Question With Boldness

Thomas JeffersonThough most people nowadays can conceive of no better poster child for agnosticism (or, at the very least, deism), Jefferson himself may have had a bone to pick with such people.

In a letter to his nephew, on the topic of forming his own views on religion (a topic which he labeled “important”), Thomas Jefferson wrote the following, now reasonably well-known words:

Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear.

(Somewhat of an aside: My favorite quote from Thomas Jefferson’s autobiography regarding his own faith, “…I am a REAL CHRISTIAN…”. Well that about says it.) 🙂

There are (many) times when I think my being appropriately labeled a “Christian” might be questioned by those who determine such things. I believe I’ve written about my borderline-heretical thinking at least once or twice.

In fact, just the other day I was reading through the Old Testament book of Ezekiel and wondering things like, “Wow, this voice of God does not seem to be the same as even the book of Jeremiah, one book before—and he seemed pretty peeved in that book, too! I wonder if some of the books in what we call the Bible are even supposed to be in there? Who says that council got it right?”

Now, proceed with caution here. I am NOT SAYING that I unequivocally, irrevocably believe and hold to be fact that such questions even might be “true” (in the black-and-white sense of “true”) …

But perhaps my reason for such an emphasized statement above is that, in dealing with things of God, it’s sometimes considered heresy merely to question.

And, folks, that is plain wrong. Really, really wrong.

So, I may be a heretic, but I’m going to keep questioning.

Turns out, by the end of Ezekiel there was some really neat stuff in there kinda flipping the “rules and regulations” voice of God (being interpreted through Ezekiel) on its head. Chapter forty-seven has a really neat image of God abiding in a temple from which living water flows, giving life to everything it touches, including dead things. Hmm… the Living Water… giving Life… where have I heard those things before…?

I believe Thomas Jefferson had it right when he urged his nephew to throw away all bias and personal opinion and really dig into the facts, evidences, truths, and his own reason. Think. Don’t be afraid of the truth (or that it might not be the truth). Find, and know what is true. This is important! To know and understand the Creator is much more important than anything else.

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. —John 10:10

I am the way, the truth, and the life. —John 14:6

And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. —John 17:3

We believe in education in this home. Not school, or curriculum—although those can have their place.

Real education. Seek out original sources; find people who are not only knowledgeable but passionate about a subject and learn from them (whether in person, or through recorded words); then, find someone else and hear other voices. Putting all of these pieces together, along with your God-given intellect (reason), and asking the Spirit to guide the entire process. (He is the one who teaches us, after all.)

Question with boldness, even the very existence of God.

And the world—starting with you—will be better for it.

If you wondered about that “I am a REAL CHRISTIAN” quote from Thomas Jefferson, here’s the full text of his introduction to what some call the “Jefferson Bible” (but he titled otherwise). It should give an even more convincing context to that quote!

I have made a wee little book from the Gospels which I call the Philosophy of Jesus. It is a paradigma of his doctrines, made by cutting the texts out of the book and arranging them on the pages of a blank book, in a certain order of time or subject. A more beautiful or precious morsel of ethics I have never seen. It is a document in proof that I am a REAL CHRISTIAN, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus, very different from the Platonists, who call ME the infidel and THEMSELVES Christians and preachers of the Gospel, while they draw all of their characteristic dogmas from what its author never said nor saw. They have compounded from the heathen mysteries a system beyond the comprehension of man, of which the great reformer of the vicious ethics and deism of the Jews, were he to return on earth, would not recognize one feature. (Thomas Jefferson: In His Own Words, Maureen Harrison & Steve Gilbert, editors. ©1993 Excellent Books, New York, NY.)

It’s Raining Diamonds!

It Rains Diamonds on Neptune?One topic of study currently in the Campbell home is astronomy. Mom and most of the children are part of a home schoolers co-op that go through science curriculum together, and this year’s topic for the middle kids is the science of space.

(My favorite! Our kids had a leg up on everyone else as we have always watched space-related documentaries, and we subscribe to several NASA video podcast feeds as well. Yes, we are that awesome!)

This past week, one of the girls said something to me about learning that it rained diamonds on Neptune. My first response was a smile and a chuckle, and a silly, “Noooooo, it does not!” Little girls who are four, six, and eight can have a different way of hearing and passing along information, right? But she insisted that it was true, and her older siblings and Mom confirmed it.


