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by Rachel DeMille

TSwift_Kitchen_Helper-TJEd_Meme As mentioned in our previous post (on how to celebrate your kitchen as the heart and hub of a lot of great learning), there is a whole genre of literature that is worth exploring: literature-based cookbooks!

Understand, I love all kinds of cookbooks from the word go, so this isn’t a hard sell for me. I find them to be homey, personal, inspiring and encouraging, artistically fulfilling and just all-around nourishing to heart, mind and soul (oh – and the belly, too!).

That being said, it’s worth noting that there are scads of books specifically created to enhance and extend your family’s engagement with stories you already love – in a way that’s equally expanding as you consider the history, culture and other elements of the recipes. Lit-cooking is such a fabulous springboard for rabbit trails!

For example:

  • What is turkish delight? (Narnia)
  • What kind of tea did colonists drink after they “refused” the British tea? (Felicity, An American Girl)
  • Can Oyster Stew honestly be the best thing Laura ever tasted? (Little House series)
  • What is Deeper’n’Ever Pie? (Redwall)
  • Doesn’t Lamb Stew with Dried Plums served over Wild Rice sound amazing? (Hunger Games)

Learning about the availability of certain ingredients – because of farming, climate, the austerity of the time – due to poverty, war or natural disaster – opens one’s mind to thinking about the human experience. It invites us to be more conscious of our own abundance, our own choices. It urges us to be more adventurous in trying new things, and finding the pleasure in it that others do (even our fictional heroes) – when normally we might not give it a second thought.

So, in the spirit of inspiring rabbit trails and good eating, here is a starter list of literature-based cookbooks that have been reviewed as good-to-excellent*: littlehousecookbook

If you don’t see your favorite listed here, simply use the search window on Amazon or your internet browser and type in “[book title] cookbook”. Like: Betsy Tacy Cookbook, or Les Miserables cookbook.

Do watch reviews for cues on the things that will appeal to you – some cookbooks are pretty lame, depending on what you are looking for. But when you find a winner, it’s so worth the time spent!!

And just for good measure: I have to share with you this recipe that I’m going to make for dinner tonight. It looks so amazing!!!

Share your favorites in the comments below….

*Links to amazon provided for your convenience. Use the “Look Inside” feature and browse the reviews! Any purchase on amazon originating from these links may result in TJEd getting an affiliate benefit. Thanks so much for your support!

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TJEd is a sensation – and a revolution.

For two decades Oliver and Rachel DeMille have been urging families to apply the 7 Keys and the 4 Phases, and often the question has been posed:

But what does it look like in the end?

Does it really work?

TJEd-YA-Panel

Come hear the Next-Gen DeMilles in an open panel discussion – with questions from the audience – discuss the principles, application and results of a Leadership Education home and lifestyle. Earnest, inspiring, funny, practical and relevant.

People from all over North America and beyond will be joining us. We’d love to see you there!

January 30, 2016, Ogden Utah. Click here for details >>

Use coupon code “TJED” to get $10 off your ticket! www.winterhomeschoolconference.com/

 

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Kitchen_sacred-TJEd_Meme So much of what happens in a great homeschool takes place in the kitchen.

Of course, you may already have your schoolroom, and/or a living room where everyone reads together, and various other places where learning takes place.

In our book The Phases of Learning we outlined a number of other TJEd appliances for every home, including the TJEd-style Bookshelf, the TJEd-style Closet, and so on.

But somehow we never made the kitchen a key part of that—or any other—book. We did outline 55 Ingredients for a great homeschool, but we didn’t focus on the important role a kitchen can play.

It’s time to change that oversight, right now.

Why the Kitchen? The Heat!

Harry Truman famously said:

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

Often, when we invert such a declaration we can discover an equal and opposite truth. Let’s see if that works:

If you want to heat things up, get in the kitchen.

In our experience, this is absolutely true! The amazing “heat” in the TJEd Kitchen transfers energy in several powerful ways.

Convection

With convection, warmer air rises, while cooler air falls. In the TJEd sense of the heat, time spent in the kitchen together – preparing meals, washing dishes, things we do several times each day – can create memories, bonds and moments where the high-value experiences rise and the harder or lower-value things become less front-and-center in our relationships, experiences and learning. Great ideas rise. Great conversations rise. Great moments rise.

Conduction

With conduction in the TJEd Kitchen, the “Heat” is transferred from one to another. The love, interests, curiosity, humility, courage, gratitude and more of one person can be shared by direct contact in the kitchen.

Radiation tjed_kitchen_Mazar-Meme

Radiation is the heat we feel emanating from a source. In the TJEd Kitchen, the parents in particular can emanate the “Heat”: a passion for learning, an interest in a variety of subjects and skills, a character that is pure and kind, etc. And everyone can have an opportunity to share their warmth in this way, being a source of “Heat” that others can be warmed by as the dynamic needs of the family ebb, flow and change.

In addition to these, consider also what the following statements might mean about your Kitchen interactions:

  • Heat is a catalyst.
  • Heat forges bonds.
  • Heat promotes movement on a deep level.
  • Heat tempers metal.
  • Heat releases impurities.

