Thursday, August 26, 2010

Looking at the Positive of the TJEd Principles

By Julia Hathaway

As I've been browsing what others are doing in their homes with A Thomas Jefferson Education and reading various posts and blogs concerning this philosophy, I have been amazed at how many of us are lamenting over the education of our children. I know the discussion groups are great for seeking answers when we hit road blocks; however, it seems all too common to see questions like, "How do I do this?" and "Struggling mom needs help!" and "Why can't I seem to get this right?" Believe me, I've asked the very same questions this past year. I think asking these types of questions are necessary in understanding TJEd for ourselves.

I've had an epiphany. Too many of us are focusing on our weaknesses, on our failings based on what we think is "right." When we focus on these negatives we leave very little room for the energy needed to fully implement these amazing principles. And I believe that the reason we focus on our shortcomings or try too hard to "do it right" is because of the "nots" in the principles. I suggest that we spend more time working on the DO's rather than the NOT's of the 8 Keys of Great Teaching.

#1 - Classics: Seek out the benefits of reading great classics. Discover the classics for yourself and with your family! Establish a core classic on which to base your family values and beliefs, a standard to follow. My favorite quote from Rachel DeMille goes something like this, "Once you've read 5 classics in math, 5 classics in science, 5 classics in literature, 5 classics in history . . . you won't be asking how to do this. You'll be asking different questions, better questions." Texbooks? Textbooks still have a place in the TJEd home. They can still be used and considered classics if used wisely and timely OR if there just seems to be a perfect textbook for your family (or even ONE of your children).

#2 - Structure Time: Observe your family's use of time. What is the natural ebb and flow in your home? Follow those signs to create and environment for learning. Does your family learn best in the morning or the evening? Where do family chores fit in in the structure? How much time do you allow for learning, or is the time all filled up with activities and multiple cirriculums that there is no time for self-educating? These are improtant questions to ask when exploring this key. As for content, there are times when you do need to plan the conent. Little Suzy is really interested in bugs. Don't just expect her to learn about them all on her own. As the parent/mentor, we need to be handing them the tools. This is also what Kidschool is for, a time to teach them something you feel is important or exciting. Yes, planning content is important, but it's the TIME that really matters when inspiring children to learn.

#3 - Mentors: What do professors do best? They lecture. I recently learned that a lecture in the "old days" meant that the professor was the only one with a book (because of scarcity of books) and the students listened and learned from him. If we apply that definition to lecturing now, then it is appropriate to do so now. Our view of professors now are simply teachers who stand in front of a classroom while the some 100+ students vigorously take notes. Mentoring is a much more personal experience. Great teachers and mentors guide their students & followers naturally. There isn't underlying pressure to perform ata certain level. Be a mentor, someone your child can come to with questions and problems. Mentoring is knowing the needs of your students and leading them there.

#4 - Inspire: Let's face it - - there are things that need to be required in life. But again, the focus really should be on inspiring, not "not requiring." I have felt guilty at times when requiring anything academic from my children. I don't think that is the essence of this great key. My husband has coined his own term for this, 'Inspire IN the Require." And that is what we do in our home. We require daily reading, writing and math. We follow math cirriculums for the most part, but every once in awhile we "take a break" and read some inspiring math books or play some cool math board games with the intent to light the spark. Inspiring children to learn is harder than simply requiring the next lesson in the book, but I can testify that our relationships are stronger when I'm focusing on the inspiration rather than the require . . . without feeling guilty about the things I do require of my children.

#5 - Simplicity: This one speaks for itself . . . and it's one I'm still working on. :-) Keep it simple, but if you do have one complex and exciting lesson or outing planned, enjoy the moment. Don't let the projects or the field trips or the discussions become a vice in your experience. Cutting out unnecessary things in your home and in the lives of your family help with this tremendously.

#6 - Quality: Expect great things! That's all this is saying. Don't settle for less than your very best. This principle starts with chores when the kids are young and then expands into their studies as they get older. To me this also suggests looking at the greatness of your children rather than their faults. Expect them to be great and they will naturally and happily rise to that standard!

#7 - YOU: Ahh . . . The illustrious "You, Not Them." This is a biggy for me. I've heard a couple of people say, "Am I really supposed to just ignore the children?" or "I've done my schooling, it's time for me to now focus on my kids." This is true. Most of us have "been there, done that." But that does not mean our learning has come to an end. Actually, for me, after college is when it really began! Some people are okay with leaving their children to their own exploring (probably more the unschooling approach), but we each need to explore this one in a very personal way. Without a selfish attitude about it, we need to ask ourselves, "Who am I?" and lead by example as we mothers pursue our talents, strengths, and studies.

How I look at this is not with the perspective of "ignore the children," but rather, "don't forget yourself in the process." If you want to read great books, read great books. This doesn't mean you need to be reading Euclid if Euclid doesn't interest you. If you want to learn how to eat healthier, by all means do it! If you want to be outdoors, head on out (just be sure to take your family). Focusing on your talents, strengths and studies is following this principle. Just be sure to discuss and involve your family in the process (again, another purpose of Kidschool).

