Monday

Reason #5: Wrong Motivators Are Used on Parents to Do TJEd

The Problem and the Promise
I think few would disagree with DeMille that public schools are not able to help children to deal with the challenges for today. A lot of kids seem to be emerging from the school system as passive and ignorant of many of the great ideas that are found in the great books that humanity has produced. What we need, says DeMille, are more men and women like Thomas Jefferson who have read the classics and have been fostered to lead. This is what resonates with many parents and is something I think most people want.

How you get that to be realized is what DeMille proposes in his Thomas Jefferson Education model that he also calls Leadership Education. He asserts that he has researched the great leaders throughout history, Thomas Jefferson being the ideal, and has discovered what it is that produces great leaders. This is where DeMille has come up with the Seven Keys of Great Teachings, the Phases of Learning, and everything else. If you follow what other great teachers and mentors have done in the past, you will create the needed leaders for our day. This is the promise of DeMille if you follow what he describes as Leadership Education.

In a nutshell
Two big problems I experienced with learning about TJEd is the elitism and fear of failing your responsibility to raise future leaders. There is this sense from DeMille and those that do TJEd (although not all of them) that they have this mission, and that mission involves the rescuing of the country, in fact the world, from ruin. Their children are the chosen generation to save humanity, but only if the parents step up to the plate and do what is required to train them to this calling. This Leadership Education is not for everyone, and in fact is only for the ones that can actually pull it off. If you are a believer, you may become one of the parents of the truly great leaders of the future, but only if you do exactly as they say. If you fail in your attempts, then obviously you are not one of the great parents and your child will not be a great leader. Conversely, you cannot be a great parent or mentor unless you believe in and practice the method's of TJEd, and their is no way your child will become a great leader without TJEd.

They do not care whether outsiders agree with them or not, because if outsiders disagree, that just shows that the outsiders will not be the next great leaders. And since only some will be the next great leaders, then this is not really a problem. TJEd is not for everyone. Only those that recognize the need, the truth of it, and have the will to do it even when it is hard and other people don't understand. In fact, only believers will understand so don't bother listening to non-believers. You should limit your association with non-believers so they don't make you question what you are doing and possibly jeopardize the great mission you were born on earth to do, which includes raising your kids according to the TJEd method that DeMille describes.

They say: Do not screw up your opportunity to raise the leaders of the future. They deserve this education, and all the struggles you experience doing it will be worth it. If there are problems along the way, the problem is with you. You are not being inspirational enough or are deviating from what DeMille says you must do in order for it to work. Your conditioning from public schools is messing up your thinking. Follow what others are doing who claim to be successful doing TJEd and do what they say. Go to seminars if you are having problems. Get your Five Pillar Certification from George Wythe College. And never doubt that this is what all the great leaders throughout history have done. You don't want to screw up your child's destiny, even the world's destiny, do you?

Some might think that I am being harsh or reading too much into what is being said. This is why I include all the quotes below that I think prove my point. Some may also think that I make TJEd sound like it is a religion, and I would agree. I think TJEd is something of a pseudo-religion that is based on a subset of LDS ideas. But what makes it pseudo-religious is not that is is based on anything religious, but that it has religious elements itself: faith that this is the one and only true way, a promise of salvation and a destiny to fulfill, a necessary conversion to the truth and continued allegiance, leaders that are the only ones that can point out the way, and a separation of the chosen people from the profane. Now, for a true religion, this is not a problem. For anything else, it is a problem. However, based on my experience, most people that do TJEd are not really deeply into it and I wouldn't say that they are "true believers" (they usually just like the classics and don't like public schools, so they say they are doing TJEd). But that says nothing about what DeMille says TJEd is and how you should do it, but rather how far people have actually adopted what DeMille has said.

I also realize that some people will think that my criticism of TJEd is like anti-Mormon literature. They might point out about how the LDS church and Joseph Smith received similar criticism from people ever since the church was restored. If that accusation were even true, that would just reinforce my notion that TJEd is pseudo-religious. I am trying to use arguments and logic in my reasons for not doing TJEd. I am not appealing to the authority of the scriptures or declaring TJEd to be some deviation from the "true faith." It's not the newness or difference of TJEd from what I am used to that cause me to not do TJEd. TJEd is an educational approach that has taken on religious aspects. I am criticizing those educational aspects. It's not religious to me. Alma criticized the actions of the people on the Rameumptom, and other times people "reasoned" with others using the scriptures. I am not saying that I am like Alma and people doing TJEd are in need of some redemption. I am just saying that just because someone claims to have the truth and someone else challenges that does not mean it is like anti-Mormon literature. In a free world with free exchange and debate of ideas, you can expect challenges to claims. Feel free to comment here and elsewhere on the claims I make. It's exactly what TJEd needs: more discussion and evaluation of its merits, rather than just its methods.

This blog is about why I don't do TJEd so I am going to explain what I think are the wrong motivators DeMille and others doing TJEd use on parents to get them started in TJEd and staying in TJEd. Obviously some people will disagree, but I think that this will resonate with a lot of other parents who are doing TJEd or considering doing TJEd.

I have grouped many quotes into topics that I feel are wrong motivators. Many quotes could probably go under multiple topics, but I still only put each quote in one topic.


Appealing to pride and elitism
DeMille writes how we should want to be "great."
"Greatness is the second indispensable trait of true leaders; goodness is the first. Both are the function of education." Leadership Education, p.2

"Neither of us remembers much of what we said as we talked there in that parking lot for over an hour about life...paying the price of greatness, much more." Leadership Education, p.150

"Never fear your own greatness" (DeMille quoting Dobson) Leadership Education, p.156

"It isn't a certain set of talents, but rather a choice to develop your own talents, to use classics, mentors, hard work and faith to become great." A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.117 (emphasis original)

DeMille also says that we all have a "mission" to perform and that it is our purpose in life.
"Our purpose in life is to find out our genius, the mission God gave us, and to accomplish it...Nothing will have more impact on the future of the world than for each of us to find out why we were born and to do it." Leadership Education, p.282
He says that you will be called on to lead hundreds to millions and that you will affect the world.
"'At some point in your life,' I said, 'you will face a situation where you are in a leadership positions and dozens - maybe thousands or millions - look to you to lead.'" A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.3

"When the day comes that you are called upon for what the world calls "greater things," you will see clearly that they are no greater than the things you did at home. By the way, that call will come. If you have paid the price of greatness in the next phase of your education - the everyday-life phase - you will become great, and you will be called upon to change the world." A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.112 (emphasis original)

"Scholar Phase is certainly a personal choice, but the consequences are literally global." Leadership Education, p.223
But those leaders will come only through a Thomas Jefferson Education.
"The leaders of the future will come from schools, homes, colleges, universities and organizations where classics, mentors, and other elements of Thomas Jefferson Education are cherished and seriously pursued." A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.113

"Where are the new American Founders of the Twenty-first Century? None of us know who those statesmen will be. But his I do know - the great statesmen and stateswomen of the future will be prepared through the Five Pillars of Statesmanship." A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.133
You as a parent could be one of the great mentors of these great leaders.
"Parents, teachers and educators who choose to become and mentor leaders will construct the future. Our purpose in this book is to invite you to be one of these pivotal figures." Leadership Education, p.2
But you should not be swayed by those who do not understand your great destiny.
"There may also be those who discount or undermine your attempts to improve the world, who laugh at your educational or career choices. Let them. And while you let them, quietly set out to serve them." A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.111

"Because of this fundamental shift in your paradigm, you may feel the tendency to downplay the process that brought you to this place. And because of your personal power as a leader in Mission Phase, others may feel confused when you try to communicate your vision to them." Leadership Education, p.258
DeMille also relates his dream that some time in the future there will be some bill being voted on in Congress that would drastically change the United States as we know it. No one can believe that such a bill would ever be proposed, but it looks like it will be passed. Some young representative will stand and say, "No," and speak in a convincing way to stop passage of the bill. By the way DeMille describes this in the end of A Thomas Jefferson Education, I think he really believes this will happen and the reason this young man would be in that position and speak to convincingly is because he had an education, like TJEd, that enabled him to do so. While I would hope that this could be the case, the feeling I got when I read that in DeMille's book (A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.139). was more that "you wouldn't want that to be your child and you didn't provide him the necessary education for that, would you?" It's almost a fear that I better do TJEd because that may be my kid's destiny and I don't want to mess it up, especially if it involved saving the country like that.

"Greatness" is definitely not a goal or desire I have for me or my kids. "Goodness," yes, but "greatness," no. I believe that good people will rise and meet the challenges that appear. I think training to be great is putting the cart before the horse. Try to be good and you will do great things if necessary. Cincinnatus and George Washington were both good examples of men who were good, but responded to the call and did great things. Then they both went back to their private lives. They did not train to become great, or even want to be great. Even the Lord said that he accomplishes his ends through small and simple means. I question why DeMille and others in TJEd want to be great.


