Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. ~ Margaret D. Nadald

Our Father also gifted us with the nature to nurture, keen sensitivity to the Spirit, selflessness, discernment, and heroic faith. No wonder our Father placed us at the heart of the family and thus at the center of the plan of salvation. We are the Lord's secret weapon. ~ Sheri Dew

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15 September 2008

What does the word "education" mean? PART 2

Education is indeed a journey. I believe in mentors, people with a sincere interest in your journey, almost like a good travel guide! Someone who finds your destination so exciting that they can't help but take part in your preparation. These people do exist within the public and private school system. We've all come in contact with at least one. These are people who inspire you to be a better person, and thus help shape who you are.
I find that for the most part every person has good intentions. I feel that teacher's do not become teachers for the money (which we've all heard isn't that great), but they too want to be the change in the life of someone else. This certainly happens along the way whether they are a good or poor teacher. However, our system of education doesn't really allow for a steady one on one mentor-ship that existed before our time.
Instead, we have over crowded classrooms in some cases (and legislation that requires smaller classrooms for certain ages because they realized that a high teacher to student ratio wasn't helping kids learn to read and do mathematics), and many children get overlooked. We are all in a situation where starting from age 4-5 there's a requirement of conformity. I believe that our children must behave appropriately in social situations, but forcing them to learn the same way as another child is almost barbaric.

I came from a home where out of five kids, we all learned differently and we all had different interests. I have a sibling who by "the standard" would be considered ADD or learning disabled, and that's the biggest crock I've ever heard! How can a child who could look at something and take it apart just to see how it worked and then put it back together again without help be "disabled." This child continued on being BRILLIANT in art and hands-on science, but is regarded as dumb because the tests that require memorization of abstract concepts weren't "up to standard."

I easily am able to pick up information and regurgitate it for a test regardless of the method of delivery. By "the standard" I am brilliant, but I honestly feel like I know nothing. I may remember a little about everything, but I don't feel like my knowledge is near sufficient for the praise I get. The best thing that ever happened to me is to get married to a man that stimulates me mentally, and now supports and is part of revamping what we've both known as an education. Together we've been able to see the flaws of the current system and hope for more for our our little ones.

We've learned that learning means a lot of different things. We've learned that information we hold on to is more important then information "learned" and lost. We want for our kids to LOVE learning. We want them to be inquisitive and think outside of the box. We want them to guide their own learning, and study what interests THEM. We want them to be held accountable for their knowledge by discussing with us and others. We want our children to look to us as their mentors and know that we have a full interest in them SPECIFICALLY. We want our children to always be excited to grow. We want our children to be leaders... thinking about why things happen or why they are the way they are. We want them to question the world, and try to make it better. We want them to gain knowledge for themselves, and not for government testing that deciphers funding.

Most importantly, I want my children to be happy. Proverbs 23:12 states: Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge. President Hinckley stated "I don't care what you plan to do as your life's vocation, but prepare yourselves. Get the best education you can. Qualify yourselves in the best way you know how. It's part of a mandate from the Lord that you train yourselves." I think this definitely speaks to what is happiness.

If you're happy with your method of education/living, then this ISN'T for you. Please continue reading, but don't bother to comment. However, if you are feeling like maybe where your kids are isn't quite right for you or your family (whether it's because you feel like their education isn't adequate or you're stressed out running all over on another entity's schedule) please consider what I and fellow homeschoolers have to say.

I'll write my own story of why we started thinking about homeschooling, and what finally pushed us over into committing to it, in my upcoming education part 3 post. In the meantime, I'd love for you whether your happy in your current place or not, to read a friend of mines blog:

Becky is an amazing person. I am truly grateful to have met her. She is a mom of 9 kids and is currently homeschooling. She did not always homeschool though, so she has a perspective that I wanted you to read. Her post can be found here.

**Maybe by reading yet another segment of my thoughts you too have been encouraged to consider what an education means to you. I hope that perhaps you might feel inspired to better yourself and continue learning. I was directed to this site that I find an incredible resource. It was created for LDS mom's, but I think it's perfectly geared for dad's too, and people of other faiths would find it useful. It includes gospel study (which for LDS goes along with readings for gospel doctrine... but others can easily just read whatever goes along with your Sunday school classes or personal goals), and then adds in many other areas of life that one can study up on, as well as provides a forum to discuss what you've read or done with others. Just an idea!**

Happy learning!

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