I also see this principle in the light of focusing on YOUr family rather than the THEMs out there in the world telling you what you must do to educate your children. Listening to yourself and creating a learning environment for your family is a huge part of the "You" principle.

#8 - Secure: Here I could just repeat my last paragraph as well as the paragraph on simplicity. We need to focus on what is right for our individual situations. Many people write/say that they "feel these principles are right" and yet are still very hesitant and stressed about "doing it right" or "messing it up." This is why we need to focus on the positives.

As I've looked back over the years, I've realized just how much I have been following these principles almost without even knowing it. Maybe not the same way as others, maybe not perfectly, and definitely with a lot of mess-ups. But, it's only when I start comparing myself to others that I become confused and doubtful about these principles. There were a couple of hard years there when it was all about the requiring. But that's okay. I needed it then. There have been months where I've been more stressed than secure. There are days when chaos seems to "rule the nest." These days, months, years do not mean I'm failing and that I will never raise great children. They're just pauses. And when I focus on the positives - - Secure, You, Quality, Simplicity, Inspire, Mentors, Time and Classics - - I am more secure, I am more inspirational and I am more able to mentor my children in the directions they need to go.

Julia Hathaway is a homeschooling mother of 5 and has a bachelor degree in Marriage, Family and Human Development. See her stuff at

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Georgics Tradition Alive & Well in PDX!

I would like to introduce to you William and Vernie DeMille! (brother of Oliver DeMille). William and his wife Vernie have recently settled in the Willamette Valley (Oregon City/Molalla area) and have invited us to come and visit their farm, "C'est Naturelle Farms" on July 23 where they are having a screening of the documentary film FRESH!

They had done this last month, but somehow I didn't get word of it until too late to notify anyone in time -- this time we have ample time to help spread the word and I'm thrilled to be able to attend -- and I hope you can too!  See the movie poster below for more information. And if you're not familiar with Georgics, see my post on it here.

OH and before I forget, you can also see their blog about the farm and what they've been doing by going to the Sidebar at left and under the Related Links section see: Georgics Tradition the three links there are all their different websites.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Why Leadership Education? Event Renton WA

A free lecture for parents, teachers, and scholar phasers.  Are you engaged in Leadership Education, also known as TJEd?  Have you ever wondered what it's really all about?  Come listen to Dr. Schulthies share some answers to the questions 
Why do we need leaders?
Why choose Leadership Education?
Who: Shane S. Schulthies received his PhD in Exercise Science from Brigham Young University where he subsequently taught for 13 years. He also has degrees in Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine. He is widely published and has lectured extensively in the United States, Europe and Asia. He has a broad background in academics, consulting, business, and government. He is currently serving as the President and a mentor at George Wythe University. He is married to the former Kimberly Hanson. They have 10 children.

When: Thursday, 7/15 at 7pm

Where: Renton Highlands Library meeting room, 2902 Northeast 12th Street
Renton, WA 98056-3126
(425) 430-6790

This event is hosted by the Leadership Education Association of the Puget Sound (LEAPS).  It is free and open to the public.  Please contact Moira Caswell 253-661-0401 or Jennifer Jarrett 425-367-4660 with questions.  Please RSVP.  The library room only holds 20 and may fill up fast.

Introduction to TJEd

This is a presentation by Dr Shanon Brooks introducing what A Thomas Jefferson Education is all about. TJEd is actually just another way to say Leadership Education.  This video is broken up into 7 parts.

Introduction to Leadership Education - Part 1

Introduction to Leadership Education - Part 2

Introduction to Leadership Education - Part 3

Introduction to Leadership Education - Part 4

Introduction to Leadership Education - Part 5

Introduction to Leadership Education - Part 6

Introduction to Leadership Education - Part 7

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Georgics -- New or Old Tradition?

To those who may not be familiar with the term Georgics my "readers digest condensed" answer is Sustainable or Provident Living.  That's my short answer, but it really goes much, much deeper than that!!

Georgics is a term and a principle of living that has been lost to the American Tradition -- but it was a vital part of what our Founding Fathers and society as a whole practiced at the roots of our nation's founding. I first learned about it from Oliver DeMille's lecture The Four Lost American Ideals -- which I highly recommend you listen to. His introduction to Georgics and the principles that are so intertwined with freedom has helped me see what has been missing in the heartbeat of America for over 100 years!

There is also an essay called, "Founders as Farmers: The Greek Georgic Tradition and the Founders" by Bruce Thorton which is found the book Vital Remnants: America's Founding and the Western Tradition compiled by Gary L Gregg II. 

Thorton refers to the poet Virgil and his Georgics  poem in conjunction with how the American Founders worked and lived. He compares and contrasts these two periods and societies. The principles from both periods are connected to the ability for the people to be free and how the founders created a nation which allowed individuals and families to prosper in freedom. 

Today, most of our society is tied (held prisoner to) the food manufacturers and distributors.  But, the ironic thing is we do not have to be stuck with them! There are so many many issues connected with this over industrialized and limited distribution channels of food production today -- which I won't go into here. If you're reading this  post I'm likely preaching to the choir.

However think about it, if we had an earthquake of the magnitude they say we're way long overdue for, how many people will survive in the weeks and months following? Do we individually have enough knowledge on how to live without refrigeration? Do we know how to collect water and ensure its drinkable? Do we know how to dress a bird, grow grain, let alone bake bread?  You know where I'm going here!