When the kitchen becomes a hub of activity (not just for cleaning or getting food onto plates) it can become a heartbeat in the home. It generates a “heat” that forges bonds, animates deeper thinking and sharing, and facilitates the transfer of ideas, values, experiences and vision.

How is this done?

Kitchen Magic

Kitchen_special-TJEd_meme Let’s be clear. Any great education intersects with the kitchen. A lot. If you don’t eat, you don’t learn. (Obviously.)

But the connection goes far deeper. The truth is, as important as reading and studying are to a quality education, there is something even more central. Something even more at the core of great learning.

This something is simple: Conversation. Dialogue. Discussion. And it makes a huge improvement in any home or educational setting: chatting, listening, and just plain talking about things.

The quality of your discussions with the children and youth you mentor has a direct, lasting, powerful influence on how much they learn, how much they like to learn, and how much they actually want to learn. Conversations and dialogues are a key part of any excellent education, and for homeschoolers this means that at least one (and preferably two) of the parents are actively engaged in ongoing discussions with every child and youth.

This may all sound obvious, but too often it falls by the wayside in the busy modern lives of most families. Parents who spark a lot of conversations with each child are going to see learning occur at a much higher level than those who don’t. Period.

And few places in the world, not to mention in your home, are as perfect for fun and educational conversations as the kitchen! This is a big deal. Yet it is so simple.

Talk!

Kitchen_Celine-TJEd_Meme For homeschoolers, especially parents who help their kids experience classics and mentors, washing dishes never needs to be just washing dishes. It can include an informal discussion about the latest book you’re reading. Or one the young person is reading. It’s amazing how fast dishes seem to get washed when the kitchen is filled with thoughts about Where the Red Fern Grows, Little Britches, or Pride and Prejudice.

Time will fly. And learning will increase. Time to prepare lunch, or cook dinner? Add in some Les Miserables music and talk about the themes it covers. Or play a fractions game while you cut up oranges or tomatoes. Laugh. Talk. Discuss.

Just talking about learning is incredibly powerful in such an informal setting. Ask your son what his top 3 interests are, and listen to his thoughts and feelings as he ponders and responds. Ask you daughter what her favorite books are, and you’re often in for a wonderful treat. Talking together is a lost art in the modern world of mobile phones, sound systems that take over your cars as you travel, and busy schedules.

Talk more in the kitchen and during meals.

If you can’t think of the perfect thing to discuss right off the bat, keep a list of books everyone in the family is reading right now posted on the fridge. Just glance at it and start talking about one of the books—meal after meal, day after day. Add another list of projects/topics each person is working on, and talk about one of them while preparing breakfast. Say, “Johnny, I was thinking about you last night, and…” Just start talking…

Make it fun. Do it over and over.

The kitchen is a fantastic TJEd schoolroom. Just don’t make it formal. Keep things fun, light, informal, and keep doing it. Or, if this feels big to you, just do it today. Try it at lunchtime and again at dinner. See how it goes. You’re going to like it.

Food and Proverbs TSwift_Kitchen_Helper-TJEd_Meme

If you’re eating on the run today, pass out the tacos to everyone in the car and say, “Hey, I’ve been reading Farmer Boy, you know, from the Little House on the Prairie series, and I love how it discusses food. In fact, I noticed how in Little Britches and Laddie and a lot of kids’ books the topic often turns to food. Why do you think books do that?”

[On a side note: Some of your favorite books to read with your children have dedicated cookbooks! Check out our followup post here >>]

Or, think of whatever is on your mind from your readings and bring them up. In a series about one of Oliver’s favorite fictional characters, Milo Talon, author Louis L’Amour discusses how the parents always talked at Milo’s dinner table while he was growing up. They discussed all kinds of important things, from books and current events (gleaned from newspapers) to history and stories about various kinds of leaders, inventors and explorers from the past.

The children were encouraged to join in, and the discussions were an important way for the parents to inspire, teach, and motivate. The kitchen and dining room are great parts of a quality homeschool learning environment. All it takes is for the parents to look around and start discussing things.

Try it. It’s fun. And it will boost and bless the whole family.

As the old saying goes: “Time in the kitchen is a terrible thing to waste.” (Actually, this isn’t really an old proverb at all, but maybe it should be.)

Your kitchen can greatly improve your homeschool. And it takes less effort than just working silently and trying to convince your kids to finish their chores.

Seriously, have some fun by turning your kitchen into a great learning kitchen, a TJEd kitchen, a fun kitchen where family members do a lot more than necessary chores—and bond, learn, and connect a lot more than most families even imagine. “The kitchen? Really? Are you kidding?”

Not at all. It works. Give it a try. (Now, honestly, it doesn’t work every day, but it’s amazing how often our kitchen is full of happy, working adults, youth and children talking in depth about the latest book or interesting idea.)

Lead out. Set the tone, get it started, and the results will make a truly positive difference in your home.

TJEd-YA-Panel What’s Cooking?

With all that being said about the almost-intangibles of relationships, attitudes, and honest-to-goodness connection with the joys of learning, there are also some really practical academics that are naturally taught in the kitchen; some would say they are taught best in the kitchen!