You are already stupid
If you haven't already had a TJEd education for yourself, you really don't know anything.
"Without a high-quality Scholar and Depth experience, a person is not really educated." Leadership Education, p. 47 (emphasis original)
You must do TJEd for yourself first before you can give your kid a TJEd education.
"If you have not done Scholar Phase (or are not progressing toward it) you simply cannot pass on what you do not have; you cannot inspire principles that you are not living. You can try - you can even teach them - but the inspiration will be fatally lacking." Leadership Education, p.60
You public schooling will cause you to be frustrated with TJEd.
"However, in your efforts to engage in Leadership Education you may have experienced something like this: the power and authenticity of the principles resonated with your core, and you felt inspired that this is the right things for your family. But when you began putting the Legos together you came face-to-face with the Conveyor Belt circuiting of your brain...the mantra of "yeah, but how do I do this?" pounds in your head, and a whirlpool of overwhelm and frustration grows. The Conveyor Belt circuits in your brain begin to spark and short." Leadership Education, p.290

"Some of you may be thinking: "My Mary is just not a leader. she is a good girl, yes, but not a leader." Don't give in to that mindset. It comes from our public socialization..." A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.117
I think Mary can just be a nice girl if she wants. She doesn't have to be a leader. She won't be any less valuable to her family, or God, or the community. This reminds me of the speech by Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, that he gave shortly before dying of pancreatic cancer at a fairly young age. He was considered in the top 100 most influential people of 2008 by Time magazine. If you haven't watched his speech, I highly recommend it. He was just a nice guy, living a good life. His example affected people way more than any other "scholar" of the classics. It was because of who he was: just a really good guy. Not a leader.


Education determines whether the students chooses right or wrong
DeMille argues that the way to produce good people is to teach them correctly.
"First, societies are successful when people choose to be good."
...
"Second, people choose to be good when they are taught and believe in good."
...
"Third, the thing which determines how well they are taught is their national books." A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.58
There is some truth to this but it is not the whole story, and the part that he leaves out is troubling. It is true that teaching truth has a positive effect on the student. He has more knowledge to be able to determine and understand right and wrong, but his character will decide what to do with that. A national book does not supply the character of an individual. There are many examples of people, even nations, that are taught truth only to disregard it. My major concern with these three observations of DeMille is that if it is true that people choose good if they are taught to be good, then all you have to do to make them good is teach them to be good. If you want good kids, just teach them to be good. And it would then also be true that if a child is not choosing good then that means he was not taught to be good. I think this reduces the responsibility of choice of the child too much and shifts it to his environment.

I think often people will teach children what they think is good with the expectation that the children will result with those adopted ideas. That's getting more into indoctrination than education. A lot of people throughout time thought that people were the result of their environment a little too much, and all that was necessary was correct education. I don't like where that road goes.

If it were as simple as this, that teaching children to be good results in them being good, I think we would have seen the results of that. But we don't. I agree that the odds of children (adults too) choosing good are increased by being taught what is true, but the child at some time will need to decide for himself, and will face critical moments of doubt and decision. So many other factors are involved that no one can claim to have it figured out. People will choose what they will do often regardless of what is taught. God understood that. So I would be real cautious in taking these three ideas that DeMille lists very far. Unfortunately, I see them as part of the foundation of all the other principles that TJEd is built on.

DeMille states that the Conveyor Belt Education (public schools usually) teach a child what to think but a Leadership Education teaching him how to think. It seems contradictory to then state that a Leadership Education will teach the child how to think and then they will choose good. Actually, looking at some of the books in the 100 Classics list in the back of A Thomas Jefferson Education (3 books by Skousen, 3 by C.S. Lewis, 1 by von Mises), I think that is what DeMille would like: that we have students who could to the right conclusions and become leaders of the country. Now, I happen to be a pretty big fan of the three writers that I just mentioned. I think DeMille and I have similar opinions regarding politics and economics, but we have very different ways of getting there, and very different ways of educating children to arrive there, if they choose to at all. And while I like Skousen, Lewis, and von Mises, I realize that they are just men and that truth is independent of them, so I may not have it exactly right and neither might they.


We are doomed without TJEd
It is our only hope.
"Without Leadership Education, no nation maintains its liberty or its prosperity. Without Leadership Education, the two other traditions of education ultimately decline, creating a "dark age" of learning." Leadership Education, p.3

"Eventually without Leadership Education, great and powerful nations decline and lose their influence for good in the world. Without Leadership Education, the future is bleak." Leadership Education, p.3

"The only historically proven solution capable of averting this danger is high quality Leadership Education. The liberty, prosperity and stability of future civilizations are dependent upon the leaders of tomorrow getting a Leadership Education today." Leadership Education, p.4

"America is in desperate need of families and schools that do Scholar Phase." Leadership Education, p.223

I think we have already demonstrated that no one has ever received a TJEd like DeMille describes it, so how could there ever had been freedom anywhere? Regardless, I don't think that a bunch of people with TJEd backgrounds are what guarantees freedom. I think it is good people willing to fight and defend their rights to be free. You can't be totally ignorant it is true, but I don't think TJEd is the magic ingredient. Repeatedly DeMille paints the picture that without TJEd we will lose our freedom. He has the one true path to prevent this.


Leaders determine destiny
DeMille states that the leaders are what has shaped history, not the regular people. If you want to shape history, you must be a leader.
"The education of tomorrow's leaders determines the future. Throughout history, this pattern has been repeated again and again." Leadership Education, p.1

"The education of tomorrow's leaders will determine the future, rather than the education of the masses. Leadership determines destiny." Leadership Education, p.1 (emphasis original)

"To know the leaders of the past is to know the past." Leadership Education, p.1
Of course leaders are influential in history, but I don't think it's correct that the masses don't matter. This creates a division between those "in charge" and those living quiet humble lives, and the line that divides them is pride. It's lowly, then, to not be a leader. You're not doing anything worthwhile or worthy of changing the world. Being a good private person is not enough.


Parents, don't screw this up
As I read Leadership Education, I kept on coming across passages about how the parents always screw up the Leadership Education of their children. The parents were basically responsible to provide a Leadership Education for their children and if they don't do it right, their children won't become leaders. And our children have been entrusted to us so that they can fulfill their destiny. Don't screw that up. If they have a problem, it is because of you. Even feeling like a failure is your problem. You should just be more inspirational.
"Which one do you want for your children? If you want to be in low-income, production, service, government jobs, you ought to be in a conveyor belt school; because that's what it will prepare you for, and it will do it effectively...But if you want more, you'd better get into another system." A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.117

"What if youth worked very hard and put in long hours getting a real education and preparing for their life mission? What amazing results could come of making such a reversal in our society? So what is a parent to do?...It is this: be inspirational. Be inspirational. BE INSPIRATIONAL. So much is encompassed in this mandate, and it is the answer to almost every insecurity and complication that arises in the process of having a great classroom or a great home. Be inspirational." Leadership Education, p.23 (emphasis original)

"It is also for the rest of us who want to be up to the task, who worry that we are not, but who try anyway because we know our children were born to make a positive difference in the world." Leadership Education, p.2

"Picture the face of each of your children or grandchildren. Look into their eyes and see what potential is there. If you are like most parents, you will see and feel that they were born to be special, to make a difference. This is not just because you love them; it is because it is true...They deserve the highest quality of education, and it is our responsibility to help them get it." Leadership Education, p.4 (emphasis original)

"Today's children were born to serve and make a huge positive difference in the world, to really lead. We simply must get the them the best possible education." Leadership Education, p.6

"Parents often find it easier to apply the content portions of the Seven Keys of Great Teaching (classics, mentors, structure time) but ignore the leadership methods (simplicity, quality, inspire, YOU). This keeps parents and children stuck on the conveyor belt." Leadership Education, p.38

"There is no need for someone just now learning of these ideas to fell like a failure, or worry that it is too late to make a difference." Leadership Education, p.38

Those darn kids get in the way of you being able to get to the higher phases before you have to start taking care of them.
"It is unfortunate that out society has so few contemporary examples of the true and natural progression of the phases, at least as corresponding to the ages. The result is that very remote few ever reach Depth Phase before having to take on the responsibilities of homemaking and breadwinning. These consuming and primary responsibilities have precluded all but the most determined from achieving the full extent of their mission and reaching their leadership potential while in their prime." Leadership Education, p.55
You wouldn't dare to not give your child this education, would you?
"Even more, they know that their children vitally needed them to have it [their parents to have a true Scholar Phase with 5,000 to 8,000 hours of mentored study]. There are many things vital to your children's well-being that you would not dream of foregoing in the name of finances. You would simply find a way to make it happen...We are spending so much time on this because after fifteen years of promoting Leadership Education or the Thomas Jefferson model, the only people we have seen do it really well are those who get mentors and do the full Scholar Phase study. Remembers, it is "You, not Them." the fact that getting great mentors takes some commitment and that getting a superb education is hard should not deter you from achieving excellence." Leadership Education, p.138
Your child is already broken and only through the right education can you fix him.
"As James Dobson taught, every twelve-year-old boy is a wounded soul, desperate for healing. If and how he heals literally makes the man who will marry your daughter and become the father of your grandchildren. How can you help?" Leadership Education, p.180

You must do it the right way or you'll mess it all up.
"There are Three Indispensable Choices parents should make during each child's Transition Phase. If any of the three is forgotten, or ignored, Transition is slowed down or impacted negatively. And while it may be hard to do all three as well as you would like, understand that good parenting is hard and that doing all three will be worth it." Leadership Education, p.181
Don't fail your child, and the world.
"To be honest, this [The Six Month Inventory] will not do much good unless you are willing to do The Six Month Purge and The Six Month "No" and you will not use it much if you do not have Sunday FECs and interviews. But if you combine these most basic of ingredients, you have the makings of a powerful recipe for superb Leadership Education. Your children deserve it - they were born with important, world-shaping and universe-shifting missions. What a tragedy when their parents fail them by not situating family life so family members can pursue an education that is up to the tasks they have at hand." Leadership Education, p.80
This is a great way to instill some fear and uncertainty in the minds of the parents. They might have thought that they were doing an ok job parenting, but no. In fact, unless they understand the phases and transitions that DeMille's modern educators came up with, and unless the parents have the FECs, arrange the bookshelf and closet correctly, have the yard right, the Annual Ball, etc., etc., they are going to mess it all up. And you wouldn't want to do that, would you? Look into your child's face and tell him that the time and effort and frustrations aren't worth it. And tell that to all the other people your child would have influenced for good, had you given him a Leadership Education.


