November 6, 2008

In the TJEd Trenches

I've recently joined a team blog for TJEd. There are currently eight regular contributors and today was my turn. I've never done anything like this before but I wanted to give it a shot. If you aren't familiar with Leadership Education it's basically learning through the classics, getting the same sort of education that Thomas Jefferson and other great leaders got. They consumed the classics in every arena, but not just works that were old, they recognized greatness as it came during their time too. Many of today's classics came from people who had a deep understanding of what came before them and contributed with their own works.

There are three phases in Leadership Education. Core Phase is basically unschooling and it merges into Love of Learning. LoL is unschooling while avoiding the temptation to kill their love of learning. If you do it all properly, by the time they reach about 12, they will be ready for Scholar Phase where they consume information at a rapid rate, finally choosing a specific area of interest and becoming an expert. There's much more to it than I've put here, but that is the basic gist. I realize that I am not doing it justice, if you are interested, you really should check out Leadership Education by Oliver DeMille.

One thing to note for anyone non religious, TJEd is followed primarily by LDS members. However, Dr. DeMille is very secular in his teachings and I find it easy enough to skip the fairytale. That being said, I am the only secular blogger for the Trenches. While I am at it, I should mention that I am a co-owner for the TJEd Secular yahoo group.

I find that TJEd blends well with the writings of Alfie Kohn, who wrote several looks on problems with the educational system in this country. It works with the works of John Taylor Gatto, whom I've not read enough of yet, and Sir Ken Robinson, who thinks there is a lack of creativity these days. So, many great minds that I have a lot of respect for fit very well into this philosophy. Another thing I really like about TJEd is that it puts the focus on the parents to take control of their own education. I may have finished high school and gone to college for two years, but I am certainly not educated. I work on catching up on everything I missed. My excitement and enjoyment inspire the kids to learn about the world around them as well. There is a lot of emphasis on reading to your kids well into childhood, which goes along with other research that says this is a good idea.

I'll probably have a couple of posts a month since we are on rotation, but I'll link to them here. I will also probably post additional thoughts here from time to time. I realize this blog has a lack of focus, but this is me! I like to flit in and about to what interests me at the time. Maybe someday the focus will narrow.


  1. Oh, you'll love Gatto. He comes out swinging.

  2. OMGoodness!! I just left my first comment for you and now as I browse further on your blog I find out that not only are you a fellow secular homeschooler but that you are also a fellow TJDer!! lol I am also on the TJEd Secular yahoo list!!! :)I'm so glad to have found your blog!!

  3. Hah! Just as I got your first comment, I responded about the TJEd Secular list and then I saw this one. So we do sort of "know" each other! Good to see you here! As I mentioned in this post, I also blog over at In the TJEd Trenches, but I'm the only non-religious voice. And sad to say, but I actually do have another blog where I talk more about TJEd stuff (since it's more about me than them right now) at

    Just in case you are looking for more to read. :)