Written by Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool and founder of Steady Mom
A note from Jamie: I know, I promised to write about cleaning today. But then my husband went overseas on an important work trip. For six days. Enough said. So enjoy this repost, which originally published on January 17, 2011.
For years, I’ve dreamed of earning a Master’s in Education one day. It’s been on my list of future goals for quite some time. I’m specifically interested in studying alternative education and the philosophy and history of education. Not surprising, since I’m one of those crazy homeschoolers, you know.
Recently, I was comparing my list of goals with my available free time–trying to compute how they would ever fit together.
I am a busy mama, just like you. On top of my mothering and homeschooling, I’ve been blessed with a unique and wonderful dream job as a writer here in the blogosphere. I also hope to begin another book later this year.
So just when am I going to squeeze in this master’s program?
Researching potential degree options, I felt a rush of giddy feelings exploring the required reading list. All those educational books are like candy in a candy store to me. But when I imagined receiving the list of assignments for the semester, my giddy feelings turned to nausea.
Then I realized something amazing–I don’t really want a master’s.
I just want to learn.
There’s no reason I need to complete a degree so someone else can deem me “educated.” I have no plans or desire to ever teach in the traditional system. I don’t need a teaching certificate to enable me to homeschool. The program that interests me most is currently unaccredited anyway.
John Holt, founder of the unschooling movement, helped me with this epiphany. Recently I’ve been reading a selection of his letters that were published. In one of them he writes the following to a fellow educational reformer:
“I’ve been told many times by well-meaning friends that I would be more ‘effective’ if I had a post-graduate degree in education. I don’t agree with them.
I think the fact that I can do useful work in a number of fields, and that I am invited to participate in a great number of different kinds of professional conferences in spite of not having academic qualifications, is a very powerful argument against the necessity of those qualifications in the first place.”
There’s never been a technologically superior time to design your own master’s. Check out this amazing list of 12 Dozen Places to Educate Yourself Online for Free.
Continuing our personal education is a powerful way to set an example for the little ones we teach at home. Without a doubt, there is a place for educational institutions in our world, and many people want or need that seal of approval to fulfill their goals in life.
But what a blessing to know that we need never stop learning, no matter where we crack open the books.
What would you love to study? Do you need an official degree in the subject, or is there a way you can get started now?