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A new friend asked me one day how he could be sure that his little kids would grow up to be scholars. His question got me thinking, and I crafted this response…
We have four youth between the ages of 12 and 18* of differing styles, strengths and handicaps.

All of them own their education.

They look to Oliver and me as resources, facilitators and guides.

The will to exceed themselves comes from their own sense of purpose and the desire to know and be and do.

You could say, “Well, it’s easy for you, because they’ve known this all their life.”

I do say that. And that is precisely the message of TJEd.

The outcomes are as natural and predictable as, say, gardening.

It is a great deal of work to prepare a plot of ground, to learn about the optimal conditions and varieties for the region where we live, to plant and water while the little seeds are getting established.

There are absolutely multitudinous things beyond our control.

And while it doesn’t always turn out the way we hope or plan, the process is always instructive, enriching and transformational.

And for all that we would like to control the outcome, certain things are ours to do, and certain things are not.

When we partner with the land and sky, we must submit to that truth.

And yet, we plant. We pray for rain.

We wish away and fend away frost and pests, invaders and diseases.

We weed and we amend the soil, we trim back and thin.

But for all our tending, it really is a process that we only tap into; we never are in control of it.

TJEd mentor Melinda Ambrose has said, “You don’t dig up beans to see if they’re growing.”

It illustrates for me the obvious truth that humankind has learned through millennia to resign ourselves to the futility and even peril of tinkering in the wrong ways with developing things.

But even though we know that once we have created and are working to maintain the appropriate habitat for growth, and we had better not disturb the progress of a developing plant, our little “mini-me’s” seem to tempt us to do just that, don’t they?

But to trust the process really does work. I personally interact with (I will say, conservatively) many hundreds of families with similar success to our own.

Each youth has different gifts and preparation, and virtually all own their obligation to prepare for their future so they can make their unique contribution.

I remember feeling as you do.

Oliver and I have been teaching the principles of Leadership Education since our children were smaller than yours.

It was a struggle, sometimes, to answer people’s questions and concerns about the future because our children were not yet the proof in the pudding, so to speak.

And since our oldest had learning disabilities (common with the males of my husband’s family), we had to be especially patient and inspired to know how to apply the principles in the best way for his development.

You might even say we felt just a little bit of pressure to perform.

Luckily we found the grace to patiently do what we knew was best for him and the others.

woman-journaling-iStock_000015527481XSmall We of course made mistakes and course corrections all along the way–as all parents do.

And yet, he and his three sisters just younger are successfully progressing in their respective levels of scholar phase.

Actually, I suppose I should credit him with having successfully transitioned into Depth Phase—he has studied this week (in addition to class time and other educational discussions/projects) over forty hours.

Similar to last week, and the week before, and the week before that.

For all the bumps in the road his learning disabilities afforded him, he is excelling in college, and I seriously doubt anyone would suspect any previous “impediments”.

His sisters are respectively in Self-directed Scholar, Apprentice Scholar and Practice Scholar, all of them actively working to achieve their personal goals and interacting with their father and me to help them achieve them.

And each will be shifting to the next level within three months, I would say.

apples-and-pears-in-a-round-basket-1872 Their brother’s transition has left a void in the Transition to Depth niche that the next one will feel, and so the dominoes will fall as they move forward, impelling each other to progress like pears ripening in a basket.

But even though it does move on almost like a machine set in motion, and in spite of all we say and teach, and all that we do to create an environment of passion and inspiration to facilitate his and our other children’s learning, we still must look on hopefully and prayerfully and resigned to the fact the certain aspects of this process are not ours to control.

And yet, he studies.

They study.

They are growing, learning and becoming, in their own particular imperfect, short-sighted, moody, marvelous, messy, forgetful, insightful, transformational ways.

And based on our own experience and the examples of many, many parents and youth, I can suppose that others who implement the same principles in their families may expect the same thing.

As much as any gardener can plan on a harvest.

There is a level of uncertainty; but to act against principle to circumvent the process in the name of control is not only ineffective, it’s not even rational.

We just need to pay the price to know and understand our role, invest ourselves completely in the things that are ours to do, and let the sun shine and the rain fall.

The universe does its part in the process, and over the course of years, the good harvests outnumber the bad by far. And both we and our children will have become Liber.

*This article was originally written in February 2009, and ages and details are current as of that time.

Update, 2014:

  • Our oldest, Oliver (23), served a successful religious mission to Brazil. He is building a business, does consulting for an educational services organization, and collaborates with his two adult sisters (Emma and Sara, below) and his brother-in-law (Ian) to teach a highly successful class for scholars, aged 14-18. He is the director of Youth for Freedom Summer Conferences. He specializes in mentoring youth with divergent learning styles.
  • Emma (22) is married to Ian (24) and they are expecting their first 6/1/14. They have a successful business teaching leadership and mentoring to adults, and Emma is a corporate writer for inspirational/motivational training materials.
  • Sara (20) spent several months of 2013 working in Australia teaching youth how to succeed in Scholar Phase. She manages social media for several companies, and is a sought-after mentor for youth.
  • Eliza (17) is studying 10-14 hours per day with the goal of completing “the cards” by the end of summer 2014 – so she can join with her siblings in teaching the youth leadership class in fall 2014. She is putting the final polish on a futuristic dystopian novel series for youth (a trilogy of over 1000 pages that her advance readers can’t put down!).
  • Freeborn Ammon (14) completed a successful first year in the youth leadership class in April 2014, and distinguished himself as an almost undefeated (only by Eliza) debater, emerging writer, and energetic scholar.
  • Hyrum (12) has multiple disabilities and enjoys his role in blessing other kids with disabilities – as well as those who serve them. He is a light and a joy, with a ready joke or song and a virtually unsinkable good humor.
  • America (10) is a peacemaker and a deep thinker. She is devoted to the arts, and longs to be a notable singer and actress. Watch for her recitations and other works in upcoming videos.
  • Abigail (8) is a tease and a bold spirit. She is enjoying learning to read, loves to dance and sing, and is a talented illustrator. She, too, will be featured in upcoming videos for families and children.

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Description

At a time when the American educational system is in crisis and the family is under attack, the tried-and-true principles handed down through the ages, herein called Thomas Jefferson Education, are fostering the revival of a culture of leadership and liberty.

As a result, the family is being restored to its rightful place as the basic unit of a prosperous and free society; and the prospects for American education are looking brighter than ever.

These incredibly helpful articles read, at times, like a letter from a friend, at times like an entry in a journal of Education or Child Development, and even, at times, like we’re overhearing a conversation. But in every case it is relevant, accessible, and empowering.

Product Details:

  • First edition, Published by TJEdOnline, October 2006.
  • Perfect bound (paperback), 241 pages.
  • ISBN 978-0967124636
  • Dimensions and shipping weight: 7 x 9 x 0.7 inches, 1 lb.

Click here to download a free pdf excerpt from A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion.

Chapter Outline

Forward

By Vicki Jo Andersen, past president of the Arizona State Charter School Board

“Thomas Jefferson Education as been a sensation–and a revolution. At a time when the American educational system is in crisis and the family is under attack, the tried-and-true principles handed down through the ages–herein called A Thomas Jefferson Education–are fostering a revival of a culture of leadership and liberty. As a result, the family is being restored to its rightful place as the basic unit of a prosperous and free society, and the prospects for American education are looking brighter than ever.

“These principles are being applied in public, charter and private schools with amazing success…”

Prologue: Have You Made The Choice?

Corporate Individualism * The Family * The Great Debate

America is currently making a decision. This extremely important choice will largely determine what kind of world our children and grandchildren will live in, yet few people even know about it. The question is this: Which Central Idea will our society adopt in the century ahead? By 2050 either the family or the corporation will stand triumphant, and the sides are being chosen today.

Chapter One- Off the Conveyor Belt

By Diann Jeppson
Ten Years of Practice * Learning Environments

“As a homeschooling mother of four girls, I am always interested in great books on education. The discovery of A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first Century has, without a doubt, completely revolutionized my home. …I no longer walk into a library or curriculum fair and stand there feeling quietly overwhelmed….

“…It is truly fascinating to observe the methods employed on younger siblings by youth who have been raised with the leading hand in their own education. Being inspirational comes naturally….

“…When we lead out, and invite our children and youth along on the journey, we can’t help but positively impact the educational level of the next generation.”

Chapter Two- Time and Leadership

By Diann Jeppson, with Rachel DeMille
Core Phase * Love of Learning * Example * Frequent Exposure * Plentiful Choices * Accountability * Follow-through * Environment * Mastering Life Skills * Scholar Phase * Depth Phase

Strategies for the implementation of Thomas Jefferson Education are needed in our homes and schools. The gifts of Choice and Time.

The three things all Core Phasers should get are knowledge of right and wrong, true and false, good and bad. This knowledge needs to be more than just information; it must truly become part of the child. Examples of fostering Core Phase lessons from TJEd moms.

There are two areas where Love of Learners need to spend a lot of time: falling in love with all types of learning, and mastering a whole bunch of life skills. The six-point approach to inspiring love of learning. Music Education, Life Skills and more. The importance of “Time” in Scholar and Depth Phases.

Chapter Three- Free at Last!

By Diann Jeppson

In our fast-paced society, we find ourselves becoming slaves to either ease or expediency. This tends to arise at the onset of the teenage years. Thomas Jefferson Education youth face a unique challenge: in addition to choosing between the exciting social events and options, they also have to choose between myriad academic options. At the same time, TJEd youth face having to develop self-discipline and skills. The invitation, therefore, is to consider carefully the time and season of youth, and the far-reaching consequences of lack of adequate space for serious scholarship.

Chapter Four- Mentor Meetings Between Parents and Child

By Diann Jeppson

Mentor meetings are regular meetings in which the parent and child discuss what the child has been learning, and the parents assist the child in setting new goals for the next interval of time. If you watch your child carefully, you can determine when the time is right to begin holding mentor meetings. Signs of readiness; how to introduce the mentor/student relationship; how to conduct the mentor meeting. Ninety percent inspiration, ten percent perspiration.

Chapter Five- Book Discussions and Family Reading

By Diann Jeppson
Having a Successful Family Reading Time * Choosing Worthwhile Books * Evening Reading and Discussion * Holding Successful Group Discussions * Enjoying Discussions with Children * Facilitating Discussions Among Older Youth * The Adult Book Discussion Group * The Colloquium

Discussions about great books with your peers and your family members are some of the most satisfying and powerful facets of Leadership Education. These discussions open new avenues and take participants to new frontiers as they challenge one another’s assumptions, compare ideas, ask questions and articulate thoughts and conclusions about books read in common. New ideas spring forth as minds are opened to new ideas never before considered, and questions are answered, or left to be answered another day. Suggestions for discussion in family with large age range; suggestions for peer discussion among young children, youth and adults.

Chapter Six- Mom Schools

By Oliver DeMille, with Rachel DeMille
What American Homeschoolers Say They Want * What Homeschoolers Really Want * Mom Schools and the Future of America

The biggest educational trend in America is the growth of alternative schools. There are four major ways that people are deciding to do alternative schools: regularly established private schools, charter schools, home schools, and “Mom Schools.” Mom Schools are where a mom sees that her kids need something so she sets it up, offers it, and invites others to participate with her family. The most exciting thing about Mom Schools is that they promise not only a better education for the rising generation, but they are educating the parents’ generation in neighborhoods across America.

Chapter Seven- “Steel to Gold”: Motherhood and Feminism

By Rachel DeMille
It Takes A Mother To Raise A Village * Your Education Is Your Most Valuable Asset * Raising Children Is The Thing That Changes The World Most

There is a widespread myth that feminism came about in the 20th century, that–along with Civil Rights and Environmentalism–feminism is one of our great modern advances. The truth is that feminism has a much earlier origin. Three major schools of thought on the role and future of women: Modern Feminism, Reactionary Feminism, Anti-feminism. The power of women to shape society by raising twelve individuals for their future roles.

Chapter Eight- Seeing the Whole Picture

By Diann Jeppson
Family Work * Getting Things in Order * Eliminating Contention * Getting the Family Off to a Good Start * For Health and Strength * Language Arts * Creating a Master Plan for Your Family’s Education * Getting Vision * A Preliminary Briefing * Nine Key Elements for and Effective Master Plan * Putting Your Master Plan Into Play * Systems * Revision and Revisiting

“As a mother, I have frequently asked the woman in the mirror: How in the world can I inspire all my children to want to learn anything when I still have to do the housework, spend time with my husband, do the errands, pay bills, do the laundry, and all the other items on the endless list of tasks stretching out before me? …Waiting for the chores to end before I take time to teach, mentor, plan, prepare, inspire and study is like standing at the banks of a mighty river waiting for the water to finish going by so that I can cross to the other side!

