25 Fabulous Education & Parenting Quotes

Little girl with alphabetDon’t you just love a great quote? Over the years I’ve compiled my own list of quotes that have inspired me as a parent and as an educator. I thought I would share a few of them with you. Perhaps one or two may hit you wherever you are right now.

1.   He is educated who knows how to find out what he doesn’t know.  ~ George Simmel, German Philosopher

2.   I think this wise; the greatest service we can do to education is to teach fewer subjects.   No one has time to do more than a very 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. ~ C. S. Lewis

3.   Read at every wait; read at all hours; read within leisure; read in times of labor; read as one goes in; read as one goes out. The task of the educated mind is simply put: read to lead.  ~ Cicero

4.   Learning how to learn by learning how to think makes a well-educated person. Learning how to learn not only expands the mind. It also gives you a lifelong asset. Once you have it, it stays with you for the rest of your life.  ~ T. Kaori Kitao (1999)

5.   The greatest maxim of all is that children should be brought up as simply and in as domestic a way as possible, and that (not interfering with their lessons) they should be as much as possible with their parents, and learn to place the greatest confidence in them in all things. ~ Queen Victoria

6.   Let them get at the books themselves, and do not let them be flooded with diluted talk from the lips of their teacher. The less the parents ‘talk-in’ and expound their rations of knowledge and thought to the children they are educating, the better for the children…Children must be allowed to ruminate, must be left alone with their own thoughts. ~ Charlotte Mason

7.   Look on education as something between the child’s soul and God. Modern Education tends to look on it as something between the child’s brain and the standardized test. ~ Charlotte Mason

8.   Education is a matter of the spirit. No wiser word has been said on the subject, and yet we persist in applying education from without.  No one knoweth the things of the man except the spirit of man which is in him; therefore, there is no education but self-education, and as soon as a young child begins his education, he does so as a student. Our business is to give him mind stuff. Both quantity and quality are essential. ~ Charlotte Mason

9.   He who sees things grow from the beginning will have the best view of them. ~ Aristotle

10. The life of Abraham Lincoln is by most accounts an amazing study in character formation. Yet he was notoriously disorganized; he even had a file in his law office labeled “If you can’t find it anywhere else, try looking here. ~ John Ortberg

11. When I was a newly-wed and didn’t know how to cook, I asked my grandmother for her chili recipe.

“Well, first you cook your beans.”

”What kind of beans?”

“Any kind you want.”

How many?”

“As many as you need.”

”Okay, then what?”

“You brown your meat.”

How much meat?”

“Depends on how many beans you cooked.”

”Okay, supposing I make it that far, then what?”

“Well, you just season it till it tastes right, and that’s all there is to it!”

I think homeschooling is much like that: different grades, different children, and different life circumstances keep us from having one constant “recipe.” We often play it by ear, “taste” it and adjust accordingly. ~ Jenny Calvin, a very wise homeschooling Mom

12. I believe that education is all about being excited about something! Seeing passion and enthusiasm helps push an educational message. ~ Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter

13. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit. ~ Aristotle

14. Today I am going to give you two examinations, one in trigonometry and one in honesty. I hope you will pass them both, but if you must fail one, let it be trigonometry. ~ Madison Sarratt, Professor of Mathematics 1916-1978, Vanderbilt University

15. Excellence never goes out of style. ~ Seen on a billboard

16. The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.  ~ Abraham Lincoln

17. If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time insight into and understanding of many things. ~ Vincent Van Gogh

18. Only one who devotes himself to a cause with his whole strength and soul can be a true master. For this reason, mastery demands all of a person. ~ Albert Einstein

19. If people only knew how hard I work to gain my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all. ~ Michelangelo

20. I am beginning to suspect all elaborate and special systems of education. They seem to me to be built up on the supposition that every child is a kind of idiot who must be taught to think.  ~ Anne Sullivan

21. Education is a state-controlled manufactory of echoes. ~ Norman Douglas

22. Education is the process of casting false pearls before real swine. ~ Professor Irwin Edman

23. Education is one of the few things a person is willing to pay for and not get. ~William Lowe Bryan

24. Education is hanging around until you’ve caught on. ~ Robert Frost

25. Education is one of the chief obstacles to intelligence and freedom of thought.

~ Bertrand A. Russell (1872-1970) English philosopher, mathematician, and writer


About the Author

Joanne Calderwood has been called America’s Homeschool Mom. She is an underwhelmed Mom of eight great kids, owner of URtheMOM.com, and an author and columnist. Her new book, The Self-Propelled Advantage: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Independent, Motivated Kids Who Learn with Excellence, enables parents to teach their kids to teach themselves with excellence.


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