Category: Education

35 More Great Education Quotes

About six months ago I put together a post with almost three dozen of my favorite quotes about education. Of course, that was barely scratching the surface on such wonderful quotes.

I’ve decided that this week is another good week for such a list. (I just returned from Texas, I’m trying to finish editing one novel and start editing a second one, all while doing a variety of planning for a major trip next fall, and two different family reunions. So “free time” has been rather limited of late!)

So, this week I’m again going to “cheat” and use some great words from other people. You will certainly see my attitude towards education when you read these quotes. And again, even if you don’t agree with every one of them, I hope they cause you to think!

  1. “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” Aristotle (384 – 322 BC)
  2. “I learned most, not from those who taught me, but from those who talked with me.” Augustine (354 – 430 AD)
  3. “When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes.” Erasmus (1466 – 1536)
  4. “The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.” Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)
  5. “All men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education.” Sir Walter Scott (1771 – 1832)
  6. “The secret of education lies in respecting the pupil. It is not for you to choose what he shall know, what he shall do. It is chosen and foreordained and he only holds the key to his own secret.” Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803 – 1882)
  7. “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.” Henry David Thoreau (1817 – 1862)
  8. “One you learn to read you will be forever free.” Frederick Douglass (1818 – 1895)
  9. “One’s mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841 – 1935)
  10. “Self-education is the only possible education; the rest is mere veneer laid on the surface of a child’s nature.” Charlotte Mason (1842 – 1923)
  11. “Do not let the endless succession of small things crowd great ideals out of sight and mind.” Charlotte Mason (1842 – 1923)
  12. “I remember that I was never able to get along at school. I was always at the foot of the class.” Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931)
  13. “Education is an admirable thing, but nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.” Oscar Wilde (1854 – 1900)
  14. “Unless education promotes character making, unless it helps men to be more moral, more just to their fellows, more law abiding, more discriminatingly patriotic and public spirited, it is not worth the trouble taken to furnish it.” William Howard Taft (1857 – 1930)
  15. “Thank goodness I was never sent to school: it would have rubbed off some of the originality.” Beatrix Potter (1866 – 1943)
  16. “It is the child who makes the man, and no man exists who was not made by the child he once was.” Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952)
  17. “Education is the period during which you are being instructed by someone you don’t know, about something you do not want to know.” K. Chesterton (1874 – 1936)
  18. “Schools have not necessarily much to do with education…they are mainly institutions of control where basic habits must be inculcated in the young. Education is quite different and has little place in school.” Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)
  19. “I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
  20. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
  21. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by the way it climbs a tree it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Albert Einstein  (1879 – 1955)
  22. “Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein (1879 -1955)
  23. “I suppose it is because nearly all children go to school nowadays and have things arranged for them that they seem so forlornly unable to produce their own ideas.” Agatha Christie (1890 – 1976)
  24. “The principle goal of education is to create men who are capable of doing new things, not simply of repeating what other generations have done.” Jean Piaget (1896 – 1980)
  25. “The greatest service we can do to education today is to teach fewer subjects. No one has time to do more than a few things well before he is twenty, and when we force a boy to be a mediocrity in a dozen subjects we destroy his standards, perhaps for life.” S. Lewis (1898 – 1963)
  26. “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Seuss (1904 – 1991)
  27. “When we make our laws and educational policies primarily for the parents who don’t care, instead of for those who do, those laws are backwards. We urge the burden of proof be on the state to show which mothers and fathers are not doing their job.” Raymond Moore (1916 – 2007)
  28. “Education is the most powerful weapon for changing the world.” Nelson Mandella (1918 – 2013)
  29. “What is most important and valuable about the home as a base for children’s growth into the world is not that it is a better school than the schools, but that it isn’t a school at all.” John Holt (1923 – 1985)
  30. “Ask questions to find out something about the world itself, not to find out whether or not someone knows it.” John Holt (1923 – 1985)
  31. “Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But, for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.” Fred Rogers (1928 – 2003)
  32. “When you take the free will out of education, that turns it into schooling.” John Taylor Gatto (1935 – )
  33. “I don’t think we’ll get rid of schools any time soon, certainly not in my lifetime, but if we’re going to change what’s rapidly becoming a disaster of ignorance, we need to realize that the institution ‘schools’ very well, but it does not ‘educate,’ that’s inherent in the design of the thing. It’s not the fault of bad teachers or too little money spent. It’s just impossible for education and schooling to be the same thing.” John Taylor Gatto (1935 – )
  34. “Genius is an exceedingly common human quality, probably natural to most of us.” John Taylor Gatto (1935 – )
  35. “Education doesn’t need to be reformed – it needs to be transformed. The key is not to standardize education, but to personalize it, to built achievement on discovering the individual talents of each child, to put students in an environment where they want to learn and where they can naturally discover their true passions.” Sir Ken Robinson (1950 – )

Happy learning!