I had to look this one up, so I did.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

If experiments at the University of California, Berkeley, are any indication, future explorers of our solar system may well find diamonds hailing down through the atmospheres of Neptune and Uranus.
These planets contain a high proportion of methane, which UC Berkeley researchers have now shown can turn into diamond at the high temperatures and pressures found inside these planets.

“Once these diamonds form, they fall like raindrops or hailstones toward the center of the planet,” said Laura Robin Benedetti, a graduate student in physics at UC Berkeley.

Whoa! Neat! Are you kidding me?!

Space is just incredibly amazing. Our planet alone is amazing… then that God would create such diversity across the billions of light years of space. Holy moly.

BUT, as cool as that theory from last century is … (and I suppose it’s still possible, as most of what we know about those planets still falls under the “theory” category)

“Some scientists have claimed that diamonds may form inside both Uranus and Neptune, but I do not believe that is true since the methane is confined to the surface where the pressures are much less,” says Monash University astrophysicist Dr. Andrew Prentice. “I think that is wishful thinking. In any event, the ‘falling diamonds’ would hardly have any influence whatever on the internal heat budget of Neptune or Uranus.”

So says Mike Bessell, a professor at the Australian National University’s Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, via this article.

Party pooper.

I thought a theory from 1999 might be a tad outdated. Ah well. It was fun while it lasted.

And I’m still holding out a little hope that this is actually happening!

There are a lot of wild theories out there! I read recently that we think that the best way to divert “Killer Asteroids” from smashing into our planet might be to spray paint them.


I think the diamond rain is cooler.

For further reading:

Rick Boyer on Government Schools

Take Back The Land - Rick BoyerI am currently reading a book along with my son, Ian, called Take Back The Land, by Rick Boyer. Mr. Boyer is a home schooling superstar. If you home school, chances are you are already familiar with him. (If you’re not familiar with the book, I highly recommend it—and I’m only a few chapters in!)

The Boyers have 14 kids, they were home schooling when it was definitely only questionably “legal”, and they have spent 30 years not only educating their own family, but helping thousands of other families do the same.

(By the way… can you believe there was a time in the United States of America when it was potentially illegal to choose to educate your own kids rather than put them into the government education system?)

The book is aimed at young people (primarily home schooled young people 12-ish to 20-ish) and is a longer version of a speech he gave to a “graduating class” at a home school conference not long ago. His basic premise/challenge to the young reader: Grow up! Our culture has been steadily expecting less and less from young people, and so they play video games and don’t really do much of anything until much later in life than they could. He’s spot on so far in nearly everything he’s saying (and Ian thinks so, too).

I look forward to finishing the book (hopefully today) and probably discussing it more here, but for today, there was a section about Government Schools I wanted to highlight. I’ve offered my thoughts on this site a time or two. Mr. Boyer also described these institutions well:

One reason I believe home education is the key to revival in our culture is that it is a rejection of the system that I blame in large part for our present apostasy, the “public” school system. That’s a misnomer, of course. The schools are government schools. They’re not public at all, except in the sense that the public pays the taxes that support them and suffers the consequence of their existence. The government controls what is taught in those schools, and the parents who are rearing the students and paying the taxes for the schools have almost no input. Their values are not respected and in fact are often undermined.

The quote continues, but I just wanted to stop there and point out that this is really true… it’s not like a public library, or a public park where you can go and use it at any time you’d like, in any way that suits you. In many (most? all?) ways you’re either all in, or not in at all. And regarding taxes … do you remember this post?

Let’s keep going with the quote. This is the good part:

There was a time, early on in our history, when everybody would have laughed at the idea of compulsory school attendance. In the first place, it wasn’t needed. There was homeschooling, tutoring, and lots of affordable private schools. Literacy was much higher at the time of the American Revolution than it is now (see John Taylor Gatto, Dumbing Us Down). [editor’s note: Gatto’s books on education are on my to-read list…] Schooling wasn’t worshipped as the answer to all problems because people had been educating themselves for generations with little time spent in school.

Sorry for the long quote. I felt it was a necessary context for this:

More importantly, the compulsory nature of today’s schooling would have seemed both weird and offensive. In the early days, when Americans could remember the struggle to become a free country, the idea of a law confining innocent people to government institutions for most of each day, five days a week, nine months of the year would not have been tolerated. It would have been seen for what it is: imprisonment of the innocent. Promoters of compulsory attendance pointed to the very small percentage of American children who were not being educated and used them as an argument for their agenda. Once again, the needs of a very few were used as leverage to infringe on the freedom of all.