Lets make sure we know how to do these things -- its time for a restoration of time honored principles of sustainable and provident living which will allow us to preserve the freedom to live our lives fully and purposefully.

We have plans to offer a Georgics workshop series with William and Vernie DeMille soon. Watch the site for upcoming details.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

TJEd & Public School Children?

One of the most common questions asked was recently addressed: 
I was wondering how TJEd works with public schooling children? How can you keep true to the principles? How do you structure their time? Any thoughts would be appreciated!

We've collected some answers from different viewpoints and experiences:  
Quite frankly...this is really hard to do. I have one who is graduating from public high school this month and my other two children are home schooled. The problem for us was that she spends so much more time at public school than she does at home, needing extra vigilance on the Core lessons of True and False, Good and Bad, Right and Wrong.

That said, we have spent time teaching her the principles of the 4 phases of learning, with emphasis on the lessons of Core Phase and learning to LOVE learning. I do believe that at age 18 she is a Practice Scholar, so the progress seems to be there, but at a much slower pace. (My 15 yo is Project Scholar and my 13 yo is also Practice Scholar. To me she is "behind" her younger siblings.)

For structuring time, our entire family has less electronics. Her time after school is spent with the family or individually studying, not on the phone or in front of the TV and computer. We limited participation in school clubs. Friends are only allowed on certain days. You can still structure the evenings and weekends to be geared towards Leadership Education. During school breaks, she participated in the regular routine of devotional, read aloud books, and kidschool that I had with everyone else. She was asked to share her personal studies with me and I still mentored her in her school classes as well as her personal studies.

It is possible, just know that it takes MORE work! The process is slower because they get bogged down trying to complete the conveyor-belt stuff instead of getting a liberal arts education. Outside influences get in the way and make the child backslide. It has been a real trial for breaks my heart that my ex-husband legally kept me from homeschooling her. 

Good luck!
Celeste Batchelor
That completely depends upon your public school.  TJEd does not mean homeschooling.  And homeschooling does not mean TJEd.  It's about the keys of great education:  You (not them), Inspire (not require), Structure Time (not content), Simplicity (not complexity), Quality (not conformity), Mentors (not professors), classics (not textbooks).

If you are asking how can you work these principles into your child's education, although they attend a conveyor-belt school for most of their time, then I agree that this is quite difficult.  It's difficult, although not impossible, to counter 30 hours or more per week of a child's time.

So, the first thing I would do is make sure you really understand what each of the keys means.  Read all the books, essays, listen to the audio of the forums, and talk to other TJEd families.  Get a well-rounded and deep understanding of each of the keys.

Next, go talk to the school, or specifically to your children's teachers.  Explain your educational philosophy to them.  Ask them to work with you.  Volunteer to work with them.  Become a team.  Most teachers love these principles, but often can't apply them for administrative reasons.  If they know you want to be integral in your child getting a great education, you may be surprised how much they will work with you.

Teach your children about the principles of Leadership Education.  Have them read TJEd for Teens.  Help them to understand that some things they have to do simply to go along with the system, but other things they will do in order to get their own, great education.

Lastly, I have to say, ask yourself why, if you believe in these principles, your children are spending the majority of their time in a conveyor belt school.  

There are public schools, private schools, and charter schools who utilitize at least some of these keys.  You can find them in many places (more in smaller towns, but they are out there everywhere).  These are not new principles.  People may not call it TJEd, but they may still be utilizing the keys.  That's why you must gain a deep understanding of this model of education, so you can recognize it regardless of what they call it.

If it helps...I attended public (very conveyor belt) schools for K-12 and then for my bachelor's degree.  And yet, I got a great education over the years.  I had a few wonderful teachers who used many of the keys of great teaching.  My parents understood the keys to great teaching, and they stood up to teachers when necessary, gave me supplemental materials when appropriate, helped me love learning, and encouraged me to push myself beyond the low expectations of conveyor belt teachers.

Amy Edwards
San Diego 
We'd like to emphasize that Leadership Education is not about the place or the curriculum used to educate, but rather the principles, breadth and depth of education -- the broad liberal arts education which in the old world was limited only to the wealthy aristocrats 2 centuries ago. 
The Founding Fathers wanted to ensure that this type of education was not exclusive but rather available to everyone in order to prevent the elites from limiting who could be broadly educated and who could not.....things have certainly changed in the last 100 years! Today it survives because now families support and integrate these same principles to ensure their children CAN get a Leadership Education in spite of the drift public education has made away from the founders original intent.  Some families continue with their children in the public school and supplement at home, while others prefer to not use the public school at all. This post is designed to help give some perspective about how families do use the public school and leadership education in the home.
For a glimpse into a Public School where Leadership Education is happening we recommend the book "There Are No Shortcuts" and "Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire" by Rafe Esquith a teacher in the LA Unified School District -- where he uses the principles of Leadership Education. His story is one of obstacle and opposition, when many good teachers who try to make this happen in their classroom get so frustrated they give up -- Fortunately for Mr Esquith, persevered and eventually the District saw the results and supports what he does. The sad tale is, this is a rare opportunity since most teachers cannot operate their classroom in this manner.  

