College Isn’t Everything

Today was a very good homeschooling day for us. All of our lessons went smoothly, and each of my children had a good attitude. Hooray!

While I believe that schooling is very important, it isn’t everything. This is quite different from my attitude while I was younger. I was raised to believe that academics were a huge measure of my success as a person. Accordingly, I poured my whole being into doing well in school.

I was taught that a college education was a must. So I went to college, even when it was incredibly difficult because I had small children. Oh, how hard it was to leave my oldest two daughters! I now see the error in my ways.

While I understand that many folks need a college education to work in their chosen careers, I certainly did not. I just went to college to go to college.

I would like to share a few thoughts with you today about the Amish, and how they differ in their view of education. I find this very interesting! The word “Englisch” in the text below refers to the typical American culture.

One of the biggest differences between Amish and Englisch cultures is that our children, on the whole, are taught that they must stay in school and get a college education if they want to achieve success and make a good living. The Amish do the exact opposite. They encourage their children to opt out at around age fourteen, access an apprenticeship within their culture, and learn how to run a business or have a useful and marketable skill. Their sons and daughters are frequently self-supporting by the time most Englisch children are trying to fill out a college application.

Critical thinking and formal education are not necessarily tied together. Several employers with whom I spoke said that they prefer to hire and train Amish workers over non-Amish. When I inquired why, I was told that the Amish tended to have a better work ethic and a lot more common sense than those with more advanced educations.

One difference in their concept is that the Englisch world tends to look for more significance in our jobs than the average Amish worker. In addition to a paycheck, we long for some validation in the form of prestige or identity, or at least some purpose. We talk openly of finding our “passion.”

On the other hand, Amish people seldom equate their identity with their work. To the Amish, a job is a job. If it pays the bills, great. If there is a little left over to put into savings, wonderful. If the working conditions are safe, and the pay is enough to support a growing family, an Amish person is happy. This has far-reaching implications for how the Amish communities orient themselves toward putting the needs of the community above the desires of self.” – More Than Happy, The Wisdom of Amish Parenting pp. 145-146

Related: Conservative Christian Curriculum is Under Attack

What if we decided to not tie our identities to our careers, and instead root them in Christ?

What if put our passion and purpose into raising our families, instead of our jobs?

I believe this would be life changing, friends!

I currently am encouraging my children to explore all of their options when it comes to their career. Perhaps it will include college, possibly it will not.

A person can walk out their God-given purpose without college. They can be helpful, smart, and useful without college. Raising our children to have a strong work ethic and common sense can be some of the best tools we can give them.

And young mama, don’t make the same mistake I did. If you do not want to leave your child to go to college, then don’t! I listened to a lot of “well meaning” voices when I was younger, and now I regret it.

Thank you so much for stopping by today. I hope you leave here encouraged! If you would like to learn about becoming a Member of Redeeming Home, please click here.

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