Somewhere in history the ideas of getting an education and living life got separated.
School became a necessity in order to gain skills so you could get a good job and work for 40+ years, retire, then enjoy life. Millions of people live under this assumption – or something like it. This is one of the reasons unschooling is met with such fierce opposition and fear.
How can you attain a successful career so you can make boat-loads of money if you don’t participate in the state-initiated system and learn the things it tells you that you need?
Before the Industrial Revolution, before assembly-line workers, before urbanization, federal education funding, the Baby Boom, and corporate America there was this little thing called learning through living.
“The world is my classroom, each day is a new lesson, and every person I meet is my teacher.” -Craig Harper
The world is my classroom
What if there is more to life than the proverbial “American Dream“?
Does a college degree and a large salary equal a well-lived and meaningful life? Is it worth the effort and time spent at 16+ years of schooling?
Does having the nice house and car, the 2.5 kids, and the “safe” neighborhood matter in the end?
These are all questions I find myself asking when I think about the brevity of our existence. We literally have less than 100 years on this earth (a bit more if we are blessed). Just let that sink in for a minute.
We all die – and while I believe that there is an afterlife, death still equals an end to our opportunities here.
I want to be sure that what I’m living for is not just what society, or the government, or anyone else tells me I should be doing.
First and most important, I want to be open to what God wants for me. Secondly, I want to make sure that I am fully living in this world.
I want the world to be mine and my kids’ classroom. I want the whole essence of life itself to be open to us to explore. I don’t care what the public school system says we should be learning – because there is so much more. There is variety, there is wonder, and there are things yet to be discovered. So much more!
Every person I meet is my teacher
Right now, we are called to live in South Korea. Next week or next year, we may be called to live somewhere else. But while we are here, our education comes from every person we meet on the street and in the city.
The schoolroom can’t teach my kids how to pronounce our Korean neighbors’ names. It doesn’t teach about the history of the Korean people, or how to ask directions. It won’t help my kids change American dollars to Korean won on the fly.
Today our teachers are:
- Mike – the friendly man at the custom suit shop on our walk to post. He greets us every day and teaches us about friendship and courtesy.
- Sora – our real estate agent. She teaches us about dealing with servicemen, repairmen, and renting an apartment in another country.
- The shopkeeper at the market – who helps us with Korean coins and helps us pronounce the names of products so we can ask where they are when we need them again.
- The street vendor – who sells us rice cakes and teaches us about how they are made (and gives us samples).
- The taxi drivers – they aren’t always polite, and they don’t always speak English, but they teach us about how to get around in the city and how to explain the directions to our address.
- All of you – our friends and family that we have met in real life and online. You all reach out to us and make us realize how many blessings we have and how crazy our adventure really is!
At the end of my life, I want to be able to look back and know that I took every opportunity to learn from this world that God afforded me. I will be satisfied to know that I encouraged the philosophy in my children that life is more than a paycheck, a school degree, or a lot of things. It sometimes includes those – but you should never just follow along with what is expected of you.
You have to make the entire world your classroom, use every day as a lesson, and see every person you meet as your teachers.
Find more inspiring quotes on a number of topics at the Quotable Wisdom hop over at iHomeschool Network!