what is an education

what is an education anyway?

Forget every notion you have been told of what an education constitutes. What do you think an education is?

Guess what? You are allowed to answer that question for your child.

And if you question whether you have the intelligence to appropriately answer that question, don’t be in self-doubt…of course you do. This is your child.

Does it seem daunting? It certainly is likely to. It doesn’t have to.

I’ve stopped counting the number of times I’ve been asked if I’m a certified teacher. Nope. I’m not. Does being a certified teacher enable me to educate my children better at home? Nope, it doesn’t. In fact, statistically, being a certified teacher has no bearing on a child’s education. Though they have classroom management skills and are familiar with standardized learning materials, and there’s no doubt they have loads of skills that engage children, years of experience that home educating parents might not have in the beginning–I am not denying their skills– that doesn’t mean they have a right to take my children under their auspices, or that I can’t learn what I need to learn, or that I am not more motivated to learn about how to teach my children than someone else.

I want to know how to engage my child, teach them when necessary, and capture their little hearts. I have the motivation.

Curiously when I ask the kindergarten teacher about grade 2 math, she doesn’t know what to say…or how to approach those concepts. When I ask a high school English teacher how to approach a history discussion with my elementary aged child, she doesn’t know what to say. Turns out, teachers don’t have the full breath of knowledge in their minds. No kidding. I’m certainly not claiming to either. Why do we think we need to? Google doesn’t, or YouTube– but they’re both pretty helpful. And when it isn’t so helpful, there are always books. You just need to know where to find the information. A little research and it’s findable.

When I was in junior high, we bought our first computer: a Tandy EX 1000. The only computer training we had en masse was the logos program via junior high school, which did next to nothing to help me, rather confuse me in wielding xs and os. I’m pretty sure they meant something, but I didn’t understand… Some thirty years later, anyone that wants to know, knows how to use a computer, knows how to use a phone, a fax machine (oops, we don’t use those anymore), knows how to google, youtube, facebook, link in, whatever is important to you. Why do they know? Because they found out, by themselves. Ta da. The human mind is capable of figuring stuff out because it wants to.

Why do we assume kids need everything taught to them anyway? We assume that something needs to be done to them. These kiddos came into the world learning animals. They learned a load in the first year, two years, five years, before they enter the doors of a kindergarten. They want to learn because they do.

When we ask the question, what is an education? we’ve just begun to formulate the best approach to acting on our children’s best interests, just begin to really consider who they are and what they need.

“Self education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child’s nature”.

Charlotte Mason

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