Posted in Independent Education, Inspiration

Learning Math Isn’t Child’s Play

Our educational system is designed around the premise that learning is something that happens in school while you are a kid, and once you come out the other end you are “educated”. Especially with classically academic subjects like math, science, language, and art, most people consider themselves to be “done” learning these things once they have their diploma, and whatever learning takes place after that is likely to be strictly job-related. In fact, many people become stagnant in their learning process once they leave school, learning just as little as possible to get by. This is a waste of human potential.

As an adult independent learner, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to learn more math for yourself. There is the opportunity to broaden your conceptual understanding of the physical world, as well as the abstract realms of logic and pure thought; there is the opportunity to develop your own scientific ideas; and there is the opportunity to overcome personal limitations for the pure joy of accomplishment. If you have children and want to participate directly in the process of their education, you have a perfect opportunity to learn alongside them and overcome any self-limiting beliefs about math you may still have lingering from your own childhood.

There is a long-standing cultural belief that kids are better at learning than adults are, but a recent article in New Scientist debunks this myth: “The mature brain, it turns out, is more supple than anyone thought…What’s more, we now understand the best techniques to accelerate knowledge and skill acquisition in adults…” What skills or knowledge do you wish you had developed when you were younger? The second best time to start is now.