This chapter gives a detailed view of Diann’s family organization, including family work, rest and play, and how it all fits with their master educational plan.

Chapter Nine- How I Created a Mom School

by Diann Jeppson
Liberty Girls * American Youth Leadership Institute * The Knights of Freedom * Young American Stateswoman Association * Statesmanship Clubs

“Mom Schools greatly enhance children’s learning, and are an ideal expression of what Rachel referred to earlier as ‘Maternal Ambition.’ Through group learning, children share their enthusiasm with each other, strengthen desire for knowledge and enjoy mutual inspiration and encouragement. Adults benefit from the combined strength, and pull each other up.”

This chapter will:

  • inspire your efforts to form your own Mom School
  • strengthen, sustain or repair an existing group
  • help you blend your Mom School with what you are doing in the home
  • provide examples of forms, processes and structures that work

Chapter Ten- Successful Group Learning

by Diann Jeppson
A Designated Leader * Clear Vision of the Group Objectives * Delegation * Structures and Forms * Communication * Do’s and Don’ts * Simulations * Student Leadership * and more…

One of the most important skills of Leadership Education is leading groups in learning environments. This chapter includes detailed suggestions for successful group learning.

Chapter Eleven- The Jeppson Plan

Morning Things * The Jeppson Family Study System * Adult Skills Classes * Household Skills and Advancements in Scholar Phase

The Jeppson Plan is a system designed to bring a child to the door of Scholar Phase and gracefully usher him in. This chapter describes in detail how the Jeppson family structure fosters characteristics for and facilitates engagement with each phase and level of Thomas Jefferson Education.

Chapter Twelve- Attention Span: Our National Education Crisis

by Oliver DeMille
Attention Span and Freedom * Five Fallacies About Education * How to Increase Attention Span

A great education and the resultant freedom of a people hinge largely on one thing: the ability to apply the work and focus necessary to gain a great education. In this chapter, Oliver enumerates Five Fallacies that impede effective adult education:

  • Learning must be fun.
  • Good teaching is entertaining.
  • Books, texts and materials must be simple and easily understood.
  • “Balance” means balancing work with entertainment.
  • Opinions matter.

“In the twenty-first century, it is time for people of virtue to also become people of wisdom. …Don’t let your habits of entertainment stop you from becoming the leader you were meant to be….”

Chapter Thirteen: Liber and Public Virtue

by Oliver DeMille
Liber Defined * Public Virtue Defined * Examples from the Lives of “Regular” People from the Founding Era

In this inspiring chapter read of the priceless American ideals of Liber and Public Virtue, as personified in the lives of Robert and Mary Morris, Thomas and Lucy Nelson, Samuel and Eliza Adams, Francis and Elizabeth Lewis, Roger and Rebecca Sherman, Abraham and Sarah Clark, and the great Teachers of Liberty: George Wythe, John Witherspoon, Benjamin Rush and Mr. Lovell.

How many homes today are training men and women of Liber and Public Virtue? In all our getting, is that even our goal? Should it be? How is it accomplished?

Chapter Fourteen- The Calm Before the Storm

by Oliver DeMille, with Rachel DeMille

“In a recent seminar, during a discussion about the writings of John Adams and how much we need to appply today the things he taught, one of the participants raised a poignant question: ‘So what do we DO about all this?'”

This question can be answered by studying the generations of history that were successful in meeting their generational crisis: What did they do during the calm before their storm to prepare for what awaited them? Therein lies the answer to what our generation, and our children’s, should do now. Using examples from history and sound insight, Oliver defines a call to action that might surprise you.

Chapter Fifteen- Mentoring Genius

by Oliver and Rachel DeMille
Vision * Scope * Method * The 5 Environments of Mentoring * The Five Pillars * Strength in Numbers * The Power of One

During Scholar and Depth Phases of Thomas Jefferson Education, few components have greater impact than the quality of mentoring. A widespread myth in modern education is that “bigger is better.” Ironically, for some practitioners of Thomas Jefferson Education, the myth is that “smaller is better.” The truth is much simpler: Better is better. And Better is defined in three ways: Vision, Scope and Method.

This chapter defines and elaborates on The 5 Environments of Mentoring:

  • Lecture
  • Colloquium
  • Group Discussion
  • Examination
  • Coaching

It also enumerates the Five Pillars of Statesmanship:

  • Classics
  • Mentors
  • Simulations
  • Field Experience
  • God

Compare and contrast the Leadership Education ideal with the “traditional” model of moving students along toward a goal. How does your mentoring measure up, and how can you improve it?

Epilogue: Educational Pioneers

by Oliver and Rachel DeMille

“Virtually ever day we see questions about Thomas Jefferson Education that, in spite of the different words and packages, really boil down to: ‘So, really, what’s the easy way to do all this?’ So far we have no answer to this question, except: ‘We don’t know of any, other than to do the hard work of getting a great education.’

“But really: isn’t it worth it? If we pioneer for our children, they’ll get to do it an easier way. If we don’t, if we let another generation drift further from the leadership path, it will just get harder and harder for our children and grandchildren.

“…We have illustrated in the foregoing chapters what it has required of those who engaged the challenge in previous generations. But our generation, with its culture of entitlement, struggles to conceive of such things being required of them. It seems wrong to them that individuals and fmailies should have to give so much for a true education–especially when they could seemingly opt a life of relative ease. Leadership Education will not likely come to their doorstep–they must purposefully choose to engage it. Why then, should they prefer the road of Public Virtue, of pain and excellence, of service and greatness, of trial and leadership–of Steel to Gold?

“Such are the mothers and fathers of this pioneering generation… If you are such a father or mother, we want you simply to know that you can do it. Your children need it, and, by the grace of God, you are up to the task. There is no more important role in the 21st Century than being a great parent.”

Appendices

  • A: Adult Skills Classes
  • B: The Big List
  • C: Worksheet for Creating Book Discussion Group Bylaws
  • D: Book Discussion Sample Questions
  • E: Biblical Highlights for Young Children

Reviews

Whether you’re a parent, teacher, administrator, legislator, professor or grandparent, this book is a must

“The core unit of society is the family, and it is in our homes that the principles must most deeply take root and flourish. Regardless of where your children sit to learn, your home can be transformed into a Leadership Education Home, a Thomas Jefferson Education environment. This volume offers something new, something which we all need: a view of Leadership Education from many angles, from the education of toddlers to advanced adult learning. Whether you’re a parent, teacher, administrator, legislator, professor or grandparent, this book is a must.”

Vicki Jo Anderson, co-Founder of American Heritage Academy

The only two books I needed to homeschool my children

“This book and A Thomas Jefferson Education are the only two books I needed to homeschool my four children. When I started this system of education I had no idea what I was doing, then Diann’s book came along as the ‘companion’ and all was right with the world. The forms, systems and processes in this book work hand-in-glove with Oliver DeMille’s original book. I recommend both books as the core system for homeschoolers wanting to raise leaders.

“Diann’s writing style and easy-going approach to homeschooling will leave you feeling totally in control and not wandering around in the dark forest of philosophy. Her systems are easy to use and her language is easy to read.”

Janine Bolon, financial coach, speaker, radio talk show host, & author of Money…It’s Not Just for Rich People!

 

Left me inspired and empowered…

“What an amazing tool! I am grateful for the practical suggestions and examples of Leadership Education. This book left me inspired and empowered to create a home that fosters Leaders! Thank you!”

-Nanette Baker

A valuable resource…

 

“…this book has proven to be a valuable resource in my efforts to better understand and apply the principles of a Thomas Jefferson Education. Every time I refer to it, I am once again amazed at the wisdom it contains and the answers waiting for me there.”

-Janiece Sloan

Save yourself some time and get this book

Save yourself some time and get this book to start applying principles and techniques of Thomas Jefferson Education that took me ten years to figure out!

“I first read A Thomas Jefferson Education almost ten years ago and since then have been incorporating techniques to apply it into my everyday homeschooling and personal education. Suffice it to say when I read this book I was nodding my head in agreement in several places.

“I love Oliver DeMille’s answer to the overwhelmed mom that empathizes with her and then inspires her (and the rest of us) in his response. Rachel DeMille and Diane Jeppson are inspiring and knowledgeable in their writing as well.”

-Chen Rui

I now feel like this is something our family could actually do…

“I have been educating myself on homeschooling methods and was directed toward Thomas Jefferson Education. I read the first book and was excited but very overwhelmed. I agreed with the principles but didn’t have a picture in my mind of what it could actually look like until I read [A Thomas Jefferson Education]Home Companion. A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion helped me focus my excitement.

“I have pages and pages of notes and now feel like this is something our family could actually do. We already were reading together as a family but now we will focus more on discussing the books in more depth. I am excited to start helping my 9 and 7 year old rediscover the joy of learning.”

-M.B.

A great addition to the TJEd Library…

“A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion is a great addition to the TJEd library. I love how the authors inspire us to be better and to inspire our children to be all they can be.

“I love that examples are given so that those of us who are the TJEd pioneers in our areas can ‘see’ how it can be done and hopefully spread the word and excitement where we live. I am grateful to all who made this book possible. The world will thank you someday!”

-Bente Rodriguez

I highly recommend this book if you are serious about implementing the TJEd lifestyle

“What I love about this book is that it really breaks down HOW to do TJEd by letting you look into the lives of a TJEd family and see how all the components are implemented. I HIGHLY recommend this book if you are serious about integrating the TJEd lifestyle into your family/homeschool life. It gives descriptions of everything from how to integrate chores into your daily life with your kids to transitioning to practice scholar to spelling and more.

“All these examples have really helped me give over more to my kids and allow them the opportunities to really take charge of their education and life.”

-Valerie Atwood

About the Authors

 

oliverdemille Oliver DeMille is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education, The Coming Aristocracy and other books on education and freedom. He he has taught graduate courses on the complete writings of Thomas Jefferson, The Federalist Papers, Aristotle’s Politics and other great classics of liberty. Oliver is a popular keynote speaker, writer and business consultant. Presently, he is active as a founding partner with The Center for Social Leadership and he devotes a majority of his time to writing. Oliver is married to the former Rachel Pinegar. They have eight children.

Rachel DeMille

Rachel Pinegar DeMille is the wife of Oliver DeMille and his frequent collaborator. Rachel is the owner of TJEdOnline.com and the author of “This Week in History” educational supplements for the home and classroom.

Rachel’s educational history was rather the opposite of Oliver’s, but with similar outcomes: whereas he had learning disabilities that hindered his early progress, she began playing the piano at age three, and was reading fluently by the age of four. Her facility with learning extended from math and science to foreign language and the arts, and she spent her early years in gifted programs. However, as she grew, she found it difficult to “fit in” to the system, and increasingly found that her best educational experiences were outside of the classroom, either through personal study, or with the guidance of caring and challenging mentors.

The youngest of six children, Rachel observed the upbringing of her nieces and nephews, and was deeply affected by the philosophies of her next oldest sister and her husband, who were homeschooling their children through the classics. She recognized the pattern of classics and mentoring that had been her own ideal, and determined to pursue a similar course in raising her own family.

Rachel is also the co-author of Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning and the audio series Core and Love of Learning: A Recipe for Success. She is an accomplished musician, writer, literary editor, public speaker, consultant and momschool organizer.

Diann Jeppson

Diann Jeppson is the founder and past president of the American Youth Leadership Institute. She received a bachelor’s degree in statesmanship from George Wythe College. She has presented at numerous education seminars and conventions, including Utah Home Education Association, Thomas Jefferson Education Convention, Youth For Freedom, the Thomas Jefferson Education Forum and the Utah State Association of Parliamentarians.

She is the owner of TJEd Marketplace, a business designed to connect parents and educators to resources, mentors, recordings, events and organizations that support Leadership Education. TJEd Marketplace produces the Salt Lake City Thomas Jefferson Education Family Forum.

She is the owner of Leadership Education Family Builder, providing mentoring and consulting for parents in designing their own unique vision, master plan and systems for raising the next generation of leaders in their home.

