How did Thomas Jefferson gain his education? How is it that someone who did not have formal school become a famous statesman, diplomat, and later President of the United States of America?
Looking inside the lives of famous historical figures, we can often gain more insight into how our current public school system is a failure. While today's institutionalized schools are set up to place children on a conveyor belt, the learning environments of past successful men were much different in that they cultivated a system of inquiry and intrigue in knowledge.
One reason Thomas Jefferson was so successful academically is that he had great mentors. Not necessarily brilliant people, but people who sought brilliance. Another reason could be his environment – living in a peaceful home, surrounded by a multitude of great books and opportunities to explore and learn.
You can model your homeschool after Thomas Jefferson or any other historical figure that you choose to – just spend some time learning how they gained their knowledge.
To help understand more about Thomas Jefferson and his remarkable education and life, Oliver DeMille has written a book which has helped tens of thousands of homeschoolers, entitled "A Thomas Jefferson Education". He has generously accepted the invitation to share the teaching philosophy of what is popularly known as "TJed" with you! Not only does he discuss what TJed is and how to apply it in your homeschool, but he gave three presentations, one of them specifically addressed to fathers. The dads play a critical role in setting the foundation for learning in the home, and this is a must see for any family that is homeschooling. Finally, he discusses the 5 habits of highly successful homeschoolers – and it has everything to do with mentoring children.
The presentation is included in our full series for the 2014 Not Back to School Summit – with 30 speakers and more than 65 workshops and seminars – all online!
Oliver DeMille is the founder of the highly acclaimed Thomas Jefferson Education ("TJEd") model of learning and the presenter of the online educational series Mentoring in the Classics. He and his wife Rachel are the parents of five daughters and three sons. The DeMilles’ insights are formed not only by dealing with the unique needs, learning styles and gifts in their own home, but through their experience in mentoring and consulting with schools and families on virtually every level, and around the world. http://www.tjed.org/
Oliver is also a New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling Author and a popular keynote speaker at corporate and educational events. We are thrilled to have him join us in the summit!
Oliver presented THREE amazing sessions for our Plus members as follows (you will need to be logged in to access them):
What is TJEd/Leadership Education?
Sept 11th – http://hecoa.com/what-is-leadership-education-or-tjed
You’ve heard of TJEd (Thomas Jefferson Education), which is experiencing major growth in the United States and internationally. In this workshop, Oliver DeMille addresses the 3 central ideas at the heart of TJEd and settling for nothing less than a truly great education. Knowing the 3 will increase the quality of your homeschool, whatever style you use.
Homeschooling for Dads!
Sept. 12th – http://hecoa.com/homeschooling-for-dads
The 4 surprising things dads can do in less than 2 hours (total) a week. When dads know and do these 4 things, it makes a huge difference in the education of each child! Every dad needs to know them!
The 5 Habits of Highly Successful Homeschoolers
Sept. 13th – http://hecoa.com/5-habits-of-highly-successful-homeschoolers
There are many types of homeschooling, and each family ideally individualizes what is needed for each child. But there are 5 habits that are simply essential if you want your kids to get a truly excellent education. These habits are used by people from many different styles of homeschooling, and without them any homeschool struggles. Learn what they are and how to apply them in this exciting mini-seminar! These 5 Habits will revolutionize the quality of your homeschool, making it both easier and much more effective.
Do your children understand that history has cycles? From sociological patterns to patterns of war and peace, these cycles are not only interesting, but if you understand them you can help make changes for the better.
Understanding and being able to recognize patterns of history, you can more accurately predict outcomes. What if those outcomes are historically not good? What can you do to change them? Or can you change them at all?
We have invited an excellent constitutional speaker and historian to share with the homeschool community in a 2 hour workshop, all about the cycles of history. Her name is Jacqueline Smith, and she is one of 30 speakers who presented workshops in the September 2014 Not Back to School Summit – there were 65 sessions in all!!
This was the most amazing presentation we have ever seen on history and its cycles. Anyone interested in history should watch this class.
Jacqueline Smith is mother to 5 beautiful children, and currently homeschools her youngest four children. The family raises pigs, chickens, and has a bee hive on their property. Her main focus is raising her children, serving in her church and community, and raising awareness of Constitutional principles through education. Her formal education included Weber State, The University of Utah, and George Wythe University. She is currently adjunct faculty for Monticello College, in Monticello, Utah. Jacqueline has served as a State Delegate many times, and is the current Summit County Republican Treasurer, and member of the State Central Committee in Utah. She served on the Freedomworks Tea Party Debt Commission in Utah, and was a candidate for U.S. House of Representatives for Utah’s 1st District in 2012.
