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Just curious because I've been told - by several people - that Thomas Jefferson Education is the *only* way to homeschool and be truly successful.

 

Have you heard of it?

 

Do you know what it is?

 

What is your opinion, if any, of TJEd?

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If you search the forum, there are a lot of threads about it. The overwhelming consensus among people who used it is that it sounds attractive when you read the book, but is a terrible idea when actually put into practice. From what I remember, the guy who wrote the books turned out to be pretty sleazy, too. I can't remember all the details though.

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Just curious because I've been told - by several people - that Thomas Jefferson Education is the *only* way to homeschool and be truly successful.

 

Have you heard of it?

 

Do you know what it is?

 

What is your opinion, if any, of TJEd?

Pish posh.  Utter nonsense.

Different kids have different abilities, different struggles, different goals, different interests, all of which are ever-changing.  

"Successful" is a whole conversation in itself.

Anyone who tells you that there is Only One Way to educate a child is simply flat-out wrong.  Dead wrong.  

 

I have homeschooled long enough to watch a generation of homeschooled kids grow up to become "successful" adults (in a wide variety of ways, from highly-educated, highly-paid tech kids, to business owners, to dancers, to happy stay-at-home moms, to a zillion other things).  

The only constant in their education seems to be a teacher/parent/mom who cares deeply about the child and continues to put in the work needed to find the right educational options/opportunities for that particular child.  

In education, one size does not ever fit all.

 

"Be who you are, and be that well."  --St. Francis de Sales

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Anyone who tells you that there is Only One Way to educate a child is simply flat-out wrong.  Dead wrong.  

 

This is my opinion exactly.  I wrote a blog post and happened to mention TJEd in it (not in a complimentary way) and, boy, have I been taken to task about it!

 

https://thefamilywho.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/things-homeschoolers-say-that-arent-true/

I wrote: "X curriculum/homeschooling method works for every single child.

I’ve heard this from many people about various curricula or methods, but I’ve heard it most from people who do Thomas Jefferson Education. I am very glad each person has found what works so well for them and their child. That is wonderful. However, just because something works for one person, does not mean it will work for another. Plus, if one thing worked for every kid, the public schools should be clued in because I’m sure they’d be thrilled to find a one size fits all approach to education (spoiler alert: it simply doesn’t exist)."

 

Some have said I am just *wrong* because TJEd does, in fact, work for every single person who uses it and everyone should use it (I have seen a couple very, very bad outcomes by friends who have adhered strictly to the principles of TJEd and it did not work... and it has worked for others... just like anything people use).  And then I was berated for calling TJEd a method because it's not a method, it's principles, and to call it a method is just, apparently, wrong.  Fact is, I HAVE heard that statement most from TJEders (including the near perfect stranger who informed me if I didn't do TJEd my kids would be failures and grow up stupid... yeah).  And I just don't think that statement is true.

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If you search the forum, there are a lot of threads about it. The overwhelming consensus among people who used it is that it sounds attractive when you read the book, but is a terrible idea when actually put into practice. From what I remember, the guy who wrote the books turned out to be pretty sleazy, too. I can't remember all the details though.

 

Hee, hee. For a moment there I thought when you were referring to "the guy who wrote the books" I thought you meant Thomas Jefferson. I guess if the shoe fits.... :laugh:

 

 

And by the way, Butter, I really enjoyed that blog post. Well done!

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Some folks have been sipping the kool-aid. I would ignore them, the same way I would ignore a radical unschooler who told me I was ruining my kids by teaching them to read or a public schooler who told me I was ruining my kids by keeping them home. Anyone who believes that their way is The One True Way - and won't shut-up about it - isn't worth my time.

 

If you don't want TJEd folks berating you, then I would move toward silence on the topic. I've met a few true believers, and I find it's better to just say nod & smile, say we're happy with the way we homeschool, and then pass the bean dip.

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Just curious because I've been told - by several people - that Thomas Jefferson Education is the *only* way to homeschool and be truly successful.

 

Have you heard of it?

 

Do you know what it is?

 

What is your opinion, if any, of TJEd?

Well, I'm in Utah, so . . .

 

Y..e...s...It's safe to say I've heard of it.  Can't avoid hearing about it.  I think more than 50% of homeschoolers here identify themselves as TJEd.

 

I do know what it is, in general.  Haven't tried it myself, and don't care to.

 

I read the initial book on the recommendation of a friend, but I got it from the library, where it was sitting next to WTM.  (Guess which book I liked better?) The TJEd book left me feeling, "Yes, yes, that's what I want for my kids!  .... Um, how do you do it??"  