Sunday, May 9, 2010

FREE Shakespeare Play - May 25-26, 2010

We invite you for an outing in the woods to experience
This event will be performed by the
Oregon Youth Leadership Institute

Tuesday, May 25, and Wednesday, May 26,

Please note the NEW LOCATION and TIME:

7:00 PM
at the Couches' Residence
16940 S. Shelby Lane, Oregon City

Admission is FREE

Concessions are on sale to help finance the students' trip to Ashland.

Take I-205 to OR-213 South, Exit 10 toward Oregon City/Molalla. Keep right at the fork turn right onto Redland Road. Go 4 miles. Turn left onto S. Potter Road for 1 mile. Go straight onto S. Shelby Lane to 16940 and turn right.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Merchant of Venice April 23rd - 24th Performances

  The public is respectfully informed, that the
Hero Generation Commonwealth
Being engaged for a Few Nights only, will make their
FRIDAY evening, April 23rd 7pm
SATURDAY afternoon and evening,
April 24
th 1 pm & 7 pm

The Merchant of Venice

At the Reedville Presbyterian Church
2785 SW 209
th Ave, Aloha, OR 97006

Admission is FREE!!
*Concessions will be available to help finance the play & class.

The Hero Generation Commonwealth helps
to provide a L
eadership Education for
home schooled children ages 12 to 18.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Call to Leadership Education

By Rebecca Smith

It all began last summer, when I attended a masterful seminar on leadership education. The speaker had just finished a masterful discourse on the need for a renaissance of classical literacy, and leadership education. When public compulsory schooling became the American way, we put ourselves on a conveyor belt of sorts. While education for the masses has been integral to the goal of widespread literacy, it has edged out leadership education, which is badly needed in our time. We rarely see this latter type of education administered in today's America. So I pondered over my own experience on the conveyor belt, as the seminar drew to a close. The desire came over me to make the sacrifices necessary to gain the education I lacked.

I knew that the vast majority of my homeschooling peers were also products of the conveyor belt approach. Surely I wasn't alone in my need for scholarship. I sensed that a population of homeschoolers existed that would also want to participate in the creation of a leadership society. Certainly I wouldn't have to re-invent the wheel, I thought. Fortunately for me, the Texas homeschooling community, to which I am a recent transplant, already enjoys an abundance of great leadership. Even better, there is an infrastructure of resources in place that has been built over the course of at least twenty or thirty years, beginning with the pioneers of the 1980's who wanted more for their children, just like I do.

Now fast forward to October of last year, and you find me sitting by a beautiful lake, adjacent to the Lake View Conference Center in Waxahachie, Texas. I had by now contacted other leadership education families I knew, who were dispersed all over the D/FW metroplex. Beginning with about ten families, we met in July, and formed the North Texas Statesmanship Society. I'd heard about the opportunity to attend the THSC annual Leadership Conference for home school support leaders. Anxious for training, I jumped at the chance to attend, though not without some trepidation. After all, my support group leadership experience amounted to a grand total of three months. I wondered if I really had what it takes to create the kind of community I'd envisioned. I was almost overcome with a sense of inadequacy at the prospect of my present path.

Then something amazing happened, in that half-hour by the lake, on that beautiful autumn afternoon. In a moment of prayerful meditation, an indelible sense of calling washed over me. It replaced the suffocating fear that had me captivated just a moment earlier. Conviction of the rightness of my course came into my mind with a cascade of ideas, adding vibrant details to my earlier vision of what to do. In that moment, God made it abundantly clear that He had work for me to do, and I'd better get to it. I walked back into the conference, carried by this greater vision. It was a watershed weekend for me. I didn't know any of the leaders there, and didn't converse with nearly enough of them. But those who I did get to know and observe were inspiring leaders and statesmen, all with missions of their own, going about the work they were called to. They inspired me to be a better person, lifting me up by their examples of courage.

I am ever drawn back to this idea that it's not just a select few of us who are meant to be statesmen. In order to meet the challenges of 21st Century America, we will need a generation of statesmen and stateswomen. Indeed, I'm inclined to believe that each of us has a calling we are meant to fill --- a mission if you will --- that only we can accomplish. As to what that is, no one but the individual can determine. Of all societies in history, I think ours is among the neediest of statesmanship.

Russell Kirk, in his ageless classic "Roots of American Order" quotes Simone Weil, a French philosopher and born again Jew: "Our 20th Century. . . is a time of disorder very like the disorder of Greece in the Fifth century before Christ. In her words, `it is as though we had returned to the age of Protagoras and the Sophists, the age when the art of persuasion --- whose modern equivalent is advertising slogans, publicity, propaganda meetings, the press, the cinema, and radio --- took place of thought and controlled the fate of cities and accomplished coups d'├ętat. So the ninth book of Plato's Republic reads like a description of contemporary events.'"