She is an expert in the Cycles of History and generational patterns. She believes that if people understand where we are in history, they will step up to the plate and be part of the solution. This is our crisis and we can create a great new founding. She looks forward to watching the new HERO generation rise up and do the right thing. We only get one chance in every life-time to make a difference. This is her time. She and her husband believe that freedom can win with enough like-minded educated individuals on board.
Jacqueline taught the following workshop on cycles of history, and the webinar replay is now available for upgraded Plus members (you need to be logged in):
The Cycles of History — THIS IS A TWO HOUR CLASS
aired Sept. 20th – http://hecoa.com/cycles-of-history-2
History can seem boring if you don't see the bigger picture. This class will take you on a journey through American history and show you patterns that will clearly point to what is ahead. While we look at a small piece of history for the sake of time, this pattern can be traced back over 300 generations. You will learn what it means to be a part of the archetype that is called the Prophet generation, the Nomad generation, the HERO generation, and the Artist generation. You will be able to recognize the role you must play, and your children must play in the coming years. This class will prepare you mentally to be a light to those around you. It will give you real ideas to stay positive and productive during the coming crisis. You will be able to recognize leaders, or become the leaders needed in your area. This next cycle will likely be a world event. This class is taught from a Biblical Judeo/Christian Worldview, but other world views will be discussed briefly.
Jacqueline also taught two additional workshops which can be accessed below:
Education in America, Re-Value America
aired Sept 9th – http://hecoa.com/revalue-america
As a homeschooler, you understand you don't want to be part of the mainstream public education system. Sometimes it is harder for our friends and family members to understand. After all, most of us were educated in the public system. This class will help give credibility to the decision you have made, as well as give you more information. Do you really understand how much education changed since the early founding? Come and learn why you want to teach differently, and make sure YOUR homeschool is aligned with principles that actually bring out the genius in your children, create FREEDOM again in America, and produce happy, productive citizens and families.
Financial Freedom Creates Political Autonomy
aired Sept 25th – http://hecoa.com/financial-freedom-creates-political-autonomy
We will help you understand the banking system, money, and basic financial literacy. Recognizing how wealth is created and what you can personally do to increase your own wealth with simple tools. Know the difference between hard assets and paper (or electronic) money. Learn how to change your thinking to an abundance mentality. We will take a brief look at mortgages in America, and how another country saves their citizens hundreds of thousands by law, and how you can do that in America. You will walk away from this class knowing more, and will begin to create a plan for your family.
Do you have trouble engaging your children in history? With my kids, no matter how cute I tried to make history, no matter how many visuals, timelines, videos, and pictures that I incorporated, they still were not interested as much as I wanted them to be. And personally, history was never my favorite subject in school. However, I am an inquisitive person and I have taught my children to also be inquisitive.
Therefore, when I got into genealogy things changed for me. All of a sudden I wanted to know the reasons why people would pick up and move from one place to another. I wanted to know how they lived, what their beliefs were, who influenced them, who their neighbors were, and suprisingly as I inquired about these things I found myself anxiously engaged in wars and sociology and culture and HISTORY!!
So for our family, our best history resource has been getting involved in genealogy. I shared the excitement of the things that I found with my children. Placing ancestors into the times of historical events really helped to engage them, just as I had hoped.
When studying the first settlers all the way up to the events leading up to the Revolution, we already knew that we had ancestors who were among the very first to arrive – Pilgrims as they were referred to in history books. So we started reading about some of them. Their stories were remarkable – we have journals from that era which told of the journey from England, the hardships after settling, the political issues, etc. You can also find great sources of history in the county archives.
