Knowledge alone doesn’t empower
I used to think that if I just gave my kids lots of knowledge, that would be enough. But I was wrong. Knowledge alone doesn’t empower right living. This is a lesson it took me more than 20 years to learn.
When I first started homeschooling my 3 children, I followed the grade level learning outcomes, but it wasn’t working. My boys read textbooks like they were novels. In the first year that we homeschooled, Ian took the grade 5 and 6 science textbooks that I bought at the curriculum fair in May and had them read in 2 weeks. Clearly, doing public school at home was not going to work for us. I prayed and asked for wisdom about how I could possibly homeschool these 3 in grades 8, 5, and K. This was in the 1990s. I didn’t know many other homeschoolers. I didn’t know anyone homeschooling through highschool.
I had a dream
Then I had a dream. In the dream, it became clear that my job wasn’t to fill their minds with knowledge, but to equip them for their life’s purpose. I would like to say that revelation transformed how we did homeschool and my children are forever grateful for the wisdom and understanding that was imparted to them by their mother. It didn’t happened like that.
I struggled between giving them skills that would empower their lives — skills like plant identification, wild foraging, herbal medicine, gardening, animal husbandry, writing, reading, logic, the scientific method, and woodworking, spinning, and weaving — and fulfilling the learning outcomes that the government said they needed. Often these two things were in conflict. The closer a child was to highschool graduation, the more the conflict seemed to enter our relationship. Knowledge is easy. Gaining skills in applying that knowledge in practical and empowering ways is more complicated.
As a writer is my job to offer you knowledge?
As a blogger it seems like my job is to offer you knowledge. But knowledge doesn’t empower. If knowledge empowered, an afternoon spent on Pinterest would make us the most powerful people that ever lived. It’s skills and mastery based on knowledge that empowers. Each of us needs to practice the skills we need to gain mastery in the areas that equip us for our life’s purpose, our calling.
It’s skills that empower
I can give you information about herbal medicine or essential oils or scratch cooking. But for that information to empower you to live a more fearless, self reliant life, you need to actually make the tinctures, dry the herbs for tea, or bake the loaf of bread. And for it to actually empower you, you need to do it more than once. You need to make mistakes and learn from them. I need to do this, too. Reading a book or doing a Google search isn’t enough.
What I’m doing to improve my skill level
So this summer, I’m upping my game. I’m focusing on improving my photography skills. I’m taking a course from Craftsy right now. “The Essentials of Understanding Light“. And a short class on composition. And I’m determined to practice by taking lots of pictures, even bad pictures, until I get it right. I need to do this to improve my blogging, to further inspire YOU, to do the things that will move you to mastery, so that you can live a bold, self sufficient, fearless life, too.
Here’s a few of my recent pictures in my attempts to improve my skill. (Be nice. I’m still learning.)
I hope my blog posts inspire you to move beyond knowledge to growing your skills. Don’t just read about gardening, go outside and play in the dirt. Take a class this summer like the Fiercely D.I.Y. class and share it with your kids or grandkids. Up your empowerment quotient. And pass on your new skills to the young people in your life, too.
What’s the Fiercely Do-It-Yourself class?
These blog posts from my friends are a sample of what the course presents to help you build your skillset in these important areas. Check out each of the posts below and see if they speak to your need right now. Each post is just a sample of what a week in the Fiercely DiY course explores.
Each week a new skillset is presented with lots of opportunity for you to practice and perfect your abilities. Once the course is completed you’ll know exactly how to creativley explore each area on your own with confidence. And as a bonus, you’ll be creating handmade gifts as you progress through the course, so you’ll have a headstart on the winter giftgiving season.
The Fiercely DiY Summer course starts next week. Sign up.