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.
Ask Yourself The Following Questions.
- 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.
A Thought Provoking Series:
School, Education, Learning, & Homeschooling
This is Part One of a Four Part series. This series of articles and podcast episodes are designed to help you think through your own belief system about education and how your beliefs impact your approach to education, life, and, homeschooling.
Four Part Series
- What Do You Believe About Education. That’s this article.
- Defining School and Education.
- How Do You Define Learning?
- Your Beliefs About Homeschooling.
Listen To The Podcast Episodes
Sure you can read the article, but you can also listen to this episode on the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast. Our podcast is available nearly anywhere podcasts are played. It’s Episode #48. We suggest listening on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.
This podcast episode is conversational in nature and conveys far more than we can share in an article. Listen to it while you’re unloading the dishwasher, exercising, or running errands! It’s free to follow our podcast, so click the follow or subscribe button when you listen!
Listen to this episode on the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast!
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 to become a physical education teacher, and 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 many of you felt the same way upon finishing the traditional schooling path called public education.
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, 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? 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.
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 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. It’s an outstanding book that has put to words much of what I have come to think over the past two decades.
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.
You can find a summary of the classic book Dumbing Us Down and a video of John Taylor Gatto here.
Focusing on Connection Before Curriculum
Your belief system about education impacts how you raise and educate your children in a tremendous way.
For the most part, I’ve been homeschooling my kids since they were born. However, I struggled to homeschool our youngest child, and eventually she attended a private school for a while before homeschooling again. Homeschooling my oldest daughter was considerably easier and I have homeschooled her throughout her entire childhood.
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. There are many styles of homeschooling that you’ll want to explore. However, regardless of how you approach homeschooling, I believe that your connection with your 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.
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, about how your mindset impacts your children, then listen to the HomeSchool ThinkTank Parenting Podcast. Join parents in more than 50 countries to 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. 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?
Many people think of children in a classroom when they think of education. Was this your first thought?
Ask Yourself The Following Questions
- 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 other people from other cultures educate their children?
- Why do other people educate their children as they do?
- 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 actually 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?
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 understand 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.
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.
The Next Episode: Defining School & Education
In the next episode, we’ll take a look at school and education more closely. We’ll truly define the words and take a look at the history of the words and how they have evolved over time. With this is a thought provoking episode, you’ll reflect on your own experiences and the lifestyle that you want for your family.
Read or Listen to Part Two: Defining School and Education.
Are You Thinking about Homeschooling?
If you’re thinking about homeschooling, then you want to read or listen to THINK HOMESCHOOL: Live & Learn Your Way. I wrote this book to help parents decide if homeschooling is the right decision for their family.
I think that our society has been very well trained to believe that school equals education. 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.
I genuinely believe that homeschooling is about far more than school. Homeschooling really is a lifestyle that is about your entire family.
Learn More About How We Serve Homeschool Families
If you would like to keep up with HomeSchool ThinkTank and learn how we serve homeschool families, please join us here.
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