(on a budget and from and LDS Perspective)
Heidi Allen Garvin Hendricks
1. Definition Un-Schooling
2. Our Family Background
3. True Education
4. Vital Roles of Mothers
5. On a Budget
6. How to ‘Un-School’
7. Individual Gifts, Talents, Learning Styles
8. Closing Remarks
1. Unschooling (Wikipedia)
Unschooling emphasizes free, undirected play as a major component of children's
Unschooling is an educational method and philosophy that advocates learner-chosen
activities as a primary means for learning.
Unschooling students learn through their natural life experiences including play,
household responsibilities, personal interests and curiosity, internships and work
experience, travel, books, elective classes, family, mentors, and social interaction.
Unschooling encourages exploration of activities initiated by the children themselves,
believing that the more personal learning is, the more meaningful, well-understood
and therefore useful it is to the child.
While courses may occasionally be taken, un-schooling questions the usefulness of
standard curricula, conventional grading methods, and other features of traditional
schooling in the education of each unique child.
What is the Real Purpose of Education?
“The True Aim of Education is the education of the Heart!”
It is providing a way and place for each child to best learn, grow, develop and serve.
It’s helping children as they discover their God-given gifts and talents to be used
in serving Him, others’ and in making the world a better place.
“The mere stuffing of the mind with a knowledge of facts is not education.
The mind must not only possess a knowledge of the truth, but the soul must
revere it, cherish it, love it as a priceless gem…”
- Joseph F. Smith, June 5, 1895
President Ezra Taft Benson: Oct. 1970
“As a watchman on the tower, I feel to warn you that one of the chief
means of misleading our youth and destroying the family unit is our
“President Joseph F. Smith referred to false educational ideas as one of
the three threatening dangers among our church members.”
“I would rather have my child exposed to smallpox, typhus fever,
cholera, or other malignant and deadly diseases than to the degrading
influence of a corrupt teacher. It is infinitely better to take chances
with an ignorant, but pure-minded teacher than with the greatest
philosopher who is impure.” - Karl G. Maeser
In many places it is literally not safe physically for youngsters to go
to school. And in many schools – and it’s becoming almost
generally true – it is spiritually unsafe to attend public schools.
- Boyd K. Packer, BYU Oct. 9, 1996
“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
- Albert Einstein
“Education is primarily a spiritual matter…We are dealing with the hearts
and minds of living souls. We hope to teach far more than facts and skills.
We desire to teach truth, to develop the capability to discern truth…it
takes the influence of the Spirit to learn truth…” - C. Miner
In 1875 Brigham Young asked Karl G. Maeser in 1876 to go to Provo
to establish a church school, explaining,
"Brother Maeser, I want you to remember that you ought not to
teach even the alphabet or the multiplication tables without the
Spirit of God.”
“The most glorious of all avenues to truth is
direct revelation from Heaven.”
“Our society will change as our education changes.”
- Neil J. Flinders, Teach the Children: An Agency Approach to
Education, BYU, 1990
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten
what one has learned in school.”
“The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the
philosophy of government in the next.”
- Abraham Lincoln
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember.
Involve me and I learn. “
- Benjamin Franklin
-Clean Room, Make Bed, Shower, Get Ready for Day
-Breakfast (all help)
-Devotional; Prayer, Scripture Study, Discussion, Prayer
-”School”; Read, Study, Learn, Progress, Grow, Play, Lessons, Field
Trips, Online, Classes, Library, Art, Music, Inventions, Create,
Serve, Develop, Ponder, Work, Write, Talents, Discover etc….
“Motivation is a fire from within. If someone else tries to light that fire
under you, chances are it will burn very briefly.”
– Stephen R. Covey
3. True Education
“But I have commanded you to bring up your children in light and truth.” -
“…why not eliminate from our lives the things that clamor for and consumer
our thoughts, feelings, energies, without contributing to our reaching that
(eternal) goal ?” – M. Russell Ballard
“EDUCA'TION, noun [Latin educatio.]
