Thomas Jefferson Education. Sounds pretty impressive, doesn't it? But what does it really mean? Ideally, this type of education would involve the student being immersed in the classics: reading them, writing about them, discussing them in small and large groups. It would involve the student having a mentor to guide her through this learning process. Preferably this mentor would be someone who was well versed in the classics, also.
Well, you may be thinking, I am not well-versed in the classics, therefore this is not the method for me! Wrong! The wonderful thing about homeschooling is that it can include the parents' learning, too. If you are not up on your classical literature, start reading. Read as many books as possible. Write about what you are learning. Discuss the books and ideas with your family. This way you and your children are learning at the same time.
If you look back at the kind of education that a lot of the Founding Fathers of this country had, you will find that they had this same type of classical education. They learned by reading the classics and studying with mentors.
How is this different than a Classical Education? There are many similarities. Both of them will involve reading the classics. A classical education, described here, tends to be more of a structured learning environment. A TJ Ed has some of the elements of unschooling mixed in with its study of classics. Mainly, a student will study whatever topics interest him/her, but will also link those topics to major classical works in that area.
Classics can be found in all areas of study, not just literature. You will find classical music, art, science, religion and history. Study the works of the tried and true pioneers of the topic you are interested in. Then get to discussing these ideas with others.
Join clubs, work in groups, participate in simulations, take field trips and work on projects. All of this is embodied in a true Thomas Jefferson education.
I have written a series of
about this topic. It is a good summary of the method that I wrote while
reading through the book. If you are interested in purchasing the book,
you can do so through my Amazon affiliate link (thank you SO much!).
You can order the main book here and the home companion book here.
As always, if you are involved in a group who follows this method and would like to provide me with contact information, I would be happy to post it on this website.