You can't argue with principles
"Each of the Seven Keys of Great Teaching is based on principle, rather than expediency. When they are applied, learning occurs. When they are ignored or rejected, the quantity and quality of education decreases. "Leadership Education, p. 34 (emphasis original)

"Some things are best taught during a particular phase; it not only goes against nature to work on a different schedule, but very important opportunities might be missed, and this can impact the development of the individual." Leadership Education, p.38

History says so. You can't argue with that
Say it enough times and it must be true.
"This model is based solidly on the experience of great leaders of history and how they were educated - the great statesmen, thinkers, artists, businessmen, generals, historians, philosophers, mathematicians, prophets, sages, composers, and entrepreneurs. 'Success' may be possible without a superb Leadership Eduction, but lasting freedom is not." Leadership Education, p.207

"Leadership Education has a long and successful history as an essential part of any successful nation's educational offerings." Leadership Education, p.5

"What Leadership Education presents is nothing less than an educational and cultural shift, through principles and methods employed by great men and women throughout history. But the transformation experienced through these pages will not be without some pain. It will feel much like traveling through a new country...However the path we walk through this country is tried and true. Great leaders and countless great citizens have been invited by trusted mentors to walk this way." Leadership Education, p.289
One thing that I suggest people ask themselves is, "If this were not the education that Thomas Jefferson or other leaders received, would you still do it?" If you answer, no, then you probably are only doing it because DeMille says this is how the other leaders were trained. You are just going on DeMille's word. People, especially conservatives, are pretty reluctant to try anything that seems to deviate from tradition or what they are convinced is the "right" way to do things. That is often a shortcoming that should be overcome and can stand in the way of true progress (or restoration), but it also can be a way to remain steadfast in true principles. It all depends on what the issue at hand is. But sometimes people will merely state that what they are professing is in fact the old way, and that what you think is the old way, really isn't. Sometimes people will only believe "new doctrines" if they are told they are the "old doctrines."


"Trust the process"
After repeatedly hammering the point that DeMille's Leadership Education is what all great leaders throughout history have had (which is not true at all), he then tells you to just "trust the process." It will produce leaders. Don't question the process.
"Trust the process..." Leadership Education, p.195

"Leaders will remember lessons of Core and 'trust the process,' knowing that its fruits are worth its labors." Leadership Education, p.266
If it get's difficult and you wonder if it is really what you should do, it's probably just the difficulty of parenting, not the process, that you are experiencing.
"It is easy to ascribe our feelings of inadequacy to the inherent challenges in our Leadership Education agenda. But could it just be that parenting is such a high stakes endeavor that we are constantly in awe of the magnitude of our responsibility?" Leadership Education, p.5
Don't worry if this isn't working for you. It may take a year or more. Have you been doing it at least a year? If not, then that's your problem.
"We have found that in order to internalize, comprehend and successfully apply the Phases of Learning, a family must have been working on the process of getting off the conveyor belt for about a year or more." Leadership Education, p.38

"Give yourself time to let the ideas for facilitating and providing an environment conducive to Leadership Education sink in...It may be a little painful and discomfiting, at first, but the tasty, delicious, soul satisfying fruit will be worth it. We promise." Leadership Education, p.124
If it all seems too hard, that's not because there is anything wrong with the process. That's a normal condition of doing the process. Consider that as evidence that the process is working.
"At the same time, in our society, we seem to be perfectly comfortable with torturing our little kids with stress and tears in the name of "what is best for their education," yet we somehow reject the notion that crying real tears in the process of getting a Scholar-level education for ourselves might be worth it. IT IS!" Leadership Education, p.131

"The transition between each phase is marked with disorientation, confusion, discontent, yearning for change, and feelings of disconnection from past phases and frustrations with life." Leadership Education, p.254
Why would you "trust the process?" Do you believe the process will produce leaders? If you do, you are going on faith, since there is no evidence anywhere ever that DeMille's Leadership Education produces leaders (where are they?). I might trust the process if I observed a whole bunch of leaders coming out of the process. Without that, no way would I trust the process (I might try it out, though). DeMille telling the reader to "trust the process" I think is just an attempt to prevent people questioning whether there is any merit to the process at all.


Do as we say
You can't read A Thomas Jefferson Education and know how to do TJEd. That book states the problem with public schools and the presents the promise of DeMille's TJEd to create leaders. In order to actually create the leaders through TJEd, you will have to follow what the TJEd experts say to do. You cannot figure it out on your own. Don't deviate from what the TJEd experts say, or it won't work.
"The Leadership model of education is counter-intuitive to the conveyor belt approach. Most parents educated on the conveyor belt try to apply it in precisely the wrong way. To apply Leadership Education successfully it it necessary to listen closely to those who have mastered the system and work hard to duplicate both the content and, especially, the methods of experienced leadership mentors." Leadership Education, p.30

"First, you can just keep trying for years, learning from trial and error what works and what doesn't. We have seen this work for dozens of families, but it takes a long time - and it is stressful. The second way is to learn from those who have already done it successfully - in the classics, in books such as this one, in seminars and conferences specific to Leadership Education, or directly from friends or acquaintances who have successfully applied Leadership Education for some time." Leadership Education, p.39

"One cannot modify the details of Leadership Education without also modifying the outcome. The principles we enumerate below do not pretend to be everything to everyone, but they are what they are - A Leadership Education." Leadership Education, p.59
It's even better to follow other people new to TJEd than others not in TJEd even if they are successful.
"In fact, if in the selection of a mentor one had to choose between someone very knowledgeable but low in vision or passion, and one who is just getting started on an aggressive learning curve with a mentor of his own, we would personally prefer the individual who is exemplifying self-education over the one who seems dormant, if accomplished." Leadership Education, p.37
Don't listen to other people who might lead you astray or cause you to waver.
"Trusting [your feelings] means applying principles according to the vision and counsel of the FEC and not allowing other voices to incite you to second guess your hard won inspiration." Leadership Education, p.181

"Be cautious when you become aware that your feelings can be characterized as "fear," "guilt," "pride," or some other self-centered, basically negative emotion or motivation. If these elements enter in, your feelings and impressions need to be double checked with FEC so that you do not subconsciously apply your past experience in place of your new vision." Leadership Education, p.182

For something sold as a "leadership" education, there sure seems to be a lot of emphasis on doing what DeMille and other TJEd experts say (and I thought you weren't supposed to listen to "so-called experts"). Apparently no one can really figure all this out without DeMille and a few other parents who have "mastered" this. Again, how we ever had any leaders in history is a mystery to me if this is what they had to do and not screw it all up.


If there is a problem, it is with you (You're doing it wrong)
It seems that parents are the biggest roadblock to the success of TJEd. They are always doing it wrong, not being inspirational enough, letting the conveyor-belt conditioning cause them to question what they are doing, or they are too lazy to put in the necessary work to create the great leaders of tomorrow, or they are just not doing what DeMille says they need to do. If you have any problems, it is you. Focus on you. If your kid is not learning, you are the problem. Look at all the other parents who are "successful" in doing TJEd. They are optimistic. They are exciting. Their children are motivated. They do interesting things. They will be the leaders. Be like them. Just be happy!
"Your success here depends so much on your vision and your expectations...If you expect every day to fit a mold, you will be disappointed and frustrated. If you expect the process to work, you will be richly rewarded. Immerse yourself in the principles, live a life that is inspirational in its simplicity and commitment, and have a vision of what you are trying to accomplish that informs your choices along the way. Be confident and joyful!" Leadership Education, p.61 (emphasis original)

"This is what teaching means; it is what teaching is. When teachers inspire, students study." Leadership Education, p.86

"The answer to the question, 'How do I actually do it?' is that you get started." A Thomas Jefferson Education p.73 (emphasis original)

"Plutarch, Gibbon, Toynbee, Durant. Have you heard of these authors? Have you read them? If not, they are a great start to your study of history. You must study if you plan to teach." A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.82

"If you are wondering how to get students to read Newton, you are asking the wrong question. The question is: Have you read Newton? If you haven't, you've got some homework." A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.85

"The sad reason that people think that Love of Learning is 'easy' is that they have been brainwashed by the conveyor belt. When they hear 'Inspire, not Require,' their brains are so conditioned against combining 'inspire' with 'education' that they actually go home remembering something very much like 'ignore, not require.'" Leadership Education, p.86

"[If you don't separate entertainment and family rooms] you will be one of those wondering why this system did not work instead of those who know it works through repeated successful experiences." Leadership Education, p.111

"Nothing hurts Foundational and Educational phases like extra stuff around the house which consistently and very silently robs energy and focus from your education and your time with the kids." Leadership Education, p.113

"The basic source of inspiration for achieving a Leadership Education is mission. Those who know they have a mission desire to prepare for it - to do the hard work necessary to get the needed education." Leadership Education, p.143

"There is a growing number of families whose parents have gotten ahead of the game (actually, who did things in a more convenient time and season) and are ready for Depth Phase when the children come. In any case, a child in Transition needs to see her parents setting the example. Your children need to see you actively progressing in your current phase during Transition." Leadership Education, p.181 (emphasis original)

