***See the all the tips from the Fantastic Family Series here.*** In the last two FFF episodes, we shared with you specific techniques -- the P.M.S. and Kid Conversations -- that you could implement today to begin creating a stronger family culture. (If you haven't watched them, I suggest you do. They're powerful tools. Get them here.) Today we're going to take a step back... a step back that will help us 'see the forest'. The techniques and strategies we'll be sharing in the coming weeks are extremely powerful. But they're the 'trees'. Before we get into them, we need you to get a big picture of the forest. It's like a giant puzzle -- the puzzle of your life, your family. The techniques are puzzle pieces that fit into a larger framework of 'the big picture'. You have to know what the puzzle looks like before you can put the pieces in the right place. What we'll cover today is critically important, but the truth is that many people will discount it as being less important than it is, or will not grasp how foundational it is. WARNING: DON'T BE THAT PERSON!  Don't underestimate how vital this topic is to your ultimate individual and familial success! I'll do my best to 'splain as best I can. [message type="info"]Join us right here Friday May 2, 2014 at 10am MST (9am PST; 12pm EST) for a live webinar  (Or watch and ask questions on Google+) Sign up here to get reminders sent to your inbox.[/message]


Without a Vision, the People Perish

Having a clear understanding of this 'big picture' will determine how your kids turn out -- whether you, or they, are aware of it or not. It will determine their destiny -- wealthy or broke, happy or unhappy, success or failure. It's already affected how your life has, or is, turning out, even though you don't know it. It's the key element that makes or breaks lifelong success, creates leaders, change-makers and entrepreneurs. Understanding -- and applying -- the key elements of this 'big picture' will direct the sort of life we lead, so that when we've reached the end and lie there taking our last breaths, our ultimate success (or lack of it) will stare us unflinchingly in the face.

Because when we reach that final finish line, the true measure of who we are will be weighed. What legacy will we leave? What contributions will be ours? How will our family, friends and our circle of influence remember us? Will we be loved, and missed, and inspire generations of purposeful living?

Or will we be broke, despised and alone? In the book of Proverbs it says, "Without a vision, the people perish." This vision, this 'big picture' is THE determining factor for what you do everyday, and the quality of the lifestyle you lead. It's the culture, the philosophy, the worldview -- your lens on life.

So what is it? What is this 'big picture'?

PARENTING TIPS #3It's your 'Educational Foundation'. It's the type of education you pursue, and the way in which you pursue it. Now before you start thinking of academics and grades and test scores and diplomas, 'let me 'splain. We are NOT talking about going to good schools, getting degrees and all that. Academics are important, and even learning trigonometry has it's place. But that's only a portion of what this definition of education is about. In the United States and other developed nations, we've been conditioned to believe that 'school' and grades and diplomas is what education is, and if we want a 'good one', then we go to the best schools and we get good grades. We've been conditioned to believe that if we go to college and get a degree then we are educated. That is a false idea. If you do the research (like this guy has), you'll soon learn that there is no correlation between grades and success outside of academics. What we know as education in the United States is just ONE element of a true education, but it's all most of us know, and where most of the emphasis is placed. And why? Why do we go to school and get good grades? (Say it with me... "To ged a good job.") The 'educational foundation' we're talking about here is something much bigger -- and grander -- than academics and good jobs. We're talking about character development -- who you are, who you and your children are becoming, how you relate to one another, how well you accomplish and contribute and have a positive impact on your circle of influence. We're talking about creating wealth and changing the world. I don't care if you homeschool, or send your kids to public school or private school. I don't care if you spend more money on schooling than anything else and that your kids go to a 'great' school... no matter how amazing the school is, it's only one small part of the entire education puzzle (and only one of the three main types of education - more on that later.) School is only concerned with academics, and this is about more than just academics. This is about the big picture of becoming and leading. Educationally, people are perishing. They don't get it. They don't have the slightest clue what a 'world-class' education looks like. We think if our kids are going to a 'good school', getting good grades and passing the tests, that they are getting a good education. If they're at the top of their class, or graduate valedictorian, we think they're educated, that we are successful. But it's not true. We've been duped. My husband and I will be the first to admit that we are thoroughly undereducated. Despite tens of thousands of hours of study since college. Despite having read many hundreds of books, and listened to thousands of hours of audio books, and having a routine for regular study. As the saying goes, the more we learn, the more we know that we know nothing. We're ignorant. Uneducated. Yet this is the beginning of true education -- the type of education that is a way of life -- not something you do, or send your kids to. It's not an event, or a series of events. It's not an accomplishment, something you graduate from. A real education is manifest in the way you live. It's cultivating a mind that is active and growing until the day you die. It's living by the manifesto that 'THERE IS NO GRADUATION FROM EDUCATION!" Do you understand yet what we mean? When we say 'education', we want 'a philosophy toward life' -- a style of living -- to pop into your head, instead of grades and tests and classrooms. We've been training our children since they were small to consume information. We encourage them to study and learn. We've never said, "You better study so you can pass the tests. You better study so you can get good grades." This morning we asked Kyah (age 11), "Why do you study?" "So I'm not ignorant. So I can learn about the world." And I add to it, "So that we can discover truth, uncover principles, discuss great ideas, join The Great Conversation and make our own contribution. We study so we can become leaders, if even only in our own homes." Yet some of us don't even realize there's a conversation taking place, or that great leaders are made, not born, or that they, and their children, have the potential for becoming those great leaders, even if it's 'only' in their small circle of influence. When was the last time we conversed with our kids about great ideas? Or were we worried instead about their report card? When has truth, integrity, and moral values been on the curriculum, instead of only what will be on the test? We once heard a very sad story about a young man who was denied the opportunity (by his parents) to compete in a world-renowned competition -- in something that he was very good at -- because he did not get 'good enough grades' on his report card. What lesson is that teaching our children? Do we really want our kids to believe that a grade from school is more important than becoming great at your passion? How  tragic!