She serves on the Board of Trustees for George Wythe University. For eight years, she and her four daughters performed as a family bluegrass band called The Wildflowers. She and her husband Adam live with their daughters in West Valley City, Utah.

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September 2011 Inspire!

Published on 02. Sep, 2011 by in

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Featured Article:

TJEd NEWS:

******************

Featured Article:

Rediscovering Simplicity: For Advanced TJEd’ers

by Oliver DeMille

Note from the author: Please forward this article to everyone you know who uses TJEd. Times are shifting and we are due for a major upgrade in the way we all apply Leadership Education.
Here it is…

I wouldn’t give a fig for simplicity this side of complexity…
but I’d give my right arm for simplicity on the other side of complexity.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes

I.               A New Era

When TJEd is new to a person, The 7 Keys of Great Teaching are the focus. Then, over time, most of us emphasize other things that help us re-arrange our thinking and get off the conveyor belt. These include:

All of these can be very helpful in applying Leadership Education.

At a certain stage, once you have been applying The 7 Keys and also many of these other principles and methods, you reach a vital point where a re-emphasis on The 7 Keys is essential.

We are seeing a lot of people at this point right now. This is a very exciting development! This means that thousands of people are ready to take the next step in great Leadership Education.

 

II.              The Hidden Secret of TJEd

What does this step look like?

When you make The 7 Keys the focus, but with all the background of study and experience gained from years of doing TJEd, The 7 Keys are a whole new level of breadth and depth. And this focus shines new light on everything else.

For example, consider the Phases. Many people unwittingly put the Phases above The 7 Keys. The Phases follow a chronological pattern like the conveyor belt, and they are thus an easier fit for most people in a society where schooling and learning are chronologically determined. The phases are also vitally important in their own right, since children and youth at different stages of spiritual, social, intellectual and physical development need different educational processes to most effectively progress.

But sometimes emphasis on the phases leads some of us to try to fit the children/students into one of the phases—based on their age—rather than making the phases fit the individual needs of the student.

This is a subtle difference, perhaps, but it has huge impact. Too many people want their kids to race ahead of the regular age ranges. For example: “But my son was ready for deeper math and science at age 8, so TJEd didn’t really work for him.” “But I really wanted more structure for my 6 year old,” or, proudly, “My daughter was ready for Scholar Phase at age 9!”

The result of such thinking is an unconscious return to the conveyor belt, however well meaning the parent may be.

Such primacy of the phases isn’t really the intent of TJEd at all.

TJEd is centered on The 7 Keys.

TJEd affirms that individual learners progress through the Phases in order, and that there are some general age guidelines, but that every individual progresses at his or her own pace. Always! Thus there are some 6- or 8-year-olds ready for Transition to Scholar and some 40-year-olds who need Core Phase.

A lot of adults hold themselves in core phase when they are actually ready for Love of Learning, or in Love of Learning when they’re ready for scholar phase. Others push themselves into Scholar Phase even though their Love of Learning is weak. Some parents do this to themselves—but even more do it with their children.

Putting The 7 Keys first naturally fixes such mistakes.

If you have the Phases without The 7 Keys, you don’t have Leadership Education—no classics, mentors, focus on inspiring, etc. But if you have The 7 Keys without the Phases, you’ll still end up using Phases even without knowing them.

For example, if you are trying to apply “Structure Time, not Content” to a 5-year-old, an 11-year-old, and a 16-year-old in your home, you will naturally learn to structure different amounts of time and types of study for each student in order to help each individual fully succeed.

Likewise, “Inspire, not Require” will take very different approaches as you work with each of these students. The classics you use will be different, or at the very least the discussions about them will vary widely for students of such different ages. The Phases are an outgrowth—an application, even—of The 7 Keys.

It is important for parent-mentors to always keep this in mind.

The 7 Keys are the focus; the Phases flow naturally out of applying The 7 Keys.

Of course, the Phases are an extremely important part of Leadership Education. But let’s be clear: the Phases are only effective when parent mentors put The 7 Keys first.

Most educational models require the student to fit into the system, but TJEd builds the education (curriculum, methods, structure, hours, assignments, activities, details, etc.) to the needs of each individual student. If a child needs more structure during Core or Love of Learning, TJEd mentors provide it because they are focused on “Mentor(ing), not Profess(ing).”

If a youth needs more traditional styles of math and science, a TJEd mentor provides it because she is focused on “Quality, not Conformity.” But if a student needs less structure, more freedom and room for creativity, TJEd mentors provide this while many (most!) other systems resort to structure, force or textbooks—often for the benefit of the parents or teachers, rather than the child. A focus on The 7 Keys naturally overcomes these problems.

There are many other examples, and the main point is that by emphasizing The 7 Keys any mentor will learn to apply the 4 phases, the 5 environments, the 55 ingredients, and other tools and techniques as needed by individual students.

III.            Simplicity on the Far Side of Complexity

Re-learning The 7 Keys after one has experience in Leadership Education is incredibly powerful. When Rachel and I find ourselves struggling with the education of one of our own children, we pull out A Thomas Jefferson Education and Leadership Education and re-read the sections on The 7 Keys—with the specific child in mind.

We have done this many times, and it always works. As parents we struggle as everyone does to know how to optimize and individualize our approach to the progress and education of each of our eight children, and even though we wrote these words, somehow re-reading them is extremely helpful. Somewhere in the basic overviews of The 7 Keys we find the perfect solution to whatever difficulty our child faces.

In fact, we have created a document called “The 7 Keys Re-Boot” that puts the major commentary on The 7 Keys all in one place for easy reading and re-reading.

According to former Columbia University provost Jacques Barzun, education is a long series of difficulties. Businessmen and businesswomen often struggle to understand education because business thrives on solving a problem and then implementing systems that eradicate the problem for the future.

Not so in education. Each new student faces his or her own set of difficulties today, and when he overcomes these difficulties he’ll move on to a new set of difficulties next month and then next year.

For example, “I don’t know much about history” is a difficulty ripe with potential learning. And once it is no longer a difficulty, because the student has learned a lot about history, two new difficulties automatically present themselves:

1)     “I don’t know much about 15th Century German history,” or something akin to this,

and

2)     “I don’t know much about science,” or some other topic.

The first type of follow-up difficulty is lack of depth, the second is lack of breadth, and both arise as soon as you learn anything.

I repeat: Everything you learn will present these two kinds of further difficulties, which is why learning never ends—and also why the more you know the more you realize how much you don’t know.

Wise mentors learn to treat every learning difficulty as an exciting adventure to be embraced! This is one reason that love of learning is vital to getting an excellent education.

As Leadership Education mentors and parents, our challenge is to deal with these learning difficulties for our own personal education and concurrently with each student we mentor. Sometimes the way to deal with such difficulties is clear, but other times we are unsure how to proceed. I

In such struggles, the TJEd mentor has a great secret weapon: The 7 Keys.

 

IV.            Advanced TJEd

As a mentor re-reads the basic concepts of The 7 Keys with a specific mentee and her current learning challenges in mind, the magic occurs. This is deep, and profound. This is great student whispering. It is the crux of great mentoring. In fact, the mentoring questions outlined in the appendix of The Student Whisperer came from this exact process—re-reading the basic 7 Keys to find answers for specific mentees facing specific learning challenges.

This process is powerful. It is also “Simple, not Complex”:

  • Take a notebook and pen
  • Write the student’s name at the top of a blank piece of paper
  • Re-read the segments on The 7 Keys in A Thomas Jefferson Education and Leadership Education, with the following question in mind: “How can I better help Johnny apply this key right now to succeed in his learning needs?”
  • Take the time to repeat this with each of The 7 Keys
  • Write your ideas in your notebook

Once this is complete, you’ll have a to-do list for yourself (not your mentee!) that will help your mentee succeed. Apply the things you come up with, and watch the magic happen.

This is a transformational process, and it works. The deepest and most advanced solutions are found in the basics. The 7 Keys work. They are profound and they are effective. Unfortunately, sometimes we give them too little attention, even when we’ve known them for years.

The 7 Keys are the answer. Advanced mentors in Leadership Education should spend more time than anyone else studying and re-studying the basic 7 Keys. They know that real magic comes from re-reading, pondering and applying The 7 Keys for a given student’s specific needs right now. This is “simplicity on the other side of complexity.”

It is this repeated process—and only this—that makes one an expert. You are the expert on your home and family precisely because you constantly rehash every old and new idea in the world based on how it impacts or could impact you and yours.

Those who are applying TJEd at the highest level spend much of their time re-reading The 7 Keys and searching out how they apply to a given child or student right now. This is the apex of great mentoring, the central 7 principles of the science of teaching, the indispensible action of Leadership Education.

Every successful education is based on The 7 Keys. Rachel and I didn’t invent these keys when we wrote TJEd; we simply found that they were the common themes in the education of the greatest leaders of history. So we put them together on a list.

All great teachers and schools are great to the extent that they apply The 7 Keys—even if they have never heard of TJEd. The 7 Keys work. They are the true principles of great teaching and great learning.

Education without any of The 7 Keys is lessened in depth, vibrancy and quality. We live in world where people want everything to be new, where experienced TJEd’ers hear the words “7 Keys” and are tempted to think, “Been there, done that. What’s new?” Hopefully we know better.

The 7 Keys are classic—you learn more each time you re-read them and even more each time you apply them to a specific student. This is the advanced level of TJEd.

If you want to apply TJEd at the highest levels, re-read the basics of The 7 Keys and apply them to each student’s current needs—and repeat this classic process over and over. As veteran TJEd’ers give more and more attention to The 7 Keys, we will see a whole new level of quality in Leadership Education!

In every field of human endeavor, from music and science to sports and education, the great masters become great because they focus on truly mastering the basics. The 7 Keys are the foundation of all great education, and all of us need to give them a lot more attention.

Now is the time for a new era in TJEd, an era where more of us truly, deeply and profoundly master The 7 Keys. As thousands become true masters of The 7 Keys, we will see a whole new level of quality and greatness in education.

 

For a free copy of the 7 Keys Re-Boot (which contains the commentary on The 7 Keys from our books combined into one document for convenient and frequent re-reading), click here or go to http://www.tjed.org/freebies/.

 

Post Script: Again, please forward this to anyone you know who has used or is using TJEd. We want this important message to get out to everyone who has ever learned about TJEd.
Thank you,

Oliver DeMille

*******************

Continue Reading

0

This title is also available in paperback for $14.95 and Kindle for $8.99.

New! Also available: TJEd for Teens Student Supplement! Click here for information.

“This book is so-o-o-o good. I am getting a copy for every single one of my young adult children.”

-Deena Ortiz, founder and organizer of southern California TJEd Forum, “FATJEF”

“The Teen 100 Book List and the insights on how to use it are, of themselves, worth the price of the book!”

-Teri Helms, TJEd mom to five boys, Owner, Tommy Mom

“This a MUST READ for today’s youth and their parents! Don’t let the word TEENS in the title fool you. This book gives enormous perspective for all ages of people.”

-Nicholeen Peck, author of Parenting a House United

Scroll down or click the following links for more information:

Description

From the Introduction:
“It is said that when God wants to change the world, he sends a baby–perfectly timed to grow, learn, prepare and then take action at the right moment.

“But there are times when one baby won’t suffice, when the challenges facing the world are just too great; and so instead of a great reformer or a few key thinkers, what is needed is a whole generation of leaders.

“This happened in the sixth century B.C. and in the first decade of the Common Era, then again in the American Founding generation.

“We believe it is happening again today….”

About Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens

This latest addition to the TJEd library is written to youth and adults wanting to accomplish a successful Scholar Phase–academics, personal development and mission preparation.

It includes:

  • How to find the “Real You”
  • The Teen-100 List
  • How to study the classics
  • How to make the most of your mentor
  • Sample Simulations
  • …plus lots more!


Product Details

  • PDF of first paperback edition, published September 2009 by TJEdOnline
  • 161 pages.

Click here to download a sample excerpt from the book.

Chapter Outline

Chapter One: Your Future

When God Wants to Change the World… * Teenager, Grownup or Adult? * The Youth Lead the World * Realism or Idealism * This is the Time * Preparing for Your Role * Conveyor Belt v. Genius in Training * Does Prestige Equal Quality? * What About Financial Success? * The First Step on the Path to Greatness * Fifty Years from Now * The Genius in You

Chapter Two: Classics

Your Best Mentors and Greatest Allies * The Seven Keys of Great Teaching * Classics, not Textbooks * Straight from the Original Sources * Think What, and How, They Thought * Introducing: “The List” * Level One: Break the Taboo * Level Two: Talk it Over * Level Three: Teach to Learn * Stand and Deliver * 100 + 40 * Classical Languages: Math, Latin, etc. * The Teen 100 Book List!

