homeschooling, homemaking, homesteading...home.

Quotes

...about learning, living, and more.

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An education is not just a technical training in the arcane knowledge of a discipline (whether that be history, politics or a science). It is a training in how to think and evaluate, how to marshal evidence for and against a position, how to approach a problem critically without falling prey to prejudice and preconception. Those are skills that everyone from bank manager to politician, journalist to local government functionary, needs every working day. But to train those skills, it is necessary to excite an interest. And somewhere along the line between primary school and university, we are managing to stamp out that sense of excitement and enquiry. We will rue the day we lost sight of that.


--Robin Dunbar, “How Many Friends Does One Person Need?: Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks.

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"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life." ~ John Lennon


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The rest of your life is going to be a continuing education, whether you sign up for it or not.

There were two vitally important things I learned in four years of college, and all the rest has been built on those two things. One was how to think more clearly, and the other was how to use language better...that's it: logic and language. But that's all you need. The rest is experience.

...I think the opposite of ignorance is not just knowing something, it's being curious about it.

-- Things I Overheard While Talking To Myself, Alan Alda

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...I've had too much experience with students who learn material, pass tests, and promptly forget everything to place my main focus on temporarily filling brain cells with irrelevant data. However, I do believe that children need to gradually build and expand their understanding of the world around them, and must be allowed to accomplish this in a way that will help them to remember the information they are gathering.
--Mary Hood, Ph.D., in "The Relaxed Home School"

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Our long experience in homeschooling has shown, time and again, that an intense interest in anything inevitably leads everywhere.
--Rebecca Rupp, "Home Learning Year by Year"

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Anyone can memorize facts and figures, but the real way to learn anything is to go out and experience it and let your curiosity lead you.
--"Ted", from Curious George: The Movie

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When you work to prepare children for life, you can't tell if you're doing a good job right away. Children are riddles. Who they long to become is only revealed little by little during their educational journey.
--Jack Petrash, "Understanding Waldorf Education"

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You will want your children to be clear about the choices you are giving them the freedom to make and why your family is choosing to be "different". If you kids don't have a positive vision of their education for themselves, you run the risk that they will just feel weird and unsupported.
--Grace Llewellyn

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Parenting is serious business, but once in a while, we need to make a wholehearted mockery of ourselves.
--John Holt, "How Children Learn"
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If the sky's the limit, I have to quit staring at the ceiling. If not, how can I give my own child the wings to fly beyond it?
--John Holt, "How Children Learn"

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The goal of unschooling is not education. It is to help a child be who she is and blossom into who she will become. Education happens as a side effect.
~ Joyce Fetteroll

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Kids who are in school just visit life sometimes, and then they have to stop to do homework or go to sleep early or get to school on time. They're constantly reminded they are preparing "for real life," while being isolated from it.
--Sandra Dodd
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Isn't it tempting to jump in with a solution? Absolutely tempting to quiet their quivering little chins, and dry their eyes, with a failsafe, can't miss solution. But do do so consistently says, "I'm in control of your life" and "I know how you feel." We aren't. And we don't, really. And while it may seem a comforting thought to "know how they feel", it also denies them their own feelings.
--Kim John Payne, M. Ed., in "Simplicity Parenting"

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When we open up our child's schedules, we make room for anticipation. Just as it's hard to cherish a toy that's buried in the middle of a pile, it is hard to anticipate something when we're always busy, or when we're trying to do everything now.

...When we allow this "on-demand" mentality to color our children's perspectives and schedules, then they lose the gift of anticipation. The joy of waiting. The passion of expectation.
--Kim John Payne, M. Ed., in "Simplicity Parenting"
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When we talk over and under and around a child--when we talk too much--there's less space for their thoughts, for what they have to say. A child's curiosity and creativity are stifled when they believe that something is not "real" unless, or until, you talk about it. It's hard for a child to go down deeply into their play when someone is telecasting their every move. Processed information is like processed food: quick and easy. We often fly into soliloquies, overexplaining, and predigesting every experience for our kids.
--Kim John Payne, M. Ed., in "Simplicity Parenting"

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It's not that I feel that school is a good idea gone wrong, but a wrong idea from the word go. It's a nutty notion that we can have a place where nothing but learning happens, cut off from the rest of life.
--John Caldwell Holt

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    If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
--Antoine de Saint-Exupery
   
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The education of a man is never completed until he dies.
-- Robert E. Lee