 

Definitely not the "only" way to homeschool successfully.  It has to be making a whole lot of people feel really inadequate if they really believe that, because I'm only seeing a handful of the people who are using it that I would call "successful," and they are more eclectic than hard core TJEd.   I know three, I think, families whose children have actually reached college age, successfully, who claim to follow TJEd, but in observing them, at least one parent in each family has a strong background in Math, Physics, or Science, respectively.  In listening to what they've done, they have supplemented heavily following their own instincts/background, whether they know they have or not. 

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I met one family who was following TJED.  I asked her what curriculum they use, and she was very adamant that they use none.  I don't know very much about it, it seemed to me like an unschooling version of classical education, I could be way off though. 

Edited by ForeverFamily
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TJEd is the number one reason why I will never have anything to do with an LDS homeschooling group (and I have some very good other reasons for avoiding LDS homeschooling groups). Too many LDS homeschoolers seem to think it's the only true homeschooling method. Or principle. Or whatever the trendy word of the day is.

 

I wouldn't go so far as to say it never works, but I'm not a fan. At all.

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TJEd is the number one reason why I will never have anything to do with an LDS homeschooling group (and I have some very good other reasons for avoiding LDS homeschooling groups). Too many LDS homeschoolers seem to think it's the only true homeschooling method. Or principle. Or whatever the trendy word of the day is.

 

I wouldn't go so far as to say it never works, but I'm not a fan. At all.

 

We avoid LDS homeschooling groups for the same reason.

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There is no One True Way to educate.

 

I have seen some successful TJEd families (as in, kids graduated, attending good universities on scholarship and doing well), the common factor among them seems to be that they either choose to require when it comes to math or else they happen to have kids who are naturally mathy and choose to study that without it being required. I'm on board with a relaxed primary stage, and actually think the Scholar phase vision could work well for a lot of students as long as they have good mentors. The middle years are a time when I believe the vast majority of kids would benefit from some structure and direct instruction that is lacking in the TJEd methodology.

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Oh, one big disagreement:

 

I've read or at least skimmed most of the TJEd books, and a big theme seems to be that ONLY this method will  result in kids who love learning.

 

That I find to be patently false, I've seen kids come out of all kinds of educational systems with a love of learning. I do think there are some common factors that encourage such, but it is possible to find those factors in a variety of settings.

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Does anyone who is NOT LDS use TJEd?  I've never met any who do.

 

I had to leave an LDS Homeschooling FB group because, among other things, it was so TJEd is awesome and everyone must use it because it works for everyone.  I made the mistake once of saying it looked like repackaged unschooling to me.

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Does anyone who is NOT LDS use TJEd?  I've never met any who do.

 

I had to leave an LDS Homeschooling FB group because, among other things, it was so TJEd is awesome and everyone must use it because it works for everyone.  I made the mistake once of saying it looked like repackaged unschooling to me.

 

I've known a couple of non-LDS families who embraced TJEd, but the TJEd phenomenon does appear to be primarily an LDS thing.

 

I've wondered about that. I think maybe it kind of came into a void in Utah etc. because homeschooling was growing but so much of what was available was geared towards evangelical Christians. This philosophy/methodology was being marketed by One Of Our Own so that had a big appeal.

 

And Mormons are nothing if not evangelizers ;)

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Yes, I know about it and seriously considered it.  I've read both books (the philosophy and the practicum) and I've been to a seminar. Not all libermamas (as some of them call themselves) are LDS. I'm more CM + NeoClassical Trivium myself.

 

There are some child-directed Unschooling components to it and some Classical Living Books components to it along with apprenticeship and mentor components too.  Like everything else, pick and choose what works for you and leave the rest.

 

No one way of homeschooling is perfect fit for everyone.

 

Avoid all or nothing thinking in general when you hear about something new whether you agree with it or not. 

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I've known a couple of non-LDS families who embraced TJEd, but the TJEd phenomenon does appear to be primarily an LDS thing.

 

I've wondered about that. I think maybe it kind of came into a void in Utah etc. because homeschooling was growing but so much of what was available was geared towards evangelical Christians. This philosophy/methodology was being marketed by One Of Our Own so that had a big appeal.

 

And Mormons are nothing if not evangelizers ;)

 

I seem to remember when it was first talked about/discussed/debated heavily and regularly here on the boards. Years and years ago...

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I agree that TJEd filled a void. So many LDS homeschoolers wanted something religious but weren't comfortable using traditional Christian resources (since you never knew if some nasty comments about Mormons was going to crop up in the most unlikely of places), and TJEd was the first thing that was LDS, even though it wasn't, and everyone latched on to it. It'e been about eight years since I homeschooled in Utah and hardly anyone homeschooled there at all. It's changed since then.

