Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Journey to Educational Eureka, Part III

Part I, Part II , Part III, Part IV, Part V, Part VI 

For some reason I can't just hear something and make sense of it and apply it.  I have to hear/read it over and over again until it becomes a part of me.  Strange maybe, but it's the way it is.  I was excited to have some direction for how I wanted the kids to learn, but still knew there was a lot of holes and gaps that had to be filled in before I could implement it in our daily lives.  But I was on the right track and I was excited!

Shortly after reading Sproul and the Moores, a friend loaned me her copy of 'A Thomas Jefferson Education' by Oliver DeMille.  Instead of being a humanist, he's a Mormon.  *sighs*  But he's a genius!  He gets it, so I ignore that aspect of it.  :)

I read that book and was in awe, much like the others I guess.  He had the picture of what an overall education should look like and I loved it!  And his education started with the parents and used mentors and classics instead of textbooks.  And the final product is someone who is capable of thinking, truly thinking, and who has a vision for the future-patriotic, spiritual, family, etc.

It got me to reevaluating my desire to make my kids live a better life then myself.  Instead of trying to lift them up above my level of intelligence and caring, I need to put the work into my own life and mind, and encourage my kids to join me.  It makes so much sense.  And I love the long-term of it.

After reading TJE, I got lost even more into nutrition and laid off the education for a time. During that time, I bought the TJE book, along with 2 companion books, and some Charlotte Mason books.

I really enjoyed the Charlotte Mason books (I've only read 2 so far-Formation of Character and Parents and Children).   I look forward to reading the other 4.  I had read about Charlotte Mason's philosophy earlier and loved the concepts and I was excited to read her actual works to get more ideas for how it should look.

Mason, like the others I'd read and loved, believed that children needed their characters developed through discipline, chores and schedules.  And they needed to not have book work until they were at least 8 years of age.  Mason was big on being out of doors, getting exercise, fresh air and interacting with nature.  She was also big on using classic books of all subjects to train children.  She does think a child should go to a formal school sometime after 8, but she agrees that the parents can not trust the school to build their character, that must be worked on when the children are home.  A point I do not agree with. :)

After reading Mason and really getting excited about education, I read TJE again and was once again 'on fire' but still didn't know what it was to look like-the details were escaping me.  After that, I read the two companion guides:  'Leadership Education, the Phases of Learning'and 'Home Companion' and it finally fell into place.  "Eureka, I've Found It!!!"

The Thomas Jefferson series seems to take all of the books I've read and put them altogether into a 'format' that makes sense.  And it provided examples that I really needed.  I still need to work on the schedule, but I feel that is more a matter of time and trial and error then needing to read more 'how to books'.  Woo hoo!!  Did I mention how excited I am?  Eureka!

I'm ready to start my own 'Scholar Phase' and learn and grow.  And as I do that, also to help my children to follow in my footsteps.  The way a parent ought to guide and train.

Deuteronomy 6: 5-9
 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

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