Living is learning. It is impossible to be alive and conscious (and some would say unconscious) without constantly learning things. If we are alive, we are receiving various sorts of messages from our environment all the time
A notable hadith of The Prophet PBUH is that the best of you are those who learn and teach the Quran. From cradle to grave learning is a living act. Abu Huraira RA quoted another hadith from The Prophet PBUH which says ‘Verily, the world is accursed & what it contains is accursed, except remembrance of Allah & those who associate with Allah; & a learned man, & a learning person.’ (Tirmithi)
Indeed, when a child is playing, fidgeting or messing around exploring his synaptic signals become stronger, his neurons form new connections, and his brain grows. Anyone, who does not question around and ponder on the creations with his own lens can fall prey to any scientific (or unscientific) theory (or hypothesis) without his own practical observation.
When I was searching through the Homeschooling curriculums, I observed the famous ‘Singapore Math’ had constant repetition of Number Facts. It forces the child to sit for hours repeating the same Facts unless he has digested them and starts reciting them unknowingly. My son (Grade 1) was doing this tedious task, until one day he brought his colours and started colouring in the Exercise book rather than practicing more math. Practicing doesn’t make perfect, especially the concepts in nature will stay the same. Until we differentiate rote memorizing and conceptualizing them. Later, I bought ‘The good and the Beautiful’ curriculum, which came with a wooden box containing a dice, a set of Dollar paper currency, set of coins, fraction dices, 4 metal aircrafts including a rocket, helicopter, jetliner, and biplane. Now he plays in Math, a pretend shopping with Dollar currency, rockets have to skip through the maze etc. I am not against memorizing, rather it comes routinely with games in this curriculum.
Sometime during first grade most children will be told, and asked to write down and to memorize, that 2 + 3 = 5. This may be called a "number fact," or an "addition fact," or both. The children will almost certainly be given a list of such facts to memorize and repeat on demand. Their books and teachers will explain and illustrate this fact in different ways, such as showing a picture of two baby chicks, then one of three baby chicks, then one of five baby chicks, or some other "cute" thing that children are supposed to like.
Jay Wright Forrester defines mental models as:
The image of the world around us, which we carry in our head, is just a model. Nobody in his head imagines all the world, government or country. He has only selected concepts, and relationships between them, and uses those to represent the real system (Forrester, 1971)
A mental model is an explanation of someone's thought process about how something works in the real world. It is a representation of the surrounding world, the relationships between its various parts and a person's intuitive perception about their own acts and their consequences. Mental models can help shape behavior and set an approach to solving problems and doing tasks. A mental model of a Native American (Indian) will be different from a resident of Los Angeles. A modern man might ‘Google’ all his information in order to save the pain of hands-on learning; like Native Americans followed stars to go back home, or depend a lot on natural resources, ate pure and tayyib. Following Google maps back home won’t be a necessity for them, as per their mental model follows the stars.