(The following commentary was provided by my daughter-in-law in response to a question to me from someone on the internet. As she emphasizes, she hasn't personally taught the TJEd program, but is familiar with some of the specific methods and results that she has seen as an observer - the lack of developing reading skills seems particularly evident.
In any case, I trust this piece will be helpful for anyone interested. You may email me through my website home. - CL)
know much about it, and there aren't any people that I know of that have used
this approach, so my opinions are more from generalized knowledge of it rather
than the practical application of the method. As always, I would say that
homeschooling in general, with at least a modest amount of attention by the
parent or parents will result in a decent education, so this methodology will
have as much success as the time and effort put into any other home school
that, here are my thoughts:
program uses a semi-classical approach to teaching. There is no
doubt that this approach has some amazing benefits. Mainly, I feel
that it teaches a child to think as opposed to just spouting back
information. Though it doesn't force reading at an early age, it
does expect that the classics will be read to the child, which is meant to
increase love for books and increase vocabulary and comprehension skills.
program's mentoring approach is ideal...it is the apprenticeship of old,
only ideally with as many professionals as possible. The purpose is
not just to sit in a classroom listening to a "professional,"
but to go out in the field and work with one to attain knowledge and
early years (until age 8 approximately) are a time to instill biblical
principles, while also encouraging individualism. To me, this means
- let them play games (ideally educational games, but that is not forced)
and "creative" play. One can never find objection to
instilling biblical principles!
approach tends to have a happy, non-confrontational home, because the
child is not forced to learn.
expectation is that the child will WANT to start reading beginning around
age 8, and often say that boys will WANT to do that later. I believe
that this is too late. I believe that those early educational years
are formative regarding learning habits and developing the foundations for
future learning. Though obedience has in theory been attained
by that time, it doesn't mean desire for learning has.
If my children were given the opportunity to go fishing every day
until they were 8, they would still be doing it now! It is a bit
like the one of the families here who said the same thing about boys, and
their children are the only ones that can't read the hunter safety test
that they needed to take when they turned 10. Not only is their
reading still behind, but that puts them behind in other areas of
learning, because they don't have the ability to read for math, science,
history, etc. This is the case with one family I know, but
that doesn't mean this approach is not successful with other families.
Additionally, I do not believe that boys learn at a later age, as I
am sure my children and their cousins can attest to that fact. I
think that discipline is harder to achieve in boys, but that is why I tell
my children that I pray that they will be wise, disciplined, God-fearing,
productive members of society. It is a quality they must learn and,
in my opinion, is best instilled at a young age.
sounds wonderful, but is sometimes impractical to achieve in today's
society. During Jefferson's time, this approach would have been
easier and in certain societies today it is attainable, but rare. I
can see this approach working in Mormon communities or some religious
communities like Seventh Day Adventists, etc., because there is a
community that would be more apt to agree with the approach. It is a
bit like my son working at the maintenance shop. Eventually, there
was more concern about possible lawsuits or injuries, rather than the
carrying on of a trade to our youth, and he was told he couldn't return.
Part of that problem is probably centralized around trade unions as
well, but I'm only guessing at that--it would be harder to control your
workers when you don't know who they are, and it would also be harder to
control the trade when those outside the union would already know the
skills of the trade.
isn't a real studying/learning approach until the child reaches puberty,
when there is the expectation that the child will desire to learn
10-12 hours a day. I have never had any of my children wanting to
learn 10-12 hours a day, but then again I have not used this approach :)!
And, the things they may want to learn about are not areas of study
that I want them to carry on for the rest of their lives (i.e., air soft
gun repair, metal detecting, ipod games, etc.). I hope that I am
giving my children an education that will help them feel like they have
had an advantage over public school students, rather than a disadvantage
having been home schooled. Their approach would mean that someone
like my middle son would just be beginning to gain certain learning
habits, instead of his having just completed his college-level
Pre-calculus test on Thursday.
- There is
something to be said about the approach claiming that the student DESIRES
to learn, but I am not convinced of that personally. I feel that it
is a bit like the First Law of Thermodynamics--a child who is at play
desires to remain at play; a child who is learning will remain learning.
I pulled back this year on Calculus with my two older boys because I
felt I was expecting too much as they were taking their CLEP tests, but I
have had both of them ask me on numerous occasions to start back up with
them. I've had the oldest ask for me to continue helping him with
Advanced Chemistry as well as his other sciences when I thought he might
have too much on his plate right now. They both started early, but
they both want to learn. Part of that desire, I think, is because
they see success in what they already know, rather than feeling like their
catching up to what others their age have learned.
is very important to me--not for the sake of knowledge, but for the sake of
being a good Christian example in all areas of society. As I say all the
time to the teens here and to my children, you can't expect to have Christian
leaders, unless you plan on becoming the Christian leaders yourself. We
need to infiltrate our society again, and we can't do that without being
educated on so many different levels.
unschooling, this approach can definitely be successful, but it takes the right
child, the right parent, and the right community. Like any home schooling
endeavor, there are going to be parents/children that will not succeed, but the
majority, whether using this approach or not, will be better off than the
public school system--even if it only means that they have retained so many
values that are lost or stolen from our youth that are indoctrinated in the
public school system today.