The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education
comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended
to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners
and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations.
To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is
important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an
immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these
(Noah Webster, Webster's 1828 Dictionary, 1828.)
“I think that by the end of the millennium, for those who will occupy the
celestial kingdom, the home will be the only media of teaching children.
Teaching will be through the family.”
- President Alvin R. Dyer, of the First Presidency Education: Moving
Toward and Under the Law of Consecration, BYU Studies, 1969
Some Resource Books:
Dumbling Us Down - The Hidden Curriculum of Compulsory Schooling
Better Late than Early – A new Approach to Your Child’s Education
The Successful Homeschool Family Handbook
Homeschooling, The Right Choice - The Incredible Failure of Public Education and the
Rising Hope of Homeschooling
The Teenage Liberation Handbook - How to quit School and Get a Real Life and Education
Family Matters - Why Homeschooling Makes Sense
Smart Moves - Why Learning is not all in your Head
Educating Zion – “Precepts Revealed by the Lord”, BYU Studies
A Thomas Jefferson Education - Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-First Century
Insult to Intelligence - The Bureaucratic Invasion of our Classrooms
Thomas Jefferson on Leadership - Executive Lessons from His Life and Letters
The Well-Trained Mind – A Guide to Classical Education at Home
4. Vital Roles of Mothers (and Fathers)
“Motherhood is near Divinity. It is the highest, holiest service to be assumed by
mankind. It places her who honors it’s Holy Calling and service next to the Holy
Angels of God.” - President Thomas S. Monson
“Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children.”
- The Family; a Proclamation to the World
“No other success can compensate for failure in the home.”
- President David O. McKay
“There are few things more powerful than the prayers of a righteous mother.”
- Boyd K. Packer
“Women who make a house a home make a far greater contribution to society
than those who command large armies or stand at the head of impressive
corporations. Who can put a price tag on the influence a mother has on her
children…? …the mothers of today have no greater opportunity and no more
serious challenge than to do all they can to strengthen the [home].”
– President Gordon B. Hinckley
“We call upon parents to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of
their children….The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other
instrumentality can take its place or fulfill it’s essential functions….We counsel
parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home
evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities.
However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they
must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only
parents and family can adequately perform.”
- Letter from the First Presidency to
- “Members of the Church Throughout the World” Feb. 11, 1999
President Ezra Taft Benson, “The Honored Place of Woman”, Oct. 1981
“A child needs a mother more than all the things money can buy.”
“It is a fundamental truth that the responsibilities of motherhood cannot be
“It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s
To the Mothers in Zion – Pres. Ezra Taft Benson
…children – not possessions, not position, not prestige– are our greatest jewels.
Mothers Who Know – Julie B. Beck.
More than anytime in the history of the world, we need mothers who know. Children are being
born into a world where they “wrestle….against principalities, against powers, against the
rulers of darkness…against spiritual wickedness in high places. ….when mothers know who they
are…they will have great power and influence for good on their children.
Mothers who know….allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws
their children away from their home….[they] are willing to live on less and consume less of the
world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children – more time eating
together…working together…reading together….talking, laughing, singing….
The Honored Place of Woman – President Ezra Taft Benson
Since the beginning, [a mother’s] role has been to teach her children….to provide ….a haven of
security and love… Contrary to conventional wisdom, a mother’s place is in the home.
To the Young Women of the Church - President Ezra Taft Benson
Teach your daughters that….Homemaking is the highest, most noble profession to which a woman
Behold Thy Mother – Jeffrey R. Holland, October 2015
…no love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless
love a devoted mother has for her child.
Because She is a Mother – Jeffrey R. Holland April 1997
The work of a mother is hard, too often unheralded work. …..often the greatest challenge of all for a
young mother is simply fatigue. Through these years, mothers go longer on less sleep and give more to
others with less personal renewal for themselves than any other group I know at any other time in life.