Emphasis mine. Almost done. (This one is not fully quoted… just a few key phrases):

Once compulsory attendance had become the law of the land (around the early 1900s), the public school system gave the government and those who had influence in government the opportunity to effectively brainwash a large percentage of the population. That’s partly why public attitudes toward moral, economic, and political issues changed so radically over the last hundred years.

…I blame government education for a lot of the problems we have today, especially the erosion of our freedom. Our public schools provide just the kind of young people one would expect a government to want: passive, uncritical thinkers who are unlikely to start any revolutions; conditioned by long practice to do what they’re told, moving in groups, with weak family loyalties and strong peer dependency.

There are many reasons we home school. He listed some of them. We can’t really imagine not home schooling our children. Again, for all of the reasons he mentions here. We want our kids to be fully who they are. To learn about the world in whole, not the world with God—who planned, and made, and holds it all together—wholly removed from the picture.

There really is a lot more, but… you might want to just buy the book. 🙂

Now, time to stop writing, and get back to reading!


Starting Early :)

I’ve had education on my mind again recently. There are certainly many ideas that word conjures up… some good, some bad. But I think we might have a skewed—or even wrong—understanding of it.

As you may have read in yesterday’s post (and noticed from the time of day of today’s post), I am focusing on some other stuff at the moment, which is limiting my writing time. That doesn’t mean that the mental gears are not still cranking. They are. But, unfortunately, I can not develop “on paper” the thoughts which seem to continue to churn out, despite the need for focus elsewhere. (Many “elsewheres”, actually…)

So for now, have a look with me at an article I wrote way back in 2009. It’s titled Different View of Education. Here’s a snippet from that post:

Academic learning is great, and has a place. But it is not education. I still feel that is the bonus. Get the other stuff right, and then the academic stuff is icing on the cake. Build character and integrity into your kids, and even just the confidence of knowing they are loved and accepted, and the rest of the stuff will come as it needs to. And, ultimately, we don’t want our kids to just learn facts and details they can parrot back to us, we want them to learn how to learn. That will serve them much better.

There are lots of ways to see it, and none are necessarily right, or wrong. (Though they are almost certainly all incomplete.) I’m definitely not locked into one way of helping our kids get an education, nor my own, for that matter. But I definitely am convinced that education is much more than academic learning. So much is much more important than that, it seems.

More thoughts to come on all this, but for now, please read (and respond to, if you are so inclined) Different View of Education.

American Values

At the ReValue America lecture we hosted last weekend, one of the themes was of course, “Values”.

During the presentation, the speaker—Dr. Shanon Brooks—took a moment to ask everyone there what some “American values” were. Various words were quickly offered: Honor. Courage. Bravery. Love. Friendship. Hard work/work ethic. Faith. Charity/Generosity. Probably about 20 or 30 were mentioned within a 30 second span. It was a fairly easy exercise for the 130 or so in attendance.

After a good number had been spoken, Dr. Brooks said, “Those are all great, and I think we’re all in agreement that those are all values that we hold as Americans. But—and this never fails, anywhere I ask this—there were a few that we did not mention. Why didn’t anyone mention mathematics, or grammar, or physics, or anything like that? We focus so much of our attention in our education systems to such things, but they aren’t mentioned as our core values?”

It was a fantastic illustration (in my opinion) of our educational focus being quite askew. We have an enormous system in place to train up generations of Americans in the “fundamentals”, but we are not passing along our values. Values are, well, what we value. So according to our education system, we value skills rather than the things we say are our “values” (as above).

Don’t get me wrong… I don’t think the public education system really can pass along values very well, so I don’t think we should all of a sudden change to a more character-based education system in the government schools. It won’t work. (Simply because of the setting, the environment.) Character and values should be passed along to children by their parents. Clearly there are problems with that in our society as there are so many homes without parents in the plural … it gets very confused and confusing.

I guess that’s why Dr. Brooks feels we really need to “ReValue” America.

At the very least, we need to figure out what it means to get an education, and what sort of education we want. Do we just want to learn skills (that we don’t even consider American values) or do we want a more well-rounded, full education, including the “why” of what we learn. And what to do with what we’ve learned. Based on our values.

Which is it?

That was one of the questions/challenges presented in the ReValue America lecture … if you can get out to any of the remaining ones here in NY State this week, please do. It will be well worth your time. If not, visit their website for information on other opportunities across the US.


