True Education is Not About Making a Living

There is so much more to education than "employment preparation".  Give your children a LIFE!  Homeschooling is a perfect opportunity for this - do not squander it! | RaisingArrows.netYears ago, I picked up a used copy of Clay & Sally Clarkson’s Educating the Wholehearted Child.  I was fascinated by the content and implemented as much as I could in our little homeschool.  Since that day, I have recommended this book to homeschoolers everywhere, and even given it special mention on my Homeschooling page here on Raising Arrows.

About a year ago, I picked up a copy of the new edition.  I could readily see there was more content and I knew I needed a refresher course.  Finally, during vacation this year, I was able to begin reading.

Boy, did I need the words contained within those pages!  Ty and I spent hours discussing what I had read.  The kids and I spent hours discussing what I had read!  There was so much to chew on.  I am continuing to chew even today!

One discussion that came from my reading was concerning a sidebar comment on page 98 entitled The Education Nation:

“Secular public education in America has evolved into what is essentially an elaborate employment preparation and social indoctrination mechanism.”

And I realized even I was getting caught up in the mindset of “employment preparation.”

You see, I have a 16 year old who is very close to finishing up all of his required high school credits in our state.  The natural conveyer belt of our society says the next step is college, but Blake isn’t sure he wants to go to college.  He’s a very intelligent, very driven young man and although I wanted to respect his decision, I felt myself lurching inside.

Blake

Would he be able to get a good job without a college education?

Isn’t every smart child supposed to go to college?

How would people react to him not going to college?

(notice how that last one is all about MY pride?)

Government education has truly become a system of institutionalized thinking.  There aren’t many “outside-the-box-ers” these days.  The goal does seem to be to get a child through high school so they can get through college, so they can get a better job than their parents, but if you look around you will see a lot of college graduates struggling to do just that.  And often, their answer is to go BACK to college for another round.  Piles of information, good test taking skills, and very little to show for it in the way of real world experience.  In the words of Kevin Swanson,

“It’s like taking 12 years of bike and never getting on one.”

Common Core is supposed to help change some of this, but all I see there is more of the same…fill heads with information they won’t retain and teach a test so hopefully they’ll get a good enough grade to get into college and…then what?

As I continued to read in the Clarkson’s book, I found myself deeply convicted to stop secretly wanting my son to be like everyone else (I say secretly because I would NEVER have admitted that I even remotely wanted any of my children to be INSIDE the box) and use these young adult years to give my son even more opportunities to become who God has created him to be because “true education is not about making a living but about making a life.” (<— this is a topic explored even more within the pages of Educating the Wholehearted Child.)

How we educate is important.  It runs much deeper than filling heads with information.  It runs much deeper than college prep or employment skills.  It starts when you child is very young and you allow them to be children full of wonder and curiosity for God’s great grandeur.  It continues as you cultivate a home environment that is full of love and respect for the individual image-of-God child, as well as plenty of free space and time to explore personal interests and and God-gifted leanings.  And as your child nears the end of childhood and adulthood is in sight, it becomes a time in which you guide your child toward using those interests and leanings where making a living becomes a reality because they’ve made a life.

Might I gently suggest you look into not only Educating the Wholehearted Child, but also a website I have mentioned before that goes hand-in-hand with what I am saying here:

10KToTalent.com

10K to Talent free ebook and courses to help you give your child the opportunity to not just make a living, but live their dream! | RaisingArrows.net

This website is full of information and guidance to take your child’s leanings and help them build a “real” life from those talents.  Using the principles we have learned from Jonathan Harris, our son has taken his interest in airsoft guns and built a website.  He’s learned to work on airsoft guns, produce and edit quality videos, and write with passion and clarity.  Our daughter is also working on her videography and photography, as she moves toward her own 10,000 hours of talent.

10KtoTalent.com offers courses to guide you and your student into using your homeschool time wisely by building a curriculum around their uniqueness in Christ.  This isn’t cookie-cutter homeschooling, and it will revolutionize how your entire homeschool paradigm!

I encourage you to really pray through all of this and catch a vision for how amazing the homeschool experience can be in the middle school and high school years!

2014 Canning Season Recipes

2014 Canning Season - so far, we've made salsa, spaghetti sauce, pickles and pickled green beans, freezer green beans, and sandhill plum jelly!  Recipes included in the post! | RaisingArrows.netThis year, we were blessed with abundant produce that was free or nearly free to us.  We had a small garden and very generous landlords.

I’ve admitted in the past that I am not a gardener.  I like to blame it on my sensory issues – there is nothing about playing in the dirt that intrigues me.  However, I REALLY like having fresh produce that WE grew.  So fun!  This year, we grew peas, onions, tomatoes, green peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, corn, green beans, and there are cantaloupe on the vine as we speak.

As for our generous landlords – they are an older couple who plant WAY more than they could ever eat (as in 60 tomato plants!).  They have sent tomatoes, cucumbers, corn, and green beans our way in bucket-fulls!  And I am sure not going to waste it!

Tomatoes!

