Making Your Own...Education

Education, learning, acquiring knowledge, putting knowledge to use, these are topics near and dear to my heart. I have always enjoyed learning. Note, I did not say that I have always enjoyed school. Learning, learning is what stirs up a fire inside. I love to learn. I want to know everything, truly everything. I want to know how things work. I want to see the inside of any and almost everything. It truly doesn't matter if it is the toaster or a fish being fileted for dinner. Yes, I am the one who would willingly and enthusiastically sit still, for a few seconds anyway, to watch a turtle lay eggs. I would also be the one enthusiastically telling you about it afterwards. I find learning thrilling.

It is no wonder when lesson planning time rolls around each year, the most difficult task before me is to reduce the lessons to fit in one year. There are so many marvelous things to learn! I would make a great delight-led teacher. Were it not for a legally required summary each year, our family could take off on the education journey of a lifetime. Oh well, order is good too, very good.
from The Graphics Fairy LLC

At last we have arrived! We're at the point of this visit:) Sorry, I took the long way around. Learning and education are not only for school-aged children. Nor are they topics to be considered exclusively by those who homeschool. Learning and education are a way of life intended to be begun at birth and continued until our life on earth has ended. Each one of us is learning; every one is being education in one way or another. What are we learning? What sort of education are we receiving? Is it an intentional path or one being taken by default? Do we know where we are going and why?

We need a map. Writing or typing such a map out is optional. Having one, however, is a vital necessity. Without a map, a chartered course, I might end up knowing a whole lot about nothing and nothing about a whole lot. Truths of eternal importance may very well be overlooked as trivial matters of the everyday breathlessly push me along. Please understand, the education and learning experiences I am referring to are not a college education, though that might be part of life's chartered course. This education is that which comes through the living of life.

Maybe it is simply another way of being intentional in everything I do and say. Being intentional is definitely required if I am going to map out my own education. While considering the importance of a life's education, the similarities to making a map became obvious. So much so that I simply had to start a personal education map in my journal. Here are some of the questions I am using to begin mapping:
  • At the end of my life on earth, what do I want to know and live? What truths, skills, character traits, habits, speech, actions?
  • Of all the "things" I could learn while on this earth, which will be most valuable to me and those I leave behind?
  • What and how do my children and grandchildren need me to know and live, both now while I am here and after I have gone?
  • Looking at all that is important to me now, is it really important? Does it possess eternal value?
Days, months, even years pass rapidly by. It seems that just last week my four oldest children and I were having daily read alouds after lunch. I was reading, rocking one child, pushing the baby swing with a foot that was draped over the arm of the chair, and two other children were lying on the floor quietly listening. Every time I would rock, my foot would push the swing. Somehow in the proverbial blink of an eye, the two children quietly listening are now out of formal school and responsible for themselves. The one being rocked is in high school. The one in the swing, an eighth grader doing ninth grade work. Daily read alouds happen less frequently and two other small children are here now to listen, though not always quietly.  

In a short, short time life has happened, and I? I have realized a need to be intentional. There are truths I must not only know but live. My husband, my children, and I need me to do this. It is a powerful thing, making one's own education, mapping it out. Powerful and vital. What do I know? What do I need to know? What do I want to know? How do I live? How do I want to live? How should I live? How will I live?

Oh, how will I live. Yes, it really is all about will, my will. What will I do with this will of mine? The answer to this one question determines the course my life's education takes. The answer I am writing in my journal is one that Joshua spoke so long ago. "as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15 I am exchanging my will for His and listening for the Holy Spirit's voice to lead, teach, and guide me along the good path God has chartered out for me to live. (Psalm 139:16, Jeremiah 29:11, Ephesians 2:10)

Perhaps some have been making their own education map already. What are some of the questions you ask yourself? What do you consider essential to your life's education? Are there areas where "being intentional" is new? I'm looking forward to continuing our "visit" in the comments. Sharing with each other is one of the nicest gifts blogs offer. Please, join in. Our visit will be liberally laced with loving grace, mercy, and understanding. We're real people living our real lives; let's do it together. Love to you!


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