 

I do hope that Latter-day Learning will take some air out of the the TJEd movement for people who want something LDS. I wish there were more secular LDS homeschoolers. Pretty much the only ones I've ever met have been here.

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I don't really consider myself a TJED parent (and not LDS) but there are some principles I have embraced in the books.  The key principles are easier for me to get my head around when listing the positive side vs. the NOT side.  Those would be (in no particular order):

 

You (get your own education)

Structure Time (about five hours per day)

Secure (in what you are doing)

Inspire (your children to learn)

Quality (well done or do it again)

Simplicity (basics and classics)

Classics (in all areas)

Mentors (coming alongside to guide but not teach)

 

The parenthesis are my own interpretation, not from the book.  Focusing on the Core values vs. academics when the child is little has  helped me relax, though I am moving towards stronger academics from ages 6-8, but just simple basics  with plenty of time for work and play.   I do plan to use  some  textbooks and to choose what they have to study, but I prefer them to own their own education rather than spoon feeding them because I see better results that way.  I love most of the ingredients listed in Leadership Education and the pointers on "Transition Scholars"  and found it to be some of the best parenting advice for pre-teens and teens I have ever read.  And I found their ideas to preserve the joy and wonder of childhood. There  is much  to glean from the books even if you don't follow it strictly.  

 

Robinson Curriculum in some ways follows these principles but does structure the content and does require starting at age 6.  But it also emphasizes simplicity, quality, classics, and more of a mentoring role vs. a teaching role (though he didn't really do much mentoring either).  He studied (or worked on academic type things for his research) while they studied and he did not stress about what he was doing.  So there is a lot of overlap there.  He believes the child needs to get his own education and that the parent is to provide the environment, habits, and resources.  This is also like TJED.  I am more comfortable with requirements and choosing a lot of the content like Robinson, but I am not as extreme in my thoughts in some areas.  

 

So I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bathwater.  I would read Leadership Education and listen to their audios and see what you can glean and don't feel guilty about what doesn't sit well with you.  It actually took me years to be able to even hear what the DeMilles were saying because at first it fascinated me but just sounded way too radical.  Robinson was the same.  Now they both make so much more sense to me, but I will not strictly follow either.  I have to educate how I feel led to educate.  I am also influenced by Charlotte Mason (more in our natural life outside of school than school time itself perhaps) and by Leigh Bortins who emphasized memory work in the younger years like Dorothy Sayers.  And I love Wanda Sanseri, too, as well as my new favorite, Ella Frances Lynch.  The Bluedorns were of influence too.  Many have made their mark on me and I continue to change as each new author pours into me.  But I also find my own path that is authentic to me.  I went from early, Scripted math to little to no math before 8, to unscripted math lessons leading quickly into math facts and a math text as soon as reading is well on its way.  At times knowing all these different ideas confused me.  Now it helps me to relax that there is no "one right way" or perfect way.  There is only the journey that WE are on in MY family and as long as I am educating with love and diligence I will have a clear conscience before God about their education.  I am bound to make mistakes as in all things, but it is all part of the learning process and the shaping of all of us on this journey together.  

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Yes, I know about it and seriously considered it.  I've read both books (the philosophy and the practicum) and I've been to a seminar. Not all libermamas (as some of them call themselves) are LDS. I'm more CM + NeoClassical Trivium myself.

 

There are some child-directed Unschooling components to it and some Classical Living Books components to it along with apprenticeship and mentor components too.  Like everything else, pick and choose what works for you and leave the rest.

 

No one way of homeschooling is perfect fit for everyone.

 

Avoid all or nothing thinking in general when you hear about something new whether you agree with it or not. 

 

"libermamas?" As in mothers who are free?

 

Interesting.

 

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TJEd is so popular because there is nothing else to compete with it for a certain type of family. Before TJEd, many of those families used Robinson, but found the aging technology and printing awkward, the CDs and printers initially expensive, and the evangelical and nuclear worldview offputting. Some have tried to use AO but have been chased away. Some have used FAR and BITM, but again, haven't really been welcomed.

 

If someone writes something better, there will be a mass exodus from TJEd. If you hate TJEd enough, figure out what this group thinks they need, not what you wish they wanted, and write it for them.

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Does anyone who is NOT LDS use TJEd? I've never met any who do.

 

I had to leave an LDS Homeschooling FB group because, among other things, it was so TJEd is awesome and everyone must use it because it works for everyone. I made the mistake once of saying it looked like repackaged unschooling to me.