  • Chemistry
    • What makes a good recipe work? How does leaving certain things out change it? Why?
    • How do the bubbles form in bread?
    • What makes water boil?
    • Why doesn’t oil boil?
    • How can you fix a recipe with too much salt?
    • Why do apples turn brown, and carrots not?
    • What happens in the pan when veggies start to get translucent and caramelize?
  • Biology
    • Why does salt make sweet things taste better?
    • How do taste buds work?
    • How do you smell the “done-ness” of something?
    • What are all those things in the chicken thigh we’re cutting?
    • Why is it safer to eat uncooked this than uncooked that?
    • How long does this stay fresh, and at what temperature? Why?
    • What changes in a fruit that ripens on the counter? Why don’t all fruit ripen after they’re picked?
  • Math
    • The dozens in eggs
    • The fractions in measuring cups
    • The multiples in cooking for many
    • The divisions in modifying a recipe when one ingredient is scarce
    • Working the timer
    • Working the clock
    • Learning about temperature and degrees
    • Planning, organizing, and multi-tasking meal preparation and cleanup
  • Language Arts
    • Reading a recipe
    • Creating a shopping list
    • Making place cards
    • Preparing a menu
    • Inviting people to a party
    • Greeting cards and thank you notes that accompany treats you share
    • Learning the language of cooking
    • Foreign pronunciation and vocabulary
  • Geography and World Cultures
  • Experimentation
  • Artistic Expression
  • …and on, and on, and on

Kitchen_Tradition-TJEd_Meme

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BEWARE INSTITUTIONALISM-keep your focus beware institutionalism-beware 2

Leadership Education is not for everyone. And it might not be for you. So be forewarned – there are several reasons why you shouldn’t do TJEd….

1)   The TJEd learning model is chaotic and unregimented.

chess-meme

2)   TJEd is subversive and non-conformist.

  • TJEd harmonizes with the ideas and methodologies promoted by subversive and non-conformist educational philosophers such as Jean Piaget, Erik Eriksen, John Holt, Peter Gray, Maria Montessori, Shinichi Suzuki, Charlotte Mason, John Taylor Gatto and the like.

See for example, this graphic illustration from independent researchers whose conclusions agree with TJEd:

3)   TJEd is dismissive of credentialism.

  • TJEd gives high preference to teachers who distinguish themselves as caring and engaged mentors – who personalize their approach to each student and her needs at a given phase of development – over “profess-ors” whose educational achievements are stagnant and uninspiring, and whose interactions with their students tend to be systematic, rote and/or demanding without consideration for their effectiveness for the individual student.

4)   TJEd neglects popular or trending sources.

  • TJEd prefers classics, which it defines as works (ancient through contemporary works included, in any medium and genre) that are original, transformational and of enduring worth, and which yield new meaning and value with each exposure – over textbook-type books that digest, compartmentalize, define and/or dumb-down their subject matter according to “expert” retellings of information.

think read 3

 

5)   The children are odd. huff-kid-parabola

  • Children raised using principles of Leadership Education can tend to make adults uncomfortable due to their large vocabularies, their comfortable and casual references to Shakespeare and the like, and their tendency to be wide-read and animated about their learning.
  • They often have informed opinions on political, social and current events issues and can seem impertinent and precocious in conversations due to their contributions in discussions where children or youth normally don’t participate. Geo_solid-Gaulin
  • Younger TJEd children especially may tend to give strange answers to such questions as “What grade are you in?”, “Do you like your teacher?”, “What did you do in school today?”, etc.
  • TJEd children’s timeline is not uniform or standardized, and their depth in certain areas of interest tends to far exceed the norm.
  • Children raised with the principles of Leadership Education have an unfair advantage in science fairs, geography tournaments, spelling bees and technology challenges, and their college entrance exams, rates of retention and time to completion excel beyond the average for private, parochial and public school peers.
  • They are often equally comfortable with children, youth and adults at virtually any age, and tend to name their immediate family as their favorite friends, playmates, confidantes, etc.

cup-battle-cropped

6)  TJEd expects learning to be creative, innovative, correlative, relevant and transformational.

great education is inspired education

See, for example, these sample posts on subject matter learning:

7) TJEd expects too much from the parents.

  • TJEd is also known as “Leadership Education.” And the leader in LE is not *just* the kid that grows up in your home under these principles; it’s you! YOU lead out and show them the way. You get excited about education – not just theirs, but *yours*.
  • If TJEd is calling to you, we don’t recommend “winging” it. Don’t just copy a friend, or browse and guess. You’ll feel so much more confident and in control when you do your homework.
  • Our Homeschool Bundles, including the acclaimed 7 Keys Certification, are set up specifically to help you become a self-guided learner, design your ideal family education culture, become conversant in the language of the classics, and really *own* the principles of Leadership Education so you can be your own expert.
  • Or, check out this list of our available resources to find a fit for your specific needs >>
  • And don’t miss our January Promotions! >>

Sign up for our free newsletter today to request our select bonus downloads that will help you discover if TJEd is right for you!

 

fish-meme2

 

 

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TJEd-NY

JANUARY DOORBUSTERS

This offer valid 1/29/16 – 1/31/16 at store.tjed.org!

New Year’s Inspiration Guide!

