You Can Lead a Horse to Water

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...but you can't make it successful.

Education, much like a stream or body of water, holds vast potential. You can go anywhere with it, do anything, gain much power and understanding. But this potential isn't the issue.

We are.

The question is: What will we do with the education before us? Compulsory education has proved again and again that forcing kids to sit in class does little to educate or motivate them. They have to "own" their learning. Their parents have to "own" it as well. Teachers can inspire--absolutely--but they can't force a kid to retain or apply knowledge. So, like the proverbial horse by the water, education is not the filling of a bucket, but giving a thirst.

Homeschooling develops this kind of thirst. Great books open our minds to the wide world out there. The freedom to explore our interests allows us to find joy in our work. The more open nature of literature gives us a chance to think and explore ideas typically predigested in textbooks. The opportunity to filter experiences and history through more than a limited naturalistic view of the world allows us to see more meaning. In short, learning on our own enables us to create an educational experience that encourages us to take responsibility and make the most of the time we have been given... not merely wait for a bell to ring.

I got excited about homeschooling yet again this morning when I read a post about the dwindling power of a college degree. We've seen the lackluster value of college degrees in those who occupied city parks for the past couple of months. This potential shift away from college reminded me of a post I read a while back that suggested investing in a business start up instead of college may be a better deal.

Not that I'm against college. I met my best friend and wife at my university. I had a great time. My college years were very influential. But they were also expensive. And, perhaps, the water trough you pay to visit isn't worth the expense if you're longing for fresh spring water in the mountains.

Do you find your homeschool curriculum gives you and your children a thirst for learning? Have any thoughts about the "dwindling power" of a degree?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester

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Filmmaker, Writer, Pseudo-Dad
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