Learning Styles and Curriculum Choices

Homeschooling parents have to take many things into consideration when they are planning their educational package for their children. Yes, it would be easy to just pick up a pre-packaged curriculum complete with student books, tests, answer keys, and lesson plans. What could be wrong with that?

Why Not Just Buy a Pre-Packaged Curriculum?

After more than thirty-five years of homeschooling, several things come to my mind – (1) The costs of such a package can be too much for many homeschooling families. (2) The time involved in putting such a package into use can actually be quite intimidating, particularly for families with multiple aged students. (That was the driving factor for me looking into other options just a few years into our homeschooling journey.) (3) And not least of all, not all students do well with prepackaged curriculum. As the following info-graphic shows, children learn best in a variety of different ways – and not all do well with the high level of reading and writing that prepackaged curriculum tend to focus on.

Taking Learning Styles Into Consideration

Whether you are just starting out on your homeschooling journey, or have been at it for awhile and now see the need for a change, it can be beneficial to consider what your students’ learning styles are. I’m not saying that everything has to be taught that way (in only a hands-on manner for kinesthetic learners, or in just an auditory manner for students who learn best that way, for example).

In fact, the best learning often comes from a combination of methods – hands-on, audio, visual, etc. But when you take into account the way your student best learns, instead of blindly following a pre-packaged curriculum, you will often find that the process goes better, with both students and teacher being less frustrated.

Examples of Different Options for Different Styles

Visual learners usually remember 75% of what they see or read. Needless to say, they understand information best when they see it. So instead of  struggling to get visual learners to memorize flashcards or just read from the textbook, try watching educational homeschooling videos or looking at charts when teaching a new topic.

For your kinesthetic learners, try engaging them in hands-on activities like field trips or a trip to your local zoo or museum. Incorporate movement and storytelling with these types of learners.

If your child is an auditory learner, there are numerous resources such as audio books, where they can listen to books or read along with books.

And for almost any learner,  on our educational journey we found that both travel and games added to the variety and interest of  all involved!

Spending Money Differently

And if you go about it the right way, you will find yourself spending less money. Or choosing to spend it on things with more lasting educational value – good quality real books instead of textbooks that are generally used and then abandoned; family memberships at those zoos, aquariums, or museums that you will want to visit more frequently, and so on.

A Smoother Journey

So, if you are wondering how to make your homeschooling journey go a little smoother,  I strongly encourage you to take learning styles into consideration and work to make it a more enjoyable and more effective trip for all involved!

Happy learning!


Learning Differently or Learning Disabled?

I miss many things since closing the physical space of Creative Learning Connection. But there is one thing I certainly don’t miss – standing in front of parents, generally well-meaning mothers, who went on to tell me of their children’s disabilities – in front of their children.  It made me want to cringe. And then to lash out at them, maybe shake them, and ask if they knew what damage they were doing to their child. But I could do none of that. I had to listen quietly and then pray that I could come up with an answer that would be helpful.

Labels – Good or Bad?

I have never been a fan of these labels and cringed at their use. To hear many of these mothers use them, they sounded more like a crutch or a curse. And I shuddered more than once at what those labels were doing to the children on whom they had been placed.

Square Pegs and Round Holes

I would prefer we talk about the fact that some of our students learn differently, because isn’t that what it’s truly about? We aren’t all wired the same. We learn in different ways, but schools (and sadly, often even homeschool programs) all seem bent on making square pegs fit into round holes. Let’s embrace the differences, rather than trying to make everyone the same! It’s the differences that brought many of our most famous artists and scientists to where they managed to accomplish so much. Men like Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, and Albert Einstein probably accomplished what they did because of their learning differences, rather than in spite of them. Maybe someday we’ll learn to embrace those differences, rather than just labeling them and fighting against them.