The following offers valid through 1/31/16:

All purchasers on our New Year’s Inspiration Guide will be entered to win a full year of the subscription of your choice!

 

Click on a title for offer details:

  1. Homeschooling for Dads Bundle $45 – just $18 with coupon DADSROCK-15

  2. Homeschool Bundles with New Years’ Extras!

  3. Homeschool Starter Pack (Get this $16 product bundle for $9 2015HO-STPK)

  4. Leadership Education Community Builder Bundles (build your community with these!)

  5. New Subscription Add-on Pricing! (including our newest award-winning subscription product, highly recommended for homeschooling parents!)

  6. How to Mentor 7-Week Course (name your price! Really!)

  7. The U.S. Constitution and the 196 Indispensable Principles of Freedom DEEP DISCOUNT!

  8. The Leadership Education Manifesto DEEP DISCOUNT!

  9. The Freedom Bundle DEEP DISCOUNT

 

TJEdOnline_seal_Clr

I. Homeschool Bundles with Holiday Extras!

BundleButton11-13 Are you ready to lead out in defining and achieving your homeschool ideals?

If TJEd is calling to you, we don’t recommend “winging” it. Don’t just copy a friend, or browse and guess. You’ll feel so much more confident and in control when you do your homework. Our Homeschool Bundles, including the acclaimed 7 Keys Certification, are set up specifically to help you become a self-guided learner, design your ideal family education culture, become conversant in the language of the classics, and really *own* the principles of Leadership Education so you can be your own expert. Check it out!

Now through 1/31/16, purchase any of our Homeschool Bundles at up to 80% off, and get the Homeschool Starter Pack (a $15.75 value) and the 7 Keys Certification (a $160 value) thrown in for free! [coupon code SIMPLEBONUS13]

Click a link for full bundle details (the coupon works on all of them!):

 

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learning-garden-meme II. Homeschool Starter Pack discounted for the holidays!

Prepare your heart, home and family for homeschool success!

When your garden isn’t doing well, you don’t immediately think that the plants are doing it all wrong and need fixing. You assume that they’ll thrive when you have the environment right! This introductory combo for new or transitioning homeschoolers can help you get the environment right so that a natural love for learning and educational excellence are blooming brilliantly in your home and family.

Includes:

Normally $15.75

RIGHT NOW: $9 (43% off) with coupon: 2015HO-STPK

OR! Get it free with one of our Homeschool Bundles (see above)

TJEdOnline_seal_Clr

IV. Leadership Education Community Builder Bundles thomasjeffersoneducationmedium-x10

Are you working to build a community of families who share your Leadership Education values? Do you want to gift, share or sell the staples of Leadership Education with others (without constantly having to try to get your own marked-up, dog-eared book returned)?

These 10-unit bundles are discounted for easy purchase, and are ideal for book clubs, co-ops, commonwealths, play groups, etc.

Normally priced at 20% off retail for a 10-pack.

During our New Year’s sale, get them for an additional 10% off with coupon: 15BLDR10

TJEdOnline_seal_Clr MIC-Archive-badge V. Subscription Promotional Pricing

During our New Year’s Promotion period (now through 1/31/16), get any  subscription for just $1 (first month) and $10 monthly thereafter! (And if you’re a loyal subscriber, take note! We have a new subscription product!)

Click here for details >>

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VI. How to Mentor Course

HTM-Badge This class is a practical, hands-on course on how to be a great mentor. Veteran mentors as well as new mentors–and everyone in between–will see their mentoring significantly improve by completing this exciting class taught by Oliver DeMille.

Ideal for those with youth, those who teach adults and/or youth, and those who are serious about their own scholar/depth education.
(click product image for course outline)

What does it cost? 3 options:

  • Regularly $259
  • also available in 6-week installment plan
  • For those with budgetary constraints: CHOOSE-YOUR-PRICE donation option – REALLY! We want you to take us up on it. We want you to pay what you can, and have nobody that needs this course pass on it for financial reasons.

Take me there >>

TJEdOnline_seal_Clr

VII. The U.S. Constitution and the 196 Indispensable Principles of Freedom DEEP DISCOUNT!

FOR: Grandparents, Dad, serious scholar, freedom-lover, mentor/coach,

196-Cover Get Oliver’s magnum opus, The U.S. Constitution and the 196 Indispensable Principles of Freedom at an unheard of discount! This beautiful book is perfect for New Year’s resolutions about freedom and education:

  • Rich, Hardcover Kivar 7 Binding
  • Custom Cover and Interior Design by Award-winning Artist Daniel Ruesch
  • Cover Art “Liberty Tree” Embossed with Gold and Black Foil
  • Silk Bookmark Ribbon
  • Custom Endsheets
  • Fully Indexed
  • Specially Designed Margins and Endpapers for Annotation
  • Approximately 360 pages

Normally $27.95

RIGHT NOW: $19.57 (30% off) with coupon: FREEDOM4THEHOLIDAYS

 

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VIII. The Leadership Education Manifesto DEEP DISCOUNT!

TJEd_Manifesto_Large Declare your purpose! This gorgeous, heavy-duty, 18″ x 24″ poster is perfect for hanging on your youth’s wall, or to get artfully framed to display in full view to declare to the world that your family is on a mission!

