What does it mean to be


What does it mean to be educated? As parents we desire the best for our children. We go out of our way to give them the tools to live the best possible life. We picture them chasing their dreams, traveling the world, achieving success, and becoming masters of reality. Public school has a way of turning dreams into nightmares. It turns eager to learn five-year olds into unmotivated ten-year olds. We have all heard it, “I hate school.” Can you blame them? Children are forced to spend their childhood looking at concrete walls eight hours a day, five days a week, 162 days a year, for a minimum of 12 years. They are punished for talking out of turn, have to raise their hand to go to the bathroom, and are denied the opportunity to study topics of their own choice and interest. Is it any wonder the average 18-year-old graduates high school with virtually no real world skills?

We as homeschoolers have the advantage of being able to follow the interest of our children. If they are interested in photography, structure their education around photography. If they are interested in construction, structure their education around construction, and embed the skills you want them to learn within whatever it is that they are already motivated to study. Learning should be hands on, fun, and in context. Critical thinking should always be prioritized.

When children study science, it should be within the context of doing experiments and prioritizing an understanding of the actual scientific method. They should be setting up controls, identifying independent and dependent variables, formulating hypothesis, and recording observations. when they study history, the skill of getting back to primary documents and first-hand accounts should be prioritized as much or more than the history itself. Children should read primary documents from people on both sides of historical events & formulate their own unique understanding of what happened. When children study English they should be encouraged to write as creatively as possible and should be actively engaged in the editing of their own work. Doing so prompts young people to think critically about grammar and literary style. Their childhood should be filled with STEM projects that challenge them to come up with unique and creative solutions. All of these strategies promote critical thinking.

Skills should be prioritized. Children should do projects like making kites out of wood, learn the skills of carpentry, the basics of engineering, different styles of art, photography, videography, and more. Learning subject matter is important, but skill development is just as important and is completely neglected by the public school system.

Parents can then evaluate their child’s skill set and guide their children to use those skills to gain entrepreneurial experience. A child who can make a ladybug feeder out of wood is a child who could be guided to sell ladybug feeders on sites like Etsy. A child who takes to photography can be prompted to start a seasonal photography business around Christmas. Follow the interest of your child, use that interest to prompt critical thinking and develop skills, and use those skills to get your child entrepreneurial experience.

The measure of a worthy education should be how capable the learner is of living a free and independent life when they reach the age of maturity. They should not be dependent on the government, they should not be dependent on corporations, and they should not be dependent on their parents.

They deserve an education worthy of freedom.

Brett Pike – Classical Learner