Regardless of how you educate your children, the impact you have on their learning is more powerful than anyone else’s. From household chores, to personal habits, to academic disciplines, your influence is incalculable – truly! This is not necessarily by way of your structured instruction of your children – it is by way of their casual observation of what you do and how you do it, their listening in on what matters to you (even when it appears they are not!), their living alongside of you.
A guiding principle for me has been this: “Education is not the filling of a bucket but the lighting of a fire.”
What does that mean?
We tend to think we need a lighter or a match to start a fire – but what did people use for thousands of years before such inventions? People banked their fires so that they had more fire! Then fire could be given: by a shared spark, a transferred coal, a burning ember. We need to tend our own fires so that we can kindle flames for others. Our own lifestyles of learning fuels us with warmth and light to share.
Stoke your own fire! Read broadly, ponder deeply, talk openly about whatever matters most to you. You don’t need to be scholarly to be brilliant; to shine. But you do need to be learning – for yourself and for those in your fire circle.
Even if there’s just a flickering reed, fire spreads.
not the filling of a bucket
but the lighting of a fire.
~ William Butler Yeats
* * * * *
If you’d like to make your own collection of Sage Sayings, I’m posting printable versions. You may print them out and post them on a clipboard, or slap them into your journal, or stick them in a card, or frame them to display.
Here’s today’s printable version: Sage8 – Yeats
Note: for more info about the Sage Sayings series, see the blog post from February 6, 2017.