An Unconventional Education

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As you have likely learned already, the prolific inventor Thomas Edison went to school for only a few months. After his schoolmaster called him “addled,” his mother took him out of school and taught him at home. From childhood he was fascinated with machines and chemistry. But how, some people may wonder, could Thomas Edison learn so much without going to school?

Young Thomas Edison, c. 1880. Courtesy Library of Congress.
Young Thomas Edison, c. 1880. Courtesy Library of Congress.

Some Jews once asked a similar question concerning the Son of God.

But when it was now the midst of the feast
Jesus went up into the temple,
and began to teach.
The Jews then were astonished, saying,
“How has this man become learned,
having never been educated?”
So Jesus answered them and said,
“My teaching is not Mine,
but His who sent Me.
If anyone is willing to do His will,
he will know of the teaching,
whether it is of God
or whether I speak from Myself.
John 7:14-17

Jesus, too, had an unconventional education.

As homeschooling grows in numbers, I see a profound change that worries me. One of the past strengths of homeschooling was its unconventionality. It seems that as homeschooling becomes more and more a conventional choice, homeschooling itself is becoming, well, just that — more conventional. The trouble is that conventional eduation doesn’t work for everyone. It didn’t work for Thomas Edison, but an unconventional one did.

Sometimes — maybe lots of the time — unconventional is exactly what’s needed.

And do not be conformed to this world,
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
so that you may prove what the will of God is,
that which is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2

You can read four past posts about Thomas Edison, click here.

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  1. This is so true, Charlene. We’ve seen such a shift in the homeschooling culture. The movement is growing and the purity is being diluted. More and more parents are homeschooling for secular reasons. Convenience, academics, and sports, are not the reasons people started homeschooling many years ago.

    Thank you for your wise counsel,

    Cindy