"Leadership Education comes naturally in homes where the parents are on the Leadership Path...Remember that you are the expert on your home and your children; trust your feelings and impressions more than the views of the so-called experts, neighbors or extended family members." Leadership Education, p.181

"Also be aware that in most cases when the Scholar struggles or abandons Scholar Phase, it is because of obstacles placed by the very parents who were so anxious that this time should arrive." Leadership Education, p.182

"'Look,' he says, 'my dad won't let me study all the that time, okay! just back off. I'm doing the best I can. I have to mow the lawn, help with the dishes. My dad says he's sick of me just sitting around reading all the time. He says I'm old enough to help, to get my lazy butt off the couch and do something constructive. He wonders what's gotten into me anyway, just sitting around reading, not even hanging with my friends anymore. He's sick of it. So, if you gotta problem, you talk to my dad. Not me, okay?!' He stalks out...The story speaks for itself. We have taken license with some of the details, but we heard the story repeated over and over. When we ask homeschooled youth, they tell the same story. It might be true in your home. They cannot get a Scholar education if you will not let them." Leadership Education, p.215

"The true test of leadership is grandparenting. Everything else falls short...All of us need to start grandparenting as soon as we are in Scholar Phase. Puberty is the call to grandparenting, to begin preparing a better world for your future grandchildren." Leadership Education, p.283

"I can do this! And so can any other dad. I especially love the section that teaches me how to help my kids through the scholar phase. It will take effort, but it's worth it!" -Andrew Goft, Leadership Education, back cover

Exaggerated claims and promises
"If you do these things well, your fourteen-year-olds will beg for a Leadership Education like Thomas Jefferson got and you will be ready to help them attain it." Leadership Education, p.30
They will, huh?
"Thousands of parents, in numbers growing larger each day, have fourteen-year-olds who beg to study ten-hour days and follow through. These parents are full of testimonials about Leadership Education." Leadership Education, p.55
Thousands? There are thousands of parents who have fourteen-year-olds who "beg" to study ten-hour days? And they can testify about this education? Will 100 of them please post a comment stating that you have a fourteen-year-old who begs to study ten-hour days? And will you "testify" that this education is actually producing results, that is, producing leaders in the community? Thanks.


Fake examples
Several times DeMille talks about the importance of example. I think everyone agrees that good examples make a huge difference, but only when people are not trying to be an example. When someone is being a good example to you for example's sake, then you see it as fake, disingenuous. You would think that the person is only doing that to convince you of something, but it isn't something they would do otherwise.

Imagine saying to a child, "Now sit here and watch me be a good example of being nice to this person. Did you see that?" The child is not going to observe an example of helping those in need, but rather of pretending to be a good example to impress on people things you want them to do. So much for not letting your right hand know what your left hand is doing. It's much more powerful if you just are a good person and you do good things regardless of what your kid will observe. Your kid will catch on that you should do good things regardless of whether anyone knows or is watching, maybe especially if they aren't. Setting up "times for examples" is not setting a good example at all in my opinion.
"[In the afternoons] Mom now has time to set the example of Scholar, Depth or Mission Phase, depending on where she is at...when fingers get too cold from the snow or pants too full of sand, little feet trudge back into the house to find Mom reading from a current bestseller or with a worn classic on her lap, following up on family duties, studying Hebrew or French, researching current events online or corresponding with one of her many friends, or on the phone arranging a service opportunity. In such examples, lessons are taught. Afternoons are for setting the example, and interruptions from little people are welcome." Leadership Education, p.84

"In the heat of the afternoon, Scholars read while Core and Love of Learners watch the example of Scholar and Depth parents and older siblings." Leadership Education, p.94
In a similar vein, DeMille states how kids are impressed with showy things, excitement, and hype. I think they are more impressed when they observe true character in action.
"When our children see other young people who really love learning, who share what they are studying, who excitedly tell stories about the things they are reading, who amaze them with their imagination, wit, vocabulary and prowess, something happens inside them." Leadership Education, p.101


Don't deny the faith
"The pull of the conveyor belt is very strong for parents who were schooled in that system—which is most parents today. When the temptation to return to requiring, textbooks, canned curriculum, and even public school arises, we as parents must go back to those feelings present when we first felt that TJEd was right for our family. We can trust that desire to give our children a chance to become truly educated, great men and women of character who will someday change the world. Our children have important missions to fulfill, And parents are equipped to help them live up to those missions. But we have to trust our hearts, our feelings, those whisperings from God.

Trusting the process yields the best results for a true Leadership Education. Just keep moving forward on the path you have chosen." The Thomas Jefferson Consortium

"A young mother told Rachel, 'I keep feeling like I should sit down on the floor with my five-year-old and read him books a lot more, but that would ruin my scholar phase.' By all means, 'ruin' your scholar phase - if that is the right thing to do. If not, then do not." Leadership Education, p.263

"Trusting [your feelings] means applying principles according to the vision and counsel of the FEC and not allowing other voices to incite you to second guess your hard won inspiration." Leadership Education, p.181

"Be cautious when you become aware that your feelings can be characterized as "fear," "guilt," "pride," or some other self-centered, basically negative emotion or motivation. If these elements enter in, your feelings and impressions need to be double checked with FEC so that you do not subconsciously apply your past experience in place of your new vision." Leadership Education, p.182
I don't think that it's only "conveyor belt conditioning" that causes people to question TJEd. It's not just that a mom might be tempted to do something else and cause her to forgo her destiny of training leaders. Those feelings of "fear" or "guilt" and those "other voices" might be telling you to re-evaluate what you are doing. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss those feelings.

DeMille seems to have recognized that moms were getting discouraged and stressed trying to do all this. That's why a new "Key of Learning" (Number 8) was added to the original "Seven Keys."
"An important Eighth Key of Great Teaching is 'Secure, not Stressed.'
...
"Being secured instead of stressed about whether Leadership Education is right for you and knowing that you are doing it effectively will not remove all stress from your life, but it will immediately and significantly bring you peace and focus in your educational endeavors." Leadership Education, p.39
Somehow I don't think just adding a new "Key" will change the way people feel. And this Key in particular is not something you do, but is the result of everything else you are doing. You cannot do things that make you stressed and then just "decide" not to be stressed. You have to do something different. I wonder why a new key had to be added if DeMille had already studied the great leaders of history and "codified" the first Seven Keys. I think it's because the natural result of trying to do TJEd as DeMille describes will produce stress, feelings of guilt and disappointment. This is due to defects in the TJEd process itself, not the moms.


A pattern
There is a pattern here of making promises, saying it is simple, and then when people actually try to do it, the goalposts keeping moving, and the challenges and failures are due to the parents, not the TJEd process. And if the parents are thinking about giving up on TJEd, they are told about how their children were born with a special mission and if the parents don't do TJEd the right way, they are going to mess that mission up, and that TJEd is the only way there can leaders that the country needs. All the while, they the parents are bombarded with promises that this will work, and if it doesn't you are doing something wrong. This was a big turn-off to me as I learned about TJEd. It's in the books, and in the seminars, and I've seen some of its effects in people I know that do TJEd. I don't think TJEd is the only way, even the best way, even a good way, to train leaders so right off the bat I question the promise that is being sold. I also can't imagine why the parents have to get "training" or have to find a "mentor" to do TJEd in their own family. I don't think a parent has to go through a "true Scholar Phase" (I also don't believe that there are "Phases" that DeMille describes). I definitely would think that after a year of this if I didn't like the results, I'd try something different, and if I were to experience problems doing this, I'd blame the process, not me. And I think that we need good people more than we need great people, and that I will help my children be good and they will do great things if called upon.

After noticing and these patterns in the TJEd movement, my trust for them is very low. They do not use "motivating" or "inspiring" methods, but rather fear, guilt, and shame after making exaggerated promises. Fear that you are going to mess up creating needed leaders, guilt that you are not putting forth enough effort for your child, and shame for thinking about returning back to the evil "conveyor belt." And one other emotion comes in to play: pride. Pride that your child is going to be truly great, that if you are a parent that can pull this off, you are better than almost all other parents, even those who are trying to do TJEd. If you can pull this off, you will be a great parent and mentor to the great leaders. You will be the example of all other parents struggling to do what you have been able to do. I do sense this pride of those who have "mastered" this (or at least claim to). And I have also sense that other parents feel discouragement that they just can't seem to get it to work for them, even though it does work for others. These parents just keep trying because they believe in the promise, and they don't want to let their children down. So they keep doing TJEd. This is not for me.


Maybe I am just a hateful little man ragging on TJEd
Maybe this is all just my opinion and I'm just some guy that doesn't like TJEd for some strange reason. Maybe TJEd is just "like the gospel" and is full of truth. After all my reasons I have posted and the effort I have gone through to explain them, there is still one reason left that just might trump all the others: Where are the results? Where are the fruits? Where are these leaders that should be coming out of TJEd? DeMille has given us the promise that if we do what he says we will produce leaders. Where are they?

This is actually my Reason #6...

22 comments:

Redneckliber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Christensenmom said...

My 14 year old son begs for a leadership education. He's read TJEd, and knows what it's all about. But he's no dummy. He would just love to get out of all his chores - so he could read and study all day. Unfortunately for him, we are not TJEd diehards, and we feel that chores are good for teens. It develops character and helps teens feel like they are part of the family and contributing to it's development. And as soon as he's done with his chores, then he can spend the day reading and studying (and he does!)

Michelle said...