I am in a TJEd co-op, about 30 families (I think about 7 are not LDS). They are all at least partly committed to TJEd. I joined the co-op mainly because we were not welcome in most Christian co-ops (we are LDS), and I have read the books, done some of the training. Here is my $0.02:

 

There are elements of classical education in there, but it definitely is a different "flavor" of classical. Honestly I think you could compare it to CC in a lot of ways - early stages are simple, then once you hit 12 (in TJEd they call this scholar phase, in CC this is when you start Challenge) you experience more rigor. It is NOT like CC in a lot of ways though, but that is the best comparision I can draw at the moment. Early learning resembles unschooling, until around puberty (12 years old) when, at least the premise is, students are ready to take the initiative to study rigorously. I think that this method (mentoring, inspiring, sharing classic books, setting aside time but not necessarily requiring certain content or output, etc) may work for some parents and students. I don't think it would work for us, but I can find enough common ground with my classical-leaning-ecclectic approach that co-op works for us.

 

I want to say that I am fortunate to rub elbows with some wonderful people at our co-op. I am very open about the fact that I don't follow TJEd lthe way most do, but I wear a certain hat at co-op so that I try to stick with the common ground. I joined an established group, and see benefits to our family, but I am not about to stir things up for it to meet my educational goals. If it no longer benefits us, we will leave the group. Having said that, I think there a LOT of people who come to TJEd who have very strong convictions about it based on emotional experience, rather than sound reason. These are those who feel it is the only way to homeschool. We've all experienced people who tell us their way is the only way - it rubs really wrong. Then there are those who aren't so dogmatic about it all (which is really ironic, because the dogmatic ones are rejecting "conveyorbelt education" only to embrace a different conveyorbelt, imo).

 

I am not positive while there are a lot of LDS followers of TJEd, but I have my ideas. That's not important though. I think the important thing is that you as the parent are the steward of your children, entrusted to raise, teach, provide for, and love them. You will be most successful in these responsibilities if you are more attuned to your children, and I believe the direction of the Spirit, than you are to any outside influences/methods. If I followed TWTM to the letter we would have serious writing issues at our house - and I would feel very very overwhelmed by all the reading aloud I am supposed to be doing. If I followed say Robinson Curriculum as spelled out I don't think my children would have discovered how really good they are at math (conceptually they are advanced but computation is a bit behind, and they would get bogged down in Saxon drill and kill) and we would most definitely not be successful in writing. If I would have even been faithful to my first curricular attempts/approaches we'd have other issues as well. If I would have used the same parenting strategies on #2 as I did on #1 there would be issues.

 

So yes, many TJEd people are emotionally married to it, and a bit smug about it too. But not all are. And its not some scheme to trap you, at least I don't think it is. Take the best and leave the rest :-)

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Hunter,

 

Aren't FAR and BITM unit studies?  How would that compare with Robinson and TJEd?  Now I have to go look at those again since you lumped them into that group.  I think the last time I looked at AO I was looking at the booklists especially and decided there were too many books on there that weren't free.  But now that we are not in famine season I am not quite as concerned about that.  Maybe I can look at it again with new eyes.  I did use the AO list for read aloud with my first four year old and loved that.  I think that is all I ever used, though.  If it is too unorganized I can't deal with it.

 

CC does have similarities with TJEd, which probably explains why I like it since we loved CC (and I love Leigh Bortins.)  With CC, though, she would recommend that an hour a day per subject be spent on math, writing, and reading silently and orally to Mom, plus a short devotional (reading and discussing a chapter of the KJV usually) and then lots of read aloud time in the evenings.  So she has some structured content with her structured time.  She wouldn't necessarily push a certain curriculum, but she would push certain methods.  Her curriculum choices are listed as well as sold in the CC bookstore.  TJEd is much less pushy about certain curriculum in the books, though the co-ops may have their own ideas about what to use or not use for various subjects.  I do think Saxon Math and McGuffey Readers are listed amongst the classics.  Also, during Love of Learning phase, Leigh would have them learning intense grammar and begin writing solid paragraphs and then papers IEW style so there is definitely direction there vs. whatever the child wants.  But it still loosely follows the idea of requiring less when they are in the Core Phase, a little more in Love of Learning, and a lot  more in the Scholar years (12 or so until college).  Leigh does advocate music theory and drawing, including maps, as part of their day and lots of memory work.  These I agree with and see the fruit of in our home.  TJEd says they don't need music lessons until at least LoL stage and because she was a piano teacher I take comfort in her advice since we can't afford lessons right now.  Andrew Pudewa (a big fan of TJEd) would disagree and say they should start younger because of brain development, just as they should start memorizing poetry from a young age.  We do follow his advice on this.  Most CM and Classical teachers would agree with that.

 

Both TJEd and Robinson would say little or no TV.  We have yet to pull that off in our home.  Maybe one day....

