Picture this….a scientist’s lab complete with bubbling test tubes, mice in cages, and dozens of colorful beeping machines all offering feedback to help you achieve the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for.
You’re at home with your child watching him building with those colorful connecting blocks to create massive cubes, robotic creations with grappling arms, and spaceships that can fly.
They’re very different; yet, so similar.
Focused, purposeful, inquisitive, creative, daring, learning.
Leaving security and venturing into the unknown happens with both scientists and children (and hopefully adults).
Experimentation leads to discoveries.
1. There’s lots to try and lots to learn.
I reflect on my venture into homeschooling constantly by trying new things in an effort to engage, provoke, structure, un-structure, and guide to learn.
Let’s try this fun math worksheet- fail.
Let’s try this fun math game- success…then fail….then success!
Let’s do some writing- fail.
How can you show me what you’re learning ?
It’s a Minecraft book. Ah….interesting….
Success…in the early stages, but so far, so good.
It’s all so unpredictable. We’re dealing with unique human beings here; not chemicals in a test tube.
2. The struggle to “accomplish” is a good thing.
Focus is important; but you must make room for experimentation to be very messy.
Experimentation will take you off track, stretch you to attempt nonsense, plummet you down in exasperation, and raise you up.
It will force you to wonder, explore, ask questions, and take chances.
Experiments will fail….sometimes miserably.
Yet even that is success.
I’m trying to start a business- it’s tough going; yet I’m learning tons.
So, am I successful? YES! Laughably, but undeniably so.
I’ve experimented with social media, design, promotion, and the list goes on.
These are topics that I never experimented with before.
Your child does this every time they learn a new skill. Whether it’s learning how to tie his shoes or multiplying fractions, life and learning can be challenging.
All new. All a struggle.
3. No one has an easy answer.
If there was one right way to do things, nearly everyone would follow the same path. No one knows the one right way to cure an illness, take care of a loved one, build a business, or teach a child.
Life is made up of choices and although many people can offer guidance and experience, we must all find our own way and make our own choices.
4. Learning is growing.
I’ve always told my children that 100% makes me sad. It shows me that there’s not much more learning going on. Either it was all “achieved” and it’s over, or it was too easy and there wasn’t enough stretching or growth going on.
Learning never earns a 100%.
Learning never ends. Instead, it expands.
5. It’s fun.
Most of life involves experimentation. When you take risks, accept that you might make a wrong choice, and are prepared to take life as it comes- it’s fun.
Experimentation is how we learn.