By the time we got to the period of the Salem witch trials, we were reading journals about a group of ancestors who were Loyalists. That meant they did not want to rebel against the King. The Revolution started long before 1776, and as rebels were gearing up there were many uprisings which never hit the history books. But they are in family journals and county archives. Those who refused to rebel or take part in the politics, those were the ones whose wives and daughters were accused of being witches. They were usually influential people who had large plots of land and money to support the cause. So the rebels really pushed hard to get them behind that revolution. We have family that fled to Annapolis, Nova Scotia – along with thousands of others – who absolutely were fleeing for their lives and to save their wives and daughters from being burned at the stake. The witch trials were not a religious movement, this was a political movement. And those who refused to participate were called Loyalists. About 100 years after the Revolutionary War, they began to come back to Maine and Connecticut to reclaim the land they had left behind. NONE of this is in the history books – at least not in this context!! But it sparked such interest in my kids in understanding truth and justice – and two sides to a story. They understand that sometimes desperation for making things right leads people to do wicked things. And sometimes people are afraid to leave the comfort of tyranny and are not willing to fight for freedom. Do we still see this today?
Moving forward to after the Revolutionary War, we were looking at relatives who migrated westward. Why did they do this? Because that is how they got paid for serving in the war – the new government didn't have any money, so they gave out land grants in Kentucky, then Ohio, then Indiana and so forth. We started with Kentucky, which of course everyone knows that Daniel Boone made his way through the hostile Indian territory and blazed a trail through the Cumberland Gap. But most people don't know that after the war, the British were pretty ticked off and they wanted to regain what they had lost. So they came around the gulf, through Louisiana, and convinced the Indians that the white rebels were not peaceful and wanted to kill the wives of the Indians. They provoked the Indians from behind and the settlers (including Daniel Boone) had no idea why the Indians were so hostile. Documents upon documents were located in family journals, detailing the horrific slaughters. None of this is in the history books. In addition, Benjamin Franklin hired privateers to head off the British in the gulf and sink their ships, which was highly illegal according to our newly formed Constitution. The privateers got to keep the booty from the ships, but if they told anyone where their orders came from, the tables turned on them quickly to make them out to be criminals (which they were, sort of).
Pensions were also a result of the Revolutionary War, and the War of 1812. Of course we didn't have social security numbers or drivers licenses back then, so for the soldier to prove that they served and who they served under, they had to write out testimonials which explained all of this data. In addition to the soldier's own testimony, he would have to obtain testimonies of people who served with him, neighbors who knew of his service, and anyone else who could help prove his identity. If the soldier was deceased, the widow would need to go through all of this, including verifying that she and the soldier were married prior to his commencement of service, again obtaining testimonies of people who could verify the facts.
During the written testimonies, you often get glimpses of their lives. They tell stories about how they got to where they are. In one story, a soldier tells of how his father was serving under General Washington. The young boy, about 13 years old, went to deliver some letters from the family and some money to his father. The father convinced the boy to serve in his place, so he could go home to his wife. General Washington granted this request, but he was not about to let the young boy out on the line. The Major who gave the orders was known to have stated: "I would not give two of this boy for one of his father." The boy served as a personal cook for General Washington for his entire term of three years. This story is full of vivid details about the boy's experiences. But it conveys a message of compassion, and it's only found in the military file after the boy became a man and filed for his pension. The father never received a pension, but did try to claim one. I have dozens and dozens of stories like this from all of the wars, and it fascinated my kids to want to know more. The Civil War has many more stories which are not found in history books but only in reading the journals of ancestors and the military records of individuals who were applying for their pension.
While it's important to remember the hard times with the pioneers who settled the west via wagon trains and handcarts, there were many MORE treks that were successful, bringing tens of thousands of happy people – without horrible incidents – to settle what was known as "the wild west". We have found stories about ancestors who were involved with things we would rather not discuss. And we have found stories about ancestors who were heroes in their communities – yet never recognized in a single history book.
Moving over to World History – we have records which date back to 76 AD – which tells stories about ancestors who were again, not found in history books. We wanted to know why our Scottish ancestors left their homeland and went to Nova Scotia. The books didn't really give us all the pieces of the puzzle for the Highland Clearances – so we started reading newspaper articles from the 1700's and early 1800's, we read family journals, county histories, and discovered so much information. We were able to tie together things that were happening in Europe to things that were happening in America at the same time. Our family took an interest in studying about all of the kings and queens since the death of Christ, all of the wars and contentions, and the things that are barely touched on in history books. We have studied every country on every continent.
Of course they have a good foundation in scriptural history, but taking all of the stories of real people in the world after the death of Christ, and making it part of their own personal history, made everything so much more meaningful for them.
For more on this topic, watch for our History Week in January each year!! It will include amazing speakers, presentations, and even a History Fair.