 

 

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Oh, and for Latin, Leigh would say 4th grade,  TJEd has Latin in their booklist for Teens, and Art Robinson thinks it would be better studied (if at all) as an adult or in their free time but not as part of the school day.  He think  intense study of English vocab, the rigor of Math, and English translations of Latin works take the place of the need for Latin.  I am probably in the Leigh Bortins camp (if not even earlier), but that is just me and I like Latin :-)

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Art Robinson believes that rather than studying superfluous subjects like Latin, that students ought to spend their time studying serious subjects...like how to survive a nuclear war using duct tape.

 

Oliver DeMille, the TJE author, is a total con-man. It is unbelievable to me this fraud on home schoolers is still being spoken of as some sort of "viable option."

 

One is a complete wack-a-doodle, the other is a flim-flam man.

 

Run. Run. Run away!

 

Bill

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I had no opinion on TJed before I moved to Utah. I had read the book once, it wasn't for me, but whatever. Then I moved to Utah and WOW, I was shocked at what I have seen and experienced.

 

I have never felt so judged and excluded. Being LDS in GA with all the statements of faith was easier than this. Many, not all, of those who do TJed here won't even give me the time of day. Many believe it is the only way to homeschool.

 

The results I have seen are not all that great. Most have horrible math and science skills. I saw first hand as some attempted to take a HS Bio class I taught.

 

Also, the community here has a negative view on homeschoolers because ofany in the TJed community. Things like the kids being really behind, exclusiveness, and taking poor care of the building they meet at has made it a fight for my family to prove to others that we are not like that.

 

Mostly I just hate that it is treated like the one and only true religion. It has made leaving here a very hard experience for me. Three and a half years and I still am not sure I like it here.

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My sister is a big fan of TJEd and homeschooled her children from that perspective.  I tried.  I went to seminars and two of my girls were part of a co-op for a couple of years.  My sister has told me that I just don't get it.  I think she gets frustrated with me at times. 

 

The families in our local co-op (commonwealth) are amazing.  I expect their children would do well no matter their educational environment.  I've strongly considered getting involved again so my youngest can rub shoulders with these amazing families.  But, I just can't do it. Every time I read through their constitution it doesn't feel right for my youngest daughter.

 

If TJEd works for you, that's great.  But don't go around telling me I'm wrong.  Different isn't wrong.

 

 

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I do hope that Latter-day Learning will take some air out of the the TJEd movement for people who want something LDS. I wish there were more secular LDS homeschoolers. Pretty much the only ones I've ever met have been here.

 

http://latterdaylearning.org/

 

I see this is from American Heritage School.  Anyone here have experience with AHS?

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I had no opinion on TJed before I moved to Utah. I had read the book once, it wasn't for me, but whatever. Then I moved to Utah and WOW, I was shocked at what I have seen and experienced.

 

I have never felt so judged and excluded. Being LDS in GA with all the statements of faith was easier than this. Many, not all, of those who do TJed here won't even give me the time of day. Many believe it is the only way to homeschool.

 

The results I have seen are not all that great. Most have horrible math and science skills. I saw first hand as some attempted to take a HS Bio class I taught.

 

Also, the community here has a negative view on homeschoolers because ofany in the TJed community. Things like the kids being really behind, exclusiveness, and taking poor care of the building they meet at has made it a fight for my family to prove to others that we are not like that.

 

Mostly I just hate that it is treated like the one and only true religion. It has made leaving here a very hard experience for me. Three and a half years and I still am not sure I like it here.

This is so interesting to me because it hasn't been my experience at all.

 

I interact with families who are 100% TJEd, families that participate in TJEd inspired groups but don't really follow (or even know much about) the philosophy, families that just use ABEKA, families who follow TWTM, families who do CC, families who are LDS/other Christian/Muslim/not religious...I really haven't seen the exclusion or other problems, though their is a natural tendency for folks with similar backgrounds/philosophies to clump together. Our social life isn't built around homeschooling, but I've experienced general acceptance from all quarters. Unless I am somehow being rejected and shunned behind my back and I'm just not picking up on it :tongue_smilie:

 

I do live in one of the more divers parts of Utah and my children are under 12 so I'm not interacting so much with high school families (are your children older?)

 

By the way, we're looking to relocate to the Southeast--any tips on homeschooling as an LDS family in the Bible Belt?

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I have a friend who moved from northern Utah and told us there were no problems like this up there. But Southern Utah is hard. It is the heart of the TJed movement. But I have gained a lot of insight and empathy from these experiences. Who could have guessed that living in Utah, for this and other reasons, would be the hardest years of my life so far.

