Homeschooling Insights: What is Core Phase?

Monarch_Butterfly_Cocoon_2Core Phase is that magical time of nurture and growth, almost like a cocoon.

The environment is perfect for defining what the individual will become.

Later, in other phases, exposure to the challenging circumstances and ideas help the individual grow strong; in Core Phase, such influences can distort and hinder the optimal development of the individual.

The lessons of Core Phase are taught through work and play as a family. They are:

  • right and wrong
  • good and bad
  • true and false
  • relationships
  • family values
  • family routines and responsibilities
  • learning accountability
  • the value and love of work

The lessons of the Core Phase are best learned through daily experiences in home life, uncomplicated by the secondary goals of academic achievement.

The best efforts of the parents will be in modeling for the child an active spiritual and scholarly life, and in nurturing healthy relationships.

Socializing without the rest of the family should be limited and carefully considered.

This is an ideal time for reading and discussion of good books, listening to and discussing good music, watching and discussing good media programs, playing at art and building with Legos or erector sets and other similar activities.

naturemill_gardenfamilyLessons in self-discipline, perseverance and pursuit of excellence are modeled by the parents, and experienced by the young child, in mostly physical ways.

These might include household chores, caring for animals and gardens, helping in a family business, and cooperating in a daily routine.

Little children start to internalize the virtues of excellence and perseverance as they do their part with family duties and in service to others.

During this Phase children are taught the basics of the family’s faith, and how to arrive at and recognize truth.

The child should be prepared to make choices, heed his conscience and to know in his heart when he’s being inspired.

Children in this phase should be instructed and trained rather than disciplined.

For more on Core Phase and the other Phases of Learning:

About the Author:

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


  1. […] Phase naturally follows for a healthy youth who has an active Core Phase and rich Love of Learning. This transformational time coincides with puberty, and the young person […]

  2. […] additional factor has seemed to be that of our Core and Love of Learning children, there are just two who can’t read independently, and they play […]

  3. […] with subjects, getting to know “what’s out there”. If they have come from the Core Phase in good order they are often fearless, feeling like almost everything will be interesting and […]

  4. […] take more time for cuddles and giggles to remind myself and reassure her that we can connect on a Core Phase level. I need to take more time for laughter and listening to re-energize my own Core Phase. Here’s the […]

  5. […] even among “dyed in the wool” homeschoolers, there is widespread neglect of the Core Phase. I believe this is because of our tendency to identify so strongly with our label of […]

  6. Core Phase Crochet February 10, 2012 at 8:55 am - Reply

    […] take more time for cuddles and giggles to remind myself and reassure her that we can connect on a Core Phase level. I need to take more time for laughter and listening to re-energize my own Core Phase. […]

  7. […] However, I had discovered A Thomas Jefferson Education and decided to focus on giving her a happy core phase by waiting and […]

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