A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion
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.
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:
- Group Discussion
It also enumerates the Five Pillars of Statesmanship:
- Field Experience
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.”
- 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