Considering this, I have to ask myself, "How long has this been true in America? When was the time that we were still thinking for ourselves? When did we stop?" While I claim to be no expert on this subject, I suspect that this shift from independent thinking to dependence on persuasion occurred gradually, but accelerated with the advent of mass media. Weil's astute assessment of modern times, even half a century ago, reflects our American reality today. Our sources of propaganda and persuasion have only broadened with the inventions of the television, cable networks, and internet. Think of the Y2K phenomenon. Remember the propaganda surrounding that non-event? The amount of money funneled into the Y2K campaign was staggering.

With the angry masses always clamoring for our attention, it's no wonder we feel like there is little we can do to make a difference. But this is wrong thinking. There is much we can do. Homeschoolers and educators are uniquely equipped to influence future generations for good. But do we realize how much power we hold in our hands? We are molding the next generation. In this context, does it make any sense to replicate the conveyor belt model of learning in our homes? And yet many of us, not knowing anything but this unnatural approach, unwittingly beat ourselves up in the pursuit of mediocrity.

One of my favorite leadership education principles is the power of inspiring your students. Was your natural love of learning as a child smothered in the education process? Think about your upbringing in the public school system. If all of our teachers had set out to inspire great learning in each of us, exposing us to the greatest classics down through history, allowing us to explore our greatest talents in depth, what would have happened? Our founding fathers were mentored this way. They thirsted after great knowledge. Their mentors filled the need. Because of this, they were prepared for the miraculous work of building a new nation where all men are created equal.

How does a child choose to get a great education? One of the elements of conveyor belt schooling is that children's initiative is marginalized, even discouraged. We don't believe anymore that if left to himself, a child might make wise educational choices. If done well, education can be a mix of child-initiated learning and wise parent-mentoring. The most powerful way to insure your child's acquisition of a world-class liberal arts education is simply to get one yourself. The sooner we realize that homeschooling is more about our own education than our children's,the better. The best mentors are first and foremost excellent students, pursuing life-long learning and growth.

Who are the mentors who can help us rise above our limitations? God is naturally our first and most important Mentor. If we are careful observers, we can identify other mentors who are most willing to help us. Plato mentored Aristotle. George Washington had his brother Lawrence. Esther had Mordecai. Who were your mentors?

Statesmen and stateswomen are visionary leaders, walking an independent path. They look for the need that they can fill, and then go about doing it. When that need is filled, they find and fill another one. They do it again and again. They heed an inner-voice that guides them undeviatingly to serve the common good. Anchored to true principles, guided by God and the greater good, they live publicly and privately virtuous lives. America needs them desperately.

We are meant to be more than we've allowed ourselves to be. In ten years, your education will be the same as your children's. Will it be poor, mediocre, or great? One inspiring stateswoman put it this way:

If not you, then who? If not now, when?

Rebecca Smith is a homeschooling mother of four children aged 8 to 1. She is currently president of the North Texas Statesmanship Society ( When not promoting leadership education or homeschooling, she devotes much time to church service. She also enjoys reading, writing, gardening, singing, playing the piano, and going on rides in the country. She resides in Arlington, Texas with her husband Michael and children.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Five "E's"

I've come up with The Five E's" and it has become my learning "mission statement."

I create an Environment where
my kids are Exposed to great things
in an Engaging way so that they
can Explore and Experiment.
What I really like about this is it clearly delineates what my responsibility is and what they're responsibility is and where we meet in the middle.
  • My job is the environment and to expose.
  • We engage together.
  • Their job is to explore and experiment.
I'd love to hear what other people think or how we could expand this idea.
ToriAnn, UT

We think this concept she has put into a phrase to easily remember, helps one to focus on the tone and goal of the parents in raising their children in an educationally rich home.

Note, her mission incorporates these TJEd Principles:
Inspire, Not Require; Structure Time, Not Content; Simplicity, Not Complexity; You, Not Them

Friday, March 19, 2010

ReValue America Tour

This tour was designed at no cost to participants. However, the people leading the tour were doing this at their own personal expense and now do not have the funds to travel as they had anticipated.  We will keep you posted on this site with any meetings and opportunities as they become available to meet with others who follow TJEd principles and values.

If you have any questions or need more information you may click the comments section below and we'll answer you here. 

WE HIGHLY Recommend the Seminar coming April 16-17, which is two FULL days, both from 9 am to 5 pm packed with depth on the topics listed below. However, there is material participants will need to study prior to the content rich workshops, so that you will get the most out of it. Hearing information is one thing, studying and understanding it is our goal.

For more information see our post regarding the Face to Face Seminar.  If you are wanting to participate, call the host Lynne Nielsen 503-447-1103 and mention Ann Agent referred you to obtain a discount!


The Message
“Only a few lifetimes ago things were very different in the United States. Originality and variety were common currency; our freedom from regimentation made us the miracle of the world; social-class boundaries were relatively easy to cross; We were something special, we Americans, all by ourselves, without government sticking its nose into our lives, without institutions and social agencies telling us how to think and feel. 
Were the colonists a breed apart from us? No; the truth is that they were the beneficiaries of a system of education that facilitated their natural genius. Today, we can apply the same principles and, like our forebears, meet the challenges of our time with character, competence and courage to triumph over the circumstances that imperil our freedom and prosperity. ReValue America is that message.