I just want to say a huge thank you for posting your thoughts, research and comments on a blog for all to read. You have liberated me in such a big way. I started out learning about TJEd about six years ago. After about a year I was very frustrated with it and, just as you mention, felt I was doing so many things wrong. I gave it up for a couple of years then came back to it four years ago. I decided that I was really going to commit to it this time. I read the classic books myself that were suggested, I attended the expensive seminars, I kept trying to figure out a way to work in pursuing my own degree from GWC but couldn't seem to make it work particularly due to finances--the guilt was eating away at me, and now my oldest has just begun high school and the two years prior I spent enormous amounts of time trying to figure out how to get it right so she could be ready to "do" the scholar phase.
I have always felt that my efforts were futile and it has caused me alot of anxiety. So when I discovered your blog this morning through the TJEdMuse yahoo group I literally felt like you were setting me free. You put into words all that I felt but didn't dare admit. I knew your posts would be good when I read about how this seemed like such a great method because it was something new to ME. After I read that, it all clicked as to why I jumped onto this particular ideology and method of education.
So thank you very much for sharing this with us. I feel did you did it in a very appropriate manner, and I, for one, really do appreciate what it has done for my outlook in homeschooling our children.

J.L.L said...

Michelle, you don't know how much you have just made my day. Thank you, and good luck.

Rusty said...

Any parent that doesn’t feel the burden of responsibility relative to raising a child hasn’t truly considered their stewardship. Whether you homeschool or not all parents strive to help their children to be successful. I suppose if you feel that the TJEd families you know are fearful and elitist that may be the case. I haven’t see that, but of course if I’m part of “the group” I may be part of the problem. As with all things those people with similar goals and views tend to find each other and do things together which likely appears elitist. I’m sorry you have had that experience.
What you may be sensing as a religious fervor probably comes from the experience these families have had in seeking out answers and receiving confirmation that they are doing what is best for their families. It creates a very powerful inner conviction that can appear overly emotional when these parents share these feelings. If there are families that say they “do TJEd” but don’t do what DeMille says he does then what…. Most likely they do TJEd the way DeMille encourages them to- under the direction and guidance of their source of truth. It’s no wonder so many families get heated when this topic comes up.

I suppose depending on your definition of greatness I may not want that either. In my mind greatness is using the time, talents and abilities that God has given me to fulfill whatever role He asks me to fulfill. At the time that role is being a mother and wife, serving my friends and neighbors and fulfilling responsibilities in church. Goodness is inherent in greatness when I define it.

Core phase is about learning to choose right and wrong, recognizing truth and error, and determining what is true and false. It is the most important phase as all else will only matter when it is weighed against the source of truth in a child’s life. Teaching a child where they can find truth and how to discern truth from error is the whole focus of core phase. It is why teaching them academics is postponed. This is critical and I think you have misunderstood the phases if you believe the contrary.

TJEd is just one of the many ways leaders are trained. “Leadership Education” is sometimes used synonymously with TJEd, but if you look at it you will see that it is basically a broad liberal arts education. TJEd and the approach DeMille proposes uses a Hebrew methodology to achieve this liberal arts education, however there are many other schools and programs that provide a similar liberal arts education using Greek or Latin models. I believe that many of these quotes reference the need for leaders that are trained to think and act based on a liberal arts (or Leadership) education, not specifically TJEd. The understanding and training of the leaders generally does impact the destiny of a country. The masses often (but not always) follow the leader- thus the term leader.
I suppose I feel responsible to train and teach my children, that is my stewardship. However agency is still agency and they will ultimately be the ones who determine what they do. Why wouldn’t you do all you can to help them achieve whatever it is they are capable of achieving? I hope that parents aren’t taking their responsibilities lightly. I hope they aren’t doing what they do because DeMille or anyone else, other than God, told them to, but you’re right there probably are some that do.
I won’t address everything you said because it boils down to the same idea. SEEK for truth and ACT according to what you receive. If something isn’t working take it back to your source of truth and ASK again. Parenting is hard, homeschooling is hard. Every person and child is different you need more help than books and seminars (either from the DeMilles or anyone) can give you- You need God to guide you.
Cindy

J.L.L said...

Rusty,

"What you may be sensing as a religious fervor probably comes from the experience these families have had in seeking out answers and receiving confirmation that they are doing what is best for their families. It creates a very powerful inner conviction that can appear overly emotional when these parents share these feelings."

No, it's not a strong conviction that makes me think TJEd is pseudo-religious. Like I wrote in the blog, I think it is pseudo-religious because it has the elements of religion itself: "faith that this is the one and only true way, a promise of salvation and a destiny to fulfill, a necessary conversion to the truth and continued allegiance, leaders that are the only ones that can point out the way, and a separation of the chosen people from the profane."

"In my mind greatness is using the time, talents and abilities that God has given me to fulfill whatever role He asks me to fulfill."

Yeah, well DeMille says that's to be statesmen, great leaders, lead a bunch of people, etc. BTW, the attempt to soften up the definition of "leader" isn't going to fly. Don't bother. DeMille constantly sells the need for leaders with an education "like Thomas Jefferson had" and "virtually all great leaders of the past." Trying to now say "well you can be a leader of yourself" is changing the term we are talking about.

"This is critical and I think you have misunderstood the phases if you believe the contrary."

Do you understand that the Phases of Learning started with Freud, were adapted by Erikson, then by Piaget, and finally DeMille? Do you understand that? That's important, because if you are going to adopt this philosophy you ought to be familiar with how it came about. If you aren't familiar with Erikson and Piaget, then I would be the one that understand the phases better.

"TJEd is just one of the many ways leaders are trained."

Stop with the softening and the backpedaling. No, not according to DeMille. We are doomed without TJEd:

"Without Leadership Education, no nation maintains its liberty or its prosperity. Without Leadership Education, the two other traditions of education ultimately decline, creating a "dark age" of learning." Leadership Education, p.3

"Eventually without Leadership Education, great and powerful nations decline and lose their influence for good in the world. Without Leadership Education, the future is bleak." Leadership Education, p.3

"The only historically proven solution capable of averting this danger is high quality Leadership Education. The liberty, prosperity and stability of future civilizations are dependent upon the leaders of tomorrow getting a Leadership Education today." Leadership Education, p.4

"Any parent that doesn’t feel the burden of responsibility relative to raising a child hasn’t truly considered their stewardship."
"Parenting is hard, homeschooling is hard."

Why are you trying to pass of the difficulties of doing TJEd as the difficulties of parenting in general? So I guess if I am being foreclosed on my house, it is just that making money is hard? Or is it that I have poor financial skills.

"You need God to guide you."
Yup. Don't we all.

Here's a little note to all of you out there: don't bother with the tired old excuses and arguments you give your friends and your family members about TJEd. I'll still address them, but you need to realize that you've got to get down to the nitty-gritty, not try to soften terms up and give testimonies to me out this. You can try, I'm just telling you that you probably want to not waste time there.

Truth said...

Can one have a "testimony" of TJEd confirmed by one's "source of truth"? Is that what I am reading in these comments? Knowing what I do about the TJEd founders' backgrounds, this frightens me.

J.L.L said...

This could be its own post, but for now I'll write it in the comments section. Not only are the wrong motivators used to get parents into TJEd and staying in TJEd, the wrong motivators are used to prevent much discussion about TJEd.

I recently joined the Utah-hs Yahoo group stating that I had a blog on why I don't do TJEd and that I would respond to any comments about what I wrote. The first person that responded to me on that email list was "Lady Poet" and one of the things she wrote was:

"I am glad that you are willing to step out there and be a leader by expressing your opinion about how awful TJed is...but just know that their are other leaders who aren't afraid to speak up and say we hate the conveyor belt. Don't get offended that we speak up...because we will."

Remember this, and who wrote it.

Then there were comments about who I was and whether we should allow "anonymous" posters on the email list, but there was also a lot of people that said we should allow a discussion of the points on my blog. A discussion was starting, although there were still calls to shut me up somehow.

"This is so strange. No name signed, no real e-mail address. Why all the hostility?"

"The only thing you have written that is worthwhile is the first line that I copied here- that it's not for you. Really, that's all that we need to know, all that matters in the end. Everything else you've written is just bunk.

Frankly, I really don't understand why you have to create a name such as Why-I-Don't-Do-TJED, and then out of the blue, need to tell us all the reasons why you don't do it. Seems a bit pointless to me, especially if the current topic wasn't even about TJ. I'm with Marni on this one- I don't understand all the unprovoked hostility. I don't use TJ either, but I am not spamming lists with all my reasons why."

another (from Lady Poet) ...

"I found him to be narrow minded and a bit hostile. Much like those anti-Mormons who have nothing better to do with their lives than tear down anothers beliefs...they don't go around talking about the merits of their religion, instead they spend their time tearing down my church and my beliefs. They are negative. TJed isnt' a religion, but a way of learning. But the concept is similar.
...
I find him to be cowardly (for not posting his email or name) and I find him to be narrow minded. If that is your ball of wax...then have at it! ... I did find his blog hostile and narrow minded...not to mention very negative. I thought it went out of its way to be hostile and offensive to anyone who uses TJed, basically saying we are a bunch of morons because we learn that way. I do NOT think that expressing your opinion that someone is hostile means that the person who says that is hostile. We might lose a few new homeschoolers over this lovely post by this anonymous blogger...but maybe he is some public school teacher who lost a few kids to TJed and is now trying to bring back a few bright kids to his classroom. lol
...
I'm done with this thread. I know what works for us, and I don't need anyone telling me what I should or shouldn't do."

another...