Have you noticed how compartmentalized we tend to view life? While there certainly is truth to the “time and a place for everything” there is also the truth to “in everything moderation.” But for whatever reason (honestly, I would like to investigate this further and discover the root cause or causes) there is a very strong tendency to separate, categorize, and otherwise segment our lives.

Think about it. The “separation of church and state” immediately comes to mind. It is proclaimed frequently as the bedrock of our society in political circles, the two shall never cross. (It’s really misinterpreted as well, but that’s for another day.)

As a home schooling family, we’ve seen many families who adhere to a more strict schooling schedule: a certain time of day, certain days of the week, and certain months of the year, like the public school system.

We also keep our spiritual life nicely bottled up for our more spiritual moments. Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings, small groups, youth groups, mens groups, ladies groups, personal devotion times, and all sorts of “spiritual times.” (Check out this super-old post for more thoughts on this.)

What I’m noticing lately is that when we do compartmentalize and segment our lives so, we tend to imagine that we are somehow able to be different things at different times. That when we are in a spiritual place or time, then we are a spiritual being. When it is time for school, then we are learning.

To a degree, that is most certainly understandable. We do have different roles within our day. Just by our birth, we have different relationships with some people. But does that translate well to other times? When I am with my wife, I am married. When I am with my kids, I am a dad. Not really. We wouldn’t ever say those relationships cease when we are not in a physical time and space where they are evident. We may focus our energy at times on something else (for instance, a job) but we are still a spouse, and a parent, and a child of God.

Life with God is not about a time and place. I’ve said that for so many years here, so I won’t expound there. (If you want to read more, get my book … it’s a good read.) 😉 In our segmented way of thinking, there is a danger of compartmentalizing God that way; putting him in a box.

Same goes with parenting. Whether I am actively caring for and leading my children, or not, I am still a parent. And really, everything I do is part of that. When I am working, I am helping earn money to keep us under a roof and fed. When I am reading or writing, I am thinking about life and processing those thoughts and attempting to understand more of life that I can later pass along to them.

This can also be better applied to our education. As mentioned previously, we’ve been thinking about education a lot lately. One thing that I have always felt that we home schoolers miss out on is the complete integration of our education with our whole lives. Most of us get it on some level, but I’d say not many really live it out. Rather than setting aside a time for “school” there can be such freedom—and perhaps even more learning?—in seeing all of the opportunities to learn (and teach) in the course of “everyday life.” Everywhere we go, everything we do often has teachable moments, whether merely practical (preparing meals, maintaining a home, etc) or moral lessons stemming from interaction with siblings, parents, and friends.

The “lessons” also integrate with what a more structured school might categorize as math, science, english, or any of the other subjects. We use all of those things every day in so many ways, when we are thinking about it, and looking for teachable moments, they are easy to spot and pass along. And in the regular course of life, they are very readily accepted. Then, when there is a spark in the mind and eyes of your child for some particular topic, delve further into it. The library is your friend!

It’s fun to learn. All the time. From waking up, to bedding down. There is so much to learn, and I think from the moment we are born we are keen to it. It’s fun to see our 9-month-old learning about his world. He is so curious about everything! It’s just in us. We want to know more, and yet, when we’re forced to sit and learn at a specific time… it often forces the love of learning right out of us.

How sad.

So we here at the world headquarters are trying to live a more integrated life. We never turn anything “off” (except, I suppose I do intentionally take breaks from my work … though somewhat difficult being the owner of (at least) two businesses…) instead we are always learning, loving, and listening. We don’t limit our life in God to spiritual events and times. We don’t limit our learning and education to “school” times. We are all of who we are at all times in all ways.

Said that way, it seems a monumental task. But there is such freedom in just being. Give it a try, if you are able… Just be.


Greatness isn’t the work of a few geniuses, it is the purpose of each of us. It is why we were born. Every person you have ever met is a genius. Every one. Some of us have chosen not to develop it, but it’s there. It is in us. All of us. It is in your spouse. It is in all of your children. You live in a world of geniuses. How can we settle for anything less than the best education? How can we tell our children that mediocre education will do, when greatness is available?

The above quote (with my emphases added) is from A Thomas Jefferson Education, by Oliver DeMille. Jen has read through it, and some companion books, and I have become familiar with it via an audio CD we have that presents some of the principles from this “leadership education” philosophy.

We really like it, and I really liked that paragraph you just read above.

