Education Is More Than Child’s Play

I suppose my biggest regret in life is that I didn’t get a college education. I used to think that someday I’d go. I’ve let go of that now. I realize that all I really want to do in life doesn’t really require a degree. However, I never want to stop learning. I am always reading, researching, and trying out new ideas.

Though I know it is not necessary to have a college degree to make it in life. It is highly important to me that my children get a good education. I guess as a parent, I want them to be afforded the opportunities I wasn’t. That being said, I also know there are many valuable lessons for them to learn in the school of life. These lessons will shape them as people and directly affect their futures.

It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense. ~Robert G. Ingersoll

It seems I have recently been bombarded by “educated idiots”. I have a lot of patience, but I draw the line on plain stupidity. I wonder how some of them actually managed to receive college degrees. It worries me even more to know that these people are in charge of sensitive material and important tasks, yet they are incapable of simple everyday tasks.

I think morals and manners are just as important in the real world as an education. An education alone will not suffice. It might open doors, but it takes more than that to reach the next level.

Memorization is a great tool, but not of great use if one does not have an understanding of the concept. In school. I spent hours memorizing numbers and trivial data, but it was much later in life that I actually comprehended what I was studying…and now I don’t remember the trivial data, but it is the understanding of the concepts that is important.

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. ~Mark Twain

Though I was a good student, I learned as much through social interaction and in plain living as I did in a classroom. The lessons with the biggest impact on me have been life lessons not things I’ve read from a book or have heard in lecture.

I am not an auditory learner but a visual one. You can tell me something and chances are you will have to tell me again. If you demonstrate it, I usually get it right away. I admit it is taking me a bit longer to learn my bike gears! But my point is that we each learn differently, and the most important ideologies are not necessarily taught in a classroom.

A child educated only at school is an uneducated child. ~George Santayana

Education not only starts at home but should be encouraged and nurtured on an ongoing basis. Parents have just as important roles in their children’s educations as teachers and the entire school system. Never underestimate the prodding of a parent or the power of a teacher. Personally, I have had two teachers who influenced me greatly, and I am still in contact with both of them. One was an elementary teacher, and one was my high school English teacher. I credit my elementary teacher for introducing me to reading and writing poetry and my high school teacher for her encouragement of my writing ability in general.

I think it is important for a child’s basic education to begin at home. As great as Sesame Street and preschool teachers may be, it is not their job to teach basic strucure that should come from parents. It is a parent’s responsibility to teach their children morals and manners, both of which are lacking in today’s society. Children also should be taught at home that their contribution to society and the world in general is important. I don’t feel they should be raised to expect the world to take care of them. Don’t we all want our children to grow up to be productive contributors to society?

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. ~Aristotle

The problem I have found with many educators is their enforcement of their own opinions and beliefs on their students. I witnessed my own children having their papers marked down because their thesis did not correlate with the attitude of the instructor.

As parents, it is our jobs to teach our children that they can listen and understand others ideas, but not have to believe in it. They also need to be taught that it doesn’t make them right or wrong, nor does it make the other person right or wrong. We should all learn to be respectful of the ideologies of others. Being accepting does not mean one must sdopt them for their own.

The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think – rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with thoughts of other men. ~Bill Beattie



28 thoughts on “Education Is More Than Child’s Play

  1. As someone who didn’t take college class number one until I was in my 30’s, I really doubt it’s ever “too late”. I never worked so hard in my life, but I loved every minute of college. I didn’t love working 40 hours a week while taking 5 or 6 classes a semester though. There were times I wanted to quit, but I didn’t. My children had to manage with Mom gone 4 nights a week until 10:30 at night or so. They did but it wasn’t easy. As a single parent, I wanted to be able to better provide for them, and it worked. I also was able to better provide for me. Think about it Suzicate. It really isn’t ever too late.

  2. Pretty much anybody can get an academic education, no matter what their true abilities, with enough money and schooling thrown at them. It is a wonderful stepping stone in life, but is not the be all and end all either. My husband has no degree and now manages 100 people most of whom are far more well educated than he. My father was the only one in his family not to go to University yet he achieved far more in life than his two brothers. Teaching your child means educating them on so very many levels and, if they want it, doing the most you can to provide the potential for the doors of opportunity to open up for them, without actually doing the walking through those doors on their behalf.

  3. I didn’t get a college education either. I don’t regret it at all. I wanted to travel and I did, plus I really didn’t know what I would go to college for. It’s funny how many people have a college education and don’t even use it.

    I may go back and take some journalism courses, but who knows.

    I think education of life experience and what we learn from our parents, teachers, and friends is something money can’t buy.

    Great spin!

  4. I agree – education is very important. And it should start at home, and always be encouraged at home. But I’ve met very well-educated people that haven’t an ounce of common sense, so it’s not the degree one gets, it’s the amount of learning one does that really matters. And it really is never too late, if that’s what you really want. But you do have to really want it and be willing to work for it.

  5. You have written a very good post here, suzicate. I like Linda Medrano’s comment, but I am happy to see, in your reply to Carol, that you have made peace with not going to college and that you are content.

  6. I wholeheartedly agree with all your quotes. There is a vast ocean between knowledge and wisdom and I choose the latter. (Except I want my doctors to have the former!) Seriously, academia is full of “uneducated” people that exist just to fulfill their own agendas. I know, I teach an adjunct class in journalism and am amazed at how much they DON”T know by the time I get them as seniors. When all is said and done, I wouldn’t ever trade experience for degree.