Full text:

AN EDUCATION TO MATCH OUR MISSION

A movement is sweeping across the world. Not of protestors raging in streets. But of families loving and learning in consecrated homes.

Of devoted mothers who look into their children’s eyes and see future leaders. Of valiant fathers who thirst for greatness. Of youth who feel a stirring in their souls to renounce conveyor-belt mediocrity.

They hear the call of mission to seek truth, build strong families and communities, spread freedom and prosperity, create beauty, heal society.

Their Allegiance is clear. They will not compromise their virtue. They will not rest while they see need.

They unplug from TV and tabloids to immerse themselves in the classics and engage with mentors. They learn because they are inspired, not required. Compelled to grapple with life’s most important questions. To earn a Leadership Education. To innovate solutions for humanity. To learn more, become more, so they can serve more.

We are this generation of leaders. We will rise to our potential with an education to match our mission. And we will be the change we wish to see in the world.

Normally: $19.95

RIGHT NOW: $13.97 (30% off) with coupon: FREEDOM4THEHOLIDAYS

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new-freedom-bundle IX. The Freedom Bundle DEEP DISCOUNT

This amazing deal can make a great gift for the freedom lovers in your life – with 5 paperbacks and 1 audio download included in the kit.

OR! Part it out to make gifts of the paperbacks for 5 others, and keep the audio for yourself! Either way, this combo was already priced at 10% off retail. With our FREEDOM4THEHOLIDAYS coupon, take an additional 30% off your price!

Bundle includes:

Paperback editions of:

MP3 download of:

Full retail, when purchased separately: $93.75; with bundle discount: $84.36

RIGHT NOW: $59.05 (30% off) with coupon: FREEDOM4THEHOLIDAYS

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Do you ever stress about your kids’ future? Do you ever stress that you’re not good enough for what they need?

What can you do about it?

Inspiration-Smoothie-Meme

This morning I received a private message from an online friend, who I thought beautifully put in to words some of the worries and insecurities we all feel from time to time. Here is my response to her:

Educational Philosophy-1000px I feel you! Lots of moms (me included) get angsty about their kids potential, needs and opportunities.

There are a few things you need to keep foremost in your mind:

You have to trust that no deficit, no obstacle, no disappointment will stand in the way of your children becoming all they can and should be.

It’s not all up to us. Thank heaven!!

Show them what it looks like to be deliberate about life, to follow your joy and serve with commitment and a heart of compassion, to exceed your own limitations through effort and grace. Show them.

Remove any toxic, distracting, or addictive influences in their lives, and give them the raw materials and model to follow so that they can become life-long self educators. The greatest men and women always are.

Not every child comfortably fits into this mold. Some with special needs or traumas or health issues have a mission that’s not easy to put in a tidy phrase. But the same rules apply: You do you. They do them.

This is the only way. For real. We deceive ourselves when we trust in any other plan.

Fairytale-Simplicity copy Follow the links in the above post for ideas on how to find your groove! Here are some additional helps to find what’s yours to do:

Hey – while you’re here, check out our Cyber Monday Doorbusters (still good through midnight 12/1/15) and December Deals >>

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HappyHolidaysTJEd

 

Leadership Education Holiday Gifting Guide

The following offers valid through 1/7/16:

All purchasers on our Holiday Gifting Guide will be entered to win a full year of the subscription of your choice!

Click on a title for offer details:

  1. Homeschool Bundles with Holiday Extras!

  2. Homeschool Starter Pack (Get this $16 product bundle for $9 2015HO-STPK)

  3. Leadership Education Community Builder Bundles (build your community with these!)

  4. New Subscription Add-on Pricing! (see our new subscription product!)

  5. How to Mentor 7-Week Course (name your price! Really!)

  6. The U.S. Constitution and the 196 Indispensable Principles of Freedom DEEP DISCOUNT!

  7. The Leadership Education Manifesto DEEP DISCOUNT!

  8. The Freedom Bundle DEEP DISCOUNT

 

TJEdOnline_seal_Clr

I. Homeschool Bundles with Holiday Extras!

BundleButton11-13 Are you ready to lead out in defining and achieving your homeschool ideals?

If TJEd is calling to you, we don’t recommend “winging” it. Don’t just copy a friend, or browse and guess. You’ll feel so much more confident and in control when you do your homework. Our Homeschool Bundles, including the acclaimed 7 Keys Certification, are set up specifically to help you become a self-guided learner, design your ideal family education culture, become conversant in the language of the classics, and really *own* the principles of Leadership Education so you can be your own expert. Check it out!

Now through 1/7/16, purchase any of our Homeschool Bundles at up to 80% off, and get the Homeschool Starter Pack (a $15.75 value) and the 7 Keys Certification (a $160 value) thrown in for free! [coupon code SIMPLEBONUS13]

Click a link for full bundle details (the coupon works on all of them!):

 

TJEdOnline_seal_Clr

learning-garden-meme II. Homeschool Starter Pack discounted for the holidays!

Prepare your heart, home and family for homeschool success!

