We were talking with some family over the weekend about our growing menagerie of animals. I know they think we’re odd, but, hm, my goal in life is not to please my extended family. We said that we have animals for a variety of reasons – mainly for food and for education. Education? What? What could they possibly be learning?
What could they possibly be learning? Oh. my. gosh.
Randy mentioned just two possible things that Wally’s learning about right now: biology of animals, and reproduction. (I was in prime I’ve Gone Mute form, and said nothing.)
Well, this brought lots of snorting. And this comment: “Well, I didn’t have snakes or rabbits growing up and I somehow managed to learn about reproduction.”
interesting. The only comment I could think of was “but you weren’t homeschooled,” but I thought THAT comment might have come out as more negative towards homeschooling than how I meant it, which was overwhelmingly positive. You didn’t GET to have rabbits or snakes (or chickens, goats, crabs, fish) as completely awesome and fun learning tools because you weren’t homeschooled.
Can you learn about how mammals and reptiles reproduce without ever seeing either one reproducing? Sure. Can you learn about cloud formations and their relation to weather without ever going outside and looking at the sky? Yes. Can you learn about fractions without baking cookies? Yes.
Sure you can.
But it’s a much richer experience when you CAN see reproduction first hand. When you can see the clouds and experience the weather. When you can bake cookies to see that fractions have a real life purpose. And while some schools incorporate some hands on stuff like this (and they’re getting better all the time), homeschool really allows for an endless variety of hands-on, practical-life, enriching activity. Hell, for many of us, they’re not even enriching activities, they’re the whole lesson themselves.
CAN you learn without these types of hands-on, real-life experiences? Yes. But why would you want to?