What do I mean by this made-up pseudo-math? I mean that a person can learn a thousand immeasurable things more by doing something than by reading about it. If there is even one person who would argue with this "math", please tell me your thoughts. (It would happen that I believe this with the fervor of a fanatic - and I love being challenged on deeply held beliefs. Truly. It gives me an opportunity to re-examine them and make any necessary adjustments - be it shoring up, or replacing irrelevant parts.)
I suppose another way to express it is that practical trumps theory. Is theory necessary? Yes, absolutely. But theory is the jetway and practical is the jet. And my what a convenient metaphor I just came up with there because it just so happens that I also believe that travel is the [insert clever metaphor here] of experience. Some are a bit run of the mill but still offer enough variety and favorites to please the crowd, others are just different enough to be new, exciting and interesting, while others still are all glitz and glamour and one can hardly believe ones own eyes at the Wow! of it all.
We haven't quite made it to the glitz and glamour, but we are doing what we can to get the New, the Exciting, the Interesting. And by "get", I mean "give". To our children. As gifts.
In my homeschooling mom's book:
Travel = Experience > Stuff
We've never been the kind of family that has oodles of toys and gadgets for our kids to play with. (Sometimes I have a literal jaw-drop experience at the vast oceans of toys that some children have in their rooms/play areas. And then I have to quickly shake it off and smile and wave and be polite because no one wants to be told that they are over indulging their child with waaay too much
Too late for a long story short, so I will just say that what we do buy for our children are trips. And books. And flour. And borax. And art supplies. And a life that include
Does it mean that our kids never played with toys? Not at all. That they never get stuff from "Santa"? Of course not! What it does mean is that we go underboard with toys and above or overboard with experience. I would say that I try to be balanced but it would be a bald faced lie. I'm the person that measures sums of money in terms of travel value. As in "Twelve hundred dollars?! That's plane tickets to Florida!". (Look, I know Florida is no great shakes for culture and amazingness, but my mom and sisters and grandma and other relatives are there and family connection is also Very Important to me. And it's still travel! And they have Science Museums and parks and fun stuff.)
But I've said too much. It's not just about travel. It's about the doing of the things. The touching the feeling the pouring the cutting the finding the miscrosoping the telescoping (not yet, but soon!) the dirty hands and messy house, and most of all the wide eyed wonderment and the ever natural high inducing "Aha!" moments of discovery.
I don't want to give my kids too many of the things that will lose their shine and appeal and end up in the landfill one day; not when I can give them the excitement, the adventure, the boredom, the thrill, the "OH MY GOSH!", the "are we there YET?!" and later, the memories and the stories told excitedly to anyone who will listen.
What it all boils down to for me is that:
Stuff doesn't get as much mileage as airplanes can.