I think this all the time, and it’s why we home school. That doesn’t mean we school at home. We don’t. It means that born into everyone—which includes all of my children—is the unbounded potential for greatness. All we have to do is love, observe, and help steer toward that greatness. Some think that approach to be idealistic, and perhaps too simplistic. But it seems to be working so far.

My goal as Ian, Alex, Kirsten, Julia, Emma and Cameron’s Dad is to help them see their greatness (AND the greatness of everyone else around them) and to help them know the foundational truths of life, the most important things which will be their character, their anchor… then the rest is up to them realizing the greatness that God has built into each of them. The “sky” is truly the limit.

(Although, that may be too limiting…)

Looking forward to finishing this book, and sharing more thoughts from Mr. DeMille.

Institutional vs. Relational … and The World of Pretend

There's The Steeple... Here's The ChurchI’ve really been thinking a lot recently on institutional vs. relational life. Some might argue with me that that’s too limiting, that there are more than two ways to live life with other people… but so far, I’m feeling like almost everything I’m seeing falls into one of those two categories. It’s kinda crazy!

It has mostly come up in discussions surrounding politics (well, government), home schooling, and church … but really just our culture in general. Most of us in our culture seem to prefer to do our relating in an structured, institutional way rather than a more informal, familiar, relational way.

We get into a mindset of thinking that there are “experts” and “proper channels” and structures that life must be lived through, and even received from. We see it in all of those areas: government, education, and church. And as I said, across many aspects of life. We like to follow the experts.

I have also still been making my way through the “church book” that I published a couple years ago now, which has still been very enjoyable and so interesting to see what God was showing me then, and where he’s leading me now. The most recent chapter I read was titled, “The World of Pretend” and actually fits right in with the topic of institutional vs relational relating.

Here’s a quote that stood out to me from that chapter:

Wherever you are in your journey with him… be there. Don’t get your light from other Lamps. Live in the Light of THE Light. [I had earlier reminded the readers that Jesus said he is the ‘Light of the World’] Let him live in you, and teach you, and lead you. He is our source. Not the church. Not any pastor. Not any teacher. HE is the Light. HE wants a relationship with YOU. Really.

This may be one of the truths that we Christians most glance over and/or miss completely. “Christianity” is really the “world of pretend” as I put it. The reality is a life full of all that we are, lived in step with Jesus, the creator of all that is. We may try to put structures around that to manage it, but really… unless we’re mainly, mostly (maybe only?) really listening to and following him, then we’re not living in the “fullness of life” that he promised. It may seem helpful and good to get spiritual sustenance from another “smarter”, “more spiritual” person … but we are not the Life. Jesus is. No system can contain the Life. It’s really and truly only found in him. It is him.

I just found that chapter helpful, and strangely connected to the notion of doing life together relationally, vs structuring it institutionally. Perhaps you will, too.


Different View of Education

Last night—after much scheming and manipulating of time and space—we were able to attend a curriculum event for a home school group of which we are members. The event offered parents a chance to share curriculum they use, why they use it, and learn from other parents as each shared what worked—and doesn’t work—for them. Jen is more into the curriculum side of things, to be sure, and was looking forward to being there. She enjoyed it thoroughly. (I occupied the kids for the duration of the meeting in various other nearby locations, waiting to get to talk with everyone after the event was over.)

Once I and my five children in tow were allowed to mingle, I had an interesting conversation with a friend who got me thinking again about what education really means to us. About what we feel is important that we instill in, pass along to our children.

We were chatting a bit about how much home schooling seems to be focused around the Mom in the family. Most of the events are planned, executed, and attended by the moms. The dads are a very secondary—albeit supportive, encouraging—part of the whole home schooling process. Much of it is just logistics. Many of the home schooling families we know consist of the Dad working a full-time job outside of the home, while the Mom works very little (or none at all) outside the home, making her the one who “teaches” the kids.

Our philosophy is slightly different. It may just be semantics, or a mindset, but we really try to “home school” as a family. Not just Jen. Not just me. But really, more as a way of life. As the Campbells.

Once on that topic, my friend asked, “So how do you do that? How do you get involved in the school part?” He really wants to, but again, logistically, just can not. Having tried many different approaches, he has resigned himself to the fact that most of the teaching has to be done by his wife, who is home with the kids.

