May 3, 2011 | | 2 Comments By the time we run off to college, we’re pretty much grown-upsâ€¦depending on how you define adulthood. Upon taking our first baby steps into advanced learning, we’ve completed 13 years of school (counting kindergarten) or the equivalent, received a driver’s license, possibly voted in an election, probably held some sort of job, and maybe even served in the military. The education and life experience that we acquire as a result of all that is invaluable. But at what point along the way does any teacher, politician, boss, or drill sergeant teach you how to fold a towel? Not chew with your mouth open? Or even just get along with your annoying little brother? That would be Mom. As much as we’d like to sing the praises of public school and higher education (and to be clear, the praises are many), we often forget that our real education begins shortly after birth when Mom teaches us that crying leads to being fed, changed, or put to bed. In that first year of life the lessons grow to include appreciation for the written word (via bedtime stories), how to communicate, crawl, and then walk, all life-long skills that go on to serve us well. In fact, a baby learns more in its first year than the entire rest of its life. According to Families.com all five of a baby’s senses (six, if you count intuition) are developed at an exponential speed in those first 12 months. For example, within an hour after being born a baby recognizes his mother’s voice. How often do we, as adults, forget not only the voice of someone we just met, but also, their name? So in honor of Mother’s Day I’d like to pay tribute in this education blog to the ultimate teacher: a mom. Not any one mom in particular, but all moms, because collectively they make us who we are. And even though we often go on to become big wigs in business, finance, science, politics, and education, we really can’t give college all the credit for our successes. To prove my point, I give you… 10 lessons that only moms can teach us (because college is way too busy being academic). College teaches you how to look at the world. Mom teaches you how to look at your own behavior. College teaches you how to structure your time. Mom shows you what to do with your spare time. College teaches you to appreciate a well-thought-out presentation. Mom teaches you to appreciate a Mickey Mouse-shaped pancake. College teaches you about gravity. Mom teaches you how not to fall off a bike. College teaches you how to drive home your point. Mom teaches you how to drive a stick-shift. College teaches you how to make plans. Mom teaches you how to be flexible when those plans don’t work out. College teaches you how to get to the heart of broken management. Mom teaches you how to manage a broken heart. College teaches you to respect deadlines. Mom teaches you to respect others. College teaches you accountability. Mom teaches you reliability. College teaches you how to think. Mom teaches you how to love. In a time when the cost of education is skyrocketing through the roof due to a poor economy, budget cuts, politics, and inflation, isn’t it nice to know that you’ll never need a scholarship to get advice from your mom? (P.S. Happy Mother’s Day to all moms out there!) Learn about work study at classesandcareers.com.