Quality vs. Quantity

So tell me this, which is it? Which is more important? Does it depend on the issue? Or are they both equally important? Quality or Quantity? Quality and Quantity? Well, let’s explore the issue shall we?

When it comes to food I think we can say that quantity  is important, adequate but not too much. However, don’t you think the quality is even more important? We all know that if you have a quantity of junk food it will do more damage than good. Also, studies have shown that some of the healthiest people in the world have lived on a very small quantity of food but of high quality. Well, food may be the only isse we can say one or the other.

What about water…that’s a tricky one. If you don’t get enough you die. If you have bad quality water, you die. I guess we could say that to get enough of not high quality but not deadly water then you’ll be fine. However, pure quality water works better in the body than water that your body has to filter and fight in order to use. So it’s both isn’t it?

Then we have the issue of education. It seems that the general world view is moving toward the philosophy that more is better. School hours are increasing and teachers and parents are heaping tutoring and homework on top of that. But is the level of education increasing with this added time?

I think we can agree that if a person spends an hour studying a subject and understands what it is studied it will be considered a success. However if the same person spends hour upon hour studying a subject and never understands it then what is the point? We could go off on learning styles and teaching methods (if these subjects interest you, be sure to read my articles on Discovery Learning and Homeschooling: Before you begin…), but let’s stick to it shall we?

Many of the United States founding fathers and other pioneers of that age we consider well-educated for their time, however they did not spend hours in a school room. What they did do is read and study quality materials and then apply what they learned in everyday speech and living. More emphasis was placed on thinking rather than studying. At the same time, we know that great minds like Aristotle and Einstein spent their free time studying. Maybe in this case we can say that it’s like water, quality first and then quantity?

For my last complicated issue let’s look at time. We often hear it said that quality time is more important than the quantity but I tend to think that its justification for letting our priorities slip (see my article on Balance if you want to explore this more).

Children especially feel loved when they see us busy, but still taking time just for them. To them it is less important of what we do when we’re with them as it is that we are with them. Nonetheless, if we constantly are putting off what the child most loves doing with us (like the “Love Languages” mentioned in my article Homeschooling: One more thing before you begin…)than they will begin to feel neglected regardless of the amount of time we spend with them. So again, it’s both isn’t it?

Now tell me, what do you think? Is there ever a clear answer on Quality vs. Quantity or is it simply an issue of balance?


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