Josh Christophersen

Reign In Life

First Steps In Rethinking My Children’s Education [VIDEOS]

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I’m in the process of rethinking how my wife and I educate our children.

I’m officially done letting the standards set by my local school district be my standard.  I’ve begun the process of thinking, praying, and researching in order to figure out a better way of educating my children.  I believe that current education methods need to be drastically overhauled.

I’m not going to wait for the overhaul to take place.  Home schooling affords me the opportunity to think out of the box and to try different approaches, now.

I don’t want my kids to be mediocre.  I want my kids to live lives that can’t be ignored.

The first step I’m taking is getting specific vision for each of my kids.  I’m brainstorming a list of the attributes and skills I want my kids to have when my wife and I are done being the primary educators of our children.  Things like being able to speak a foreign language, knowing how to think, good people skills, gender specific skills, bible knowledge, learning a musical instrument, specifics related to calling, how to determine what’s really important, specific math skills, good handwriting, etc.

The second step is figuring out the best way to get there and throwing out anything we’re currently doing that’s taking us in the wrong direction.

Here are three videos that have been inspiring me along the way:

The following video is an example of an alternative teaching method that I’m considering using.  It’s called the Khan Academy and it’s one way in which technology is changing the way we educate.

The next video is a TED Talk where Seth Godin asks a simple but extremely important question. “What is school for?

This last video is part of The Future Project.  These guys are thinking of ways to get young people to go after their dreams and get excited about school.

What other resources do I need to know about?

UPDATE: I’m adding the following video:

Ken Robinson nails it in this video on rethinking education.

(Image Credit: National Library of Australia Commons)

About Josh Christophersen

Josh is a software engineer, church planter, and blogger with a passion for helping people do their life well. He lives in KC with his wife and 7 kids.

9 Replies

  1. My wife began teaching our four girls at home 1.5 yrs ago. The foundational principles are that of a classical education, sometimes also called a leadership education. You can learn more from the DeMIlle’s here: http://www.tjed.org/ Feel free to reach out to us as well. Taking your kids education into your own hands is the right thing to do. We strongly believe that many more people should, but there are obstacles. Very of proud of you for taking steps and being willing to overcome them!
    BTW, I saw your article posted by Ray M.

  2. Thanks Dave. That’s very gracious of you to offer help. I appreciate it. My wife and I have close friends who do classical education and they really enjoy it. We don’t do classical education, but we home school our children.

    When I was speaking of rethinking my children’s education, I was referring to education in general, including home school. I’m really focusing in on how I can give my kids the best education by thinking outside of the box of how it’s always been done.

    Thanks for the encouragement Dave.

  3. Josh, I just wanted to thank you for this piece. We are discussing some of the issues with your brother in law, and I am very encouraged. My wife is supportive of public education, but she is having to think through the issues very carefully now that our oldest is preschool age. If you haven’t seen this video, I think it is shared for a reason. There is a fundamental challenge to the old ways of doing things. I am not a teacher, but I probably will be when all is said and done.

  4. Other important resources are the Edx.org and Open Courseware sites, along with the multitude of learn-to-program sites. Programming and web publishing tools are awesome ways to encourage both literacy and technical aptitude. http://www.coursera.org http://www.codecademy.com etc etc

  5. You’re welcome, Jason. I’m glad it was helpful. I have seen that video. I actually posted it on this blog last Friday. Thanks!

  6. I agree. I’ve actually been contemplating doing a post on coding. Thanks.

  7. I also wanted to add a bit that I have been carrying over the years. The book is called Small is Beautiful; Economics as if People Mattered, by E.F. Schumacher. He was the British minister of coal for a lot of years and served in British India. His book was kind of radical, because he was a practicing Buddhist, but in his own words he said that you could toss in any worldview you like in there. In other words, starting with economics and then trying to tack on your worldview is irrational. “Education which fails to clarify our central convictions is mere training or indulgence.” The interesting thing is, for a kind of progressive thinker, he calls out several paradigms of post modern thought that are wreaking havoc on modern society, among them the blind allegiance to Darwinist thought. Hippies and leftists loved it thirty years ago, but I doubt you would find them in the same boat today because of his criticism of the secular humanists.

  8. here are a few gems I pulled out of my archives. Clayton Christenson argues that the true bottleneck in innovation is not physical or financial limitations, but human. We have enough of everything to make the world work, what we lack is the social capital (crude generalization). One of my favorite studies is the boundary between how and what. We spend a lot of time in education learning how to do something, but very little deciding what to do. This is why the classics and liberal arts curricula are in demand, because they give a sense of the arc of history (something we rely on the Bible to do): “The border between architecture and engineering is not sharply defined, but it’s there. It falls between what and how: architects decide what to do, and engineers figure out how to do it.”

    http://www.paulgraham.com/hp.html

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/04/business/a-capitalists-dilemma-whoever-becomes-president.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all&

    That’s all really. That’s my whole educational philosophy. My home base for walking this out is in Northeast KC, where we will be exploring a Kingdom oriented view of education and community development (I host some of this at http://www.creativitycrowd.com). Josh, I would love to connect sometime and ask some questions. I’m in no hurry, but I did want to put that out there.

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