Remember how our parents scolded us to stop playing and start studying back when we were kids? If you were like most youngsters, you probably resented it each time because, frankly, you’d rather spend time with your toys than with your books.
Well apparently, playing and learning can be done at the same time. Take it from Isaac Morehouse, CEO of career launch platform Crash and founder of startup apprenticeship program Praxis.
Morehouse, who grew up being homeschooled by his mother, believes playing with Lego is actually much better than learning algebra. According to him, he and his two siblings were taught and raised by their mom who also took care of their disabled dad. As such, they didn’t have “much consistent, structured learning,” despite their mother’s best intentions.
Instead, Morehouse shared he spent most of his time helping out with household chores and playing with the popular toy.
In a lengthy blog post, he reflected that “between the ages of 4 and 13, roughly half of (his) time any given day was spent playing with Legos.” This, he later realized, proved to have worked for his advantage over other kids when he finally went to school, “one year in high school, and then college,” he shared.
The values and skills he gained were way more valuable than what he learned from textbooks, he said.
As Morehouse explained:
“Confidence comes by overcoming challenges and solving problems. Especially problems that are meaningful to you. Building entire cities with plastic blocks is time-consuming and can be very challenging. When you’re done you get so much more than a gold star or a pat on the head or a lifeless word on a page that says, ‘Correct’. You get to see and touch and play with a tangible creation.”
He further compared:
“Algebra is about figuring out puzzles when you don’t have all the pieces. But most kids don’t really know this and don’t really care. I didn’t. But I did love solving complex problems without having all the pieces…as long as those pieces were small bits of colored plastic. None of us had enough Legos to build exactly what we envisioned in all the right colors and shapes… You’ve got to break some other pieces in half and improvise. Lego building is nothing but a series of complex design problems with a constant absence of the right pieces. I loved solving for X, as long as it was the X-Wing spacecraft.”
The possibilities are indeed endless when it comes to Lego and builders are only limited by their imagination, as well as their available pieces. Also, Morehouse isn’t alone in teaching that playing with Legos “is superior to textbooks and schools and teacher-guided learning.”
Watch this research by University of Cambridge and the LEGO Foundation:
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