A Thomas Jefferson Education

A Thomas Jefferson Education covers a form of classical homeschooling to develop the leadership potential in your sons.

When I  finished reading this classical home education book.... it got me excited. Now THIS is a homeschool philosophy I can relate too.

  • Learning through reading the classics.
  • Get a good mentor, read, discuss and write about what you read.

I like it.

What are your goals for your homeschool? What is the most important thing you can teach your child. Aside from a faith in God, I'd say it is this; I want my sons to think themselves. A Thomas Jefferson Education majors on teaching kids to think.

We desperately need strong leaders in our next generations. Will the homeschool education we are giving our children develop leaders? Or followers? Someone willing to take a stand? Or someone who wants to go with the easiest route available. The book starts out asking the question. "Is a mediocre education enough?" Then challenges us that "We must do better." Give your students true leadership education and training. - See more at: https://www.homeschoolboys.com/a-thomas-jefferson-education.html#sthash.lzhHTLM9.dpuf

I love classical home education.  I do have a few reservations about TJED

My Minor Reservations.  A Thomas Jefferson Education homeschool seems to be a cross between classical schooling and un-schooling.

In a perfect world this would be the perfect homeschool. Your children are eager to learn everything they need and life is good!According to Oliver DeMille.... let your students have total control of their studies.

My response to this is: In a perfect world this would probably work. However in the real world it seems to me if you have a reluctant student, this student still needs to have a basic understanding of certain subjects.

So on that point.... I'd have to disagree and insist upon a certain amount of study.

My second reservation is that as a unashamed Jesus loving born again Christian, I must say I cringe every time Mr DeMille says things like "God/Universe" He is very careful to be politically correct and not limit this to a Christian viewpoint. I don't disagree with that. The process can be used by anyone...with their own choices of literature. But I must admit my belief that without that unashamed full acknowledgement of just WHO created this universe.... You are going to lose the battle. 

What I enthusiastically like!

Literature based education... I believe it is the best way to go. Oliver DeMille agrees.

Teaching my sons to think for themselves has always been my major goal. Again Oliver DeMille agrees.

Classic writings, great literature, biography is a great way to learn.

Learn from the Classics

 If you think "the classics" is restricted to old heavy intimidating books with big words and paragraph long sentences, you are wrong.

Yes, some of the more challenging classics are difficult to read and understand. However, a classic is simply a book that is so well written and has such timeless value that it will be read for generations.

Books like Little House on the Prairie. Or The Narnia Series are a few of the more familiar reads for children. The Little Britches Series and self help books like Seven Habits of Highly Effective People for the older kids.

Parents as Mentors

A Thomas Jefferson Education emphasizes that we as teacher/mentors MUST be learning for ourselves as examples. Our children will learn from our example as we inspire them to learn and grow.

Does that sound intimidating? I thought so. No worries!

A Thomas Jefferson Education has a plan for you to start. A mini course for the parent if you will. Choices of books to start with. And they are not the huge volumes that you may fear. But be warned, the mini course.... grows into a lifetime of study and growth for the parent as well as the student.

The parent as a mentor is the most important facet of a Thomas Jefferson Education homeschool. Your students will learn from YOUR actions as a mentor. That is where the phrase "teachers teach and students educate". You can't make your child be educated... you can INSPIRE him to educate himself.

Even in my example of a reluctant student I acknowledge the fact that I can't make my student learn. I can make him sit with a textbook and prepare for a test, and that is all. He has to want to learn.

According to A Thomas Jefferson Education our jobs as mentors is to "inspire not require". To get you, the parent, started on your own education Mr. DeMille gives a suggested book list with discussion questions. The course is simple. A step one, step two type of plan. You CAN do it. I know you can. He also encourages you to find your own classics. You will not feel like a failure if you don't read Homer's Odyssey and the Iliad this summer.

Your faith and book lists may be different than Mr DeMille. Focus on the intent...(mentoring your sons to think) and gear it toward the classics important to you.

3 Educational Systems and Stages of Learning

 I've just realized I've rattled on and on and haven't even told you the 3 types of educational systems discussed.

  • Conveyor Belt Education
  • Professional Education
  • Leadership Education

DeMille also describes four phases of learning that children go through.

  • The Core Phase - ages 0-8
  • The Love of Learning Phase - ages 8-12
  • The Scholar Phase - ages 12-16
  • The Depth Phase - ages 16-22

These phases are well described and I can verify that I see them in my own children.

Easy on the little guys

Sharon's thoughts

Little boys love to learn about their world so I'm not saying don't teach your boys, but (and I think DeMille would agree),  it doesn't have to be all worksheets and hours sitting at a desk pencil in hand. 

Learning is done with memorization through songs and games.  Play acting history and experimenting with science. 

Although A Thomas Jefferson Education does emphasize excellence in education and encourages us to settle for nothing less than excellence in our children's education, I LOVE that it does not emphasize rigorous formal early education for the little guys. The advocate a gradual introduction to reading and studying as your boy is ready.

What DeMille labeled the Core Phase (age 0-8) is a time of life lessons for your son. His self concept and self confidence will be established here. The goal is a self confident, interactive child who understands that right and wrong, good and bad.

All this is accomplished through family work and play. NOT sitting at a desk with workbooks for hours and hours.My philosophy for homeschooling preschool and kindergarten goes right along with this.

A Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens

A Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens is a supplemental book that you can hand to your teen to read and think about. In fact it also works for adults who are looking for direction for their own self education.

It gives a break down of what to do to educate yourself. It encourages teens to think about more than themselves. Teaches that a good foundation is vital for future leadership roles... and gives teens a method to set and reach lofty goals.

Click on the image to see my full review.  

In Conclusion

I'd highly recommend A Thomas Jefferson Education to anyone who is not satisfied with the status quo in their homeschool.

It has renewed my desire to see more literature in my sons lives and given me simple easy ideas to implement a plan of action for myself and my sons.  

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