 

As far as the Bible Belt... I started my own group and participated in a group where the statement of faith did not have to be signed.

I had LDS friends who joined groups where they had to sign, but thought of it as "this is not exactly how I believe, but will be respected by me while participating with this group."

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I'm agnostic and dd13 has declared herself atheist, and we're homeschooling in the Bible Belt. We participate with a Christian music coop, but no statement of faith was required. We're just respectful of their beliefs. We recently found a secular coop and plan to join for next year. I think it depends where in the Bible Belt you are on how successful you can be finding non-Christian groups. We're just outside Atlanta, and it's hard but they do exist. We probably wouldn't be as lucky in a more rural area.

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I have seen PEOPLE do the SAME basic things around any method or belief system, especially when they have recently been rejected from something else.

 

It's not TJEd, so much as the OPPORTUNITY to unite around SOMETHING that is POSSIBLE for certain types of families to succeed at, or at least APPEAR to succeed at. And then people get super defensive and rigid about what has accepted them.

 

Stm4him, there are people that use FAR and BITM that are NOT using them because they are unit studies. They are attracted to the homesteading friendly and GENERAL high school level requirements.

 

Not everyone homeschools to provide more rigor than the local public schools. Those families with other agendas don't have a lot to choose from amongst the current market that pushes rigor. Many families are primarily looking for anything without rigor, that doesn't cost much, uses real books more than curriculum, and isn't teacher intensive. Yup, they are looking for what is often labeled educational neglect, here. There are people that truly believe an education is far more than rigor.

 

The USA is a big place. Utah is different than a lot of other places. The current homeschool market hasn't done a great job writing LDS and Utah friendly curriculum, and even homesteading friendly curriculum is being phased out.

 

I see all the weak points of TJEd, but I totally understand and support why some families have chosen it, and think they are doing the best they can, with what they have to work with.

 

Parents can buy a used copy of a paperback book and use that as entry to join an established community that doesn't call them hurtful names, or shame them for not having gifted children and lots of money and multiple floor to ceiling bookcases for textbooks, and doesn't expect mom to make homeschooling her hobby. TJEd is doable, and doable is very appealing.

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This is my opinion exactly.  I wrote a blog post and happened to mention TJEd in it (not in a complimentary way) and, boy, have I been taken to task about it!

 

https://thefamilywho.wordpress.com/2015/04/25/things-homeschoolers-say-that-arent-true/

I wrote: "X curriculum/homeschooling method works for every single child.

I’ve heard this from many people about various curricula or methods, but I’ve heard it most from people who do Thomas Jefferson Education. I am very glad each person has found what works so well for them and their child. That is wonderful. However, just because something works for one person, does not mean it will work for another. Plus, if one thing worked for every kid, the public schools should be clued in because I’m sure they’d be thrilled to find a one size fits all approach to education (spoiler alert: it simply doesn’t exist)."

 

Some have said I am just *wrong* because TJEd does, in fact, work for every single person who uses it and everyone should use it (I have seen a couple very, very bad outcomes by friends who have adhered strictly to the principles of TJEd and it did not work... and it has worked for others... just like anything people use).  And then I was berated for calling TJEd a method because it's not a method, it's principles, and to call it a method is just, apparently, wrong.  Fact is, I HAVE heard that statement most from TJEders (including the near perfect stranger who informed me if I didn't do TJEd my kids would be failures and grow up stupid... yeah).  And I just don't think that statement is true.

 

First off, I just wanted to say we have the same background theme on our blogs!  :lol:

 

Second, I have NO idea what Thomas Jefferson Education is.  None whatsoever. 

 

So I have nothing interesting to add.  Carry on.  :D

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Not everyone homeschools to provide more rigor than the local public schools. Some of these folks actually embrace educational neglect, and are happy to pay huge amounts of money to homeschool gurus who make them feel good about their choice to keep their children ignorant, and themselves unburdened from guilt for not attending to their children's educational needs. 

 

Those families don't often find their agenda of educational neglect embraced by some of those high falutin' programs that require parents and kids to actually work hard. The good news is the whack-a-doodles and con-men at Robinson Curriculum and TJE are there to take your dollars, if "neglect without guilt" is your thing. Otherwise:  Run. Run. Run away. As. Fast. As. You. Can!

 

Bill

 

 

 

 

 

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Okay, but what *is* TJed? Like, this is probably the third or fourth thread I've dipped into a thread about about it to be like, what is that anyway, and come out still not sure. I'm happy to believe the guy's a con man and I get that they are sort of classical and sort of unschooly and that they think they're the one true homeschooling method or whatever (obnoxious) - I knew that already. But what do they do - how are they sort of classical and sort of unschooly? And if the guy who created it is a con man, what's the con? Is there something more than the book that he's selling? Is there a curricula? I thought it was just an approach, but if that's true, how is it filling a niche? And why does it apparently appeal to so many LDS families? That was new information for me.

