your food comes from? Do you understand how it has been handled or processed on its way to your plate?
Have you ever tried growing your own food? Have you planted a seed, nurtured a plant or picked a ripe vegetable? Could you distinguish the growing vegetable plant from the weeds popping up around it? How did you decide when to harvest?
If you had more produce than you could eat fresh, what did you do with the rest? Did you try canning, freezing or dehydrating?
Fresh eggs are great, but do you have the basic carpentry skills to build a chicken coop? Could you add a wall to your house or build a deck? Lots of resources exist to help you along, but true understanding requires picking up tools, assembling materials and getting to work.
I won’t deny that accumulating facts is essential, but true learning happens when information is applied to current situations or needs.
Learning mathematical operations and theories can be intriguing, but it’s their application in things like accounting, science, engineering, medicine or architecture that makes them worthwhile.
Your level of hands-on education can greatly contribute to your level of independence. The more you can do for yourself, the less you have to depend on — or pay — others to do for you.
So what are you and your children planning to learn this year? Look around. Could you try a small house repair? Does a room need painting? Could you pick up skills by building a storage shed? How about trying a new hobby?
Learning applied is more meaningful and better retained. If you don’t see ideas around you, pay attention to what your children are studying at school and find ways to apply the information.
Yes, the kids will be hitting the books this fall, but what hands-on skills do you plan to teach them or learn with them?

Published: September 11, 2017
New Article ID: 2017170909962