June 25 Home School Conference Highlights

For those of you that could not make it to the OCEAN Conference on the 25th,
Here are some quick nuggets of wisdom and encouraging humor I gleaned from the Key Note Speaker, Rick Boyer & his wife Marilyn.

I just enjoy hearing new speakers on the topic of the education system and raising a family on purpose. It gives me new energy and feeds my vision for what we are striving to accomplish with our little lambs God has blessed us with.

It is so refreshing to sit in a room full of like-minded believers who are really trying to be the light and teach their children, to be the light being a part of their education through enjoying learning with them. Rick & Marilyn have a ministry called the “The Learning Parent.”

Here are the Nuggets:
(things we have all heard many times…. But I am in a stage in life I find them humorously obvious)

Public School- Why it doesn’t work- differently people learn differently- if you have ever had more than one child you know how unique God has designed them… obviously they have their learning strengths and weaknesses- which are unique to them. Public School puts them in a room and expects all the kids to learn the same way and the same thing… like little robots.

Did you know that 80% of children diagnosed with learning disabilities are BOYS?
I had not heard that before, totally makes sense… boys learn differently than boys.

“School & Education is not the same thing”
“Learning is not memorizing, it’s becoming”
“The great achievers in life are not great memorizers, they are great dreamers”
Education is the byproduct of real learning, not regurgitated, inaccurate and blasphemous knowledge

“School can make you knowledgeable, but it can not make you wise”

School interfered with Louis Braille’s education…. He came home and told his mother that school was taking too much time and interfering with his learning… she took him out and home educated him from then on…

“School and Education aren’t the same thing.”

“Knowledge and Wisdom aren’t the same thing.”

“Design a lifestyle of service- oriented learning, take your child by the hand and walk with them through it”… allowing God to teach you in the process.– I love this b/c whenever people ask me what I teach or how do I teach my response is that life is education… we are constantly teaching our children and embracing learning as well as personal spiritual growth. You put in what you get out of it. Life is an unlimited resource of learning, knowledge, and gaining as well as gleaning of wisdom.

For the argument of socialization Rick made me laugh:

“Socialization is for socialists” – I do not claim this statement, its a quote…

Ben Franklin said, “Learn from the skillful”

Schools age segregate, how are children learning from the skillful when they are only socializing with their own age?

When Rick was asked why they don’t do Sunday school and youth group with their children, he answered plainly…. “they group youth. The family is God’s chosen youth group! “

When asked “Don’t you want your kids to fit it?” His reply and ours as well has been, “Absolutely not, I want my children to be leaders, not followers.”

Our children learn more about building relationships with their siblings then children who go to school eight hours a day and “Change cells at the sound of a Gong.”

Get your Priorities Right:

“You can’t home educate if you are never home.”
“Do fall into societies trap of getting over committed with extra- recreational activities.”
“It takes time to build relationships with your kids… it takes time to teach reading… it takes time to read a book.”
“You can’t get your hands dirty in no books”– there is a value in experiencing the trade of interest from apprenticing with a real live person
I have been bothered for a long time by the lack of work ethic of the young people in this country… when I went to college I had a trust fund, but I did my best not to use it. I worked hard, got scholarships, so I could save that money, which now is split up in trust accounts for my children’s futures. I served the Lord in between academic years on the mission field and then came home to work hard and make money for school. I had 6 weeks. Did I get just one job? No, I had 3 jobs! I worked early in the morning at the pool, some afternoons as a receptionsist at my mom’s work, and sold knives as a sales rep for Cutco (doing around 30-40 presentations a week). I wanted something, to go back to school. So I worked for it. I didn’t want hand me outs. Today though it seems kids not only want hand me outs, they expect it from their parents and others. They think they should get paid more for less work. They want free education, free health care, on and on. They want no responsibility. If that is the typical reality of most of this generation my children are going to be sharing the future with… I have to be proactive about teaching strong work ethic. How do you teach work ethic? Get your hands dirty… have the kids work. God created us for work, work is good. If you delight in your work, so will your children. Get in the dirt and get your hands dirty with them.

“Books are canned experience”
I like this quote a lot!!! There are people out there today that believe the only way to gain knowledge and understanding is through going to a class, getting a degree, going to a counselor… While all of those things are highly valuable and good, I believe it is small-minded thinking to believe that is the “only” way to learn. This way of thinking comes from their own experience of standardized education. There has been a belief in the past that you need only a degree to get a job. This kind of thinking is proving to be very inaccurate. While certain professions do require and need specialized training (brain surgeon, engineering, etc), the reality is that in today’s world if you need a resume, you are already done interviewing. Experience, intelligence and having the right contacts are where it is at in these days. Now, are you going to have the right kind of networking contacts if you are lazy and never work, or if you spend ten years continuing your “education” by just going to school and never getting experience in the work world? The answer is unlikely no. Oh you might find a job, but you may have to settle for a lot less than you think you deserve b/c you spent so much time following the advice of what our education system gives… go spend more money on a higher education… that is where the value is. The reality is… books are others people’s canned experience and well as great resources for knowledge. You can glean so much wisdom and learn so much from books. They are a treasure trove of knowledge. And what is great is that you can pick what you want knowledge on. Experiences can also teach wisdom or the lack of it. This is the difference between the thinking of a follower and the thinking of a leader- dreamer/innovator.
Do kids today value reading and learning? Or do they do it because they “have to?” In today’s fast paced technological world…. Sitting to read a book has become a “waste of time” to so many. I didn’t grow up reading books. I got through high school with a 3.85 gpa having only read “All Quiet on the Western Front” all the way through. I was able to get the info needed to regurgitate for tests and do great through reading cliff notes and watching the movie versions of Great Gatsby, Oliver Twist, and Fahrenheit 421. Then I went to University in a different country and soon learned how low the standards were at the school I went to. The University I went to in Canada had such higher standards, that cliff notes would not even pass. I realized I didn’t even know how to study a topic and think independently from the material. No in the public school I was scared to share my opinion b/c I disagreed with some of the underlying beliefs of thought. Once at a Christian school, one that wanted their students to be independent thinkers, not just believing what the teachers say… I grew, grew in love with reading and thinking. I am so thankful that Isaac, my husband, was so into growing and reading. He brought reading, non-school related books to life for me 12 years ago. Since home educating my children I have grown more and more over the years… realizing that in order for my kids to love reading and learning it is something you as a parent have to do with them. It is not something you can do just once and then check off your list. No building a relationship with learning and reading has to become a lifestyle. Your children have to see you doing it, regularly, sometimes instead of doing other busy things. Then they need you to be reading to them a good amount every day. It is the same thing with loving the Lord and the word of God. They have to see you reading and praying often and experience you doing it with them throughout the day as well. If you aren’t, you can’t expect your children to just become Christians. Children learn more from what they see and do than what they hear and are preached. So be encouraged, if you are walking the talk… chances are your kids will walk the talk with their children. It is a purposeful legacy one has to work at leading. It takes work ethic as well. Any discipline in life has to be taught… that is why it is called a discipline. I was so encouraged to hear from Marilyn Boyer that all 14 of her children managed to have their own special quiet times, and they aren’t at the same time of day… it is scheduled so that they don’t get asked to do something else during their time with the Lord, but how neat to see that the nine they still have living at home all have a time that is where they can give their best to God. For some who are morning people it is the morning, for others who are not they do it later in the day.