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Oliver DeMille is the originator of TJEd, and is LDS. As far as I can tell it spread as a homeschooling methodology first among the LDS population in southern Utah where the DeMilles live, and while it has spread elsewhere it grew faster among the LDS population. I think this is primarily contact--friends telling friends etc.. 

 

There are in my opinion two key components to TJEd:

First, the idea that children should develop a love of learning through exposure and freedom to choose what to study/learn. The parent's job in early education is to inspire this love of learning. Requiring study of any subject is seen as killing the love of learning.

 

Second, as a child approaches teen years they are expected to take the love of learning they have developed and turn to serious study under the guidance of a mentor (or several mentors). At this point serious study is expected and the student should hold themself accountable to the mentor. A focus on great books/classics is paramount at this stage, and textbooks are excoriated (although this stance seems to have been softened in more recent years and limited use of textbooks for subjects such as math is acceptable).

 

The goal is to avoid a "conveyor belt education" where a student is just moved along like a box to be filled.

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Okay, but what *is* TJed? Like, this is probably the third or fourth thread I've dipped into a thread about about it to be like, what is that anyway, and come out still not sure. I'm happy to believe the guy's a con man and I get that they are sort of classical and sort of unschooly and that they think they're the one true homeschooling method or whatever (obnoxious) - I knew that already. But what do they do - how are they sort of classical and sort of unschooly? And if the guy who created it is a con man, what's the con? Is there something more than the book that he's selling? Is there a curricula? I thought it was just an approach, but if that's true, how is it filling a niche? And why does it apparently appeal to so many LDS families? That was new information for me.

 

They sell seminars and "certifications," and DeMille used to sell fake degrees until he was caught.

 

As I go to homeschool conferences and browse seminars and courses online and talk to people involved in TJEd, I find a lot of "training" and "inspiration" about doing TJEd. I see moms "doing their 5 Pillars" which is a certification from George Wythe College that indicates that you know how to do "Leadership Education."

 

If you look over the "5 Pillar Certification" you will see that it is not free.

  • Level I Enrollment Fee - $45
  • Level II Enrollment Fee - $180*
  • Level III Enrollment Fee - $195

* Level II Enrollment Fee is $30 per month until completed, with a six month minimum. - from  online page at George Wythe College

I have to wonder why it costs money to be "certified" in Leadership Education, especially when GWC does so little in the process (does it really require $45 to fill out a form, and $30 a month for you to be studying on your own?). But not only do you have to pay money at each level, but you must attend their seminars.

 

In Level I, Attend the seminar “Face to Face with Greatness: A Thomas Jefferson Education.â€

In Level II, Attend the seminar “Face to Face with Greatness: The Power of Mentoring the Classics.â€

In Level III Attend either of the following seminars: 

  • Face to Face with Greatness: World Views and the Emerging State
  • Statesman Retreat: Rethinking Leadership

And how much do these seminars costs? Around $165 per person, depending on your situation and when you schedule a seat (see this page for an example).

 

But if you look over the requirements, you basically have to read some novels and a few books on education (including A Thomas Jefferson Education), submit book reports on these novels or talk about them with a friend, pay GWC money and attend some of their seminars. That's basically it. Then you are "certified." They don't even require you to read any "classics." (Hey wait, what are require-ments doing in Leadership Education?)

 

Oh, and by the way, your certification is only good for two years, then you have to recertify:

 

 "Educators must re-certify every two years by attending and completing any GWU seminar."

 

 

If you want to read more about why the "TJEd system" is a scam, there is a lot of information, including extensive quotes from Oliver DeMille (and from the board of directors that kicked him out of the college he founded because of fraud) on this website. Kind of ironic that the guy who sells an educational system based on the promise that it will create the brilliant, virtuous leaders of tomorrow, turned out to be a con man whose own degrees were fake.

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From the website linked above:

 

 

In my observation, those who are already familiar with the classics do not buy the [TJEd] promise. I don't mean "experts." I mean those who have actually done what DeMille talks about in becoming familiar with the great works. Rather, those who are unfamiliar with them and don't have much experience with the great ideas in the classics are the ones that believe DeMille. I think it's like a salesman selling a new exercise machine to the public. He gets an attractive and fit model who smiles and demonstrates how to use the machine, as if she became fit by using the machine. If anyone challenges the salesman, he just responds, "well, ma'am, how much do you weigh? What is your dress size?" as if your challenge was not valid unless you had already achieved the fitness that the salesman promised you would achieve by using his machine.

