February 9, 2012

The Importance of Education

How important is education? Well, would you even consider denying a child an education?

Education is precious. It's an instinctual drive. Just look at toddlers. Have you ever seen a young child deprived of stimulation? You won't find a crankier child. They ache to learn.

They don't seem to care much once they get in school, though, some would say. That's one reason Hubby and I decided to homeschool. While some children thrive with the public school model, not all do. When the means of education goes too far beyond the child's method of absorbing and integrating information, it can stifle the urge to learn.

Yet, if a child is given the tools to continue absorbing information: i.e. the ability to read, basic math skills, and access to materials, usually all they need is for you to get out of their way and the occasional helping hand. Learning differences can cause frustration, but if found early and given the tools to work around or with those differences, they can actually increase the drive to learn.

I do think we forget some aspects of education though. How many of us were encouraged to follow our passion but not reminded to keep practicality in mind? What good is a degree in a dying or glutted field?

If I'd done my internship before beginning college, I certainly wouldn't have gotten my degree in English hoping for a job in newspaper journalism. (The college I attended didn't have a journalism degree.) Although I loved it, when I graduated, there were no jobs. I haven't a voice for radio or a face for television. I'm rubbish at public speaking, and I couldn't teach anyway without a degree in education, despite having sixty-three credit hours in subject versus the eighteen required for a "highly qualified" Education in English Bachelors degree.

The practical experience of working retail and tutoring while in college, my internship, and on-the-job-training plus having been taught how to find the answers to questions on my own were the most valuable bits of my education. Without them, I'd have never been able to start my own business.

"Getting an education" is so much more than the political statements and ideals we hear bandied about, especially in election years like this one. As parents, it's our responsibility to make sure our children receive an education, and frankly, it's one of our most important ones.

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