ReValue America TOUR:  May 14-15

Vancouver, WA  *  Beaverton/Aloha, OR  *  Salem, OR *  Oregon City, OR 
The voice of Project: TJEd 1 Million

Who are we?
Oliver DeMille and Shanon Brooks are founders of George Wythe University and members of the founding team of The Center of Social Leadership. National figures in teaching Leadership Education, they have spent the past 20 years researching, teaching, writing and speaking on the educational legacy of early America; the only solution to this nation’s current ills.

What are we going to talk about?

Major Themes Covered in the ReValue America Lecture Tour:
  • The Five Founding American Ideals and How to Be An American
  • Summary of the State of American Education
  • Solutions for a Nation in Crisis
  • The Moral Center of Families
  • 3 Steps to Reviving American Confidence
  • An Introduction to The Cycle of Freedom and How America Measures Up
  • Defining Education
  • An Introduction to A Thomas Jefferson Education: The Science of Building Americans
  • The 4 Phases of Learning
  • The Real Story of the American Founding
  • The Proper Role of Government
  • The 7 Keys of Great Teaching
  • The Rise of Social Leadership
  • The Secret Roles of Mothers and Fathers

Why should you attend?

America is a land in crisis. From a collapsing economy, over-the-top divorce rates and abysmal academic performance; to the disintegration of the family and near zero accountability in state and national government—America is facing a crisis like never before.
After decades of attempting to impact society from the top down, we are convinced that the historical American way of life can, and will only be safeguarded by the people themselves—by the very families that are at risk. We believe that 1,000,000 families internalizing and applying TJEd can have a real, measurable positive impact on American culture.

Why should you care?
“Only a few lifetimes ago things were very different in the United States. Originality and variety were common currency; our freedom from regimentation made us the miracle of the world; social-class boundaries were relatively easy to cross; We were something special, we Americans, all by ourselves, without government sticking its nose into our lives, without institutions and social agencies telling us how to think and feel.
Were the colonists a breed apart from us? No; the truth is that they were the beneficiaries of a system of education that facilitated their natural genius. Today, we can apply the same principles and, like our forebears, meet the challenges of our time with character, competence and courage to triumph over the circumstances that imperil our freedom and prosperity. ReValue America is that message.

The Messengers

Oliver DeMille is the founder and former president of George Wythe College, a co-founder of the Center for Social Leadership and the author of A Thomas Jefferson Education, Leadership Education, The Coming Aristocracy and co-author of A Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens. He holds a B.A. in Biblical Studies and a B.A. in International Relations, an M.A. in Christian Political Science and a Ph.D. in Religious Education. He has written and spoken extensively about the U.S. education system versus the historical mentored-classical education of earlier America.

Shanon Brooks is the president of Face to Face with Greatness Seminars, which teaches the popular principles of A Thomas Jefferson Education.  He is also the owner of Plutarch Publishing which distributes the printed materials that outline the philosophy of Leadership Education.  He is a former president of George Wythe University and a founder of the Center for Social Leadership Co-author of A Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens, he holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration, a master’s degree in education, and a PhD in constitutional law. 

The TJEd Family Library

A Thomas Jefferson Education – Thomas Jefferson Education (TJEd) is, in essence, the educational system and societal perspective developed and adhered to in America for 300 years (from the mid 1600’s to the mid 1900’s). It is responsible for the corps of American leaders, inventors, businessmen, statesmen, judges, legislators, presidents and clergy that made America what she was during the 18th and 19th centuries. It was the predominant cultural philosophy of America from the opening of Harvard through World War I. This book easily describes the 7 keys and 5 environments of Great Teaching –the core of TJEd and the science of how and why people learn. You will never look at education the same again.

Thomas Jefferson Education for TeensHow to discover your genius, identify your mission and get a great education that makes you come alive. Filled with valuable books lists, motivational discovery processes and keen insight into the future, this is a must read for all young and not-so-young adults.

Leadership EducationThe Four Phases of Learning have long been understood in academia, but seldom taught in American teacher colleges. Rather than focusing the primary effort into the right curriculum, behavior management styles and classroom furniture, Leadership Education delves into how a child ticks, their interests, their tendencies and then builds a program around where they are. This book will revolutionize the very way you view your children.

The Coming Aristocracy The Coming Aristocracy is compelling, timely and vital. With piercing clarity, Oliver DeMille explains our current economic ad political systems and resurrects the principles that made America great. Most importantly, he clearly describes what we can do as individuals, families, and communities to right our floundering ship. This my be one of the most important book you’ll read this year.”
Steve D’Annunzio-Soul Purpose Institute

The 5,000 Year LeapThe 28 Great Ideas that made America the bastion of freedom for the whole world. “The most impressive element in this outstanding book on political philosophy is the fact that these precepts are precisely what America needs today. It is alarming to think of the billions of dollars which are expended each year trying to solve problems by methods which the Founders knew were fallacious. They attempted to warn us, to share their wisdom with us. Too often their counsel has been ignored. Now we must return to them.” Orrin Hatch-U.S. Senate

Groups and Key Individuals to Whom We have Spoken
  • Kawanis
  • Quikstar
  • Members of the Idaho State Legislature
  • Members of the Utah State Legislature
  • U.S. Congressional Breakfast Club
  • Rotary International
  • Glenn Beck
  • Various Community Groups

