In Books We Love, Thomas Jefferson Education

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Our TJED High Journey

It all started last fall…

Last fall, we decided at the last minute to leave the the LEMI commonwealth we joined during 2017-2018 for a myriad of reasons. Two of the most important reasons include reducing our driving costs and taking into consideration what would help our kids to grow the most.

A couple years ago, I heard about TJED High (Thomas Jefferson EDucation) high in a Facebook group. Then, when my niece got married, I met her new in laws and their other kids. The kids were enrolled in TJED High and were having a great experience.

I decided to look into it some more. Most weeks, they read a classical novel or book. The longer or more in-depth books usually last 2 weeks. The books are discussed in an online forum. The scholars are divided into smaller groups, or families, to have their discussions. This allows for the kids to get to know each other and develop relationships.

The mentors, a man and a woman, post 2 weekly videos about the books and bring up important points from the books and the life lessons that touched them.

What I like about it is that one of my sons, Isaac, absolutely dislikes writing, but he loves commenting on posts and starting discussions. BOOM! ? He’s writing! He also doesn’t like leaving the house. He enjoys being at home.

Another son, Jared, felt tons of pressure and anxious when we attended the commonwealth. He loves to be around people, but his anxiousness often leads to lack of sleep and inability to focus. So, he likes being able to choose when and how he participates online and when he reads the book. He feels free to soak up the books at a pace that works for him. He also likes that he can study more in-depth. For instance, one week, the kids were assigned to read a small portion of Euclid’s Elements (just in case you’re like me and never heard about Euclid, he wrote about geometry more than 1000 years ago). He liked it so much that he chose to keep reading beyond the assignment.

This week’s book is Louis L’Amour’s The Lonesome Gods, not to be confused with a short 5 page story by the same name by the same author.

This is my first L’Amour book, even though my husband brought a complete or nearly complete collection of his works with him when we married nearly 24 years ago and added to it as books came out.

Isaac and I just started reading this morning and read 35 pages so far. What I’ve noticed so far is that L’Amour doesn’t waste any time getting to the story, so there really wasn’t a dry beginning.

I like collecting quotes, or golden nuggets, each time I read a book. It didn’t take long to find some. The main character, Johannes Verne, is 6 years old as the story starts out. His very ill father was telling him to pay attention to what he was saying on their journey to Johannes’ grandfather’s in California because he didn’t have much to leave him when he died, except what wisdom he shared. The first quote that I loved so far is

“ . . . a few things I have learned, and the most important is that he who ceases to learn is already a half-dead man.”

Louis L’Amour, “The Lonesome Gods” page 32.

Here’s another quote that I enjoyed by Johanne’s dad after he was told he was a hero when a battle between their small group and the Indians was over:

“[Hero] is an empty word out here, ma’am. It is a word for writers and sitters by the fire. Out here, a man does what the situation demands. Out on the frontier we do not have heroes, only people doing what is necessary at the time.”

Louis L’Amour, “THe Lonesome Gods” page 24.

The Other Books

In TJED High, the focus is on reading from the classics and primary sources. Here is a list of most of the books we’ve read since September 10, 2018:

I regularly interview my kids to see how our home educationstrategy is working for them. They’re very happy with TJED High.

What I like about it is that I can discuss the books with them, share what I know from the books I’ve read (I haven’t read most of them prior to starting TJED High), and, most importantly, continue my own education. Even more exciting is that my Love of Learning/Pre-Scholars often hangout and listen to us read the books and add to the discussion. They are free to come and go, but often choose to stay even though we spent the good part of the morning reading their classic books and doing other activities.

Do I plan to continue with TJED High next fall? Absolutely.

Have you tried TJED High or read any of the books mentioned in today’s post? I’d love to get your opinion on the books and this method of learning.

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