"I have no patience with the stupidity of the average teacher of grammar who wastes precious years in hammering rules into children's heads. For it is not by learning rules that we acquire the power of speaking a language, but by daily intercourse with those accustomed to express themselves with exactness and refinement, and by the copious reading of the best authors."
I have seen this principle at work in the lives of some of our greatest authors!
But it doesn't apply just to grammar. We acquire the 'power' of living life 'by daily intercourse with those accustomed to [living life] with exactness and refinement, and by the copious reading of the best [lives]"...not by pounding rules and doctrines of right living into our heads.
Art credit: The Storyteller by Jacques-Clement Wagraz (artrenewal.org)
I learned something new as I read about Marie Curie. The word used for high school was Gymnasium and the reasoning was that it was used as a place to 'exercise' the mind in preparation for the rigorous studies ahead at the University level.
That's how I feel about our focus--it's not about mastering content at this level. It's about exercising and stretching a child's learning faculties in preparation for a lifetime of learning. When students graduate from formal schooling, they attend a Commencement ceremony--a commencement of learning. Not a conclusion to it.
"The normal [child] demands a story. The Bible does not open with a scientific disquisition upon the evolutionary hypothesis of anthropological origins--it begins with the story of Adam and Eve. Even the Great Teacher did not speak without a parable.
"This is the law of life. It is more; it is as vital as breathing."