A Thomas Jefferson Education

Discuss unschooling, eclectic, the unit study approach, or any other "unusual" homeschooling method.

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A Thomas Jefferson Education

Postby Amybass » Fri May 11, 2007 1:32 pm

Is anyone using the Thomas Jefferson Education method? I am very curious about using it and would love to hear some experiences. Thanks, Amy

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Re: A Thomas Jefferson Education

Postby StellarStory » Wed May 16, 2007 7:55 pm

Amybass wrote:Is anyone using the Thomas Jefferson Education method? I am very curious about using it and would love to hear some experiences. Thanks, Amy

I'm not familiar with it. Sounds interesting though.


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Postby CaithO » Mon Jul 16, 2007 12:57 pm

Isn't it basically the same as unschooling? Sorry, not familiar with it! :(
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Postby bittersweet » Tue Dec 04, 2007 4:49 pm

http://www.curriculumconnection.net/tho ... cation.htm
From reading this blurb it sounds a little more invovled than unschooling, which is basicly "wind them up and let them go". This approach appears to be literature based, and focusses on the classics-not necessarily books of the child's choosing. It requires in depth discussion of the materials covered, which may happen in an unschooling environment, but is surely not required.

This sounds very similar to what we do in our home. I have literature lists form which I choose the books that I read to the children. They also choose their own, of course. We don't discuss them at length, but we should. I think I may read up a bit more and implement some of these strategies into our homeschool as my little ones get older.

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Postby gregos » Wed Jan 09, 2008 7:31 pm

Thanks for the link!, definitely a classics ased system, something I am strongly leaning to.

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Re: A Thomas Jefferson Education

Postby janaleigh » Wed May 13, 2009 12:30 pm

Amybass wrote:Is anyone using the Thomas Jefferson Education method? I am very curious about using it and would love to hear some experiences. Thanks, Amy

If you ever get a chance to go hear Oliver De Mille speak-do it. I heard him several years ago. The premiss is that kids go through several stages. If we don't burn them out in the younger year, then they develop a thirst for knowledge as they get older.

I'm probably not explaining it to well but I would recommend the book. The idea is all about leadership training and teaching kids discernment and thinking skills over rote learning.

Here's a review of the book http://www.hsunlimited.com/resources/ho ... cation.php

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Postby mrshannigan » Fri Oct 09, 2009 1:26 pm

A Thomas Jefferson education is about sharing quality literature with your children and discussing it, and writing about it. There's a lot of debating about the characters, the situations, their decisions, what would have been different if X, how could Someone have X?

Unschooling is not simply winding them up and letting them go. I'm afraid you're missing out on some fascinating family stories and amazing insights into the nature of learning if that's what you think.

Unschooling and Thomas Jefferson are very complimentary, with the exception that the Thomas Jefferson method has book lists and the simple fact is that ANY book, television or even video game, discussed and debated with an older and wiser person, can help a child (and the adult) learn. The Thomas Jefferson method would not mesh with unschooling for a child who didn't enjoy reading. Parents and children must be reading the same books in TJed.

So- unschooling CAN contain elements of TJed, as long as none of it is forced or coerced.

The "wind them up & let them go" really bothered me, sorry. I might have written the EXACT same thing 15 years ago, before we dove deeper into unschooling, it certainly was my first impression. I've learned so much, though and we are totally hardcore unschoolers here now.

Instead of "wind them up and let them go" it's more like "share their passions and enthusiasm, exploring the world together." It's joyful, refreshing, REAL LIFE, authentic living, and the only thing "winding them up" is their own preferences, talents, passions and desires.

An unschooling mom's job is to facilitate, chauffer, listen, discuss, share information, learn new things, explore her own interests, and help the child find the resources they need to delve further into their passions. I absolutely love it:)

TJED- puts into words what we already DO with our children. I have a house full of daughters, we talk, debate and discuss constantly. Movies, books, song lyrics... My daughter who loves to write tends to write essays and literature reviews and comparisons, she's 12. My 16 yr old prefers to draw and talk. Her writing tends to be more song lyrics and poetry.

Anyway- off topic, sorry. I hope that cleared up a little TJed Questions and some unschooling questions, have a fantastic weekend
I have six daughters and I work from home as a freelance writer My oldest will be 16 and we've never sent any of them to school.

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Postby doodlebird » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:59 am

I had heard about the Thomas Jefferson Education approach for many years, but didn't really look into it until well into my oldest son's homeschooling journey.

TJE basically takes more of an independent study/mentoring approach rather than the textbook or lecture methods. The instructor takes more of a backseat role like a mentor with much discussion and subtle direction. I have known a few people who have been diligent in the TJE approach and have had great experiences.

I tried to implement aspects of TJE a few years back with my very "needy" son by asking him to choose ANYTHING he wanted to study and do so for at least 1 hour each day. I was hoping he would start being more independent so I could work with my younger kids...but it didn't work.

HOWEVER, I think part of the difficulty was his personality - he's always been the one who has difficulty entertaining himself or finding things to do on his own. In retrospect - was asking him to choose ANYTHING right off the bat. It gave him too many possibilities (for starters) and he couldn't decide (some people are like that).

In addition, I tried to start this after years of more traditional (teacher to student) instruction methods (about 7th grade). Suddenly I was asking him to do more of the work in learning and he resisted.

But now, I'm implementing the independent study/mentor approach with my 3rd and 6th grade through notebooking. After much reading and writing on the history of education this summer, it has become important to me to insure that the kids be ACTIVE learners.

So this time, for starters, I'm giving the girls a topic (i.e. sea lions and walruses for Ocean Science) and having them go and do the research. After all, they really enjoyed their research projects last year - this is just like doing mini projects each week. We will meet so they can present their findings and we can discuss it (student led discussion with me offering some guiding questions). I consider this to be like "training wheels" to a TJE-type approach and hopefully after a little while they'll be able to be even more independent, self-learners.

I'm really looking forward to homeschooling this year - I think it will be great!

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Re: A Thomas Jefferson Education

Postby sfweb » Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:17 am

If you are planning to implement the Thomas Jefferson education model, these supplementary materials will give you valuable, additional information. The audios, particularly, provide details in a useful and motivating format. The Four Lost American Ideals is particularly thought-provoking and motivating for any homeschooling family, even if members have not decided that a classical or Thomas Jefferson education model is right for them. The other audio, Core and Love of Learning, A Recipe for Success, would be best used with the essay of the same title. Together these provide a much detail, and comfort, for a family trying to implement the model.

Amybass wrote:Is anyone using the Thomas Jefferson Education method? I am very curious about using it and would love to hear some experiences. Thanks, Amy

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Postby figgy09 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:17 am

I have never heard about this method. That sounds rather interesting. I will definetly check the link!!! Travel Guide
Last edited by figgy09 on Wed Jun 19, 2013 1:33 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Postby TheAssistant » Wed Nov 02, 2011 7:15 pm

That's a really interesting method! It reminds me a bit of the Robinson Curriculum, though that doesn't stress the analysis and discussion. I'll definitely have to look into it more. :)
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Postby rykellim » Wed Dec 21, 2011 11:26 am

I am a Chinese Christian family in Singapore, and a student of Orrin and Laurie Woodward. In my country, public education is compulsory for a certain period of time, and the focus is academic. ie. writing, passing exams, grades etc.

I decided to supplement the school with a home education, and Orrin recommended the Thomas Jefferson Education to me. I will be buying the materials soon and hopefully you all can keep this thread alive as I need all the support I can get. Very few people homeschool their kids around here! :)

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