  7. I so agree with you Suzi, I went to college …taught elementary for ONE year and hated every moment of it…it is not the “education” that counts that much really… in the end, it is the experiences and what you do with your life!!! Also, like you said, your contribution to society!! I have never ever looked back, never ever used anything of what I was supposed to do with that part of my education and would not have it any other way!! Life has brought me so much more …am happy to know that you have made peace too…and look at you…YOU SHINE GIRLFRIEND!!! And should feel so very proud!!!! xxx

  8. “The lessons with the biggest impact on me have been life lessons not things I’ve read from a book or have heard in lecture.”

    I love this! And it rings true to me. Some of my most favorite teachers/mentors were people that made me see past the text to what the author was actually trying to say and how to APPLY it to my every day life. I learned more about life and the world, not just grammar and why a book is a classic.

  9. I agree wholeheartedly with the entire post! I too, have a few teachers that were so Hereculan in my minds eye that they formed not only who I am, but how I think and approach life.

    And then there are those educators that are just collecting paychecks and don’t enjoy what they do. Unfortunately, My Boo has one of those. It’s driving me insane presently.

    GREAT post, as always!

  10. I love that quote by Twain. It is so true; unless you teach your kids to consider all of the information out there and come to their own conclusion, you haven’t taught them the necessary skills for life.

  11. By the time I was 24, I had my college degree and the education that went with it. I have been spending all of the subsequent years trying to remove it and start over. It feels more like scar tissue than brain cells. In either case, both feel better after a beer or two. Provocative post, Suzicate. I guess you can tell that by the commenters here. EFH

    • Expat, I guess the thing that makes me feel most comfortable about it is that I enjoy where I am in life, and almost everyone I know is not specializing in the degree they actually earned. However, that said, it is the fact that they had a college education that got them in the door in the first place. And many female friends have given up post graduate degrees to raise children and never returned to the working world once they were grown. I suppose if I weren’t happy I’d start that long strenous process, but at this point in my life don’t see it as paying off. I stress the importance of an education to my own children, though I do see people doing quite well without degrees. It seems times are getting harder and job opportunity is scarce. I also know people who’ve graduated three years ago and have yet to get jobs in their fields. So sad.

  12. I completely understand and agree. Education is a tricky process because some teachers and students bring a preconceived notion to the table and allow that to hamper their view on what the other is actually saying. I can’t tell you how many grades I’ve gotten back where it was marked down simply because of my stance, not the subject.
    Great Spin! You’re linked!

  13. So many of todays millionaires and entrepenuers do not have formal educations. Also Thomas Edison was kicked out of school because he was “stupid”. Truly brilliant people think outside the box of formal education. And especially creative genuises. If my kids don’t go to college I will be okay with that as long as they are doing something that makes them happy and provides for them and they never stop learning. I think their father and I have set a good example of that.

    Another well written essay Suzicate.

  14. Amen! I just finished up my Master’s degree- which basically showed how good I was at memorizing what the teachers gave me. Funny thing was, I had classes that lectured on how to teach, and the gist of the lecture was never lecture (always use hands on). I had classes that talked about problem solving skills and deduction, and then required me to memorize the lecture for the test.
    I think the number one skill to learn at home is problem solving. Mommy doesn’t have to do everything for you- she can guide you- but you have to learn to figure it out. That and, yes, common courtesy. This is one reason I stayed at home until my kids were both in school- then I went back to college and played parent volunteer/playground lady. I always knew how they were behaving.

  15. “It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have education without common sense. ~Robert G. Ingersoll”

    Yabba-dabba- doo! I so agree!

    I never got a college education either, but it’s never prevented me from getting jobs or doing what I enjoy doing for a living. I’m more of a trade school person (cosmetology, reflexology, etc). Also, I consider myself more street smart than school smart.

    “I am not an auditory learner but a visual one. You can tell me something and chances are you will have to tell me again. If you demonstrate it, I usually get it right away.”

    I’m the exact same way, Suzi!

    FABU post, dear lady! Enjoyed!

  16. I love the quote by Twain. Education comes in many forms, the paper degree being only one of them. So often I think having a college degree lulls individuals into thinking that their learning is finished. Learning is a life long process, something that requires what you do, reading, researching and reflecting. Great post Suzicate.

  17. I TOTALLY agree with everything you wrote. What a great post!! And Suzicate, it’s never too late to get a college degree! But conversely, you also don’t NEED a college degree to do well in life 🙂

  18. If only my mother would read this and actually take it to heart. She was never a inspiration when it came to education. I always wished she had been, then maybe I would have succeeded. BUT as you said that is not all that is important and I think I have done well in learning life lessons.
    Great post!

  19. I have a tendency to encourage my students to go to college. When you live in a small isolated community like they do, it is sometimes their only opportunity to open up their horizons and see another world … a few years away at college is more than educational knowledge for them … it is a place of social growth.
    To be honest … college provided me the same things … but, I have learned 100% more about my profession and developed more skills by doing than I ever did sitting in a classroom.
    I think we need to bring back the old days of mentors … when crafters and skilled professionals took on apprentices.

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