Thursday, May 19, 2011

Are We Teaching All They Need?...

Albert Einstein was once asked by a student, “Dr. Einstein, how many feet are there in a mile?” To the utter astonishment of the student, Einstein replied, “I don’t know.”
The student was sure the great professor was joking. Surely Einstein would know a simple fact that every schoolchild is required to memorize. But Einstein wasn’t joking. When the student pressed for an explanation of this gap in Einstein’s knowledge, he declared, “I make it a rule not to clutter my mind with simple information that I can find in a book in five minutes. 

I heard this quote a few years ago and then came across it again the other day.  It put things into perspective for me because I, like many homeschooling mothers, worry that I'm not teaching my children everything that they should be taught.  Wow, I thought, if Einstein wasn't worried about memorizing all the details of the world, why should I worry about teaching all the details of the world?  Maybe I'm the only mom who worries about things like that, but I'll bet I'm not alone.  I hope Einstein has encouraged you this morning!  Happy homeschooling!


  1. Jen,

    This was great!! There's so much information to be learned by simply reading. There are things my 8yr old daughter has shared with me, that I certainly did not know, just by reading books that interest her. (For example, she told me this morning all about a "glass octopus" that becomes "see-through" to keep predators away! I probably would never have taught her that!)

    You are so right; we can't possibly teach everything there is to know. Well, I guess that's one less thing to worry about. . .thanks! :)

  2. Just like you, I have learned from my children. So how could we possibly teach "everything" when we learn from them ourselves? Thanks for the comment Stacie.