Thursday, June 07, 2012

Real Life is Better Than a Textbook!

The one thing I am gradually really absorbing over time is that "textbooks" and "classes" can only go so far in teaching someone.  For real understanding, there simply isn't anything better than "doing".  If you want to learn to count change...count change, don't do a workbook.  If you want to learn a science principle, do it, don't read about it.  Kid oriented instructional materials are just inadequate sometimes for anything more than a brief overview of something.  And really, apprenticeships were honest-to-goodness hands on learning of real life, applicable didn't have huge textbooks and tests to take to learn trades.

It is with that in mind that I jumped all over the opportunity to kickstart our study on Elections by working on a campaign!  A dear friend of our family approached me about the possibility of the kids being involved, and couldn't have known how perfect the timing was.

So this morning I woke up to an email saying that our Candidate, Greg Thornton, was announcing his candidacy today at a downtown location, and inviting us to attend.  After checking out his web site and reading his stance on many issues, we were quite enthusiastic to see he alligned quite well with our own beliefs.  Off we went!  Observations from the kids were:

1)  He is REALLY young, like us!

2) No one knows him, he needs us to help.

3)  We like what he stands for.

4)  This could be really fun.

5)  Let's get to work!

At the moment, Josh and Kenny are next to me creating sandwich boards to wear at Main in Motion tonight, our summer evening weekly event here in Small Town America.  We were already recruited to be in the 4th of July parade for Greg, and who knows how else we can get involved.  Putting learning into action is much more interesting that just reading about it!

 Thanks to our young candidate for posing with us and enthusiastically embracing our help as he grabbed two kids to hold flags for the event!!

 Matthew holding his first campaign sign!  Time for a change...time for Greg Thornton!

 Watch out, Montrose, Joshua is ready for the campaign trail!

 Angela...who has already expressed a desire to get into politics one day, is very serious about this unit study we are doing and even approached Greg by herself to ask about his stand on a couple of key issues.  Good for you, Angela!  This would NEVER be possible in Kazakhstan.

 Yea, he's young...but so are we...and everyone can make a difference in America.

 Snow cones for Greg!

Kenny listening seriously to the Candidate's speech. Then, the real work began...:

These are my two most likely to be politically active, who want to have a voice in their world, who are social justice oriented.  I have a funny feeling that we may just beginning something big for them as they discover that indeed, one person CAN change the world.


Carrie DeLille said...

So cool!

Hilary Marquis said...

Way to go, Professors LaJoy!

Anonymous said...

"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
--Nelson Mandela

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."
--Barack Obama

"Instead of hating, I have chosen to forgive and spend all of my positive energy on changing the world."
--Camryn Manheim

"I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people convinced they are about to change the world. I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference."
--Ellen Goodman

"You can't make footprints in the sands of time by sitting on your butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?"
--Bob Moawad

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world."
--Mahatma Gandhi

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."
--Margaret Mead

Right on Team LaJoy! You are already changing the world in positive ways. Your love and action ripples out.


Karon and John said...

What a wonderful teacher your kids have. Capturing authentic teachable moments, linking it up with personal interest and talents, is truly how to widen the scope of your students lives.