Thanks so much for having Dr. Brooks out here to speak.  We enjoyed the encouragement and reminders we heard. My husband teaches 6th grade Ancient History and 8th grade Bible at Oaks Christian.  It is a great school BUT it doesn't follow TJed.  He naturally incorporates some things into his classroom but it is always a challenge.  Tonight he had to leave in order to grade papers so we couldn't stay to talk to you. Please pass on to Dr. Brooks that our 11 year old enjoyed hearing him speak.  He fully agreed that encouragement from Dad means something different than encouragement from Mom :)

Thank you for coordinating this lecture.  It was very generous of Dr. Brooks to offer his time, enthusiasm, and ideas.  Somehow there is a difference between reading a philosophical model and trying to apply it, and listening to someone who is passionate about that model and feeling inspired. I only wish that Will could have been at the lecture!  I thought that the male-to-male message was very strong and affirming - something so rarely conveyed today.  I think that men, more than women, are measured by the "skill sets" of their children, especially their boys.

I just wanted to thank you again for last night. I feel so inspired. I got home and read until 11:30, and can't wait to start building a foundational library of classics, and begin reading them with the girls! 

Thank you SO much for all the hard work you put into having Dr. Brooks speak last night!  It was absolutely wonderful -- he was just so inspiring!   For me personally it was fantastic to have Gabe there hearing Dr. Brooks for himself.  It is so much more powerful than hearing me go on and on about all the TJed stuff.  In fact, I think there's a good chance that Gabe is going to want to go to the third Face to Face seminar with me now!

I really really loved that lecture.  It was so inspiring - he's possibly the best speaker I've seen to date.  My only regret was that I couldn't stay long enough to talk to him personally about his suggestions for teachers in the classroom.  I wondered if you might have an email contact that I could use to connect with him on that topic?

I thought last night was fantastic. I have read most of DeMille's books and have attended the first face-to-face seminar, but I've never really heard TJEd explained quite like Dr. Brooks explained it last night. It really hit home for me because he focused on love, family, and values. He helped me really see and feel the importance of his message and made me believe that, 1) it wasn't a message that I could ignore and 2) it was a message that I needed to share far and wide. I came home and had a long talk with my husband about some of Dr. Brooks' suggestions to make our family stronger. I spent some time talking with each of my children. I now know and believe that if my children feel my love and support for them they will be more successful than if they spend hundreds of hours bent over books or in classes. Not that he didn't advocate great books, but for my situation personally there needs to be some improvements in our relationships before education can thrive.

I'd love for him to come back. I would definitely make the drive again to hear him speak. I would love for him to expand on what we can do in our own communities to spread this message. How we can help others get on the bandwagon to preserve freedom, solidify families, and get back to our foundation roots? I don't have any negative feedback at all. I found the entire evening fascinating. I found Dr. Brooks to be engaging, funny, but most of all "real." I spoke to him afterwards about some personal issues in my home and it was like the crowd disappeared and I was sitting in front of a good friend. His passion for helping others made his presentation work, just like our passion and love for our families and children will make it work in our own homes. Thank you very much for a wonderful evening.

What sang to me: loved the spousal relationship is #1 sense of security and development for kids (always good to be reminded how WE are examples), loved MATCH, LATCH, LEAD (I was seeking more of this type of example, etc), Dad's praise is key- Great insight, Loved "model inspiration" (golf was his ex).  All that said I would go again is a second.  He's a great speaker.  I am now going to go back and read his stuff! !

As an educator, I liked the approach to learning that he described. I believe that it is far more beneficial to teach virtues while creating a learning environment. I too believe that children will inherently know their own path if nurtured. They are like little seeds! I enjoyed Dr. Brooks’ style of speech too. He was able to keep me captivated. The part about parenting and marriage was helpful. It made good sense. Overall, the lecture was informative and I enjoyed it. Thank you.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Preview Conference Call

Don't Miss the Face to Face Seminar #3
PREVIEW Conference Call Hosted by Dr. Shanon Brooks

Saturday February 27, 11 am

  • The Four Foundations of Freedom
  • The 250 Book Library Every Free American Should Have
  • How To Understand Any Documents in Less Than 60 Minutes
  • Freedom Vs Aristocracy
  • And Much More!
  • Guest visitors - past Seminar #3 attendees
Phone Number: (218) 936 7979
Access Code: 800965

We look forward to having you on the call.

Social Leadership: Your Role in the Future of America

Face To Face With Greatness Seminars™
Social Leadership:
Your Role in the Future of America

Endorsed by Oliver and Rachel DeMille
Life is never made unbearable by circumstances but by lack of meaning and purpose.
--Viktor Frankl

• The Four Foundations of Freedom
• Diagramming Documents
• Building your own Family Freedom Library
• Freedom vs Aristocracy
• What is Social Leadership?
• Colloquium on What is Seen and What is Not Seen, The Inner Ring, A World Split Apart and The Greek Georgic Tradition and the Founders

Strongly Suggested Preparation: To get the most out of this workshop, please read the materials: What is Seen and What is Not Seen, The Inner Ring, A World Split Apart, The Greek Georgic Tradition and the Founders and Social Leadership.