Chapter Three: Mentors

Going it Alone * Trusting a Guide * Who are Your Mentors? * Make it Easy on Them * Break the Taboo, II * A New Day: Mentored by Mission * Another Day: Mentored by Grandparents * The Formal Mentor

Chapter Four: Falling in Love

Love is All There Is * Heather’s Story * How do you Fall in Love? * When do you Give your Heart? * The Love Allegiance * Why Wouldn’t You? * Self-Serving; Other-Serving; Hate-Serving * When Being a “Hero” was Unpopular * The Greatest Power * The Teacher Learns * What do you Love? * Choosing to Love * Teacher or Topic? * Falling in Love, Again * Inspire, not Require * The Inner Ring * Where Will You Be?

Chapter Five: Scholar Phase

Who’s a Scholar? * The Task of a Lifetime * 5,000 Hours * The Lost Depth Phase * Historical Precedent * Unable to Stand * They Got it Right * Education for a Future of our Choosing * Free Enterprise v. Free Education * The Soviet Conveyor Belt * The American Class System * The Third Option * Let’s Talk About You * Structure Time * By the Clock * Fill in the Gaps * Love of Learning, or Love of Dad? * Out of the Box * Think * You, not Them * Simple, not Complex

Chapter Six: Finding the Real You

The Birth of a Teenager * Midlife Crisis * Fit In or Fix It * The Real You * Number Twenty-three

Chapter Seven: Success in the Next Twenty Years

Good News, Bad News * The Long View * Embrace The New, The Now * Raising Adults * Reach Out * Impact * Be a Producer * A Season of Opportunity * Make a Mark

Chapter Eight: One More Thing

Your Best Now * The Best Generation

Endnotes

Appendices

  • A: Simulations
  • B: Online Resources

Reviews

I’m buying a copy for every member of my family!

This book is so-o-o-o good. I am getting a copy for every single one of my young adult children for Christmas even though all but one are now in their 20s (17, 20, 23, 25, 26, 28). I’m buying a copy for every member of my family! The content is invaluable. I think this book is going to have a huge impact on the young people who read it.”

-Deena Ortiz, founder and organizer of southern California TJEd Forum, “FATJEF”

Not just a remake; completely new material. What a gift to our teens!

Brilliant! A book on leadership written to the ultimate target audience, the leaders of the next generation! This book is not just a remake of TJEd; it’s completely new material that really speaks to our current needs as parents and educators. Not only will I be recommending it to my students, but to their parents as well. What a gift to our teens, our nation and ourselves!”

-Shawn Crane, President, LEMI Mentors Association; TJEdMUSE Yahoo Group

Easily understood, inspiring to read; the Teen 100 Book List and insights to use it are worth the price of the book!

Oliver DeMille and Shanon Brooks have given insights into the Leadership Education model for teens that are not only easily understood but inspiring to read. Their teachings give credence to my voice as a parent using this model in my home. The Teen 100 Book List and the insights on how to use it are, of themselves, worth the price of the book!”

-Teri Helms, TJEd mom to five boys, Owner, Tommy Mom

Important for parents of teens as well

I have read Thomas Jefferson for Teens and loved the work. I definitely want to share this with my own teens and teens I mentor in my classrooms, both live and online. I really feel the book is important for parents of teens (and future teens) to read, as well. Talking straight to teens empowers them and they almost always rise to the occasion. Thank you for creating this work and speaking with such dignity to the youth.”

-Donna Goff, Co-Founder, The Princess Academies, LLC

Don’t let the word TEENS fool you…enormous perspective for all ages

This a MUST READ for today’s youth and their parents! Don’t let the word TEENS in the title fool you. This book gives enormous perspective for all ages of people. We live in difficult times, our children have a big task ahead of them. DeMille and Brooks have prescribed usable, inspiring medicine for the maladies of our modern society and written them in a way everyone can understand.”

-Nicholeen Peck, author of Parenting a House United

…speaks truth to the soul

Every once in a while a second witness comes along and in one magical moment says something that speaks truth to the soul and the hearer–finally–remembers who he is. That is what Oliver DeMille and Shanon Brooks have done. They remind us who we are and what we’re about.”

-Tiffany Earl, author of Say*Go*Be*Do; Mentor to thousands of youth through LEMI Scholar Projects

Read it, apply it, live it!

This book will allow you, as a youth, to feel, to know, and to see how much we love you, how important you are to us, and why YOU ARE SO WORTH IT! Read it, apply it, live it, and enjoy being YOU!”

-Kami Mitchell, Director, Youth For Freedom (YFF), Leadership Youth Conferences

We’ll definitely be reading it at Williamsburg…

Whether a business plan, a personal schedule, or a wilderness trek plan, great ideas only have results when they are executed. That’s the secret: execution, execution, execution. That’s why this book is so valuable–it gives fun, practical, meaningful ideas and examples that focus on execution. We’ll definitely be reading it at Williamsburg Academy.”

-James C. Ure, Esq., Headmaster, Williamsburg Academy

Went straight to my heart…

Wow!!!!!! This book is AMAZING! I have read all the others, but with my oldest child just entering the Scholar stage, I was more than a little anxious to see if TJEd would really work. After reading this book, I am more than convinced. I love how it is written to the youth, but that adults can learn just as much from it. There is so much information I needed, explained in a way that went straight to my heart. I have already been raving about it to friends! Thank you so much for taking the time to inspire me!”

-Bente Rodriguez

…great book to guide teens

What a great book to guide teens along the path to greatness! I wish I’d had this book when I was a teen!”

-Jennifer Pate

About the Authors

Oliver DeMille

bio_oliver Oliver DeMille is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education, The Coming Aristocracy and other books on education and freedom. He has taught graduate courses on the complete writings of Thomas Jefferson, The Federalist Papers, Aristotle’s Politics and other great classics of liberty. Oliver is a popular keynote speaker, writer and business consultant.
Presently, he is active as a founding partner with The Center for Social Leadership and he devotes a majority of his time to writing. Oliver is married to the former Rachel Pinegar. They have eight children.

Shanon Brooks

Shanon Brooks is co-founder and President of Monticello College. He has over twenty-one years experience in teaching and administration of entrepreneurial higher education organizations.

He studied for several years under the tutelage of the late Dr. W. Cleon Skousen, teaching the Making of America Courses all across America and Canada.

He is a veteran of military service in the United States Naval Submarine Fleet and a former President of George Wythe University.

Shanon a holds a B.A. in Business Administration, an M.A. in Education, and a Ph.D. in Constitutional Law. He lives in Monticello, Utah with his wife, Julia, and their children.

Continue Reading

4

AA006003 *I’ve made no secret about the fact that we have a large family.

I have a kid in every conceivable phase.

No matter what you’ve heard to the contrary, this can get complicated.

I’m as guilty as anybody for romanticizing it, as my cheerful approach can sometimes minimize obstacles.

I have a friend who calls me “The Happy Labrador”, because I’m like one of those dogs that you can kick and swear obscenities at, who comes back to give you slobbery kisses because it just doesn’t enter into his head to be anything but a happy Labrador.

But if I’m totally honest, I have to admit that sometimes the mere fact of so many people can be overwhelming when you’ve got a lot of other things going on—especially if you’re not a natural multi-tasker.

I recently posted a Q&A that described the elegant process of focusing on the older ones as an ideal that paves the way for the younger ones.

I also posted in this blog about how to homeschool in a crisis.

Both of these were more philosophical in nature, as is my habit.

I try to avoid offering any suggestions that might be construed as a prescription for anybody’s family but my own.

True as this is, it probably leaves some of you wondering what you actually DO with the younger ones in a situation like ours.

With my husband home all the time for a few years [doctor’s orders to rebuild a decimated endocrine system], we decided that it would be a good diversion for him to take a more active role in homeschool with the younger ones.

Truth be told, when our oldest children were little he read to them much more than I did.

Then…you know—they got older, our professional commitments became more demanding, health issues, etc.—and we found ourselves wistfully longing for those simpler days now long past.

But, like I posted here in this blog, with the challenges there always seem to come opportunities.

He’s already acting as a formal mentor to Transition to Depth Oliver James, who will be 18 in February, and as some-time sounding board and editor for 16yo Emma (Self-Directed Scholar—she’s writing essays on literature and politics, learning to paint and sketch, practicing piano, reading and doing math, among other things) and 15yo Sara (Apprentice Scholar attending a Commonwealth School for Math and Shakespeare, working on writing, literature and other interests at home).

I have two younger kids who are actively transitioning.

From Core to Love of Learning we have 9yo Ammon, who is actually reading!

I say “actually” because I had sort of resigned myself to him not reading for a couple more years, because that is the pattern of development in the males of my husband’s family.

Eliza, who will be 12 in January, is in Transition to Scholar.

Not Practice Scholar yet; and I’m in no rush.

I prefer to take a relaxed pace so that the energy comes from within.

When I am perceived to be holding them back just a little, they are anxious to prove (but only when the time is actually right) that they are ready for the responsibilities of Scholar Phase.

Then they really own it, and I don’t have to be “Sergeant Mom” to facilitate their energetic progress.

Anyway, Ammon and Eliza are both Transitioning right now, and this is such a dynamic process that it’s really great to have Oliver (dad) around to take such an active part in it. Because he is basically chair-bound for a while, we improvised to make the most of the situation.

I scouted through all my materials and picked out several things of interest for Eliza (books on calligraphy, fractions and decimals, The Phantom Tollbooth**, Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers, I don’t remember what else) and Ammon (McGuffey’s Primer, A Beka Phonics Handbook, Where the Red Fern Grows, King Arthur and His Knights, penmanship papers, etc.).
I put the stuff for each kid in their own little storage bucket or tote. These are under a coffee table in my husband’s cabin, or cave (that’s what we call his den, LOL).

The Charlotte’s Web and King Arthur are on the end table that sits next to his easy chair.

The kids come down to Dad in the morning after I’ve had devotional, breakfast and cleanup with them, and they choose projects from their tote.

Five year old America (Meri) loves nothing more than playing “school”; she gets out pencil and paper several times each day to write and draw.

So when she caught on to what Dad was doing with the other kids, she starting showing up for her turn with him.

They’ve been reading a chapter from Charlotte’s Web several times each day.

And now we keep number and phonics bingo games with the totes, as well as other games and cards that are fun for her.

Part of Eliza’s school time is to spend some time playing at school with Ammon and Meri.

It’s been a great bonding time for everyone!

Suggestion: If your kids like the idea, and if it works with your style and theirs, get a small tote or book bag for Love of Learning kids and put several choices of things they want to work on all in the same place.

 

Have a set time when they go to their bags, and don’t limit them to the bag if something else wonderfully inspiring presents itself!

*This article was originally posted in Rachel’s Mine at TJEdOnline.com, 11/24/2008 Ages and phases stated are as of that date.

**Purchases made on amazon originating from links in this article help support TJEd. Thanks for starting your shopping here!

Continue Reading

Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens

Published on 03. Jul, 2010 by in

0

This title is also available in e-book pdf download for $6.99 and Kindle edition for $8.99.

New! Also available: TJEd for Teens Student Supplement! Click here for information.

“This book is so-o-o-o good. I am getting a copy for every single one of my young adult children.”

-Deena Ortiz, founder and organizer of southern California TJEd Forum, “FATJEF”

“The Teen 100 Book List and the insights on how to use it are, of themselves, worth the price of the book!”

-Teri Helms, TJEd mom to five boys, Owner, Tommy Mom

“This a MUST READ for today’s youth and their parents! Don’t let the word TEENS in the title fool you. This book gives enormous perspective for all ages of people.”

-Nicholeen Peck, author of Parenting a House United

Scroll down or click the following links for more information:

Description

From the Introduction:
“It is said that when God wants to change the world, he sends a baby–perfectly timed to grow, learn, prepare and then take action at the right moment.

“But there are times when one baby won’t suffice, when the challenges facing the world are just too great; and so instead of a great reformer or a few key thinkers, what is needed is a whole generation of leaders.

“This happened in the sixth century B.C. and in the first decade of the Common Era, then again in the American Founding generation.

“We believe it is happening again today….”

About Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens

This latest addition to the TJEd library is written to youth and adults wanting to accomplish a successful Scholar Phase–academics, personal development and mission preparation.

It includes:

  • How to find the “Real You”
  • The Teen-100 List
  • How to study the classics
  • How to make the most of your mentor
  • Sample Simulations
  • …plus lots more!


Product Details

  • Published September 2009 by TJEdOnline
  • ISBN: 978-1615399949
  • Product Dimensions and Shipping Weight: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches; 9.6 ounces.
  • First edition paperback (perfect bound); 148 pages.

Click here to download a sample excerpt from the book.

Chapter Outline

Chapter One: Your Future

When God Wants to Change the World… * Teenager, Grownup or Adult? * The Youth Lead the World * Realism or Idealism * This is the Time * Preparing for Your Role * Conveyor Belt v. Genius in Training * Does Prestige Equal Quality? * What About Financial Success? * The First Step on the Path to Greatness * Fifty Years from Now * The Genius in You

Chapter Two: Classics

Your Best Mentors and Greatest Allies * The Seven Keys of Great Teaching * Classics, not Textbooks * Straight from the Original Sources * Think What, and How, They Thought * Introducing: “The List” * Level One: Break the Taboo * Level Two: Talk it Over * Level Three: Teach to Learn * Stand and Deliver * 100 + 40 * Classical Languages: Math, Latin, etc. * The Teen 100 Book List!

Chapter Three: Mentors

Going it Alone * Trusting a Guide * Who are Your Mentors? * Make it Easy on Them * Break the Taboo, II * A New Day: Mentored by Mission * Another Day: Mentored by Grandparents * The Formal Mentor

Chapter Four: Falling in Love

Love is All There Is * Heather’s Story * How do you Fall in Love? * When do you Give your Heart? * The Love Allegiance * Why Wouldn’t You? * Self-Serving; Other-Serving; Hate-Serving * When Being a “Hero” was Unpopular * The Greatest Power * The Teacher Learns * What do you Love? * Choosing to Love * Teacher or Topic? * Falling in Love, Again * Inspire, not Require * The Inner Ring * Where Will You Be?

Chapter Five: Scholar Phase

Who’s a Scholar? * The Task of a Lifetime * 5,000 Hours * The Lost Depth Phase * Historical Precedent * Unable to Stand * They Got it Right * Education for a Future of our Choosing * Free Enterprise v. Free Education * The Soviet Conveyor Belt * The American Class System * The Third Option * Let’s Talk About You * Structure Time * By the Clock * Fill in the Gaps * Love of Learning, or Love of Dad? * Out of the Box * Think * You, not Them * Simple, not Complex

Chapter Six: Finding the Real You

The Birth of a Teenager * Midlife Crisis * Fit In or Fix It * The Real You * Number Twenty-three

Chapter Seven: Success in the Next Twenty Years

Good News, Bad News * The Long View * Embrace The New, The Now * Raising Adults * Reach Out * Impact * Be a Producer * A Season of Opportunity * Make a Mark

Chapter Eight: One More Thing

Your Best Now * The Best Generation

Endnotes

Appendices

  • A: Simulations
  • B: Online Resources

Reviews

I’m buying a copy for every member of my family!

This book is so-o-o-o good. I am getting a copy for every single one of my young adult children for Christmas even though all but one are now in their 20s (17, 20, 23, 25, 26, 28). I’m buying a copy for every member of my family! The content is invaluable. I think this book is going to have a huge impact on the young people who read it.”

-Deena Ortiz, founder and organizer of southern California TJEd Forum, “FATJEF”

Not just a remake; completely new material. What a gift to our teens!

Brilliant! A book on leadership written to the ultimate target audience, the leaders of the next generation! This book is not just a remake of TJEd; it’s completely new material that really speaks to our current needs as parents and educators. Not only will I be recommending it to my students, but to their parents as well. What a gift to our teens, our nation and ourselves!”

-Shawn Crane, President, LEMI Mentors Association; TJEdMUSE Yahoo Group

Easily understood, inspiring to read; the Teen 100 Book List and insights to use it are worth the price of the book!

Oliver DeMille and Shanon Brooks have given insights into the Leadership Education model for teens that are not only easily understood but inspiring to read. Their teachings give credence to my voice as a parent using this model in my home. The Teen 100 Book List and the insights on how to use it are, of themselves, worth the price of the book!”

-Teri Helms, TJEd mom to five boys, Owner, Tommy Mom

Important for parents of teens as well

I have read Thomas Jefferson for Teens and loved the work. I definitely want to share this with my own teens and teens I mentor in my classrooms, both live and online. I really feel the book is important for parents of teens (and future teens) to read, as well. Talking straight to teens empowers them and they almost always rise to the occasion. Thank you for creating this work and speaking with such dignity to the youth.”

-Donna Goff, Co-Founder, The Princess Academies, LLC

Don’t let the word TEENS fool you…enormous perspective for all ages

This a MUST READ for today’s youth and their parents! Don’t let the word TEENS in the title fool you. This book gives enormous perspective for all ages of people. We live in difficult times, our children have a big task ahead of them. DeMille and Brooks have prescribed usable, inspiring medicine for the maladies of our modern society and written them in a way everyone can understand.”

-Nicholeen Peck, author of Parenting a House United

…speaks truth to the soul

Every once in a while a second witness comes along and in one magical moment says something that speaks truth to the soul and the hearer–finally–remembers who he is. That is what Oliver DeMille and Shanon Brooks have done. They remind us who we are and what we’re about.”

-Tiffany Earl, author of Say*Go*Be*Do; Mentor to thousands of youth through LEMI Scholar Projects

Read it, apply it, live it!

This book will allow you, as a youth, to feel, to know, and to see how much we love you, how important you are to us, and why YOU ARE SO WORTH IT! Read it, apply it, live it, and enjoy being YOU!”

-Kami Mitchell, Director, Youth For Freedom (YFF), Leadership Youth Conferences

We’ll definitely be reading it at Williamsburg…

Whether a business plan, a personal schedule, or a wilderness trek plan, great ideas only have results when they are executed. That’s the secret: execution, execution, execution. That’s why this book is so valuable–it gives fun, practical, meaningful ideas and examples that focus on execution. We’ll definitely be reading it at Williamsburg Academy.”

-James C. Ure, Esq., Headmaster, Williamsburg Academy

Went straight to my heart…

Wow!!!!!! This book is AMAZING! I have read all the others, but with my oldest child just entering the Scholar stage, I was more than a little anxious to see if TJEd would really work. After reading this book, I am more than convinced. I love how it is written to the youth, but that adults can learn just as much from it. There is so much information I needed, explained in a way that went straight to my heart. I have already been raving about it to friends! Thank you so much for taking the time to inspire me!”

-Bente Rodriguez

…great book to guide teens

What a great book to guide teens along the path to greatness! I wish I’d had this book when I was a teen!”

-Jennifer Pate

Quote Collection

About the Authors

Oliver DeMille

bio_oliver Oliver DeMille is the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education, The Coming Aristocracy and other books on education and freedom. He has taught graduate courses on the complete writings of Thomas Jefferson, The Federalist Papers, Aristotle’s Politics and other great classics of liberty. Oliver is a popular keynote speaker, writer and business consultant.
Presently, he is active as a founding partner with The Center for Social Leadership and he devotes a majority of his time to writing. Oliver is married to the former Rachel Pinegar. They have eight children.

Shanon Brooks

Shanon Brooks is co-founder and President of Monticello College. He has over twenty-one years experience in teaching and administration of entrepreneurial higher education organizations.

He studied for several years under the tutelage of the late Dr. W. Cleon Skousen, teaching the Making of America Courses all across America and Canada.

He is a veteran of military service in the United States Naval Submarine Fleet and a former President of George Wythe University.

Shanon a holds a B.A. in Business Administration, an M.A. in Education, and a Ph.D. in Constitutional Law. He lives in Monticello, Utah with his wife, Julia, and their children.

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April 2012 Inspire Newsletter

Published on 24. Apr, 2012 by in

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NewsletterBanner March 2012 Inspire Newsletter

Featured Articles:


TJEd NEWS:

* Check out our new Dollar Menu!

* The Salt Lake TJEd Family Forum

* Texas TJEd Family Forum

5ffca2d389d74230a7b6265fc10a7128 March 2012 Inspire Newsletter

For Adult Workshops and concurrent Youth Forum and Love of Learning Children’s Activity Center, there’s just nothing that compares with being in the same place with over 1000 other TJEders, many with their spouses, youth and children in tow! Inspiring speakers, educational classes, and a social experience that has no equal. Come join us at the TJEd Family Forum!

Last month I posted a query on Facebook to see what past participants might say. In just a few minutes my inbox was filling up with responses! Here’s a sampling:  READ MORE >>

 

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Featured Article:

I Read an Old Book Today

by Oliver DeMille

I started an old book today. Actually, I didn’t get very far. A friend found it in an estate sale and sent it to me. It was printed in 1882, and written in the flowing style of that time period.

As I thumbed through the book before reading it, I found several old newspaper clippings tucked into the pages. One was half a page from The Chicago Daily News, dated March 20, 1941.

I thought of that era in American history, just nine months before Pearl Harbor, but innocent in the calm before the coming storm.

I opened the folded pages of the old clipping, which had become brown over time and left ink marks on the pages of the book.

I carefully read all the articles, editorials and ads. I felt like an anthropologist studying a foreign culture, except there were many familiar themes.

The Republicans and Democrats, it turns out, couldn’t seem to agree on much and were constantly attacking each other. Reports of war abroad painted a negative picture of world events.

There was an article against big labor and another against big banking. An ad offered “Multiple Head Remington Electric Shavers” for $12.75 or just 50 cents a week.

When I continued perusing the book, I found a small card that must have been delivered with a bouquet of flowers.

Written by hand was the following message:

It made me all the more fascinated with this long-ago family that they chose to be married on July 4th.

It made me wonder about these people, and of times long past. Tucked in another page I found a dried flower. The reader must have loved beauty.

It is big book, and there were more treasures. Then, tucked between pages 536 and 537 I struck gold. In a clipping from The Chicago Daily News dated April 5, 1941, an editorial wrote:

“Capt. Charles de Gaulle in 1934 wrote a book that might have changed the history of the world, had anyone paid any attention to it. But no one in 1934 cared much about a book called Toward a Career Army written by a little-known French captain. Now the same book, because its author is leader of the Free French forces, is first translated as “Army of the Future“…but too late. General DeGaulle’s ‘Army of the Future’ is already the army of the past. For it is almost an exact description of the tactics employed by the German Army against France…”

If only people had paid attention to the book before it was too late.

There are such books today. And they are ignored in the same way. Will a future newspaper (or whatever replaces newspapers) catalog what great things could have happened if more of us paid attention to the fine print of freedom?

Will a future reader find such clippings in some old book? Will books even be part of our future?

I quit skimming the book and took the time to write this article up to this point. Somehow I sensed that this was an important moment.

I was astonished when I returned to the book as I quickly found another clipping (undated) with an editorial that said:

“The Depression years forged new values in American life, and the writer as social thinker—rather than as imaginative artist—became our symbol of intellectual maturity.”

The article went on to ask if our advanced technology was actually helping our society progress, or if in fact we were in too many ways declining.

The article cited increasing crime rates, divorce rates, labor disputes and housing shortages as examples of worsening societal ills.

It concluded by recommending a new book, Technology and Society by S. McKee Rosen, with these words:

“Unless the American public turns its gaze from insipid [entertainment] to books of this type, American democracy will remain impotent…”

Interesting. These themes are still relevant. They are, in fact, central to the future of our society, freedom, prosperity and culture.

I go back to the book, searching each page for more treasures from the past. After the third time through, I give up. I guess there are no more. But I give it one more try, this time carefully turning each page. It takes me half an hour to get to page 189, because I keep reading quotes from the text.

I love it when past readers have underlined sentences or circled paragraphs. I find it almost impossible to skim past them without reading whatever somebody deemed worth marking. It’s like having a conversation about the book through some time-warping texting device.

