Learning by doing

20 Jul


Joshua, 2 1/2 years old, learns to use a sewing machine to sew a felt pouch for his toy fire engine

Joshua will not be going to school, for reasons I have explained earlier. He will not be “home schooled” either. When I told a young lady about this today, she appeared horrified and muttered “You can’t do that, it’s illegal!”. I hope she thinks about it a little more, but shock is a good start.

What is Joshua doing in this video? He’s learning, and loving it! He didn’t have to be bribed, threatened or praised, he just wanted to do it. That is how children learn. We are not here to educate them, but to provide them with the resources, guidance, safety and autonomy they need to explore the world on their own terms. Joshua will be “educated” that way. It works. Some call it “unschooling”. I prefer the term “natural learning“.


Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Life, Psychology and Sociology


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4 responses to “Learning by doing

  1. yalandarose

    July 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm

    now i feel bad. i took sewing lessons as an adult and i still couldn’t catch on

    • nicolasconnault

      July 21, 2012 at 1:27 am

      Tell me more about that please 😉

      • yalandarose

        July 21, 2012 at 1:53 am

        i always wanted to sew because the designs i envision look much better than what they have on the racks so i took a weeklong sewing class, and i was intimidated by the speed of the foot pedal, and i just couldnt catch on. each morning, the lady would have to show me how to thread my machine as if was the first lesson. my heart jumped every time i put my foot on the pedal, i was so afraid of stitching my fingers. at the end of the week the lady teaching the class ending up finishing the dress for me and telling me i did a good job. my aunt tried to teach me to crochet, but she is right-handed and i am left-handed, and we tried various methods to get in sync and even tried practicing in front of a mirror, but i just couldn’t get it. as patient as she is, she even gave up on me. i still have my sewing machine though and one day i am determined to learn how to use it.

      • nicolasconnault

        July 21, 2012 at 5:32 am

        Thanks for sharing 🙂 I don’t know if that will help, but I’m a man and I am quite confident with my wife’s sewing machine, because my mum taught me how to use it when I was little.

        But you’re quite right, it’s an intimidating machine, and I remember having visions of perforated fingers quite often 🙂 However, I’ve injured myself with an iron or a potato peeler far more often than with any sewing machine, overlocker or embroidery machine (yes, I’ve used all three!).

        I’m sure you’ll conquer the beast one day, then you’ll never look back 🙂


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