When your garden isn’t doing well, you don’t immediately think that the plants are doing it all wrong and need fixing. You assume that they’ll thrive when you have the environment right! This introductory combo for new or transitioning homeschoolers can help you get the environment right so that a natural love for learning and educational excellence are blooming brilliantly in your home and family.

Includes:

Normally $15.75

RIGHT NOW: $9 (43% off) with coupon: 2015HO-STPK

OR! Get it free with one of our Homeschool Bundles (see above)

TJEdOnline_seal_Clr

III. Leadership Education Community Builder Bundles thomasjeffersoneducationmedium-x10

Are you working to build a community of families who share your Leadership Education values? Do you want to gift, share or sell the staples of Leadership Education with others (without constantly having to try to get your own marked-up, dog-eared book returned)?

These 10-unit bundles are discounted for easy purchase, and are ideal for book clubs, co-ops, commonwealths, play groups, etc.

Normally priced at 20% off retail for a 10-pack.

During our holiday sale, get them for an additional 10% off with coupon: 15BLDR10

TJEdOnline_seal_Clr MIC-Archive-badge IV. Subscription Add-on Pricing

During our Holiday Promotion period (now through 1/7/16), add on any new subscription for just $1 (first month) and $10 monthly thereafter! (And if you’re a loyal subscriber, take note! We have a new subscription product!)

Click here for details >>

TJEdOnline_seal_Clr

V. How to Mentor Course

HTM-Badge This class is a practical, hands-on course on how to be a great mentor. Veteran mentors as well as new mentors–and everyone in between–will see their mentoring significantly improve by completing this exciting class taught by Oliver DeMille.

Ideal for those with youth, those who teach adults and/or youth, and those who are serious about their own scholar/depth education.
(click product image for course outline)

What does it cost? 3 options:

  • Regularly $259
  • also available in 6-week installment plan
  • For those with budgetary constraints: CHOOSE-YOUR-PRICE donation option – REALLY! We want you to take us up on it. We want you to pay what you can, and have nobody that needs this course pass on it for financial reasons.

Take me there >>

TJEdOnline_seal_Clr

VI. The U.S. Constitution and the 196 Indispensable Principles of Freedom DEEP DISCOUNT!

FOR: Grandparents, Dad, serious scholar, freedom-lover, mentor/coach,

196-Cover Get Oliver’s magnum opus, The U.S. Constitution and the 196 Indispensable Principles of Freedom at an unheard of discount! This beautiful book is perfect for holiday gifting:

  • Rich, Hardcover Kivar 7 Binding
  • Custom Cover and Interior Design by Award-winning Artist Daniel Ruesch
  • Cover Art “Liberty Tree” Embossed with Gold and Black Foil
  • Silk Bookmark Ribbon
  • Custom Endsheets
  • Fully Indexed
  • Specially Designed Margins and Endpapers for Annotation
  • Approximately 360 pages

Normally $27.95

RIGHT NOW: $19.57 (30% off) with coupon: FREEDOM4THEHOLIDAYS

 

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VII. The Leadership Education Manifesto DEEP DISCOUNT!

TJEd_Manifesto_Large Declare your purpose! This gorgeous, heavy-duty, 18″ x 24″ poster is perfect for hanging on your youth’s wall, or to get artfully framed to display in full view to declare to the world that your family is on a mission!

Full text:

AN EDUCATION TO MATCH OUR MISSION

A movement is sweeping across the world. Not of protestors raging in streets. But of families loving and learning in consecrated homes.

Of devoted mothers who look into their children’s eyes and see future leaders. Of valiant fathers who thirst for greatness. Of youth who feel a stirring in their souls to renounce conveyor-belt mediocrity.

They hear the call of mission to seek truth, build strong families and communities, spread freedom and prosperity, create beauty, heal society.

Their Allegiance is clear. They will not compromise their virtue. They will not rest while they see need.

They unplug from TV and tabloids to immerse themselves in the classics and engage with mentors. They learn because they are inspired, not required. Compelled to grapple with life’s most important questions. To earn a Leadership Education. To innovate solutions for humanity. To learn more, become more, so they can serve more.

We are this generation of leaders. We will rise to our potential with an education to match our mission. And we will be the change we wish to see in the world.

Normally: $19.95

RIGHT NOW: $13.97 (30% off) with coupon: FREEDOM4THEHOLIDAYS

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new-freedom-bundle VIII. The Freedom Bundle DEEP DISCOUNT

This amazing deal can make a great gift for the freedom lovers in your life – with 5 paperbacks and 1 audio download included in the kit.

OR! Part it out to make gifts of the paperbacks for 5 others, and keep the audio for yourself! Either way, this combo was already priced at 10% off retail. With our FREEDOM4THEHOLIDAYS coupon, take an additional 30% off your price!

Bundle includes:

Paperback editions of:

MP3 download of:

Full retail, when purchased separately: $93.75; with bundle discount: $84.36

RIGHT NOW: $59.05 (30% off) with coupon: FREEDOM4THEHOLIDAYS

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2

How was your day?

Inspiration-Smoothie-Meme

Recently, on our Facebook discussion group, I read the following comment:

“Today was an awesome homeschool day. With lots of reading, counting, math, science, art, history, even some helping around the house, cooking, and quality outdoor time. It would be cool if every day was like this. I’ve been worried about feeling like a failure, this gives me hope.”