Using Labels for Good

In the meantime, I have not completely changed my mind about labels. I think they can still cause more problems than they solve in many cases. But I have softened my view on them a bit. I have spoken with mothers recently who were embracing the labels as the answer to why their child struggles/struggled to learn many things. When the labels can be used to get help in school or to convince a parent that the child is not merely being rebellious or stubborn when they aren’t learning something, then they have become a tool for good rather than just pain.

And I have found nothing that expresses the good that can come from a properly applied label than a video that my niece and her son made recently. It made me cry and I can only hope that others will be moved by it as well.

Happy learning – regardless of your learning abilities and differences!


Learning Resources

I love sharing resources with others who are looking for new and different ways to educate children, in and out of a classroom. So it was very exciting at a recent family get together when I learned that one of my brothers-in-law is planning to become a classroom teacher when he retires from his first career in a couple of years.

He wants to teach elementary school, and I primarily focused on high school in my last years of teaching, but I still had quite a few fun resources to share with him.  And it occurred to me that some of these may be of interest to readers of this blog as well.

Free and Inexpensive Resources

So here are a number of my favorite all around educational resources, several of which are free or inexpensive, and most of which could be helpful whether you are involved in the education of younger students or older ones, and whether you are dealing with just one or two students, or an entire classroom of them.

TED Talk

An amazing Ted talk by Sir Ken Robinson on Changing Paradigms about Education (everyone with an interest in education should watch this!):

 Izzit Educational DVDs are amazing! And as an educator you can get a free one each year. (Or you can stream any of them for free.) If you are working with high schoolers there are so many great ones to choose from!  If you are working with elementary age, these two (Pups of Liberty) are my favorites:

Books and Lectures

As I’ve mentioned on my other blog, I am an avid Audible listener. So, of course, I listen to these through Audible. But the first two are also available as books, and the last one is also available directly through the Great Courses (though there they will definitely cost more than getting it through Audible!)

Happy Learning!



35 Great Quotes about Learning and Education

Here are some of my absolute favorite quotes on education and learning, from a variety of sages across 2500 years. You may not agree with the sentiment of each of them, but my guess is they will all make you think!

  1. “He who learns but does not think, is lost! He who thinks but does not learn is in great danger.” Confucius (551 BC – 479 BC)
  2. “Much learning does not teach understanding.” Heraclitus (544 BC – 483 BC)
  3. “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC)
  4. “Poor is the pupil who does not surpass his master.” Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519)
  5. “Learning never exhausts the mind.” Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519)
  6. “The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.” Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519)
  7. “Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience.” Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626)
  8. “I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn’t learn something from him.” Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642)
  9. “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”  Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)
  10. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin (1706 – 1790)
  11. “To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.” Edmund Burke (1729 – 1797)
  12. “I cannot live without books.” Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826)
  13. “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and diligence.” Abigail Adams (1744 – 1818)
  14. “The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.” Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865)
  15. “A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.” Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
  16. “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.” Mark Twain (1835 – 1910)
  17. “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” Theodore Roosevelt (1858 – 1919)
  18. “Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.” George Washington Carver (c.1863 – 1943)
  19. “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.” Henry Ford (1863 – 1947)
  20. “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” William Butler Yeats (1865 – 1939)
  21. “Education must not simply teach work – it must teach Life.” W.E.B. Du Bois (1868 – 1963)
  22. “Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” Robert Frost (1874 – 1963)
  23. “I am always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.” Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965)
  24. “Education…has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.” G.M. Trevelyan (1876 – 1962)
  25. “Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
  26. “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
  27. “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.” Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
  28. “It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education.” Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
  29. “I’d rather learn from one bird how to sing than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance.” e.e. cummings (1894 – 1962)
  30. “It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.” James Thurber (1894 – 1961)
  31. “The principle goal of education in the schools should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things, not simply repeating what other generations have done.” Jean Piaget (1896 – 1980)
  32. “Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.” C. S. Lewis (1898 – 1963)
  33. “The idea of education has been so tied to schools, universities, and professors that many assume there is no other way, but education is available to anyone within reach of a library, a post office, or even a newsstand.” Louis L’Amour (1908 – 1988)
  34. “Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” Isaac Asimov (1920 – 1992)
  35.  “Too much of what is called ‘education’ is little more than an expensive isolation from reality.” Thomas Sowell (1930 – )


Did I leave out any of your favorite quotes?

Happy learning!



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