Giveaway: $300+ package from Thomas Jefferson Education

A Thomas Jefferson Education

This giveaway has ended; thanks for your interest!

Welcome to the third giveaway in this week’s Back to Homeschool Giveaway Week, sponsored by A Thomas Jefferson Education (also known as TJEd).

From Rachel DeMille of TJEd:

“TJEd” or “Leadership Education” is a philosophy and methodology that supports personalizing education for each child’s age, gifts and learning style.

Its focus on the 7 Keys of Great Teaching and the Phases of Learning really reduce stress and magnify inspiration.

One of the tools we provide is This Week in History–a daily resource that brings your homeschool or classroom to life!”
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Navigating the path ahead: Using your homeschool compass

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Navigating the path ahead Using your homeschool compass
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

This post is part of an ongoing series
about the educational philosophy Leadership Education
(also known as A Thomas Jefferson Education.)
Find the other posts in the series here.

Last Monday I described for you the process of creating a homeschool compass–a plan your children ages eight and older can use to help direct their own learning with you serving as a mentor and guide.

In that post I walked through the questions I asked my own kids–about skills they’d like to conquer, books they want to read, and even what they feel their mission and purpose on this earth might be.

Today I’d like to explain how we finished off the compasses and how we are actually putting them to use in our day-to-day homeschool life.
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Charting the path ahead: Making a homeschool “compass”

Making a homeschool compass
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

This post is part of an ongoing series
about the educational philosophy Leadership Education
(also known as A Thomas Jefferson Education.)
Find the other posts in the series here.

I brewed inviting mugs of hot tea, explained to the kids our goal for the day, and carried the mugs to our porch where we could enjoy the recent influx of definitive spring-like weather (Hallelujah!).

I was also trying to brew a little inspiration for something we’d never done before–making homeschool compasses. A compass should do what it sounds like–point us in the right direction for our learning as a family.

For years now I’ve regularly created “six month inventories” for our homeschool–plans that form a scaffold for what Steve and I need to do in order to guide and direct our children’s educations.

Every six months (or thereabouts) I carve out quiet, pray for each child, and brainstorm ideas about what he or she needs most at this time.

A compass is similar in some ways–except that the kids have created it themselves! I figured that now–at ages 9, almost 10, and just-turned-11–they would be ready to set some of their own learning goals.

But I was surprised by how deep we went and how much we enjoyed the whole process.

“Each binder should include the student’s past and current compass – a six month list of everything they want to study, learn and do.”
- from Leadership Education The Phases of Learning

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Core Phase: Creating a solid foundation for ages 0-8

Core Phase- Creating a solid foundation for ages 0-8
Jamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

This post is the first in an ongoing series I’ve planned about the educational philosophy Leadership Education (also known as A Thomas Jefferson Education.)

“Core Phase is the basis of a life. A good Core Phase naturally provides the foundation for a good life, a great Core Phase for a great life, and so on.”
~ Oliver and Rachel DeMille, Leadership Education, page 40

I stared at the desktop screen late one night, engrossed in a popular homeschooling forum where members could ask for help and receive advice. Someone had asked a question–I don’t even remember what it was–and one of the responses said something like this:

“I recommend you check out A Thomas Jefferson Education.”

It included a link to an overview of the method, which I clicked. Then, as sometimes happens in the midst of epiphanies, I sat up straighter as I began to read. In a flash of insight, I absolutely knew that this was part of what I was looking for in our homeschool.

The method combined the freedom of unschooling with a balance of structure, responsibility, and academic focus–especially in the teen years–that resonated with me.

Though my kids were all young at the time, I ordered every book I could find about it and began to internalize its principles. And it turns out I had plenty of time to focus on my own education–because all my kids were in Core Phase.

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What does ‘inspire, not require’ really mean?

what does 'inspire, not require' really mean? ~SimpleHomeschool.netJamie Martin, editor of Simple Homeschool, also blogs about motherhood at Steady Mom

Monday mornings at our breakfast table usually start the same way. The kids munch away on their cereal while I kick off a new week by reading aloud our learning manifesto, which hangs in a frame in the same room.

This may sound like a glamorous moment, but I assure you it isn’t. There’s the typical amount of yawning, chewing, and interrupting, but one part of my declaration always seems to grab their attention. The kids’ voices join in as I speak out:

“We learn because we are inspired, not required!”

Inspired, not required. Sounds good, doesn’t it? But what the heck does it mean? And does it really work–if so, how?
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