How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?...If I wished a boy to know something about the arts and sciences, for instance, I would not pursue the common course, which is merely to send him into the neighborhood of some professor, where anything is professed and practiced but the art of life;-to survey the world through telescope or a microscope, and never with his natural eye; to study chemistry, and not learn how his bread is made, or mechanics, and not learn how it is earned; to discover new satellites to Neptune, and not detect the motes in his eyes, or to what vagabond he is a satellite himself; or to be devoured by the monsters that swarm all around him, while contemplating the monsters in a drop of vinegar.
and if Henry has you captivated...it goes on
which would have advanced the most at the end of a month-the boy who had made his own jackknife from the ore which he had dug and smelted, reading as much as would be necessary for this-or the boy who had attended the lectures on metallurgy at the Institute in the meanwhile, and had received a Rodgers penknife from his father? Which would be most likely to cut his fingers?...To my astonishment I was informed on leaving college that I had studied navigation!-why, if I had taken one turn down the harbor I should have known more about it.
And because the picture of Thoreau is rather dry-I'll add a video :) Our current backyard fun: