What you believe about education has a tremendous impact on your children. In this article, we’re going to help you evaluate your belief system about education. In addition, we’ll guide you through various questions that will help you reconsider your core beliefs and view about the educational system.
Questions About Education
- What is education?
- Why do we educate our kids?
- Where does education take place?
- When should education happen?
- How should you educate your kids?
- Who tells us how to be educated?
It’s time to begin examining what you believe about education and why you believe it.
As parents, we need to think about how society impacts our belief system around education. It’s also important to consider who tells us how we should educate our children and your thoughts about this.
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A Little of My Story: Education
Hi, my name is Jackie and I’m the host of the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast. Today, we’re going to visit about what you believe about education, but first I want to share a little about my story and how it has impacted my own beliefs about education.
Like most people, I went to public school. I actually excelled in public school. For the most part I was an A/B student and I graduated near the top of my class. I’m not sharing this to brag but to shed light on my own belief system and how it has changed over the years.
What Do Good Students Do?
While I had no idea what I wanted to be when I grew up, I did what good students do and went to college. While I did well in my classes, I floundered through nearly six years of college. I simply had no purpose and didn’t know I wanted to do with my life.
I didn’t recognize my own strengths or how to use them. So, while I may have excelled at studying and getting good grades on tests, I didn’t have a true sense of purpose in my life. I was simply doing what I had been trained to do.
I was going to school and being a good student.
When I did choose a path, I can’t say that I chose a natural path for myself. Have you ever done something and done it well, but you just knew it wasn’t what you were meant to do? That was me. I went to school, completed the teacher education program, and became a physical education teacher. While I love children, I can tell you that I was not born to be a P.E. teacher.
How is it that I could go to public school for 13 years and leave without any real idea about what I wanted out of life? I don’t think I’m alone. I imagine that you may have felt the same way upon finishing the traditional schooling path called public education.
A Thought Provoking Podcast Episode About School, Education, Learning, & Homeschooling
Reconsider all that you have assumed is true about school, education, learning, and homeschooling when you listen to the podcast episode that goes with this article.
This episode is designed to help you think through your own belief system about education and how your beliefs impact your approach to education, life, and, homeschooling.
Can You Relate with My School Story?
When I had a great teacher or read a great book, I REALLY loved learning. However, why was it that I rarely pursued education with intention and on my own?
How could I love learning at school and have high expectations for myself, but then discontinue my education as soon as a semester came to an end?
Why did it take me years to pick up a book after finishing college?
Why do I feel like I’ve learned more in the past few years than I did in my entire public and college education combined?
The Pitfalls of Becoming a Good Student
I believe that I had become such a good student that I had learned to wait for others to tell me what and when to learn. Ultimately, I had not developed my own learning process.
Thankfully, I have come to recognize this pattern that our society has developed.
As John Taylor Gatto states in his book, Dumbing Us Down, “Good students wait for a teacher to tell them what to do.”
In many ways, good students are the compliant students who learn to silence their own curiosity and wait for others to tell them what and when to learn.
Like many students of the public education system, I had learned to value other people’s opinions above my own. Being a good student was important to me.
Today, I believe that much of childhood is about learning. However, childhood is not about learning to become a good student.
“While much of childhood is about learning, childhood is not about becoming a good student.”
Have You Read Dumbing Us Down?
If you haven’t read Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Agenda of Compulsory Schooling by John Taylor Gatto, I strongly recommend it. In his outstanding book, Mr. Gatto has put decades of thoughts similar to my own into words. I don’t think I could have stated these ideas better.
In his book, the late John Taylor Gatto talks about the public school system.
“What’s being taught isn’t new. In fact, generation after generation has been learning the same hidden lessons. The lessons are so well disguised, that even well-meaning teachers and administrators don’t realize how well this agenda has been packaged.”
The Seven Lessons
“Teaching means different things in different places, but seven lessons are universally taught from Harlem to Hollywood Hills. They constitute a national curriculum you pay for in more ways than you can imagine, so you might as well know what it is.John Taylor Gatto. Dumbing Us Down: The Hidden Agenda of Compulsory Schooling.
Why Focusing On Connection Before Curriculum is Good for Your Child’s Education
Your belief system about education impacts how you raise and educate your children in a tremendous way. I’d like to share how I learned that you should always place your connection with your child above curriculum.
Struggling While Homeschooling
For the most part, I’ve been homeschooling my kids since they were born. However, in the early years, I struggled to homeschool our youngest child. At one point, homeschooling was so difficult that we enrolled her in a private school.
With the help of a therapist, I eventually realized that once our daughter reached school age, I had shifted from prioritizing our connection to prioritizing her education. I now realize the grave error that I had made in parenting and teaching our young daughter. As a result, I believe that, as parents, we should prioritize our connection with our children over any curriculum.
There are many different ways for a child to learn a concept, and we should be open-minded in our approach to teaching and guiding our children’s education. As homeschooling parents we need to focus on having positive relationships with each of our children.
Eventually, we cautiously returned to homeschooling our young daughter. This time though, I took great care to nurture our relationship.
By the way, homeschooling my oldest daughter was considerably easier. As a result, I have homeschooled her throughout her entire childhood. She is now a homeschooled high school graduate who is pursuing higher education with college classes.
Flexible Homeschooling Approaches
As a result of the challenges I’ve had, I now realize that I was trying to replicate the school system in my home and that caused many problems. Over the years, I discovered that following the school-at-home model was causing my family more home than good. Ultimately, we shifted to more of an eclectic homeschooling approaching – and each child pursued their education in a more individualized manner.
As a homeschooling families, we have many choices about how we approach education. However, regardless of your preferred teaching strategies, I believe that personal connections with each child should always come before curriculum.
If you want to understand more about the challenges I’ve had and how I think you can avoid or overcome similar challenges, then visit this article and podcast episode entitled Connection Before Curriculum. If you are struggling with homeschooling, implementing the suggestions in this podcast episode should result in a positive change.
Your Mindset About Homeschooling & Parenting
Years into motherhood, I had continually homeschooled our oldest daughter and had returned to homeschooling our youngest child. With the triumphs and tears of experience behind me, I had the hindsight to see what I had done well and where I could have done a better job as a homeschooling mother.
As a result of my own experiences, I have a deep desire to help other homeschooling parents avoid and overcome some of the challenges that I’ve faced. I genuinely want to help parents thrive as they homeschool their own children.
As a result of creating the services that we offer at HomeSchool ThinkTank, I’ve come to believe that one of the best ways that I can help homeschooling parents is to help you become aware of your own belief systems and how that impacts how you raise and educate your children.
If you want to continue to learn more about homeschooling, parenting, and about how your mindset impacts your children, then listen to the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast. Join parents in more than 70 countries and listen to our Monday episodes about mindset and our Wednesday episodes about homeschooling & parenting.
What You Believe about Education, Learning, School, & Homeschooling
Now that you understand where I’m coming from, let’s visit about what YOU believe about education.
Your beliefs about education began somewhere, so let’s talk about that.
- Regardless of how you were educated, your beliefs are largely derived from your past experiences, your family history, your culture, where you spend your time, and the people you spend the most time with.
- Your beliefs are based on personal results and the results of the people around you.
- In addition, your beliefs are also largely based on your projections of the future.
- You can change your belief system unintentionally or intentionally.
In essence, society has a tremendous impact on what you believe about education.
Think about how people from different cultures around the world learn.
Consider how people have learned over the centuries.
Questioning Your Own Belief System
I want to challenge you to start thinking about what you believe to be true about education. What did your learning experiences look like as a child?
Consider thinking about what the word education means to you and what you envision when you think of education.
- Where do you think your beliefs come from?
- How does your belief system impact who you are today?
- Have you considered how what you believe today impacts your future and your children’s future?
Our society has been fairly well trained to equate school with education.
At HomeSchool ThinkTank, we believe that education and school are very different concepts. When many people think of education, they envision children in school. What picture comes to mind when you think of education?
When education is mentioned, many people think of children in a traditional classroom education environment. Was this your first thought? Do you think this is the best way to guide learners toward great learning outcomes?
More Questions About Your Educational Beliefs
Our society has been very well trained to believe that school equals education. However, at HomeSchool ThinkTank, we believe that school and education are quite different.
We are not generally aware of our own beliefs about school, education, learning, and homeschooling. When you examine your belief system about these concepts, then you have the ability to make a conscious choice about how to educate your children.
As you ask yourself the following questions, consider how education is different from school.
- What is education?
- Why do we educate children at all?
- What does education look like?
- Why do we educate children as we do?
- How do people from other cultures educate their children?
- Why do people educate their children as they do?
- What does an educational environment look like?
- Where did education take place in the past? Think broadly: last year, 5 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years ago, 500 years ago, 1000 years ago.
- How is education happening during the pandemic?
- Where could education take place?
- When should education happen?
- Who tells us how to be educated?
- Do parents need to be told how to educate their children?
- Who tells parents how to educate their children?
- How do you and your children learn best?
- What is the purpose of education?
The goal here is to start examining your own belief system about education. We want to help you understand why you believe what you do about education. It’s important to gain a greater understanding of how you came to believe these ideas.
When you are conscious of your belief system around education, then you have a choice to continue believing as you do or to reconsider all that you have previously believed to be true. You can choose to keep your current belief system, but you can also choose a new way of thinking about education.
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Visit about Education with Your Kids, Family, & Friends
Become mindful of what you have historically believed to be true about education. Have a discussion with your kids, family, and friends about education. Ask what comes to mind when they think about the word education.
Read the Next Article: Defining School & Education
In the next article & podcast episode, we’ll take a look at school and education more closely. We’ll truly define the words school and education. We’ll also examine the history of the words school and education and take note of how they have evolved over time.
With this thought provoking article, you’ll reflect on your own experiences and the lifestyle that you want to create for your family.
Read: Defining School and Education.
Are You Thinking About Homeschooling?
If you’re thinking about homeschooling, then read or listen to THINK HOMESCHOOL: Live & Learn Your Way.
I wrote this book as a starting point for parents who are thinking about homeschooling their kids. THINK HOMESCHOOL will help you decide if homeschooling is the right decision for your family.
If you would like to see your kids as active participants in their education and have an active learning experience, then homeschooling might be for your family.
Homeschooling is about far more than school. Homeschooling really is a lifestyle that is about your entire family. If you want a more detailed description of the pros and cons of homeschooling, then begin reading or listening to THINK HOMESCHOOL today!
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- Learn more about the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast.
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Your Philosophy of Homeschooling
At HomeSchool ThinkTank, our philosophy of homeschooling centers around connection first, then community, then education. You might want to read our blog post or listen to our podcast episode about developing your own teaching philosophy around homeschooling.