"Ya wanna make a difference? Instead of pointing out all our terrible failures, maybe say a little about what's right (okay, you're right, nothing) and tell us about what really works for you. Maybe you could write your own book. Maybe someone will buy yours too! There are plenty of things I admire about other homeschooling methods, and I pull them in and use them.

But please, a little respect for those of us that and do find success with TJEd."

I don't think some of those comments were particular friendly, and they were much more rude than they claim I was. But I didn't really care. In fact, if they didn't really make a point, I just skimmed over their comment. It didn't bother me.

And some people were supportive of some debate:

"I enjoy a forum for debate on homeschool issues and philosophies. I don't think anyone needs to feel threatened or even annoyed by this. TJed has been so widely acclaimed, always having a spot at the UHEA convention etc, that a little debate is good, I think. "

another...

"TJEd seems to be a home education sacred cow that people aren't
supposed to touch."

another...

"I am thoroughly enjoying reading this discussion thread; thanks to all contributors."

another....

"The blog author has demanded only reason from those who respond to him. Sadly, he is getting very little reason in the opposing responses."


Now I didn't post all the emails or all the comments, but I think that gives an accurate idea of what was going on in the discussion. The discussion about Cincinnatus and Joan of Arc occurred, which I detailed in the comments here under Reason #1. But mostly the discussion seemed to be about how "TJEd works for some people not everyone," and "why is this guy is anonymous."

So then after a few days, suddenly a new thread was created titled "I'm leaving the group" by Lady Poet (read her first response to me again)

This is what she wrote:

"After much pondering and much hurt and I leaving this group.

This group used to be uplifting, and helpful to homeschoolers. Now it has come down to name calling and I have lost 2 good friends because of the ONLY discussing taking up the email group this last week. I have been told I creep people out because I am TJeder and I have lost all respect for 2 people I previously respected.

I will continue to serve the homeschool community, but I will not post them on this list. Others are free to do so, but I will not. Those of you that like my support groups are welcome to join my email group for those updates.

I know it is hard on the moderators to let this happen, and after my initial response stopped reading all but a couple of the emails (people who I respect) and responded privately. After 11 years, I am just too tired to listen to people who care more about being right than about people and their feelings.

I used to get right in there and try to prove my point. I gave up awhile ago trying to prove anything to anyone. I know that I cannot prove anything to someone who already has their mind made up. I've stopped doing this, and stopped being threatened with being thrown off the list (which was nice). I feel much better now that I don't focus so much on what everyone else is doing and I just do what works for me and my family.

I have really been hurt by recent comments and I just don't want anymore of this negativity in my life. This is not the email list it used to be and after 11 years it's not for me anymore.

Thank you for helping me get started and helping me gain confidence to homeschool! I hope the email group finds it's way.

Happy learning!"

[end email]


I thought this was a cop-out. First she tells me "Don't get offended that we speak up...because we will" but then when she didn't like the discussion he says she has been "hurt" and she is leaving. I thought this was really immature. I believe it was just another way to shut me up. People had been calling to stop me from posting because I was anonymous, and that I was writing "bunk" and hadn't done my research, etc., yet there were only a few posts that even addressed anything on the blog. I think Lady Poet probably was upset, but this was not the way you deal with discussions that aren't going your way. I believe that by saying she was hurt and that she was leaving that she expected to use this to shut me up, because we are all supposed to rush to her and say "please don't leave" and I'm supposed to apologize and then no more discussion of TJEd.

So I sent this response:

" Lady Poet, I am not using any name-calling or going after anyone. I am debating ideas. If you share those ideas then so be it. If you have been "hurt" it is because you have felt that your ideas have been threatened. I think that if one discussion on one list that has challenged the ideas you hold has made you "hurt" and makes you want to leave, then that's an indication that you really are not comfortable with your own ideas. I don't think this discussion has been too turbulent, and when you get out in the market place of ideas to argue or defend, especially as a leader or statesmen, you are going to have to at least be able to not get "hurt" and leave. But hopefully you can at least stand your ground and make convincing arguments. I don't apologize for introducing my ideas or my blog to this list. By the number of responses and participants it is clear that this is a topic of interest that people want to discuss. And leaving because you are hurt is not a response to any claim you disagree with, and you'll get no sympathy from me. I didn't supply the ideas of TJEd, I am responding to them. I'm not here to beat a dead horse, and I am trying to make good arguments. You'll notice that I haven't gotten offended in the least despite what people have said to me. I can't be rattled like that. If the discussion continues, I will continue. If the mods shut me down, then I leave. I don't think that's what most people here want, so it continues.

You wrote that "I have been told I creep people out because I am TJeder." This piqued my interest. I doubt I can say this so that you'll take it in the right spirit, but you may want to think about that and why that is. It's not because there are a bunch of mean people out there who want to make your life miserable. Seriously, please try to understand why others may think that."

[end of my email]

Well, much to my surprise, this unleashed a fury of new demands to shut me up.

"Ok, the unknown guy has had the opportunity to share his blog, and others have discussed it thoroughly. It's at the point now where one list member is leaving, so I think it's time we wrap this up.

I'm calling for the end of the TJED discussions here. Let the interested parties move this topic to another forum where they can knock themselves out if they want to. I'd rather Lady Poet stay and this discussion leave instead."

[oh no! someone's leaving! we better stop this discussion right away!]

And this one:
"> Lady Poet, I am not using any name-calling or going after anyone. I am
> debating ideas. If you share those ideas then so be it. If you have
> been "hurt" it is because you have felt that your ideas have been
> threatened. I think that if one discussion on one list that has
> challenged the ideas you hold has made you "hurt" and makes you want
> to leave, then that's an indication that you really are not
> comfortable with your own ideas.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've only spot-checked this intense discussion. But to THIS comment I will respond. BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! [Lady Poet]? "not comfortable with [her] own ideas?" [Lady Poet], the author, the researcher, the outspoken one?
...
I'm offended that your manners are so poor you're not signing your posts. Or perhaps too chicken to sign your name to your views and accusations?

I conclude that if your research on TJed matches your research on [Lady Poet], then your blog is not worthy of reading."

[didn't even read the blog or any other posts]

And this one...

"Moderators - Can you please shut this whyidontdotjed down? This is a very passive-aggressive and sarcastic response filled with jabs meant to tear a person down... not discuss the item at hand. If this type of discussion continues, I will also leave. I have always used this group as a resource to homeschooling but comments and discussions like this are not useful to me."

[somehow I'm the mean one, the one causing contention. All the comments about me earlier I guess don't count]

And this one...

"Boy, is this a slant on what has happened. You think this is merely about "challenging ideas"? No, what I've been saying is that PEOPLE are being attacked. I said this happens over and over, whether it's with TJED or unschooling (just two of several examples that I could pick in homeschooling- I could add in K12 curriculum, charter schools, and so forth) where some parents have to criticise another's right to choose what's best for their family. Does it stay on just the ideas of the method or model? No. To say to be the leader or statemen is not to get hurt and leave, but believe me, I can understand saying that a particular group is not worth the effort or time one is putting into it- a reasonable evaluation of wasted resources. I'm sorry that Debbi has now found our group to be wasted time, but I have to agree with it. A specific conversation on TJED would have been much better served in a limited setting for those who were interested in learning more about this."

[I was attacking people? I pointed out that leaving was not the way to deal with this. There were no personal attacks]

Soon after this, the moderator decided to stop all TJEd discussions:

"I've decided to now delete all posts over the TJED that will come in for the next little while."

This caused one poster a little celebration:

"Yeah, and hats off to you!! AMEN!!! AND HATS OFF TO YOU FOR FINALLY MAKING THE THE CALL!! May we all now continue to homeschool our children in the way we wish, the methods that we choose as well as in the manner we feel best meets the needs of our children, as we are the parents and we know our children best! As homeschoolers , I would think the one thing we might agree on is that, there is not " one method" that is best for every child!! good luck to us all in our ever busy pathway to provide our children the best educational opportunities that are best for "our" children!"


Now this seems to happen a lot on message boards and email lists. TJEd cannot be discussed because it turns contentious, but the contention is from the people defending TJEd. This is a pattern: when someone brings up something you don't like and don't want to discuss, just try to get it to be "contentious" (or claim persecution and threaten to leave) and it will shut down. This is why there is little discussion on TJEd outside TJEd. It always gets shut down because of "contention" or "hurt feelings." This is why I created the blog. No mod will shut it down.

I'm not trying to win any allies reviewing all this. I am trying to show that a lot of people in TJEd really can't defend the claims of TJEd and they just resort to ways of stopping the discussion. I'm not seeking out people doing TJEd so I can be mean. TJEd, DeMille, and parents doing TJEd make claims about leaders in the past and how leaders are trained. You can't point out any falsehood or else you will be "contentious" so any discussion is stopped. This is effectively a win for TJEd proponents, not because of arguments they used, but because they forced the discussion to stop when they didn't like it.

And that's another example of a wrong motivator used in TJEd to get people into TJEd and stay in TJEd: shut down any discussion of it by causing the contention you claim others are doing.

Alysia and Michael and fam said...