By the way, this is a great book I’m skimming. I mean, I haven’t read it yet, but it’s clearly about important ideas. Here are some of the chapter titles:

  • Chapter IV, Home Power
  • Chapter V, Companionship and Example
  • Chapter VIII, Leaders of Industry—Inventors and Producers
  • Chapter IX, Application and Perseverance
  • Chapter XXII, Companionship of Books
  • Chapter XXIV, Companionship in Marriage

There are many intriguing sections, such as:

  • Influence of Music
  • Elegance of Flowers
  • Character Above Learning and Wealth
  • Work and Overwork
  • Toil, the Best School
  • Great Results Attained by Simple Means
  • Power Acquired by Repeated Effort
  • Character and Freedom
  • Character and Nations
  • Knowledge of Physiology
  • Art in the Home
  • A Mother’s Love
  • Mothers of the Poets
  • The Great Musicians
  • Work and Happiness
  • National Progress
  • Caesarism

The sheer breadth and scope of this book reminds me of classics like C.E. Sargent’s Our Home, Orrin Woodward’s Resolved, or David Brooks’ The Social Animal. I’m amazed at how much this book covers.

I still haven’t read the book. I’m just getting to know it. Actually, I did start reading the first chapter before I found the items tucked inside. The style of writing is old, and today I had a hard time getting excited about it. After three pages, I began skimming just to see if it was worth the effort. That’s when I started discovering treasures tucked between its pages.

What a lesson for life. There are acres of diamonds in our own back yards, and some of the best books in our lives have been on our shelves for a long time. We just need to dust them off and read them.

Is there such a book on your shelf right now? Mightn’t it be time to get it down and read it?

This book was given to me years ago. I just happened to pull it off the shelf a few months ago and set it next to the chair where I write. In a relaxing moment, just tonight, I picked it up and started reading.

My interest in reading the book is now piqued. The treasures tucked between the pages have inspired me to find the treasures that are surely printed on all 644 pages.

I can’t wait to read it. But I’m not done studying the table of contents yet, and I still have to finish turning each page in search of more treasures.

I find more intriguing subject headings listed in the table of contents:

  • Art of Seizing Opportunities
  • Value of Time
  • Visit to Rome
  • Genius and Business
  • Great Men and Business
  • Martyrs of Science
  • Persecution of Great Discoverers
  • Martyrs of Faith
  • Great Books the Best Society
  • Great Lessons of Biography
  • George Washington
  • Plutarch

There are many more, but I stop reading the table of contents. There are too many exciting topics, and I need to start reading the actual book. But first, I’m going to finish the page-by-page treasure hunt.

It takes me another hour as I keep getting interested in things as I skim through the book. I find a small clipping hidden at page 266, but it is illegible. Disappointed, I keep searching. As I explore, something catches my eye on nearly every page and I stop to briefly read a sentence here and a paragraph there.

For example, I read the following on page 317:

“Professor Moor, when a young man, being too poor to purchase Newton’s ‘Principia,’ borrowed the book, and copied the whole of it with his own hand…”

I find myself nodding my head as my own memories resurface. The book continues:

“A well-known author and publisher, William Chambers, of Edinburgh, speaking before an assemblage of young men in that city, thus briefly described for them his humble beginnings, for their encouragement: ‘I stand before you,” he said, ‘a self-educated man.’”

I find my eyes tearing up. What a great thing to say. Maybe my emotion seems strange to you, but somehow these words really move me. A self-educated man: what an achievement.

I dab my eyes and keep reading. He goes on to describe his education by candlelight, and I am reminded of Abraham Lincoln. All great education is self-education, I seem to remember writing somewhere. In any case, it’s true.

Great reading really does bring us face-to-face with greatness. I skim further. I can’t miss any page—there might be another hidden treasure. What will it say?

Eureka! Page 609. Another clipping, but the date and name of the paper are missing.

I compare the print and layout to The Chicago Daily News clippings, and it looks the same.

I read the articles – a Planting Guide for April and an ad for FHA loans.

The reverse side of the clipping is a political cartoon.

Clearly it is from the era before the U.S. entered World War II, probably 1941 like the other clippings.

The cartoon caption reads, “Somewhere in England.”

The drawing depicts an old man sitting with an old woman in the rubble left after German bombing, their house blasted into a mere shell, their yard a scene of war rubble.

The man looks weary as he says, “Do you remember, Mary, when spring used to mean birds, flowers and happiness.”

The mood of the cartoon transfers to me somehow, and I ponder: The spring of 1941.

Probably March or early April. Maybe it’s from the same March 21 issue as the other clipping.

In any case, this seems to have been published less than 9 months before Pearl Harbor, American war, struggle, sacrifice. I wonder how many people read this cartoon and did something about it.

The fine print matters. The future of freedom and prosperity depends on it. The old books matter.

It’s time to read the book. By the way, the title is Happy Homes: And the Hearts that Make Them, and the author is Samuel Smiles. I’m so grateful to Laura Bledsoe for giving me this book many years ago.

I still haven’t read it.

My perusal has made it clear that this is a book about great things, great ideas, and great people. I’m going to take it slow, like a real classic deserves.

I’m going to milk the meaning out of each and every page. I’m going to savor its wisdom, enjoy learning, and probably, on occasion, disagreeing with this author from over a century past, and I sense that this book is going to stretch my thinking.

I know this, because I’ve gotten to know this book well enough to be sure it’s worth the read. I know I’ve only begun to uncover its hidden treasures.

I had this same sense, probably just like you did, about Aristotle, Plato and Shakespeare even before I read them.

So, yes, I started to read an old book today. I don’t know how long it will take to complete it, but I know I’ll read it more than once.

The truly great books are worthy of multiple readings, and I have a feeling about this one. Whoever read it before—that person who marked key passages here and there, who used the book’s weight to press a flower and utilized a flower-card from a son as a bookmark, who cut out important messages from the daily paper and thought about big things—has introduced me to this book in a profound way.

I don’t know what I’m going to find on this journey, but now I’ve started. I’m using the same flower card as my bookmark. I too, have been blessed by the lives of Francis’s parents. I’m going to read this book, and it’s going to make me a better person.

I often read and write with CNN running in the background, and after four hours of this the contrast between tonight’s news and this old book couldn’t be more stark. Our society needs the old books. We need them desperately.

So, yes, I read reading an old book today. And I’m going to read it again tomorrow. Moreover, I’m going to pay attention and do something about what I read. I hope there are millions of other people doing the same thing tonight, as I sit and read…

 

This is the second article in a new series by Oliver DeMille on “How To Read the Classics.” To read the first article, “A New Way to Read,” click here >>

 

tjedbasicseal March 2012 Inspire Newsletter

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Featured Article:

TJEd Milestones – Transition to Scholar: The Moment of Becoming

by Rachel DeMille

If you could change anything about you, what would it be? I’m not talking about plastic surgery or losing a few pounds. But seriously, if you could really, truly improve the inner you and become more like your very best self, what would you change? Whatever it is, there’s a good chance that if you could go back in time to change it you’d end up dealing with lessons most naturally learned between ages 9 and 14.

This transition from Love of Learning Phase (childhood) to Scholar Phase (youth) is one of the most important facets of a young person’s education. Those who transition well during this time will almost invariably have an excellent youth experience; those who do not will likely continue to struggle even into adulthood. Fortunately, this transition is natural and most healthy children will automatically make many of the transitional changes on their own.

The challenge is that parents who were trained on the conveyor belt may not realize what is happening, and may in fact, block, slow or otherwise frustrate this natural process. This is why it is essential for parents to recognize and understand this vital transition in a young person’s life.

Transition occurs in most girls between ages nine and twelve and in most boys between eleven and fourteen. Some psychologists speak of this age as the root source of most problems in men, who are often pushed too hard at this age to “put away childish things” and take on adult responsibility. One of the biggest pressures many boys feel at this age is pressure to perform academically. Girls are usually ahead of boys at this age, yet boys are often pushed to keep up to girl “grade levels.” And girls can struggle because of the enormous amount of social pressure put on them during this Transition.

Montessori observed: “The middle age crisis signals that the adult is on their way to death; in contrast, transition excitement about learning signals that the child is on their way to life.”

J. S. Ross expressed that a “being from another planet, who did not know the human race, could easily take these ten year olds to be the adults of the species; supposing they had not met the real adults.”

The vital lessons of Transition, as outlined by Wayne Dyer in What Do You Really Want for Your Children? include:

  • Take smart risks
  • Don’t put yourself down
  • Inner Approval: Don’t emphasize external measures of success
  • Don’t complain or whine
  • Don’t be judgmental
  • Never get “bored”
  • Learn from mistakes
  • Learn to lose and win well
  • Practice smart self-reliance
  • Choose to feel at peace and serene
  • Realize that life is about smiling
  • Never fear your own greatness

Consider how important this list of lessons is, and you’ll realize just how vital this period is in each young person’s life. Leading child developmental psychologists Erik Erikson and Jean Piaget taught that adults can go back and “renegotiate” this phase if they didn’t fully learn the lessons, but what parent wouldn’t want their children to learn these as youth

The healthy child naturally learns all of these and skills openly or subconsciously—unless they are squashed. Unfortunately, the conveyor belt often rejects Intuitive Thinking and simultaneously over-emphasizes the need for Higher Thinking skills at an early age. To compensate, many young students turn to Memorizing as a way to fake Higher Thinking skills that their brains are unprepared to utilize (and which are developed during puberty). They fail to truly emphasize the vital lessons of Transition and beyond because they get stuck in memorized learning.

Parents can have a significant positive influence on this simply by helping children identify and choose wisely in the Transition. Of course, this starts by not pushing too hard when the child is still learning Intuitive Skills, and in waiting to push higher-order academic subjects until the child’s natural maturity has equipped him for Higher Thinking.

When done well, Transition to Scholar is an exciting and wonderful time for a child on the leadership path, and parents largely choose which path the child will take—at least at this point in her life. The right choice can make a huge difference in the education of each child, and in the life mission she will pursue and the success she will have.

Apart from your children’s progress, if you want to revisit and renegotiate anything on the list above, it is never too late. In fact, one of the most effective ways to gain (or strengthen) that inner lesson you never quite mastered is to actively help your child through the process.

 

(More details on how to facilitate Transition to Scholar are found in our book Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning)

 

tjedbasicseal March 2012 Inspire Newsletter

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TJEd NEWS:

5ffca2d389d74230a7b6265fc10a7128 March 2012 Inspire Newsletter

2012 Salt Lake TJEd Family Forum

May 4-5, 2012 at the Salt Palace

(For information on the upcoming Texas TJEd Family Forum, Saturday June 2, 2012, click here >>)

For Adult Workshops and concurrent Youth Forum and Love of Learning Children’s Activity Center, there’s just nothing that compares with being in the same place with over 1000 other TJEders, many with their spouses, youth and children in tow! Inspiring speakers, educational classes, and a social experience that has no equal. Come join us at the TJEd Family Forum!

Last month I posted a query on Facebook to see what past participants might say. In just a few minutes my inbox was filling up with responses! Here’s a sampling:

Absolutely loved it! I would recommend it to anyone who needs a shot in the arm as a homeschooler. Last time I attended Nicholeen Peck’s presentation on raising a family with self-government, and it changed my whole perspective as a mom. There is such great energy in the gathering, it’s worth every cent. I’d love to take my entire family.

~Rebecca S.

I have attended the Forum every year since the beginning, I think. It helped me have the courage to change my paradigm as a mother, wife, teacher and citizen. If you have kids in homeschool, co-ops, private or public school, don’t miss this great weekend of inspiration. It has become a wonderful family tradition.

~Ann M.

One of my favorite things about the forum is seeing the other families. It’s so cool to watch the youth interact with each other and the moms and dads seeing others who understand their journey!

~Rachel D.

I’ve attended one before and absolutely loved it. It was really hard for me to decide which classes to try and attend but then the ones I couldn’t do I bought the MP3 for so I could still listen. I loved all the ideas I got and the encouragement. I would definitely recommend it to others and very much hope I can attend myself this year.

~Erica M.

I have gone several years and do recommend it. I can’t go this year due to scheduling conflicts. I wish I could go for the battery recharging as well as I’d love to bring a friend and immerse them into the TJEd scene and people so they can catch more of the vision. Plus seeing my online friends is fun, too!

~Jody J.

I’ve been and loved it! All the presenters were fabulous, it’s hard to choose who to go to. I love the wide range of classes and topics. I have been recommending it to people and am trying to find or create a group to go with!

~Kimberly R.

I have attended for three years, each year I have gone and helped as a room host. My experience has always been wonderful! The rooms I am hosting in are always the information I need to help me through another year! I recommend this to anyone who will listen!

~Carolyn T.