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Many people think of "good schools" or elite colleges as the ultimate educational opportunities. Yet these institutions are not nearly as fundamental as a person's attitude, sense of personal power and possibility, and comfortable familiarity with a wide range of subjects and activities. If these qualities are well developed, many kids naturally experience schooling as stimulating and helpful. But in that case, they also have what they will need to benefit from many other opportunities...And conversely, without this inner "preparedness", which is mostly provided by the family, kids will struggle to learn in any school they attend.
--Guerrilla learning: How to Give your Kids a Real Education With or Without School


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As a society it sometimes seems as if we believe that hurrying our children into regimentation will make them tough and realistic, keep them from being vulnerably dependent on the protection of loving parents. Yet like academic hurrying, this independence-hurrying often has an effect contrary to our intentions. Paradoxically, it may prevent kids from growing up strong and independent. Independence grows from unconditional love, trust, and having one's appropirate dependency needs met, not from premature withdrawal of support.
--Guerrilla learning: How to Give your Kids a Real Education With or Without School

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I completely understand why people feel a need to use curriculum and be more "schoolish". It's just not so much in my nature to be so structured - that's just me. And I struggle with that. I worry about it frequently. That is why it's so reaffirming to hear strangers talk so highly about him. It's more than academics in my mind. It's about nurturing his essence, his being, and allowing him to BE. I have faith that the learning just happens as long as he has the freedom, nurturing, and resources available to satisfy his curiosity about the world.

He's more my teacher than I am his. It's an amazing journey.
--Patty (MotherArt)

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In early child development, the commonly accepted understanding is that there is really no difference between development and learning for infants and toddlers: they are one and the same.
-- "Buy Buy Baby" by Susan Gregory Thomas

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These days, many well-meaning school districts bring together teachers, coaches, curriculum supervisors, and a cast of thousands to determine what skills your child needs to be successful. Once these "standards" have been established, pacing plans are then drawn up to make sure that each particular skill is taught at the same time and in the same way to all children. This is, of course, absurd. It gets even worse when one considers the very real fact that nothing of value is learned permamently by a child in a day or two.
--Lighting Their Fires, Rafe Esquith

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We teach people how to remember, we never teach them how to grow.
 --Oscar Wilde

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Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.
--Plato (BC 427-BC 347) Greek philosopher.

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If we...take a clear look at what our children need to learn by the time they are in their teens, we can see that they need to know how to read and to enjoy reading, to speak well, to write coherently, to understand basic mathematical concepts, to know how to find information, to have a passionate interest (or two, or more), and to have skills that give them high self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities.

--The Unschooling Handbook, by Mary Griffith

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...mathematics is so much more: pattern recognition, sorting, measurement, logic, problem-solving, probability, statistics, topology, and much more.


 --The Unschooling Handbook, by Mary Griffith

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This reluctance to evangelize unschooling has a number of causes. Part of it is sensitivity to conventional skepticism or even hositility toward homeschooling in general; if the general public doesn't approve of parents teaching their own children at home using conventional methods, what are they likely to think of unschooling?
 --The Unschooling Handbook, by Mary Griffith

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...we parents so often think that our children's success will come from professional accomplishment, when in reality it will first and foremost come from emotional stability.
--Rabbi Shmuley Boteach



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Isn't something infinitely precious lost when we lose our sense of wonder? Isn't there something inherently tragic about an inability to find something interesting in what you already have? Isn't the ability to see the magical quality in even the most mundane event or object one of the great gifts of childhood?
--Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

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I had become really good at getting good grades--a skill you can learn without learning anything else at the same time. I had successfully learned to play the game.
--Lewis Black, "Nothing's Sacred"

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Most parents identify only with the adult world, and, unfortunately, believe their responsibility as parents is to mold their children into conformity with that world...A child, of course, has not reached the stage where he or she can function in conformity with the adult world, therefore, expecting a child to do so is like insisting that a fish function just fine in air.
--"Living Joyfully With Children"

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We focused on nourishing [our childrens'] wholeness, intrinsic strength, and emotional reserve to enable them to move gracefully into adulthood. Some of the elements of wholeness we considered important were that the children felt honored, valued, and respected as individuals by us and others, were confident and free of fear, able to participate with ease in social situations, and were thoughtful of others. We wanted them to be equipped with good manners, integrity, and ethics; to have the confidence to be independent of peer pressures; to be mature enough to seek resources of wisdom; and to look forward to life cheerfully.
--"Living Joyfully With Children"