It is interesting how differently people can interpret the same thing. To me, the writings of Demille are an explanation of the various aspects of effective education that he found as he studied great leaders. I didn't take it as a program you have to follow in order to achieve greatness, but an analysis of what creates it. I have found that many elements which he describes naturally occured in my own home education, years before the TJed book was written. Reading the book simply clarified for me what it was that made my education work. As I have started homeschooling myself and become acquainted with the DeMilles, I have sometimes consulted them for advice. And always their answer to me was 'you are the expert on your own home.' Never have I felt from their books or them personally that every single step or ingredient had to be followed in order to educate leaders, or that everyone must attend GWC or be 5 pillar certified in order to have a world class education themselves. They created those things in order to make leadership education available to more people, but they do not preach that the only place to get it is at GWC. Mentoring and leadership education can happen in many other venues, as they readily assert. They present in their publications various ideals and ideas which can assist a person in leadership education. People who take the book and do not personalize it using their own inspiration and discretion are simply jumping on another conveyor belt, a TJed one. DeMille himself encourages people to personalize their education, do the hard work to discover what is needed for each student, which may be different for each one, and have courage to do it. Perhaps this is what you have done, and discovered TJed is not for you. Bravo. But this does not mean that your choice is right for everyone, just as TJed is not for everyone. The study of TJEd, even if it leads a person to take some of its principles and leave the rest, should not be discouraged. I would have no problem with your blog if it were actually about 'why I don't do TJEd.' I disagree with your efforts to tell others 'why others shouldn't do TJed or read TJed.' Those who read it with an open mind and learn how to think for themselves and filter all things through themselves will find value, even if it ultimately leads them to choose, in an educated manner, to approach things differently than the Demilles do.

J.L.L said...

To "Alysia and Michael and fam"

Please tell me if the following statements are true:

"The leaders of the future will come from schools, homes, colleges, universities and organizations where classics, mentors, and other elements of Thomas Jefferson Education are cherished and seriously pursued." A Thomas Jefferson Education, p.113

"The only historically proven solution capable of averting this danger is high quality Leadership Education. The liberty, prosperity and stability of future civilizations are dependent upon the leaders of tomorrow getting a Leadership Education today." Leadership Education, p.4

"The education of tomorrow's leaders will determine the future, rather than the education of the masses. Leadership determines destiny." Leadership Education, p.1 (emphasis original)

"There are Three Indispensable Choices parents should make during each child's Transition Phase. If any of the three is forgotten, or ignored, Transition is slowed down or impacted negatively. And while it may be hard to do all three as well as you would like, understand that good parenting is hard and that doing all three will be worth it." Leadership Education, p.181

"This model is based solidly on the experience of great leaders of history and how they were educated - the great statesmen, thinkers, artists, businessmen, generals, historians, philosophers, mathematicians, prophets, sages, composers, and entrepreneurs. 'Success' may be possible without a superb Leadership Eduction, but lasting freedom is not." Leadership Education, p.207

These are not opinions, and they are not things that you can "adapt" to your own family. They are statements that are either true or false. Are they true?

Alysia and Michael and fam said...

Yes, I believe these statements are true. But nowhere in these statements is there anything saying that you can only gain a leadership education from GWC, or that every single ingredient the Demilles have chosen to use should be used the same by every family. Leadership education happens when the leader of a family does the work to study, gain inspiration,set a good example, and create the kind of education for their children that will help those children fulfil their missions, whatever that entails. I have found many ideas in Demille's books that fit with what my children need for their missions. You may not have found that to be the case for your family, and as the leader in your home you must choose what is best for your children. If you have studied it out in an effort to find what is best for your children and made decisions accordingly, you are living aspects of leadership education yourself, whether you would call it that or not.

J.L.L said...

Alysia and Michael and fam:

How can you on the one hand agree with DeMille's statements that leaders of the past have come from those studying the classics under mentors and that the leaders of the future will come from those educated on the principles of TJEd and that if you deviate from the "Leadership Education" that DeMille describes that you will come out with some other result, but on the other hand say that you don't have to follow DeMille's ingredients, that leaders will come from places that don't use TJEd principles and that you should adapt all this to your family?

This is what some people apparently don't understand: you can't make statements about what made past leaders and what will make future leaders and about the nature of child development, and then say that you can do what you want.

To be clear: for most leaders, classics were not part of their education. Okay? I happen to love reading the classics. I value them highly. But I don't make claims that they made leaders in the past, because they usually didn't.

People do not go through "6 Phases." Okay? It's not true. Don't base your life after 6 phases that are incorrect. These are statements by DeMille of human nature. They are not "educational methods." He is claiming that humans develop, or should develop, a certain way. You can't adapt statements about human nature to your family, only about how to adapt educating your children in accordance with them.

I hope this is clear. If I say that all boys can learn to fly like a bird at age 16, then that's false. Period. "Adapting" it to your family would make no sense.

Anonymous said...

J.L.L.,

How can you say that people don't go through the phases which DeMille outlines? Maybe I'm missing something in the semantics but shouldn't young children spend their formative years bonding with their parents by playing and working as a family? Shouldn't they be learning "good vs. bad, true vs. false, right vs. wrong" before the age of accountability and thereafter? Shouldn't academics be put of until a child is mature enough to think abstractly?

The reason I started homeschooling was because I saw Raymond and Dorothy Moore - homeschool pioneers - on a talk show and decided to buy their book Home Grown Kids. Years later, when I learned about core phase, love of learning phase, and scholar phase, I thought that sounded a lot like what the Moores and John Holt were writing about. In fact, John Taylor Gatto has spoken to TJEd scholar moms and has no problem with delayed learning.

I understand your point about the modern psychologists influencing DeMille and how those of us looking into TJEd should know these four "gospel" writers. I've read some of Dewey's philosophy on education, and I don't like the fact that he wanted to influence children with his humanistic worldview.

The point I'm trying to make is that I see more of what pioneer homeschool advocates - along with the pleas from Robert Hutchins and Mortimer Adler for a return to liberal arts education-have suggested than I see an influence from these four humanists which DeMille cites to give his views scholastic weight, IMHO.

So, what is so wrong with the phases? I'm just trying to understand your viewpoint.

J.L.L said...

"How can you say that people don't go through the phases which DeMille outlines?"

How can you say they do? Do you understand that these phases started with Freud? If you believe in these phases as DeMille outlines them, you need to show them to be true. You can't merely state them as fact and act shocked when someone challenges them. DeMille makes no attempt to prove them correct. He just states them as "this is how people are." The onus is on him and you.

"Maybe I'm missing something in the semantics but shouldn't young children spend their formative years bonding with their parents by playing and working as a family?"

Yes of course.

"Shouldn't they be learning "good vs. bad, true vs. false, right vs. wrong" before the age of accountability and thereafter?"

Yes I agree.

"Shouldn't academics be put of until a child is mature enough to think abstractly? "

Uh, no. Why would this be true? Why would academics only coincide with abstract thought? And when do you think children can think abstractly? What is abstract thought? In the LDS church there are lessons in Nursery and Primary. Why is that?

The problem with the Phases is that they are an oversimplification of human beings. They incorrect identify "phases" that a person goes through and you as a parent are suppose to cater your interaction with the child and education of the child with those phases. In fact, DeMille says that if you try to act against the phase you are in (or that your child is in) you are just going to be fighting against nature and will probably does do more harm. Well, what if you've got the phases wrong? Wouldn't that do some harm?

Someone wrote something on an email list that I think was an astute observation:

"...I will give my personal opinion here, from having
studied psychology and being made to learn several psychologist's timeline
of development: None of these developmental charts are accurate! They are
vague averages, guesses at best, at how the author thinks or sees stages
that people go through, but they cannot be applied like a prescription
manual on human beings. If one used this Phases of Learning as a Bible, a
road map to their child, for example, they would be eying up their own boy
of age 10, for example, who just wants to ride his bike, play video games
and hang out with friends to play baseball, as something of an anomaly. The
parents would read DeMille to see "Love of Learning Phase in children occurs
during the approximate ages of 8-12. From LE: "During the Love of Learning
Phase, the student falls deeply in love with learning, studying, knowing and
learning even more" and first hand experience with how wonderful learning
can be." The normal parents, with a normal boy, would see that their child
does not match up with DeMille's expectations of who people should be. Who's
at fault? Personally, I would see DeMille is- for making the generalization
to begin with. But, he's in good company with every other psychologist that
lays out such a path for humans, as if we were all carbon copy clones of one
another. Personally, I see this "Phases of Learning" as nothing more than
DeMille's wishful thinking- a dream human child would follow these stages.
DeMille's "ideal child" would do these stages at these ages. I know of no
one, in real life, that matches these stages. In short, no, I do not think
they are accurate- not even close!!!"

I agree with this. DeMille has supplied a notion of "proper development" of a child and parents just accept it. Then they structure their child's education and expectations and interactions to conform to what DeMille says. Do you see how this could be a problem if DeMille is wrong? Sure at a very broad and basic level I think people agree that children are different than adults and that different times in life yield different activities that a person does. But DeMille is much more specific than that, to the point that he divides up a person's life and development into 6 Phases that also have sub-phases. DeMille doesn't use these as descriptive of what normally happens as a person develops, but prescriptive in the sense that you as a parent need to make sure you treat your child according to the phase he is in, and help his "correct negotiation" going from one stage to another. In fact, If you the parent haven't gone through these phases that Freud made up and DeMille adopted, then you need to go back and renegotiate them. And who ever said these phases were correct? Very dangerous for people to simply accept them and not challenge them.

Reason #3 is all about these Phases if you are unsure on exactly what DeMille has written about them.

Anonymous said...

J.L.L.,

Freud's phases in no way match up to the description of DeMille's phases. Freud's phases involved psycho-sexual development. DeMille's phases do not.

