I learned the world through incidental poetry. Maps had no charm for me, although I drew them and labelled them obediently. It was the words falling out of sentences, the suggestions of old sounds, that educated me.
The fig trees of Lebanon, and the hot golden wind coming in off the sea. White nights in Russia, ballerinas dancing in stolen palaces, the witches and talking wolves of deep fir forests. Coracles on the stony Hebridean sea. A map and a textbook will inform you of these things ... but poetry, but story, but old monochrome photographs that show you the memory or dream of the thing rather than its bright stark reality ... here is where you will find their heart. And gently, only barely told, so there is space for a relationship to weave between that and your own heart.
I see the detachment of our youth today, and I wonder at their education. I'm guessing it's efficient, transmitted through whiteboards and handouts and computer programmes. I'm thinking they learn about Russian forests and fine-boned ballerinas only as a side effect of studying the Revolution. They probably don't push the desks back and dance like Cossacks. They almost certainly never read obscure poets. They are informed. Their books are all new.
I can think of nothing sadder than teaching our children the facts of the situation.