Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's Not the Gospel

I just want to add something about TJED. It's not the gospel. It is not necessarily a heaven-inspired thing - therefore you just take what you want.

For the sake of balance, you might like to read this BLOG that is anti-TJED (to put it simply). The comments get a little viscious. And some of the things that are said are not true based on what I've read and heard. The reason I like reading this is because it gives me perspective and helps me to clarify what I like about TJED. Some quotes that the author of the blog uses to argue his point did not have the same negative application in my mind when I read "A Thomas Jefferson Education". And, I've done a lot more studying of TJED than he seems to have so I could see where some things that he quoted in the book have been clarified to make better sense in later articles by the DeMilles and others.

Julia mentioned the ingredients. I will say that some of those have definitely worked for me, and some have not, and that's okay. And of course, as is mentioned, we each have to do what is best for our family. No one method will work for one family completely - or perhaps for all their children. Which is why my homeschool research never really ends. I'm always learning new ways to present information and encourage my children. Along with TJED I have read some about Charlotte Mason (see and liked what I read, and Maria Montessori (read her whole book and liked some, didn't like other parts). I've read Susan Wise Bauer's book "The Well-Trained Mind" and some of her other articles and books. I like her. I use her history curriculum. So I definitely have a mishmash, although I still consider myself to be basically a TJED parent. The big thing about TJED for me, is that is inspired ME to be better educated and a better educator. And that says a lot about the program's value. It's not meant to be followed lock-step (just do what the DeMilles do and you'll be fine - not!!!), it's not meant to be an excuse to sit around and read while your children do nothing all day. I think that "done" properly, this is harder than almost anything else because you are teaching your children through exciting/inspiring means, setting an example through your own studies, and working together (that's much harder than sending them out to play while you clean the house). It's a full-time job!!! Definitely not for the lazy. ( I think I got off on that tangent because that is one of the arguments made by the blog author that I disagreed with).

I got the link for the anti-TJEd blog from the LDS Homeschooling in CA yahoo group. But there was a reply to that, so I'm going to post it, too.

I hadn't yet read the anti-TJEd blog when I wrote my previous post about

He writes, "I don't view it as a waste if I can open the eyes of just one
TJEd devotee and prevent them from subjecting their children to this
impoverished pedagogy. I am doing it out of the goodness of my heart. I am
seeing too many relatives & acquaintances spend time and money on this."

I know Oliver DeMille personally, but I do not consider myself to be a
devotee of anyone except the Savior. And I resent the implication that my
children have received an inferior education. My husband and I have six
children, four of whom have graduated from college; the fifth receives his
AA this month, and the youngest is still under my tutelage. Just a couple
of weeks ago all my children were at home, and they began reminiscing about
their homeschooling experiences. The consensus was that it was so much fun
- and that they had read literally thousands of books.

Although I had a credential and had taught professionally, when I began
homeschooling, I felt a great weight of responsibility to understand how
children learn. There was no Internet and few books. I took extension
classes at a nearby university and read a lot. Probably the person who had
the greatest impact up to that time was Jeannette Vos. The second person
was Susan Kovalik.

Under their guidance and on my own, I discovered the same educational
principles outlined in TJEd (line upon line, precept upon precept), as I
homeschooled my own children. I did not read A Thomas Jefferson Education
until 2000; I had filed my first PSA in 1988.

Before that I was a college teacher for 9 years. If my students are to be
believed, I was a great teacher.

What does it mean when you say that so-and-so was a great teacher -- or
recall that that was a great book? What made them great?

It is that there ARE true principles of education -- and agency is one of

I firmly believe that parents have stewardship for their children, and it is
their right to choose the educational model they will use. But that also
places a great responsibility on parents.

I would say that each of us has the responsibility to find out all we can
about the physiology of learning and the nature of education - especially as
it is outlined in the scriptures - even if we are not homeschooling. After
all, parenting is really synonymous with mentoring.

And the point of understanding the concepts of a leadership education (of
which TJEd is but one model) is not so that we can all use the same
terminology, but so that our children will realize their potential, maintain
their freedom, and ultimately fulfill the mission to which their Heavenly
Father called them.

That is not the purpose of the type of education most children receive using
the efficiency model of the public school system. The purpose of that
system is to prepare people for the work force. I want more for my children
and grandchildren.

Ok. I'm done with this!!! Just wanted to toss that out there.

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