Clear as Mud?

Are you starting to grasp a vision of what real education is? Maybe? Just a little? Are you starting to feel a little overwhelmed and, like I did, a bit ignorant? Okay, good. Now what to do about it? If education is a lifestyle -- a way of living instead of the degree you have  or the grades you get -- then you need to create systems in your home that support this life. You have to create educational rituals. How many books did you read last week? Last year? (Great leaders statistically read about 2 books per week -- and we're not talking about Twilight or Harry Potter). Great men and women are reading Aristole, Plato, Hugo, Dickens, Shakespeare How many books have you read as a family? How many of the 103 Great Ideas have you discussed? These things don't happen naturally, unless we have the 'big picture' in mind, with a systematic plan for making it happen. This is where an understanding of the three major types of education has relevance.   So now it's time for your history lesson. * thanks to Oliver DeMille for educating me on this topic. For more, listen to this audio. Taking a look at education throughout history, we discover that there are three types of education. Each of these types of education have different methodologies, goals and career/lifestyle outcomes. In our modern culture, most of us do not know very much about the third type of education, which is the type of education I've been so clearly confusingly ranting about throughout this article. This third type of education is the type of education we really need to know about, if we want to live, contribute, and earn at the highest levels. What are the three types?

  • Government education
  • Professional education
  • Leadership education

Almost every civilization (that we have record of) has always had at least two of those types of education -- Professional and Leadership. A few civilizations have added the third -- Government education. Egypt, Ancient Israel, Ancient Rome, Ancient Greece, 18th Century Germany, 19th Century Britian and midway through the 19th Century we added it in the United states. Today we find it in almost every country. Those civilizations which have added government education have prospered and flourished. Why? Because by adding government education, the masses were able to gain basic literacy, which resulted in getting better employment, which lead to an overall improvement of economic conditions. The goal of government education? To help people get jobs. Today, our school systems provide more than 'basic' literacy skills, but the methodologies, curriculum and outcomes remain the same. That's why we always hear, "Go to school so you can get a good job." Our kids may go to an excellent government (or private) school, but their goals are still passing tests, getting good grades so you can get into a good college and get a good job. Even if you homeschool, you may have been so indoctrinated by this system that you still have those as goals for your children. You may have them learning at home, but if you're still focusing on good grades and test scores, you've done nothing more than bring government school into your home. Here's a quick overview of the three types of education:   3 Types of Education-2 If you desire a certain goal or outcome for yourself and your children, then you need to follow the methodologies of the type of education that will produce those results. As a family, we have chosen to pursue Leadership education. Our lifestyle is focused on implementing the systems and strategies that are part of a Leadership education. In the coming weeks, our Fantastic Family Friday series will be covering different 'puzzle pieces' that help us to create this 'big picture' of living a Leadership Education. If this is something you want to implement in your life, if these are the goals you have for yourself and your family -- you're in the right place. We can share this journey together. Do you feel uncertain, overwhelmed and ignorant? Good. Then you have begun to understand what a real education is, and when you begin to realize (as we did) that despite years of school and a college degree that we're utterly and completely ignorant, then you've started to see the big picture. When you realize that you have a lot of work to do on yourself before you make any progress on utilizing your full potential, you've started to see the big picture. You have begun.   We need a world that does better at all three types of education -- all three are needed and can be improved. Today, we just want you to grasp this vision, so you have a clear understanding, and hopefully motivation, to pursue a real education, because it's a lifelong pursuit, it's a way of living. And it can't be accomplished only with Government or Professional education. You have the add the third. The world is changing, you need to be able to see ahead. You have to perceive the future, look up, soar like the eagle, not peck in the dirt like a chicken. You need to know what you want your life to be about, what you want your children to understand and become. Now you have the big picture -- the image of the puzzle -- so that in the coming weeks as we discuss tips and techniques, you can see how the puzzle pieces fit into creating a lifestyle of education.

Here's what we want you to walk away with today.

1. Have a clear understanding of what a real, great, complete education looks like. 2. Realize you (probably) don't have a great education, and your children aren't getting one. 3. Realize you need to come up with a system/educational rituals that develop your educational/family culture. As a family culture, you've got to create educational rituals. (This is what we'll continue discussing in coming weeks.)

Are you ready for this? Woo hoo!



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3 Responses

  1. Mary B

    This is so great. I just read Leadership Education and I’m planning on homeschooling the kids again next year (after 2 years in public school), so I’m so glad you are doing this series. I haven’t been able to watch live yet, but I’m hoping to try to get caught up to date on this series soon. Thanks so much for sharing.


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