However yesterday my eldest son wanting to buy some Lego strongly recommended to me that maybe the best thing to do with the fallen fruit was to pick it up and sell it... all. Not bad for a five year old and not a bad outcome for me on a Saturday morning!
We then rushed around the lawn and with the speed of lightning, had picked up the appropriate feijoas, bundled them into zip-lock bags, then repacked the bags for equity reasons. I was then instructed to put together some signs and posters to display on our front drive. After about 10 minutes of no-one knocking on our door for a purchase, we decided that if the customers would not come to us, we would go to them!
We then bundled as many bags into my youngest son's buggy, strapped him in and the Kelly Feijoa Corporation was off....mobile! Optimistic but realistic, I explained to my eldest son that we might sell all our wares, sell some or hopefully not, sell none! Impressively and highly focused he was undeterred, asking me to help him with working out with what he should say to his potential customers. We thought long and hard about this and finally worked out what we thought would be a good sales pitch:"Good morning, would you like to buy some feijoas for $2.00 a bag?" Innovative I know! We also decided that regardless if we made a sale (yes!) or not (lawnmower time!), the response would be "thank you, have a nice day!" After all, these were our neighbours.
To his credit, my eldest showed a lot of courage going up to the various residences and either ringing the door at least twice (some people are old, Daddy!) or knocking on the front door or window with tremendous gusto. In the end, we did really well. Most people bought feijoas and did so with a large smile and admiration for the enterprise-in-play. The only customer that my son and I formed a different of opinion of (in his words, a very lovely family), not only bought a bag of the feijoas but then after a delay of what seemed like an hour, also gave my son a 2 kg bag of additional feijoas for him to sell. Hmmmm!
After about an hour, we returned to our residence, counted up our, sorry my son's takings and by some miracle the amount he ended up was the exact amount he need for his soon-to-be-purchased Lego. Everything is awesome!
When I look back at this experience, it was great fun but also great learning for my son and indeed his father. Through feijoa learning, it showed that when a child is passionate about something, they will give it their all and come up with great creativity and industry, particularly when given sufficient time, space and freedom. They don't care what the time is or within reason what it takes. Feijoa learning also emphasised the value of authentic learning; my son had to accept that despite his tremendous marketing and selling pitch, not everyone was a buyer. Furthermore, some people had their own feijoas, own trees or like this writer, a distaste for the fruit. Feijoa learning also enabled my son to grow very confident in speaking to adults and learning to be patient when some purchasers went to get their money. Lastly he learnt in the real world, authentically and ultimately gained just reward for his idea and effort.
This left me with a greal deal of pride in my son but also got me thinking. Just imagine if every student, teacher and/or school had feijoa-style learning as part of their education, imagine the impact and benefits to our students. The context would be awesome, empowering and genuine real-life learning. Just don't ask this one to buy any. Now strawberries, that would be another story!