Do the best you can through these years, but whatever else you do, cherish that role that is so
uniquely yours and for which heaven itself sends angels to watch over you and your little ones.
Husbands—especially husbands—as well as Church leaders and friends in every direction, be helpful
and sensitive and wise.
Mothers, ….Please know that it is worth it then, now, and forever. And if, for whatever reason, you
are making this courageous effort alone, without your husband at your side, then our prayers will be
all the greater for you, and our determination to lend a helping hand even more resolute.
5. Homeschooling on a Budget
Options: Home school, Public, Private, Co-ops, Online Classes etc.
“The things a man learns pretty much on his own are the things he is least
likely to forget.” (Benjamin Franklin?)
-Devotional, Scripture Study, Reading, Planning, Chores, Meals
-Library, Museums, Field Trips, Service Projects, Education Week
-Co-ops: History, English, Math, Writing, Spelling, Science, Spanish,
Hebrew, Entrepreneurship, Choir, Shakespeare Play,
Parliamentary Procedure, Mock Trial, Spelling Bee, Self-Defense
Lessons: Piano, Voice, T-Ball, Baseball, Jr. Jazz Basketball, Tennis,
Swimming, Soccer, Tumbling, Trampoline, Gymnastics, Karate
Church: Activity Days, Scouting, Young Men/Women, Service Projects
6. “How to ‘Un-School’ “
Study, Prayer, Faith, Inspiration
Homeschool, Public School, Private School, Co-ops, Online Classes, Internships,
Work and Service, Part-time Public School, College, Institute
7. Individual Gifts, Talents, Learning Styles, Purposes
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the
day you find out why.” - Mark Twain
-Look for the Good in your Children.
-Build on their Strengths.
Andrew: tender hearted, creative, hard-working, mediator, helper,
peacekeeper, team player, problem-solving skills, dedicated, diligent,
persistent, obedient, faithful, driven, creative, funny, compassionate,
service-oriented, thoughtful, follows through
- computers, coding, repairman, yo-yo’s, guitar, rubix cube, magic tricks,
harmonica, guitar, t-ball, baseball, Jr. Jazz basketball, tumbling and
gymnastics, welding, animals, car care, woodworking, engineering,
construction, entrepreneur, bartering, French language, cooking,
culinary, leadership, giver of gifts, scouting, Eagle Scout, scriptorian,
Ashley: obedient, spiritual, strong moral compass, sensitive, loyal friend, fun,
funny, loves people, independent, persistent, sincere, truthful, social, tender
hearted, service oriented, caring, compassionate, loving, faithful
- singing, dancing, acting, performing, piano, ukulele, artistic, health and
nutrition, human body, human anatomy, lawn mowing, yard work, gardening,
working with elderly and those with special needs, lover or animals, people,
friends, graduated LDS Institute with 3 advanced degrees/as officer at age 17
Swimming, tumbling, horses, animals, t-ball, tennis camp
Activity days, Scouting, young men/women, service, gardening, yard work,
snow shoveling, christmas tree farm, corn maze, canning foods, baking,
cooking, cleaning, service, family and church events and activities
8. Closing Remarks
- J. Reuben Clark, The Charted Course of the Church in Education – 1984
….youth….are hungry for things of the Spirit; they are eager to learn….., and they want it
straight, undiluted. They want to know about the fundamentals…..— They are not now
doubters but inquirers, seekers after truth.
These students crave the faith their fathers and mothers have; they want it in its simplicity
and purity…. [they]… are spiritually working on….a maturity which they will early reach
if you but feed them the right food.
You must have…one of the rarest and most precious of all the many elements
of human character—moral courage.
“A Plea to My Sisters” – Pres. Russell M. Nelson, October Conference 2015
“We need your strength, your conversion, your conviction, your ability to lead, your
wisdom, and your voices.…we need women who know how to make important things
happen…who are courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick
world…women who know how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and
strengthen children and families; women who teach fearlessly.