When our kids were mostly young, my homeschooling friend/next-door neighbor and I used to figure: One perfect “school-ey” day in ten was about what we could expect, with varying degrees of progress and differing focus sprinkled in. I used to hang on those days for hope, like the commenter above. They used to define my success as a “homeschooler,” and be my justification for carrying on.

Not anymore.

Here’s the thing: I think we tend to celebrate the days that look the most “school-ey” as our greatest successes – especially when we’re starting out. But if you’re honest with yourself, every day can be a celebration of something:

  • She got past being “bored” all by herself next right thing
  • They played together so creatively
  • We worked together /or/ we just sat in the same room all day doing random handwork or quiet games – while listening to awesome music and audio books
  • He taught himself how to use an audio editing program and started creating with it
  • A project with dad turned into a rabbit trail of questions, answers and discovery
  • The kids got to serve each other all day while I slept off a rough night with the new baby
  • A visit from Grandma/Grandpa turned into several hours of “what was it like…” – one of the very best kinds of history lesson!
  • The kids and I fixed the vacuum all by ourselves, and learned tons about how it worked (and didn’t work)
  • We explored the chemistry of stain removal, the arithmetic of recipes, and the biology of food forgotten in the back of the refrigerator. For real. We actually learned about them!
  • They created a magic mailbox and wrote each other secret letters in code all day
  • We watched a butterfly come out of its chrysalis, and did an internet search of lots of things hatching and being born, with tons of questions and tangents
  • They played card games all morning that secretly honed their mental math skills
  • They holed up with their library books and only came out for food and drink, and I was able to finish a bunch of projects I’ve been putting off
  • We watched documentaries on Netflix
  • We found a local friend to mentor us on the subject of the documentaries on Netflix

Honestly, if we treat each day as a way to help train up great souls, the lessons will be rich and varied. The academics, truth be told, take way less time than learning to get along, learning to be responsible, learning to be creative, learning to serve joyfully.

The 10:1 ratio isn’t a bit skewed! It really works when 1 out of 10 days is heavy on school-ey stuff. Remember, school-ey stuff is happening, in one way or another, practically every day – even when it doesn’t look school-like. And the other stuff makes the school-ey stuff actually matter, it makes it relevant, it provides real-life application. It gives it context, makes it pleasurable, helps refine the character and detect the purpose of the individual who’ll someday wield that knowledge for good in the world!

And, it makes it so that those academics/skills-rich days are fresh, exciting and new when they come around, so all that type of learning is done “in the zone” – where they’re engaged and interested, eager and effective. Honestly: Why would you do it any other way?

How to Prepare

There is a difference between being prepared to take advantage of teaching moments, and over-programming your week and life, trying to “make” it be that school-ey, one-in-ten kind of day. A few tips can help you get on the right track.

  1. Lead out in learning.
    When you, personally, are doing things that interest you and bring you joy, you communicate in living color the value of self-improvement, education and applying what you do and know in ways that make a difference in the world.

    Whether it’s reading, practicing an instrument, hobbies, fitness, talents, entrepreneurship, spreading beauty, sharing love, expanding your awareness of others and your ability to serve or teach or share – all of these things enhance your kids’ lives and education!Invest in yourself as the model of self-education, the learning-leader in your home, and what it means to be an adult who loves life and education.

  2. Prepare your environment.
    individualized-learning-meme

    A. By de-cluttering your home, you spend less time caring for stuff, and more time exploring ideas and projects that spark learning.

    B. By investing in some simple basics for subjects you value (whether that be art/craft supplies, basic experimentation tools, manipulatives, raw materials for creating and building, kitchen science, music makers, technology assists, games that teach, etc.), having a closet of ready projects that require the kids to invest themselves and take initiative, rather than follow checklists and fill in blanks, will teach valuable lessons they can hardly learn in any other way.

  3. Simplify your time.
    One of the big deal-killers for homeschool is being over-commited in your calendar.Large blocks of time are necessary for kids to take initiative, to come up with questions and to follow curiosity and inspiration.

    If they are constantly being told what to think and do, there’s way to much work on the adult in the situation, and the kids are not really owning their role in their education.For example, most young children do best with only a couple of outings per month. Mid-age kids, maybe once per week. Teens a couple of times per week.

    If you find yourself or your kids never have time to sit and think, never have a moment when you wonder what you should do now, you probably have too much on your calendar. Simplify!

  4. Read together. Lots!
    DeMille-Almost nothing more powerful(1) I cannot stress enough how much of the heavy lifting in family education is done by reading quality stories and books together as a family.The lessons of life, the examples of heroism, of sacrifice, of forgiveness, of failure, of mediocrity, of wickedness, of joy, of service, of friendship, of family – are taught vicariously as we come face-to-face with greatness in the classics.They inspire personal excellence and effort beyond momentary self-gratification. They speak to each individual in their own language, and in the ways that are most meaningful. They provide a bonding medium where the whole family shares an experience together.

    Try it! You’ll be amazed at how the math just doesn’t equate – their learning will grow by leaps and bounds just a few months out when you start reading together from the great classics that have delighted adults and children alike for generations!