So, since he asked, it caused me to think about what I really mean when I say that we home school as a family. I mean, I work full-time (and more) though, thankfully, it’s mainly from my home office. But I can’t be involved in the “table time” as Jen calls it. I smile at the stuff that is learned and produced there, enjoying the stories told by our kids who love such academic exercises. But what I explained—and understood better in my head as I did—was that the key is what we think of education.

Many parents who choose to home school feel varying levels of frustration because they are trying to do school at home. I’d say a lot of people assume that’s what home school is. The same subjects, courses, lessons taught by the institutional public school would also be taught—even required to be taught—to children who are “home schooled”. This is not entirely true. While it is true that we must report to the local school district what we are teaching our children (by the way, a “requirement” of which I am not all that fond) there is a good degree of latitude allowed to us in the interpretation of what meets those requirements. And, Jen is very good at assigning various things she teaches at table time, or we learn at other times, to those “requirements”.

But the best part is—and what I told my home schooling Dad friend—that stuff… the “required” learning by the state… that’s really the bonus stuff. Sure, our kids need to learn the basics. Reading, writing, arithmetic. That’s a good deal of what Jen does in “table time”. But the real education of our kids is so much more.

We want our kids to know God. We want them to know Him, not just about him. We want them to know how life works, how to treat other people. How to consider others, treating them as you’d like to be treated. How to learn discipline, and self control. Big stuff like that.

We also want them to know little stuff like how to take care of the stuff God gives you. How to cook, clean, build, repair. How to grow, prune, trim, weed. How to run a business. How to pay bills. How to not take more than God has given you (credit cards, anyone??)

Why do we think that learning ever starts and stops? We don’t take summer breaks. Or winter, or spring. We don’t take weekend breaks. Because from the moment we wake up in the morning, to the time we go to sleep…

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (NIV)

That’s a good verse that many home schooling families use, but I think it applies to our view of educating our kids, too. (Though I wouldn’t say it’s complete. That covers the big stuff, as I said earlier.) But it really is an all the time, everywhere thing. And in that way, I—as much as Jen—am an active part of the education of our children. (And even of our family. Just as our children are always learning, aren’t we all? I know I am.)

Jen even actually puts stuff on doorframes. For real. 🙂

So, it’s not perfect. We don’t have all the answers, but perhaps you’re reading this because you home school, or want to, and you don’t feel qualified. Or you don’t feel like you know where to start. I think if you are a parent—and especially a parent who loves their kids, and are trying to help them “grow up right”—then you have most everything you need. All the other stuff is pretty easy to find these days. Not only do you likely have a library nearby, if you’re reading this, you also have access to the World Wide Web. (Not a bad source of information…)

Academic learning is great, and has a place. But it is not education. I still feel that is the bonus. Get the other stuff right, and then the academic stuff is icing on the cake. Build character and integrity into your kids, and even just the confidence of knowing they are loved and accepted, and the rest of the stuff will come as it needs to. And, ultimately, we don’t want our kids to just learn facts and details they can parrot back to us, we want them to learn how to learn. That will serve them much better.

I could go on about personalities and preferences (every kid is different, and we really try to follow what each of our kids is interested in, help them explore those things more) but … this post is already longer than I intended.

These words are meant as encouragement, not to condemn a different viewpoint or methodology. If you have a format (or a curriculum!) that works for you, keep at it. One of the greatest things about home schooling is that it really gives you the freedom to educate your kids as you see fit. So go for it!

For us, the Campbells, we are enjoying the journey of life, and loving training our kids in the way they should go.

A Subtle Difference

In a conversation with a friend yesterday regarding home schooling, I described our thinking on the matter in a way I don’t think I have previously.

You may recall from previous posts here that to us, home school is not school at home, but more a philosophy… a way of educating. It’s learning from every moment of life, rather than a more structured “this is school time” approach. It works well for us, and we have no intention (as far as we can see now) of changing the way we train/educate our children.

Some folks we know take a more “year by year” approach. Sometimes it’s based on the thought, “I’m not sure how long we (or I) can do this…” But others see participating in government schools as a “part of life” and see more benefit than detriment, especially when their kids are older.

What I realized yesterday – as the words came out of my mouth – was that for us, our kids’ “education” is not as much about schooling as it is about parenting. We “home school” (differently than most people we know) because we feel we are in the best position to train our kids how to live. There are many factors, but overall, it’s the way we parent, not just an “educational” choice.

So, for as far as we can see, we’ll keep doing it this way. You certainly can’t know what tomorrow will bring, but what we know now is that we love doing life together as a family, and learning and training as we go.