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What Educational Philosophy is Best for My Family?

There are three simple things to keep in mind.

Number 1: Whatever approach or philosophy you take, does it make sense? Can you articulate it? Does your schooling philosophy make sense for your family, for your child’s uniqueness, especially if you have special issues involved. Does our philosophy make sense?

Number 2: Does it work? Sometimes you just need to be honest and realize some things don’t work. For example, I’ll get political here—from many experiments, we know that socialism does not work. It doesn’t work now, and it didn’t work 50, 60, 80 years ago. It’s not going to work in the future because it doesn’t match human nature. It just does not work. At some point we have to be pragmatic enough to abandon things. If your educational philosophy sounds good, like “I’m just going to let my child do whatever they want,” maybe that works for some kids. Your kid, maybe not. If it does not work, you don’t want to take that approach.

The third and final thing is: Is it proven? Do you have an educational philosophy that is genuinely proven. I would suggest you want to adopt something like our strategy. Ours is proven at least in the context of our experiment with our five kids and their educational experience. Our overall philosophy was this: we want to raise happy adults who know how to teach themselves. Now there are things like tabula rasa, the Socratic method, and other stuff that informed our philosophy, and I discuss that elsewhere. But really our goal was, “We want to raise happy adults.” Maybe they’re happy as kids. I’m a fan of children being happy, but the goal is that when they’re adults, are they going to be happy? To live independently and to pursue their own ambitions, they’re going to have to know how to teach themselves. Can they take any subject and know how to break it and find the right information and put it in their brain, so they can understand and use it? That philosophy worked for us.

Hope that helps,

Dr. Fred Ray Lybrand

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