Conclusion

great education is inspired education

Own each day.

Be a detective: Know what each day is for!

Work with the natural rhythm that is coming your way to take advantage of teaching/learning/growing opportunities.

For help to know how to identify these, and how to utilize them, check this out.

For ideas on embracing the rhythm of life in your homeschool – consider a Family Reset >>

And above all: Press forward, mamma/daddy! You’re doing great!

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5

Inspiration-Smoothie-Meme

Many people struggle with feeling a sense of lost or wasted time in their education, or perhaps in their preparation to be a parent or a mentor.

They lament with myriad versions of “if only,” and torture themselves with guilt and anxiety over what they did or didn’t do as a youth, as a young adult, as a student, as a young father or mother, etc.

They make a detailed accounting of their inadequacies and grieve for their children having such an imperfect, unprepared parent.

I’d like to address this in today’s Inspiration Smoothie. I think of it this way:

There is nothing more powerfully inspiring than someone undergoing profound change.

next right thing Yes, there’s strength in getting everything right, every step of the way. I’m not saying that’s a disadvantage.

And yet, there is a special kind of strength in contrast, in opposition.

The Power of “Becoming”

Your kids are going to see your yearning. They’ll witness, close-up and firsthand, your effort, your vision, your optimism.

THOSE lessons– not just “getting everything right from the start”–are super important to your particular kids, for some reason.

The lesson of knowing what it looks like to deliberately change course, even thought it’s hard: Think about what that’s teaching them!

The power of conversion, the process of transformation, is really, really special. Be grateful you get to share that with them now, while they’re your witness, and the recipients of the gifts and challenges that it’s bringing to you and your family.

xoxo rd

What meaningful progress are you making right now? What is your “next right thing”? How can your idealism, and your embracing of this process, bless those you teach? Please comment below, and share!

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0

learning-garden-meme Q: How does your [learning] garden grow?

A: Not by force –  nor by accident!

Perhaps silver bells and cockleshells worked for contrary Miss Mary, but master gardeners do not “make” their gardens grow. And yet it is clearly not by chance or accident that they succeed! They know the principles that govern their success, and they understand their role in the process.

Homeschool Starter Pack from Leadership Education

Prepare your heart, home and family for homeschool success!

When your garden isn’t doing well, you don’t immediately think that the plants are doing it all wrong and need fixing. You assume that they’ll thrive when you have the environment right! Leadership Education can help you get the environment right so that a natural love for learning and educational excellence are blooming brilliantly in your home and family.

For only $15.75, with immediate electronic delivery worldwide, The Homeschool Starter Pack from Leadership Education includes:

  • How to Take Your Homeschool from Ordinary to Extraordinary (mp3, 29 min)
    In this short audio, Rachel briefly and lovingly shares how to get your new or existing homeschool on track /and/ have both academic excellence and harmony in the home. Sound impossible? It’s not! Listen for yourself….
  •  

  • The 5 Habits of Highly Successful Homeschoolers (PDF, 69 pp)
    Every homeschooling parent struggles with similar questions… [you won’t find the right curriculum; you don’t know enough; your kids won’t thrive; your relationships will suffer] And yet, some homeschoolers navigate these issues and have a great experience! What makes the difference? Can their experience translate to success for you? Yes! This beautifully illustrated e-book will show you the “secrets” of happy, successful, excellent homeschooling.
  •  

  • What’s So Great about the Classics: Homeschooling for Dads (mp3, 128 min)
    • The 3 Great Powers of Highly Successful Homeschool Dads
    • The 1 Big Thing That Makes all The Difference—in Less Than 1 Hour a Week
    • “But it Doesn’t Seem Like They’re Doing Anything!”
    • Dads as Heroes (and What to Do About It)
    • 35 Reasons the Classics are the Best Curriculum for Education, Career, Finances, and Family
    • Help Your Kids Get a Truly Excellent Education, including in Math, Science, and Career Prep
    • What Your Wife Needs to Truly Make it Work!
    • …and much more 
  •  

  • Introduction to the Phases of Learning/A Return to Simplicity (PDF, 29 pp)

    One of the most significant differences between Thomas Jefferson Education and other classical styles of education has to do with the belief that people, especially children, learn differently at different ages. Thus, there are different phases for learning certain lessons. When the The 7 Keys of Great Teaching are applied with the Phases in mind, it’s like hitting the sweet spot–-less muscle, greater outcomes!

  • A Thomas Jefferson Education in our Home (PDF, 40 pp)
    This 40 page pdf download is rich in examples and anecdotes from Oliver and Rachel’s early days on the path of homeschooling and Leadership Education, and contains an extremely valuable Q&A section.
    Features:

    • Introduction to the 7 Keys of Great Teaching by Oliver DeMille
    • Discussion of each individual phase
    • Family Reading
    • Projects for Learning
    • How to simplify your time and space
    • How to share your passion for learning with your children
    • …and much more!

 
This product kit contains e-books that are graphically rich and beautifully illustrated, and inspiring audios that speak to both the mother heart and the common concerns that dads have. The Homeschool Starter Pack contains practical and inspiring tips from master mentors to help you create your ideal homeschool!

Get your Homeschool Starter Kit from Leadership Education >>

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