Education is a Ray not a Segment

Growing up, I counted down the years until my education would be complete.

Five more years of elementary school.

Two more years of middle school.

One more year of high school.

Then what?


On graduation day, my learning was complete.  Now I could get busy living, right?!

What was I thinking?  Does education end with a diploma?  I'd like to know a profession that works that way.  Even doctors, who go through the most extensive training, gradate and then "practice" which assumes continual learning.

Education is not a Segment

Webster defines a segment as: a part cut off or divided.


Education is not a segment


In math, a line segment is the distance between two points.  There is a beginning and an end.  This is how I grew up viewing education.  You start in kindergarten and you finish in 12th grade.


Sadly this concept gets transferred to ideas.  If I want to learn about American Government, I just need to take a semester long course and then I know about American Government right? And what if I don't learn?  Was it due to a poor teacher?  Was it simply because I didn't apply myself to the learning correctly?  I should be able to learn it, correct?

Education is a Ray

We ought to think about education more as a ray.  The Math Open Reference defines a ray as:  A portion of a line which starts at a point and goes off in a particular direction to infinity.


Education is a ray


When we inter into a field of study, that is simply the beginning of a lifelong pursuit of learning.  Even those who are at the top of their field of study could attest to the vast amount of information that they do not know.


Education is infinite

Photo by Christy Barker from Recipies for Family Life Blog


How do you keep education from becoming so finite and cultivate a lifetime of learning?

Education is a ray... not a segment. (1)

Classically Homeschooling



  1. Melanie on November 11, 2015 at 8:43 pm

    I believe the key is for the parent to set the example of embracing life-long learning. We need to be reading, searching, and exploring daily – with our children and separately. Enthusiasm is more likely to be caught and not taught.

  2. Sara on November 16, 2015 at 11:53 am

    I love your statement that “Education is a ray not a segment.” That’s such an apt comparison. A segment has two ending points, but if we’ve educated our children correctly, their education is just beginning. They’ll continue to wonder, explore, and learn their entire lives.

  3. […] love the encouragement about education found here.  What a great illustration of education!  My 3rd child just learned the definition of a ray […]

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.