The first year I attended was a paradigm-shifting experience for me — almost as much as reading A Thomas Jefferson Education. The other times I have attended have been battery-charging experiences that have always been worth every penny. The interaction with other people who are either exploring or practicing Leadership Education is invaluable. The keynote speaker has always been excellent, and the break-out sessions are diverse and very informative.

~Ammon N.
And check out what Home School Coach Mary Anne Johnson said about last year’s Love of Learning Center…

For information on this year’s LoL Center, click here >>

So as you can see, there’s something for everyone, and we’d really love to see you there!

tjedbasicseal March 2012 Inspire Newsletter

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With our Aprons On

Published on 05. Mar, 2011 by in Basic TJEd, Blog, Uncategorized

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By Heather Hansen

 

Ice Dancing One night I had a dream.

In my dream, I saw a figure skater with her fluid and graceful movements in an unusual costume that mirrored the quintessential 50’s housewife.

She was performing her routine in an over-sized kitchen on a floor of ice.

I woke up thinking it was comical and unusual.

I had been watching the 2010 Winter Olympics and each night, in addition to the competitions, there were also montages that chronicled the day-to-day life of various athletes.

These vignettes often showed young men and women who lived normal lives outside of their intense training.

I was in awe at the amount of hard work and dedication that these athletes had given to their chosen sport.

They had sacrificed time and outside interests to excel in their fields.

My dream of the housewife figure skater made me think more deeply about the time and effort given by mothers in obtaining and sharing their own education.

I have recently joined the ranks of “scholar moms” who, through sacrifice and persistence, are beginning to pursue their own world-class education–not only for themselves but, to share it with their children.

Each page read and each book finished takes us one step closer to our goal.

Rolling out of bed before the normal wake-up time to catch a few extra minutes of reading is difficult.

Eyelids are drooping from late nights with children who need help with assignments, who are sick or who just need to talk.

Often our foggy brains can’t process the words on the page.

The unfamiliar writings of Plutarch, Plato and Aristotle make us want to go back to bed and pull the covers up over our heads.

Even reading the thoughts of Noebel and Skousen can at times make us want to give up and quit trying to remember why understanding is so important.

However, with practice, we slowly begin to comprehend the language of freedom.

This is our sport, to recognize the ideas held so dear by our founding fathers and to perpetuate them by teaching our children the importance of the liberal arts.

As mothers, we have normal lives outside our “training.”

The line between the two is so blurred we can’t tell where one begins and the other ends.

We have homes to create and husbands who need us to be present.

We have children who need love, attention, schooling and life skills.

We have houses that need to be cleaned, clothes to be washed and meals to prepare.

We volunteer in our churches and communities. Yet, every day we read, some days a little, others a lot.

We are on the long-term plan for Scholar Phase.

There will come a time when we as “scholar moms” will be in positions to create additional impact beyond our immediate families.

We will be successful because of our perseverance, our commitment to family and our enthusiasm for learning.

We might not feel ready and opportunities might come when we least expect them.

In the meantime, however, we can focus on our own training and preparation.

Winston Churchill has been quoted to say:

“To each there comes in their lifetime a special moment when they are figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a very special thing, unique to them and fitted to their talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds them unprepared or unqualified for that which could have been their finest hour.”

Will you join with us?

The world needs a host of mothers who yearn to inspire those around them.

As we study and grow, together we will be ready to make a difference…with our aprons on.

Heather Hansen is a wife and mother of 5 on a scholar’s journey.

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle Rules the World…

cradle

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The Seven Keys of Great Teaching

Published on 06. Jul, 2010 by in

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Get the free 7 Keys Certification training for parents and educators
when you purchase the Simple Homeschool Bundle >>

By Oliver and Rachel DeMille

There are seven principles of successful education; when they are applied, learning occurs. When they are ignored or rejected, the quantity and quality of education decreases. Whatever the student’s individual interests or learning styles, these principles apply.

And whatever your role in education—home, public, private, higher education or corporate training—the application of any and eventually all of the Seven Keys will significantly improve your effectiveness and success.

In a Nutshell

the 8th key

 1. Classics, not Textbooks

classics No one can deny the value of a great idea well-communicated. The inspiration, innovation and ingenuity inherent in great ideas elevate those who study them.

Great ideas are most effectively learned directly from the greatest thinkers, historians, artists, philosophers and prophets, and their original works. Great works inspire greatness, just as mediocre or poor works usually inspire mediocre and poor achievement.

The great accomplishments of humanity are the key to quality education.

This first key means that in pursuit of a transformational education, in preference to second- or third-generation interpretations, we study original sources — the intellectual and creative works of the world’s great thinkers, artists, scientists, etc., in the form they were produced.

the 8th key

2. Mentors, not Professors

Baby and Adult Hands The professor/expert tells the students, invites them to conform to certain ideas and standards, and grades or otherwise rewards/punishes them for their various levels of conformity.

In contrast, the mentor finds out the student’s goals, interests, talents, weaknesses, strengths and purpose, and then helps him develop and carry out a plan to prepare for his unique mission.

Various types of mentors are present at different levels of a person’s progress and in different stages of life.

In education, the value of a liberal arts mentor cannot be overstated. Parents and teachers who apply the Seven Keys can be an effective part of the mentoring of a student in the early phases of learning, and help prepare the individual to fully take advantage of the influence of later mentors that will be formative for continued development and achievement.

the 8th key

3. Inspire, not Require

AA006003 None of the keys is as highly celebrated and as poorly applied as this one. This is perhaps the least understood and least practiced of the Seven Keys. It is probably the single most important element of Leadership Education.

There are really only two ways to teach—you can inspire the student to voluntarily and enthusiastically choose to do the hard work necessary to get a great education, or you can attempt to require it of them.

Most teachers and schools use the require method; great teachers and schools pay the price to inspire.

Instead of asking, “what can I do to make these students perform?” the great teacher says, “I haven’t yet become truly inspirational. What do I need to do so that these students will want to do the hard work to get a superb education?”

The book A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion has several chapters that provide stories and examples of how this works, as well as specific suggestions on how to apply the principles to your own situation.

the 8th key

4. Structure Time, not Content

Great mentors help their students establish and follow a consistent schedule, but they don’t micromanage the content.

Indeed, micro-management has become one of the real poisons of modern education. Great teachers and schools encourage students to pursue their interests and passions during their study time.

Of course, this principle is applied differently at different levels of student development.

Phases

There are 4 phases of learning: Core Phase, roughly ages 0-8; Love of Learning Phase, roughly 8-12; Scholar Phase, roughly 12-16; and Depth Phase, roughly 16-22.

Beyond this come the Applicational Phases of Mission and Impact, where we each set out and accomplish our unique missions in life, and fulfill our role as societal elder and mentor to the rising generation (For more on these phases, click here; also see our book Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning for an in-depth treatment and loads of ideas and how-to’s.)

During Core Phase work times and play times are scheduled, with children allowed to choose their own subjects of play during play time. As they get older, play includes reading, math and other subjects that students choose to engage for fun.

At the beginning of the Love of Learning Phase a student might choose a structure of 1 or 2 or 3 hours a day of set study time; it is important that the student choose it, and that the mentor help the student learn accountability for his choice.

If the student won’t choose it, you haven’t inspired him yet—get to work. Don’t fall back into requiring. Pay the price to inspire, and trust the process–it’s the only way to get the result of the student owning their role as a self-educator.

are-you-ready-girl-275x206 By the early Scholar Phase a student will likely be studying 6-8 hours a day on topics of their deepest interest. During the Scholar and Depth Phases, the student increases the structured time and goes into more depth.

A more detailed treatment of this process and the ideal cooperation between mentor and student is found in chapter 6 of  Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning.

the 8th key

5. Quality, not Conformity

morning-canstockphoto6920318

With the student feeling inspired and working hard to get a great education, the mentor should give appropriate feedback and help.

But the feedback should ideally not take the form of common “grading”, but rather personalized feedback, commenting on the particular strengths of a work, including clarity of expression, original thought, technical precision, correlation of principles and ideas, effectiveness of argumentation or other reader appeal, etc.

These are clearly directed toward the evaluation of a written work, but similar concepts can be adapted for feedback on other products of a student’s scholarly efforts, be they organizational, artistic, personal, interpersonal, innovative, etc. Great teachers and schools reward quality–quality work and quality performance.

In the early phases emphasis is placed almost exclusively on positive feedback; as the student matures (usually after puberty), more technical critiques become valuable and usually preferred by students as they strive for excellence.

In late Scholar Phase and Depth Phase, anything less than high quality is not accepted by the mentor as a completed work; instead, the student is coached on how to improve it and sent back to work on it—over and over again until excellence is achieved.

For example, for years (when teaching college-level students) we utilized a two-grade system: “A” and “DA”, which mean Accepted and Do it Again. Great teachers inspire quality, demand quality—and they coach the student on how to achieve it.

the 8th key

6. Simplicity, not Complexity

canstocksimplicityWaterDrop The more complex the curriculum, the more reliant the student becomes on experts, and the more likely the student is to get caught up in the Requirement/Conformity trap.

This leads to effective follower training, but is more a socialization technique than an educational method.

Education means the ability to think, independently and creatively, and the skill of applying one’s knowledge in dealing with people and situations in the real world.

Complex systems and/or curricula usually lead to student frustration and teacher burnout as personalization is at a minimum and performance requirements are pre-determined.

Great teachers train great thinkers, and great leaders, by keeping it simple: students study the greatest minds and characters in history in every field, write about and discuss what is learned in numerous settings, and apply what is learned in various ways under the tutelage of a mentor.

the 8th key

7. YOU, not Them

mom

If you think these principles are about improving your child’s or student’s education, you will never have the power to inspire them to do the hard work of self-education.

Focus on your education, and invite them along for the ride.

Read the classics in all fields, find mentors who inspire and demand quality, structure your days to include study time for yourself, and become a person who inspires great education.

A parent or teacher doesn’t have to be an “expert” to inspire great education (the classics provide the expertise), but he does have to be setting the example.

Conclusion
The question we’re asked the most is “How do you actually do this?” In general, the people who ask this haven’t become avid students of the classics.

Perhaps the most difficult part about mentoring the classics is knowing which books to recommend and then having something to say about them in discussions with students. So that is where we begin: Get reading.

For tips on getting started, click here. For a step-by-step guide, and suggested reading lists for various ages, see A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first Century. This book gives a more detailed overview of the philosophy and concepts of Leadership Education, and the Appendices offer practical helps for how to get off the conveyor belt.

Once you’ve read five classics in math, five in science, five in history, and five in literature, you won’t be asking that question anymore. Instead, you’ll be asking different questions. Better questions. Lots of them.

Read the classics in all fields, find mentors who inspire and demand quality, structure your days to include study time for yourself, and become a person who inspires great education.

A parent or teacher doesn’t have to be an expert to inspire great education (the classics provide the expertise), but he does have to be setting the example.

There are many resources on this site to help; you can also find support through formal mentoring services, informal groups and clubs, and among the people you know!

The more you know about the principles of Leadership Education, the more confident you will feel about your ability to personalize them for yourself and your family.

If you’re unsure about how to proceed, don’t hesitate to drop us a line. There is so much support and information available, and we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

Good to have you along on the journey. We all benefit from each other’s participation and progress in this process.

We are so optimistic for our future as we see the impact individuals are making in their homes, families and communities. Together, we will change the world!

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Note from Rachel DeMille: I put this out last year, and thought it might be of use to some of our newer subscribers – or perhaps for a second read to those who’ve already seen it. Take note of the new, expanded and totally awesome list of science resources!!

Featured Article:

Back-to-School Shopping List, Part I

Content overview:

  1. Mentor Advisory: You’re the expert!
  2. To borrow or to buy?
  3. Old-fashioned vs. New-fangled
  4. Top Picks
  5. The classics are great for literature. But what about Math & Science?

1. MENTOR ADVISORY: Whenever you encounter a talented expert giving you step-by-step recommendations, you might sometimes find that there is more “guidance” than you need or should use.

Please utilize these recommended resources (and any other systems, lesson plans or resources you find anywhere) with care!

  • Do customize their content and processes so that they serve your needs.
  • Don’t find yourself in a situation where you and your students are marching to the orders of a book or “expert”.

If you keep the 7 Keys of Great Teaching in mind, you will find yourself picking and choosing, personalizing and passing things up, as you respect yourself as the master teacher that you are becoming, and address the individual needs of your students.

