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Thomas Jefferson Homeschool

Updated: Mar 16, 2023

The Thomas Jefferson Educational Method (sometimes known as TJED or Leadership Education) is the reestablishment of a classical Liberal Arts Education based on the education of the founding of America period of history. It is very similar to the classical method of homeschooling. This method is based on Seven Keys of Great Teaching:

  • Classic literature, not modern textbooks

  • Mentors who guide, not professors who lecture

  • Inspire, not require

  • Structure your time, not the content

  • Emphasis on quality, not conformity

  • Simplicity, not complexity

  • You are the authority, not “them”


Recognized Phases of Learning: CORE (ages 0-8) Focuses on right and wrong, good and bad, true and false, relationships, family routines/values/responsibilities, learning how to be accountable, and a strong work ethic. These charter traits are to be taught through everyday experiences within the family and home without academics. This time should be filled with reading great stories, learning to appreciate quality music, and developing an appreciation for art. Building with things like K’nex, connector sets, or Legos is very valuable. Helping around the house, in the yard and garden, and with family responsibilities and work do a lot to teach kids perseverance, self-discipline, the importance of completing tasks, and a commitment to excellence in very practical ways. Love of Learning (ages 8-12) Encourages family reading of classic literature, curiosity, personal decision making, accountability, and learning about personal gifts, interests, mission, and goals. This phase is remarkably similar to the “unschooling” model. It is a time to inspire your kids to a sense of wonder and to support them as they learn about the topics that fascinate them. SCHOLAR (approximately ages 12-18) Aneladee Milne describes four sub-phases of this stage as Practice Scholar, Apprentice Scholar, Self-Directed Scholar, and Mentored Scholar. As they progress through the sub-phases, they are figuring out the idiosyncrasies of maturing and dealing with the biological changes they are experiencing. They learn how to make and keep commitments, take personal responsibility for their academic progress and journey, and submit to a mentor’s authority to achieve their academic goals. During this time, it is very important to be intentional about creating supportive learning environments for your child. As they advance through each sub-phase, they will incorporate longer hours of study, refine their academic skills, and place emphasis on cultural literacy. After your child’s homeschooling career advances into college and beyond, they will continue through the following phases. DEPTH (approximately ages 18-24) Submission to a mentor-guided program learning seven lessons as an apprentice or at a private or formal college. These lessons are: initiative, ingenuity, allegiance, integrity, commitment, passion, and impact. MISSION (approximately ages 25-45) Continuing to pursue self-education, family building, community involvement, professional vocations, and leadership. IMPACT (approximately ages 45-65+) Leadership, mentorship, philosophy, and more are typically practiced

Get more info Find more information on the Thomas Jefferson Educational Method on the following websites: TJED.org HSLDA Blog Or in these books: Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning, DeMille A Thomas Jefferson Education : Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-First Century, DeMille Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens, and Every Adult Who Wants to Change the world,DeMille



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