Sunday, September 20, 2009


How do you define education? I define it differently than most people.

Schooling is not the same thing as education. A person can go to school all their life or get schooling all their life and not be well educated. We can and should be well educated; however, we must define education properly. I think these two quotes regarding education are wonderful:

In part of a letter William Buell Sprague wrote to his daughter in the 1800's, he said, “I would have you, then, in the first place, bear in mind that the great object of your education is to enable you to bring into exercise the powers which God has given you in such a manner as shall contribute most to His glory. For all the noble faculties with which you are gifted, you are indebted to the same Being who gave you your existence: on Him also you are dependent for their preservation; and it is a first dictate of reason that they should be employed in His service. ...The object of education then is twofold: to develop the faculties and to direct them; to bring out the energies of the soul, and to bring them to operate to the glory of the Creator. In other words, it is to render you useful to the extent of your ability.”
(This was taken from the book entitled So Much More by Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin which cited it this way: Sprague, William Buell, 1795-1876, Letters on Practical Subjects, to a Daughter, 11th American ed., New York, n.d.)

Anna Sofia and Elizabeth Botkin went on to say, “An education can be defined as the training and shaping of the heart, soul, mind, and strength. An education consists not only in the learning of the facts and skills, but also in the developing of affections and worldview. Our worldview is how we see and judge our culture and he world around us. Anything which affects our worldview and affections-in fact, anything influences our hearts, souls, minds, or strength-is educational, whether for good or for evil.”

Textbooks are not the only way, and sometimes not the best way, to learn or be educated. Now, I still use textbooks; it would be hard to learn Algebra otherwise. But I believe the most important Book we could possibly use for education is the Bible. We need to base our life on God’s Word and we can’t do that unless we know what it says. I also enjoy reading God-honoring, thought-provoking, non-fiction books. I used to read fiction books almost exclusively but I have since learned the value of good, non-fiction books. Learning by actually doing is great, too. I learned how to write, read “how to write” books, learned correct grammar and spelling, etc. But it would all be no use to me in writing a book if I did not actually write the book! It is definitely a learning experience...yes, even the failed manuscripts :).

Here is a list of some good ways to be well educated:

1. Pray. Pray for the wisdom which comes only from the Lord. “For the Lord gives wisdom, and from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6 We do not want worldly wisdom.
2. Read the Bible, memorize portions of the Bible, meditate on the Bible, write about what you learn from the Bible, etc.
3. Read good, thought-provoking non-fiction books. A few excellent fiction books can be worthwhile, too.
4. Research/Dig deeper by using books, videos/DVDs, internet, CDs, magazines, interviewing experts, etc.
5. Learn by asking questions
6. Learn by watching/observing
7. Learn by doing/experimenting
8. Use textbooks

"Educating our children includes more than arithmetic and spelling; it includes building character. No educational pursuit can replace the deep need for a generation of children to be brought up first in the 'nurture and admonition' of the Lord." Rick Williamson

“In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed.” Noah Webster
I recently finished a series of posts on my blog which I think complements this.  Here are the links: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

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