NOTE: Those who really prepare in advance get so much more from the seminar. Those who have not prepared by completing all of the readings will be frustrated and will be the source of frustration for others. Seminars will be taught from the prospective that all attendees have prepared properly and that all readings have been completed.

How can a generation that wasn’t mentored in the classics, mentor their own children in the classics? Do you want to help your children get a superb, leadership education… but just aren’t sure how? THIS SEMINAR TEACHES YOU HOW!!

Date: April 16-17, 2010
Location: Portland, Oregon
Cost: Before March 1
$175.00 per person*
$300.00 per couple*

After March 1
$200.00 per person*
$350.00 per couple*

This seminar is hosted by Lynne Nielsen and is open to the public.
Space is limited to 50 participants.

*Seminar fees are transferable person-to-person, not seminar-to-seminar, and are non-refundable.
For more information or to register, please contact
Lynne at 503-358-9948 or by email at lynnehnielsen @ aol . com

Friday, January 15, 2010

Raising the Standard of Living

Can the education of women and children really raise the standard of living and of a nation? If so, how is it accomplished?

And how much capable mothers might derive from Wordsworth’s poetry for the spiritual nurture of their children. Capable mothers are alas, comparatively few; but forces are now at work which are increasing the number of such mothers, and will continue to increase it more and more as the ideals of true womanhood are more and more realized and exalted.”
~by Hiram Corson,
The Voice and Spiritual Education

How do we become capable mothers?
Most of the women of my generation do not know what being a capable mother even means nor do they know anything about family culture. We don’t know how to manage or set up a home well because it was not taught to us. Being a capable mother is not valued in our society today. The sacrifice a mother makes in staying home to nurture, train, love, and guide a child to adulthood is scoffed at. Women who chose to put family first are regarded as unenlightened women or as unmotivated to pursue a career. Some people are simply surprised at our choice to build a strong home as if it had never occurred to them that they could chose the same. How do we develop a family culture of learning, love, loyalty, and work if we were not raised with it? Do we need mentors, books, examples to teach us? Yes, we do.

First and foremost, we need a desire to learn what we missed, acknowledge what we have needed, and seek to find that desire. We must have some control and knowledge of how to run a household before deeper learning can happen. Our home culture does not have to be perfect, but with chaos, bad feelings, and ornery attitudes no learning can take place. This is something I have resolved to work on in my home. The more I study about family relationships, organization, examples of home culture in good literature, and home culture mentors, the more ideas I find and can apply in my home.

Recently, I have realized how I need to be better educated, something that will change me fundamentally. I received a major paradigm shift about a year ago when I realized I was going nowhere with my life. I was not living the life I wanted. After ten years of studying relationships, early childhood, and parenting ideas, I realized I need to work more on my own character issues rather than fix-it strategies. If I work to better my character, this will affect my children in positive ways. I need to become a capable mother and woman. I have gone through a long process in accepting this realization.

Not until I made a conscious effort to change my attitude and realized what was most important in my life, did I have the strength to make changes in my life. I had to find out what it was I needed to do in this life and at this exact time in my life. I needed to have a mission, a purpose, and vision of what God wanted me to do. I had to trust that the answer He gave me was right for me. I am comforted by that knowledge, that conviction, when times get tough.

After gaining a conviction of what God wanted me to do with my life, which may or may not be super detailed for others, I needed a vision, an end result, for my family. Having a mission for myself and a vision for my family assisted me in making changes in my family culture. With a clear path to take, I was able to pick and choose what would fit in with my vision and goals. It is much easier to say no to good things that come my way but which don’t further me and mine on our journey. Making conscious decisions about what I involve myself in is half the battle with charting my course in life. I am stronger in my convictions, what I choose to bring into my life, and what tools I need to complete my goals in life.

“Mothers who know do less. They permit less of what will not bear good fruit eternally. They allow less media in their homes, less distraction, less activity that draws their children away from their home. Mothers who know are willing to live on less and consume less of the world’s goods in order to spend more time with their children—more time eating together, more time working together, more time reading together, more time talking, laughing, singing, and exemplifying. These mothers choose carefully and do not try to choose it all…. That is influence; that is power."
~ Julie Beck~

After I created my vision, I thought about the things necessary to make it a reality. I need to have a good, solid education. I must have knowledge to offer my children. I must know how to help them find the answers they need in pursuing their own education. I must set an example by seeking to educate myself. I will inspire them, encourage them, explore with them, and have fun with them along the way.

I can find many of the things I seek in reading classic works and deciding what is truth to me. Pondering and writing about what I read helps in this process. I have realized having support and different ideas from others are vital to the way I learn. I am learning much more about myself in this process than I ever thought I would. I am becoming a better mother, wife, and person as I educate myself.

Fear imprisons, faith liberates;
fear paralyzes, faith empowers;
fear disheartens, faith encourages;
fear sickens, faith heals;
fear makes useless, faith makes serviceable.
~Harry Emerson Fosdick~

Education comes down to faith in the process, God, and oneself. Let us all become capable women. We will find success and raise the standard of living of our nation by our example. I am willing to do this-are you?

Amber of Tri-Cities, WA