Remember: You’re the expert.

And above all: Inspire!

2. To Borrow or to Buy?

The question inevitably arises regarding which resources you should purchase, and which are best to borrow from a library or friend. The answer will differ, depending on your budget, storage space, the number of kids you have (think in terms of handing resources down), where you live, etc.

In general, there are a few classics that I like to have on hand at all times for referring to or for the kids to be able to pick up at will.

Sometimes the best books can feel like an “assignment” rather than an exploration when there is a due date when you have to return it attached to it. And most of our best moments (especially in the younger years) occur in spontaneous moments of discovery when we find ourselves returning to a book that’s waiting for us on a shelf.

Most of the books I have recommended below are on my “must own” list, but if space and/or budget issues have you watching carefully what you bring in to your home “for keeps”, it’s a good idea for you to borrow them first and experience them for several weeks.

If you live in a rural area like we do, you might want to consider signing up for Amazon Prime shipping. This gives you free shipping to your location, and the cost for return shipping if the product doesn’t suit you is cheaper than gas to any bookstore that might carry the item — and for most of what I shop for, normal bookstores don’t carry it anyway, so it makes even more sense! Gas prices now have me shopping on Amazon first for almost everything.

There are other benefits, like streaming movies, etc., which sweeten the deal a little. There are some classic movies and series available on their list, and it’s always expanding. For as much as our family shops for educational resources, this is one investment that pays for itself over and over again. I even buy some household and medical supplies with free shipping. Just take a moment to calculate your gas expenditures when shopping, and extend that over a year’s time to get an idea whether Amazon Prime might save you money. [Full disclosure: Just in case you were wondering by now, I get no compensation for recommending Amazon Prime. I just really, really love it.]

I would also be remiss if I did not mention that, other than the types of things I have listed in the “Top Picks” below, 90% of my school stuff comes from yard sales, thrift stores and the like. You can get amazing things!! Recent finds include:

  • A folk guitar, excellent condition but for one broken string: $5
  • A weight/number line system (like I used in grade school!): $2
  • Art supplies galore (sketch pads, paints, brushes, colored pencils, full apple box of stencils, full apple box of scrapbooking pages, etc., etc.) @$15
  • Magazine organizers (great for keeping each kid’s shelf tidy): a full apple box for $2
  • Discovery Toys Writing game: $.50
  • Little Tikes hutch for expanding the younger kids’ shelves (a perfect match for their existing shelf!): $10
  • Expanding alpha-tabbed file for keeping printables organized: free

When you keep your eyes open and a small budget available, you can say “yes” to a lot of opportunities. Just remember to do your 6-month purge or you can end up with an embarrassment of riches! Having your stuff well-organized helps you know when you have enough math games, or enough writing pads. Then you can be glad for the next person to come along and grab the deal you’re passing up, and you’re twice blessed!

3. Traditional or Cutting Edge?

More and more families are utilizing technology in their learning, and I’m finding that the newest generation of offerings has some great stuff for those who are so inclined. The old-fashioned way still works like a charm–and I’ve got some tried-and true suggestions here. The new-fashioned way will also appeal to many, and I’ve included some more tech-based suggestions as well.

Don’t try to make something work that’s not right for you and your goals. At the same time, let’s all celebrate that there are so many wonderful things for each of us to choose from. You might find that something that didn’t seem like it applied to you before could be just the right thing for now…

4. Some Top Picks:*

  • This Week in History This TJEd-friendly online resource takes you on rabbit trails that cover everything from language skills to music, geography, anatomy, foreign language, cooking, science, math and more – in a way that includes all ages and levels of interest and aptitude. Ready-to-go and easily incorporated in any style. (See reviews at the end of this article)
  • The Story of the World Series by Susan Wise Bauer
    These stories are about the best thing going for listening at bedtime or in the car. They straddle the line nicely between great storytelling and conveyance of lots of information. And they lead to wonderful discussions – so keep your finger poised to hit the “pause” button and take your time going through them!

  • The History of US by Joy Hakim (for me, these are better for older Love of learning and Transition to Scholar/Scholar)
    They have these at our library, and I’m not yet certain whether I want to own them, but I’m loving them at the moment. I read to the kids while their hands are busy — even while my 14yo daughter is doing math right beside us and the others are playing Memory. (Remember, some kids actually thrive on multiple activities at once; I do!)

  • The Story of Science by Joy Hakim (I would stick to the main books, and not the student guides and teacher supplements)
    Cool content I’m just now exploring, and really thrilled about! I love her style of writing. I do think it’s a book to either read with/to the kids, or for sure to discuss along the way, being familiar with what is presented, so that you can clarify how science, philosophy, history and religion developed together, and help your kids make sense of questions as they arise.

  • The Life of Fred by Stanley Schmidt (Now available with new primer level stories: Apples, Butterflies, etc. Love them for reading with the kids!!)
    Stanley Schmidt is insanely brilliant in the way he presents his material. It reminds me of the way I teach Hebrew–but I would never have thought you could be so random, creative and abstract while teaching math! These are a little pricey and tough to find in a lending library, but they are absolutely built to last. I will be using these with multiple kids and keeping them around to use with my grandkids as well. Very happy with this purchase.

5. What about Math and Science?

The study of math has lost its soul in the past century. We have become so obsessed with our comparative lack of math proficiency that we have over-compensated on the side of learning skills without drawing meaning from the study of math. It was not always so: In ancient times math was strongly tied to music, philosophy and other “practical” pursuits.

The net result of this lack of vision is that today’s learners (and teachers!) are uninspired to explore math; they believe they are no good at math, and ultimately, that math has nothing to do with anything they care about. Thank goodness for a surge of great resources, with an ever-expanding field, to help today’s learners with the elegance and titillation of mathematical study. We are relearning the language of math in the 21st century!

Inspirational Math

For some homeschoolers, teaching math and science is the greatest worry. As TJEders, those of us who aren’t math-inclined find this especially challenging: how do you “Inspire and not Require” when you don’t like math? How do you use “Classics, not Textbooks”? An omigoodness, what of “You, not Them” in math studies? Must I really???

Never fear. As with everything else, your change of heart and new-found inspiration in math (suggestions to discover this new-found inspiration follow below…) will infuse your home and classroom with a dynamic and enthusiastic Love of Learning that leads to a successful Scholar-approach to mathematics.

Math Resources On TJEd.org:

Must-reads for parents struggling to teach math

(I recommend you read them in the order they appear here)

1. Math Doesn’t Suck by Danica McKellar

math doesn't suck Not only does this popular actress/professional mathematician help you brush up on your skills, but her teaching style will help you get a feel for how to innovate on math principles, and how to use teach them in fun and relevant ways. Easily incorporated into anyone’s style. My kids love these!

I especially like that her teaching style promotes mathematical thinking. Too often kids (and even teachers) who seem to be successful in getting the right answers to equations don’t really grasp why it is how it is. They go through the motions without being moved by the bigger picture of how it relates to the wide world of knowledge! They deceptively excel at testing without ever becoming fluent the language of math.

This book coaches you on how to bring the principles into real-life focus, and does so in an entertaining and empowering way. There are two follow-up books in this series that are also worth your time if this book hits the sweet spot for you: Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who’s Boss, and Hot X: Algebra Exposed. (Don’t let the titles fool you; they’re the sassiest thing about these books, which are really quite sweet.)

2. The Secrets of Mental Math by Arthur Benjamin

I used this as a text for a class I taught, and some of the students who had previously been “math challenged” spent hours enthusiastically teaching and sharing their new-found genius in things mathematical!

Off-beat and inspiring, this one can not only empower the math-enabled parent or kid to new levels of prowess, but can reveal the undiscovered brilliance in students and parents who’ve missed the math boat in previous attempts. Highly recommended!

3. The Mathematical Universe by William Dunham

Unique in its approach; this book takes random concepts, events and personalities in the realm of mathematics and presents them according to alphabetical order. This seemingly chaotic treatment actually ends up being both accessible to the math-insecure and elevating to the math lover.

Elegant and eclectic, this book led me to many moments of pondering on mathematical concepts, which I had not been prone to do previously. Much inspiration comes from reading this book slowly and considering how to share what you’ve learned with others!

4. The Beginner’s Guide to Constructing the Universe by Michael Schneider

I haven’t actually started this one yet; it’s next on my docket. But Oliver tells me it’s indispensable on this list, and I have to say that merely reading the subtitle makes me feel a little giddy: “The Mathematical Archetypes of Nature, Art and Science – A Voyage from 1 to 10″.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE writers who are able to connect things from one discipline or area of study to another. This is what we too often missed in conveyor belt learning, and the thing that helps us achieve brilliance as we get off the conveyor belt. I can’t wait to read it and be mentored by this mind!

5. Cliffs StudySolver Basic Math & Pre-Algebra

This is my go-to book to fill in gaps (whether for the teacher or the student) in basic math skills and operations. It is organized in a very logical, sequential and simple fashion, and includes a pre-test that helps you pinpoint the exact concepts to cover to round out your basic math knowledge. AND!!! It only costs $.99 on amazon. Beat that with a math rod.

This is the one I like to teach older students from who know their basic math facts but don’t seem to progress (or feel that they can’t). (Use this in conjunction with Math Doesn’t Suck and Secrets of Mental Math)

Math Toys and Games

Abacus
Having abacus on hand is the ultimate in simplicity for teaching number and place values, carrying, borrowing, number grouping and basic (and even more advanced) operations.

Number balance
I love this toy because it helps to reveal number values, help with understanding of the number line, negative numbers, additive inverses, the associative principle of addition, the relationship between factors and products, etc.

Dominos

Sooo many great games and learning activities are facilitated by a nice set of dominos! Number grouping, equivalents, less/greater than, simple quantity recognition, etc. Plus, who doesn’t like a good game of chicken foot?

Tangrams

Tangrams are a learning tool that combines artistic and mathematical elements to enhance visual perception ability, develop problem solving skills, creative thinking capacity and teamwork. The classic tangram forms a square. The 7 pieces can also form an infinite number of abstract designs, human figures, animals and everyday objects. The object is to form the image on the card using all seven puzzle pieces.

Go Fish

I like this Go Fish game especially because it has such broad appeal and utility. Our preschooler learns her numerals/quantities, our Core Phaser practices letter and word recognition and our Love of Learner/Young Scholar kids enjoy the little factoids about each fish that are on the cards. They can all play together and glean different things, while having a pleasant medium to help the younger ones with the skills they’re most interested in working on right now. Plus everyone loved the exotic and beautiful illustrations on the cards.

Sum Swamp

I’m recommending this one because so many of my friends have enjoyed it, although we don’t actually own it. It’s highly rated on amazon, as well. It’s a simple addition/subtraction game for very young players.

For older kids, try these:

Monopoly

Masterpiece

Cashflow

Pricey, but something of an investment in your kids’ future. Teaches principles of revenue, overhead, risk, loss and investment to “get out of the Rat Race”. We LOVE this game. (Even as I write this my kids are asking to play it…)

‘Smath

Like Scrabble, but you create equations instead of words…

 

One TJEd mom, Jen Beall (who has several higher degrees in science), sent me a list of science resources that are TJEd-friendly. Some of them I knew and used already; a LOT of them were new to me, and I’m really excited to share them with you. Many of these are DVD or online video; science is so experiential that just reading about it sometimes doesn’t fully achieve the magic. You sort of need to see and do, you know?

Anyway, here now is that list:

Here is what Jen had to say to me, and I thought it worth sharing:

Our science program is pretty basic right now. We read, we have a microscope and telescope, some magnifying glasses, pipettes and beakers, and I have just put up some posters in the bathroom detailing the brain, teeth, and ulcers (gross, but it was on sale!). We also have some big, heavy encyclopedias of Mammals, Ocean Life, Birds, and Dinosaurs that the bookstore was selling by the cash register for $7.99 apiece. We are into anatomy right now, so we have girl and boy 5-layer puzzles by beleduc.

 Also, I don’t know where I got these, but I really like Janice Van Cleave’s stuff:

 

TTFN

I have lots more I want to download to you, but if I don’t get this out it will be a waste, as you will have already bought your resources for the season. Got to get back to “doing school” this morning.

xoxo rd

*More full disclosure: Amazon pays TJEd a portion of their profits when you purchase on their site after being redirected there from any of these book links. There is no change in your cost, but TJEd benefits! Thanks ever so much for your support.

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