 

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Oliver DeMille is a guy who claimed a bunch of diploma-mill degrees as *genuine*. Then, when caught out, tried to claim he had *no idea* his bogus degrees were not valid. Simply not credible.

 

Now he runs (ran, was he kicked out?) his own diploma mill. When your model calls for "mentors," as opposed to actual professors, at the University level *anyone* can qualify (no matter how uncredentialed or unqualified they might be.

 

The guy is a scammer. Don't fall for this.

 

Bill

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Okay, but what *is* TJed? Like, this is probably the third or fourth thread I've dipped into a thread about about it to be like, what is that anyway, and come out still not sure. I'm happy to believe the guy's a con man and I get that they are sort of classical and sort of unschooly and that they think they're the one true homeschooling method or whatever (obnoxious) - I knew that already. But what do they do - how are they sort of classical and sort of unschooly? And if the guy who created it is a con man, what's the con? Is there something more than the book that he's selling? Is there a curricula? I thought it was just an approach, but if that's true, how is it filling a niche? And why does it apparently appeal to so many LDS families? That was new information for me.

 

This article, written by Laura Lund who visits the boards, helped me get a better idea of what it is and aims to do. Being LDS, I feel like there are plenty of great options for approaches and curricula out there without this needing to fill a niche in the LDS community. Perhaps it appeals to some LDS people because it has the end goal of creating leaders or people who can influence for good which is a strong value of the LDS faith. Whether or not it actually does that seems uncertain from what I have read. I also think it just spread throughout the LDS community by word of mouth and as it became popular, people took comfort in feeling they were joining a like-minded group. As we know, homeschooling can feel a bit outside of the cultural norm and perhaps intimidating at times so receiving validation from one another must promote it. I must say, there are plenty of LDS homeschoolers, including myself, who are inspired from other approaches like TWTM and Charlotte Mason.

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4LittleWomen linked a post I wrote about TJEd on my blog. TJEd was my first exposure to homeschooling because I had friends with older children who were/are full believers in it as The One True Way to homeschool. This was in Salt Lake County. My oldest is almost 15, so it's been at least a decade since I first was exposed to TJEd. I abandoned it after awhile because there was so little in the way of practical application. I was the only friend in this circle who had a college degree and I was the only one to ditch TJEd. TJEd products and services are frequently advertised on local homeschooling lists and conventions. I fell prey to a few of these before I read TWTM and embraced structure (to the relief of us all). I'm very eclectic at this point.

 

I think the appeal of TJEd to LDS homeschoolers includes its being written by an LDS man and its claims of specialness/truth. The LDS church is claimed to be the One True Church (while its members and leaders acknowledge that truth can be found in many places, they also tend to believe that the LDS church is the only one with God's authority). I think some people are drawn to that sort of thing. I was at one point. Now I'm a "many paths up the mountain" sort of person, which applies to religion and homeschooling and many other things.

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Thanks, Laura. That gives me a better idea.

 

It's sort of interesting. Some of the elements are not so different from my own educational philosophy. But I can see how the rigidity makes it undermine itself. And how the nebulousness makes it impossible to implement. I agree that one size fits all approaches are always dubious at best.

 

The stuff they're selling sounds like one of those bogus "leadership training" seminars or something.

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Thanks, Laura. That gives me a better idea.

 

It's sort of interesting. Some of the elements are not so different from my own educational philosophy. But I can see how the rigidity makes it undermine itself. And how the nebulousness makes it impossible to implement. I agree that one size fits all approaches are always dubious at best.

 

The stuff they're selling sounds like one of those bogus "leadership training" seminars or something.

There were and probably still are TJEd seminars. They were called Face to Face with Greatness. I went to one about math, taught by DeMille. I studied through multi-variable calculus in college, but I was interested in hearing how math is taught the TJEd way. I remember asking lots of pointed questions, seeking clarification on the more preposterous points. Like, DeMille went on about Plato and how one doesn't equal one because one fish doesn't equal one army. I asked him a question about how to teach math if one doesn't equal one. He smiled smugly and wrote on the board "let 1 = 1." Ok, buddy. That's pretty obvious (or should be). Word problems that require students to keep track of labels will take care of that. My 2yo knows one jelly bean isn't the same thing as one bag of jelly beans.

 

Anyway, there was also stuff about reading classic literature and the bible and stopping to do the math bits that pop up. Also, you should read Newton's Principia Mathematica. Right. Um....

 

But I've always loved a good math textbook, so perhaps I was too corrupted before arriving at his seminar. (Textbooks are bad.) :-P

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