We learn by doing.

At what age did you first hear that phrase? Early we learned to toss a ball, then to color a picture, and then to hold a pencil. We learned by doing.

When I look at the picture of the students sitting in the one-room school I attended I can recall the repetitive process. We did indeed learn by doing but we also learned by hearing. Each class would go forward to the front of the room for reading, math, spelling, geography, science, and history. We heard students from kindergarten through the eighth grade, memorize the alphabet, the multiplication tables, the preamble to the U.S. Constitution and the Gettysburg address, to name a few assignments. We knew those would be our assignments someday.

We do indeed learn by doing, but we learn in many ways. We learn by reading, by writing and by discussion. We learn by observation and through another person’s sharing. We learn when we challenge our knowledge about a subject and seek more information. And as adults we learn from children, things we have forgotten; how to watch clouds, listen to the wind and explore with a sense of adventure.

As I write this, it is becoming more apparent that to learn by doing involves both active and passive ‘doing’.

Many young people entered their classrooms this September with goals in sight. Each class period, one more step toward a destination. Maybe September is a good month to set a learning goal or take a walk with a child and let them teach you about really important things.

May your day land Jelly-Side-Up