And then, to top it off, this has been a stellar year for the sandhill (or wild) plum!  These little beauties grow roadside and are usually free for the picking by whomever makes it there first!

sandhill plums

As promised last week in my Pregnancy Update, here are the recipes we’ve been using this canning season.

Sandhill Plum Jelly - Apparently, I’m one of the few sites out there with this recipe because this time of year, I get a lot of hits on this post.

2014 Canning Season - sandhill plum jelly, spaghetti sauce, pickled green beans, and more! | RaisingArrows.net

I mention in my plum jelly post how I was running my pulp through mesh with a spoon.  Well, thankfully, I found my sieve!  This isn’t the cleanest job in the world, but that tart jelly is oh so worth it!

Freezer Green Beans – Early on, we froze our green beans.  This is a nice, simple process that yields beautiful, bags full of bright green veggies!

1.  Wash your beans.
2.  Trim the stems off your beans and cut them in half.
3.  Blanch the beans in boiling water for 1 minute.
4.  Dunk in ice water for 1 minute.
5.  Pat dry (we used paper towels).
6.  Bag in “meal sized” freezer bags.  For our family, this means full 1 gallon bags, but that may be too much for your family.  Adjust accordingly.

Pickled Green Beans – As the season wore on, and the landlords had more and more and more green beans, my kids begged for pickled green beans instead of freezing them.  Now for some of you, the idea of pickled green beans seems pretty “out there”, but you really ought to try it!

You can use any pickle recipe, but this one is very similar to what we use for our pickled okra (when we have it) and has been a favorite for a very long time.  It includes dill, garlic and red pepper flakes, and ends up quite yummy.  By the way, if you ever want to hear my “angry okra” story, fell free to read all about it HERE.

Cucumber Pickles – We didn’t end up with very many cucumbers, so what we did end up with became pickles that went straight into our refrigerator.  When you do this, you really need to let them set in the refrigerator unopened for about a week (more would be ideal) to get the full flavor.  It was all we could do to wait a week, and they were gobbled up all in one setting!  The recipe we used came from Sheri Graham.

Salsa – When the tomatoes first started rolling in, we did up huge batches of our favorite salsa.

Fresh & Tasty Homemade Salsa - nothing like it! | RaisingArrows.net

This is a very chunky salsa with some surprising ingredients like balsamic vinegar and soy sauce!  The acid content in the salsa was plenty high enough to be able to water bath it (the only kind of canning I do), so we ended up doing about 3 gallons.

Later, we moved on to a less chunky salsa that we found HERE.  However, I don’t think either salsa is really going to be hot enough.  I need to put more heat in them next time.

Spaghetti Sauce – I had never canned spaghetti sauce, and frankly, we don’t use the stuff.  For years, we have simply used tomato sauce with spices in it.  That’s it.  However, I thought it would be nice to have some real homemade sauce for our italian meals, so I dug around for a recipe and came up with THIS ONE.

Canned spaghetti sauce

It was VERY tasty, but by the time we had done up a dozen quarts (plus the salsa we had already done), my kids (and myself) were sick of tomatoes.  I happened to mention on Facebook how we were all tired of peeling and seeding tomatoes, and my Facebook blew up with people chiming in saying they didn’t peel or de-seed their tomatoes and I shouldn’t either!  I was astounded.  I was under the impression this was a RULE.  So, when the landlords called and asked if I wanted yet another round of tomatoes, I exasperated my children by saying Yes…because I really wanted to try this little experiment!

Well, the truth is, I will be trying this little experiment later today.  HERE is the recipe I’m going to use. Now, I know the woman in the post freezes hers, but I will be adding some tomato paste (to thicken) and lemon juice (to up the acid content) and water bath them for 20 minutes.  I will also probably run them through the Vita-Mix…just in case people are pulling my leg about having the skins and seeds in there being ok.

Once I’m through the last of the tomatoes and the sandhill plums, we will be finished until apple season…which also looks like a bumper crop.  We buy seconds at a local orchard and turn them into all sorts of yummy treats!  We’ll be freezing slices for pie, making applesauce to can, making apple butter (probably in the crock pot), and maybe even some apple pie filling!

Until then, the rest of the tomatoes on the vine will be picked green and fried.

Week 23 Pregnancy Update

baby development

This past week has felt very busy, but a good busy. Because of the Simplified Organization eCourse, I’ve been steadily working through the difficult areas of our home with my
Read the full article >>

DrinkBands Winners, Omnibus Sale Ending, & New eCourse Code

Omnibus-one-day-left

 THE OMNIBUS SALE IS NOW OVER The 2014 Homeschool Omnibus ends tomorrow night at midnight ET, so don’t miss it!  IMPORTANT DETAILS:  All resources must be downloaded by September 25th because after
Read the full article >>

Getting My Household Back on Track

Girls Room

I’m going to share something that is pretty raw.  Something I really don’t like people to see…at least not like this.  These are photos of our house just a few
Read the full article >>

Week 22 Pregnancy Update

baby development

So…. Is anyone else ready for Autumn? It has been a HOT week here and it seems more of the same is to come.  August is always hot here, so
Read the full article >>