They Know Enough Who Know How to Learn

-Henry Adams


I can’t imagine a more essential issue than the very definition we all hold about education.  Nothing shapes your schooling, your homework, and your efforts as a teacher, parent, or student.

For example, what if you think a good relationship is when two people always agree.  The definition itself would distort everything for you.  Any disagreement would mean things are ‘bad’— total silence and distance could be taken as ‘closeness’ as a standard for everyone to follow.  Great distortions come from our flawed definitions.

Education is no different.  In this day and age, education is thought to be found in mastering trivial facts, a test score for college, and a ranking in a class of peers.  The sad truth is that this kind of standard, this kind of ‘education’ as a definition, cannot be counted on to serve anyone well.

Education is learning how to learn.  It is knowing enough when you have the ability to pick up a subject—and without fear or hesitation, you are able to dive in and study-think-study-think-discuss-think–study until you have mastered it.

Imagine the number of careers we face in a lifetime.  Can any of us have confidence that we will train-and-stay-put?  We cannot!

Much better to learn the tools of learning.  To master writing and reading and logic (math).  If you sing and can make a living at it, then great.  If you can throw a 107 mph pitch without fail, then cool.

The great majority of us, however, are stuck in our own talents and dreams.  Better to learn the skill that keeps blessing it’s owner.  Better to learn how to learn.

If you are homeschooling or your children still seek your help with schoolwork, then please begin to emphasize the skill of learning and not the trivia of the moment.

Reshape the game of education and invite them to teach themselves.  Quite spelling the word or working the problem…give them a chance and tell them why you are serving them by not answering.

Someday they will LOVE you for it.


Fred Lybrand

P.S.  If you found this of interest, youll probably like
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Dr. Lybrand and his wife (Jody) of 40 years homeschooled their 5 children from birth to college, where they all excelled in academics and community (University of Texas & Abilene Christian). Dr. & Mrs. Lybrand have combined degrees of 2 BA's, 2 Masters, and 1 Doctorate), Fred and Jody have stuck with their faith and their obsession with practical learning. As a result, the overall theme of "Teaching Them to Learn How to Learn" invades everything they offer. Dr. Lybrand pastored for 25 years and currently coaches, consults, and trains leaders in businesses, churches, and non-profits. Among his client list are the U.S. Air Force, CRU, Be Broken, Continental Resources, State Farm Insurance, and Pioneer Natural Resources. Of course, one of his favorite interests is helping homeschoolers excel, and he does so with the 10 Courses of The Independent Homeschooer Curriculum & directly mentoring parents who belong to the tribe. Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand Jr.

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