Sunday, June 26, 2011

Take the best of everything

I've decided that summer is a time for sporadic school, depending on the weather and summer events.  Thus, my summer blog might include some random things we've done, but is mostly meant for me to share my opinions.  And I am OPINIONATED!

This week we did have a lemonade stand to raise money for the needy, and we actually got over $17!

And we did go on a field trip to the mountains for a gorgeous hike and picnic.

But that was about it.

Now for opinions.  I believe that as homeschool moms, you must always be researching different methods, techniques, theories, and through it all, you must sift through it to find what works for you and what doesn't work for you.

One hugely popular method of homeschooling in the LDS (and some non-LDS) community is Thomas Jefferson Education or TJED for short.  I've read the books, I've gone to the seminars, I personally became friends with some of it's "high-ups," and I have a deep respect for what they are trying to do.  But I do have an issue with the theories.  This list is a generalization of what TJEDers stand for.

Classics not Textbooks
Mentors not Professors
Inspire not Require
Structure Time not Content
Quality not Conformity
Simplicity not Complexity
You not Them

If you want to read the explanation of these "keys" then you can do so here

I LOVE how TJED focuses on classics, mentors, inspiring, and quality.  So much of the world has overlooked and thrown out these key fundamentals of leadership education.  Hallelujah that TJED has brought them out of obscurity and has emphasized their importance.  HOWEVER I think the flaw of TJED is in the word NOT.  TJED is too exclusive for my liking.  I would (except for perhaps Quality not Conformity) take out the word "not" and insert "and."

Classics AND Textbooks
Mentors AND Professors
Inspire AND Require
Structure Time AND/OR Content
Quality ...hardly ever if never Conformity
Simplicity AND Complexity
You AND Them

Textbooks are extremely useful.  You can read "1776" and learn from a classic about history, but if you use a textbook that highlights the overall history as well, it might become a bit clearer.  Science and math textbooks often ARE the "classics" (even TJED leaders have admitted this).

I personally have learned tons and had profound learning experiences from professors who never knew my name or face.  Of course mentoring is the preferred method, but professors can be effective.

Requiring school work, in my opinion, helps children learn duty and how to stick things out.  All TJEDers I've ever met REQUIRE housework out of their children, why not school work?

More often then not I structure content and not time, so I'm really backwards here.  If you never structure content, then in my mind, you don't plan.  If I don't plan, then books are not rented and activities don't happen.  Instead, Google and Youtube are the teachers.  I don't want the internet to be my children's main teachers.

Now, conformity is hardly ever something of value, but an occasional prepackaged learning program can be useful, and let's face it, we all have to conform to the ACT testing process.

I definitely like to keep my life and schooling as simple as possible, but an occasional complex project stretches us and makes us learn in ways we couldn't otherwise.

And finally, it's You and Them working together for a common goal of education.  We are a team.

Anyway, I will continue to buy TJED books and go to conferences because I really do believe in the things that they believe in....but I will still believe in the things that they DON'T believe in.

1 comment:

  1. I'm really, really glad you posted about this, because I really haven't understood what TJed stands for until I read your post!! That's the most clear explanation I've heard/read since I first heard of this method of schooling. :) And I agree with what you like about the method AND I agree with replacing the word "not" with the word "and." That was one of the things I remember hearing about this method: It's this way or the highway. What kind of an education is it when it's that close-minded??

    And may I also say, it's nice to see some good "opinionating" on a blog about homeschooling. I get so tired of reading about everything working out and being just right. It isn't always so. :)

    Thank you again for helping me get a better idea of what TJed is about. :)