The reason why academics is delayed before the age of eight is because the parents are focusing on a child's spiritual development. This continues for a lifetime. In fact, DeMille's phases interlap. It's not at all like moving up a ladder. It's akin to the core phase representing the center of the earth and the other phases extending out from that core.

The reason why I say there is validity to the phases is because I have seen them in my own children. I started homeschooling my children because I didn't want them to adhere to the values of strangers over my values. I wanted to keep them home and teach them my values. This is what DeMille's core phase is all about. I gradually eased my children into academics when I sensed that they were ready for it. If they got that glazed over look in their eyes, then I knew it was time for a break.

Around the age of 8, they were far more ready physically as well as intellectually for academics.

By the time my children were around 12 yrs. of age, they could think more abstractly. These ages are give or take a few yrs.

Since you mentioned the L.D.S. church, how come it sets baptism at 8 and receiving the Aaronic priesthood at 12 and going on a mission at 19? Would you say that the church leaders based these stages on Freud? If not, then neither did DeMille. His phases have more in common with what the L.D.S. church does than they do with Freud.

The lessons in Nursery and Primary are incorporated with play. DeMille doesn't say you can't incorporate lessons with play. The play-doh and the puppets, and the coloring books all go bye-bye as the child gets older. Instead you have deacons and teachers then playing tic-tac-toe on the blackboard. For all the reading you did, I can tell you didn't go into it with an open mind. I'll bet you had already made up your mind and were trying to find quotes to support your stance. If you HAD read with an open mind, you would see that Nursery and Primary DO fit into the Core and Love of Learning phases - spirtual learning.

With the phases, I never felt I was following a plan. I didn't hear about them until most of my children were teens. I just knew that they fit a process we instinctively went through. Maybe parents don't question DeMille because they've seen something like the phases in their lives.

I've read your entire blog. I've also read DeMille's books. You are right on with your quotes. I will still use aspects of DeMille's teachings because I feel comfortable using them with other ideas I've found which work for my family.

The moms who try to abide by every word uttered by DeMille can also be found trying to abide by every word which came from John Holt, Charlotte Mason, Susan Wise Bauer, and the list goes on.

From how you responded to my simple inquiry, I take it you are defensive about your beliefs. Just as you think DeMille is harming children, so does the NEA think that homeschoolers like you and me are harming our children.

I wasn't shocked by your claims. I simply wanted to understand them. The onus is not on me to prove DeMille's allegations. It is on him. I simply do what feels right for my family based on my religious teachings. If what DeMille says goes against them then I don't do what he says. Simple as that. I wasn't going to defend DeMille. In fact, I find him arrogant and pompous, but from how arrogantly you answered my simple question, I now see that you may not be any different than he is.

For a man who pretends to be so smart, how could you ask what abstract thinking is? I have a son with autism and the neurologists tell me that he is able to think concretely, but abstract thinking will be difficult for him. You know what abstract thought is - logical thinking and reasoning. Pick up the WTM or talk to a neurologist - he'll fill you in on what abstract thought is.

J.L.L said...

anonymous,

"Freud's phases in no way match up to the description of DeMille's phases. Freud's phases involved psycho-sexual development. DeMille's phases do not."

Did you read the blog post on this? Did you look at the chart I put up? Did you read how DeMille said to read Erikson and Piaget, and how they said their Phases are expansions of Freud's? DeMille's Phases are modified versions of all these people. He makes that clear.

"Since you mentioned the L.D.S. church, how come it sets baptism at 8 and receiving the Aaronic priesthood at 12 and going on a mission at 19? Would you say that the church leaders based these stages on Freud? If not, then neither did DeMille. His phases have more in common with what the L.D.S. church does than they do with Freud."

The LDS Church doesn't tell the members to read Erikson and Piaget to better understand baptism and the Aaronic Priesthood. The church doesn't tell you to read the works of Piaget and Erikson and then "ponder their truths." The church didn't take Freud, Erikson, or Piaget and modify their ideas to create the schedule of progression in the church.

"I will still use aspects of DeMille's teachings because I feel comfortable using them with other ideas I've found which work for my family."

That's fine but that doesn't prove that the 6 Phases of Learning are true. DeMille is not giving advice on how to teach your kids. He's stating how people develop.

"Just as you think DeMille is harming children, so does the NEA think that homeschoolers like you and me are harming our children."

Yeah I know. And we better not give people any more reason to shut down homeschooling. DeMille sure isn't doing any service to homeschoolers.

"I simply do what feels right for my family based on my religious teachings. "

Just be careful that DeMille isn't preaching something so close to the truth that you consider it to be truth. I posted Joseph Smith's quote on this somewhere. You already said, "I simply do what feels right for my family based on my religious teachings." I find it interesting that DeMille has convinced you that Frued's modified phases of learning, or Erickon's, or Piaget's, match your religious teachings.

Anonymous said...

J.L.L.,

Don't worry about my spiritual welfare. My family and I are in good standing with our church.

I do think you were stepping over line when you questioned my spirituality. You don't know me or my family, so you have no right going there. Has hubris so overtaken you that what started as a well thoughtout blog on "Why I Don't Do Thomas Jefferson Education" has turned into demeaning rhetoric?

You keep asking me if I read your blog. YES, I DID! I looked at your charts. I know what DeMille, Erikson and Piaget have to say about THEIR phases. I just don't believe DeMille when he says that HIS come from them. Okay, I'll say it. HE'S LYING! Is my point clear?

In my opinion, his phases, other than being phases, line up more with the L.D.S. church than they do with those other freaks. If they did, I wouldn't have seen similarities between what I've done with my children and what DeMille mentions. To put it more succinctly, I don't think you're really reading my posts, so I will endeavor to explain MY interpretation of the phases.

Core Phase: 0 - death

Devotionals- scripture study, prayer, church or patriotic songs,
Work with family
Play - can incorporate academics
All this is done in the a warm, loving home, along with what my church leaders have suggested for a spiritual home. (Is this Freudian? NO!)

Love of Learning: 0-death

Hopefully a love of learning is starting to develop as the child approaches the age of accountability (around 8 yrs of age). As a parent, I know what my children like and don't like. So, I see what academic skills they need and bring home a selection of books for them to choose from the library based on their interests. All the while, God is uppermost in our homeschool. The devotionals are continued in our home for life. ( Freudian? Nah!)

Scholar Phase: AROUND 12-death

This is more of a subdued version of Susan Wise Bauer's the well-trained mind. We gradually get into the more complex classics and have discussions and writing assignments on them. We buy the SAT and ACT books at this point, and my children work - with my help - on strengthening any academic weaknesses. They also work on the Young Men's or Young Women's spiritual program. Again, the devotionals continue. (Is THIS Freudian - I don't think so!)

Depth Phase - the college years, for MY family, until death

This is where a person can truly get into depth in his/her liberal arts education and work on his/her training for whatever occupation is calling out to him/her. Of course, institute is a must with us - Yes, I do require - as seminary was in the scholar phase yrs.
(Is all of this Freudian? Again, no!)

Finally, mission phase and impact phase: Taking what a person learns in depth phase and working on their life mission so they can impact the society in which they live for good.

In our family, we want to be good Christian soldiers for the God - marry in the temple, raise a righteous posterity, go on missions, help the poor and the needy, be more and more like our Savior each day. ( Freudian? Only in a twisted mind.)

Again, I know what DeMille says BUT I know what's right for my family with God's help. I don't ever take anyone's advice to the letter. I align it with what my church teaches is right. So, no, DeMille has not convinced me to follow Freud or any other humanist because I follow Christ. I FOLLOW CHRIST, NOT DEMILLE! I use some of what he advises to TEACH my children not as a way to produce clones. Again, if something doesn't seem right like inspire NOT require, you Not them etc. then I DON'T do it. I hope I've made myself perfectly clear.

I don't care if you don't think I've proven that the 6 Phases of Learning are true. I think the way I've outlined them are true enough for me and MY family. I'm not here to convince you because you've already made up your mind - DeMille is EVIL. I'm here to simply leave a comment and explain how we've used the phases in MY home.

I can't believe that a simple question to get your extended view on the phases has prompted you to attack my character and family.

BTW - Homeschooling won't get shut down because of DeMille. His college has been working with both public and private schools for a few years now. They seem to really like his stuff. ;-)

In addition, I am skeptical of DeMille. I always have been. He is not a god to me. Having said that I am also skeptical of what you say as well. Maybe that's as it should be.

Anonymous said...

I think this website is sad. I had not decided to do TJED or Not, and this blog convinced me I should.

I hope you feel better for spewing your feelings.

Anonymous said...

J.L.L. posted:

"...another (from Lady Poet) ...

"I found him to be narrow minded and a bit hostile. Much like those anti-Mormons who have nothing better to do with their lives than tear down anothers beliefs...they don't go around talking about the merits of their religion, instead they spend their time tearing down my church and my beliefs. They are negative. TJed isnt' a religion, but a way of learning. But the concept is similar.
...
I find him to be cowardly (for not posting his email or name) and I find him to be narrow minded. If that is your ball of wax...then have at it! ... I did find his blog hostile and narrow minded...not to mention very negative. I thought it went out of its way to be hostile and offensive to anyone who uses TJed, basically saying we are a bunch of morons because we learn that way. I do NOT think that expressing your opinion that someone is hostile means that the person who says that is hostile. We might lose a few new homeschoolers over this lovely post by this anonymous blogger...but maybe he is some public school teacher who lost a few kids to TJed and is now trying to bring back a few bright kids to his classroom. lol
..."

Based upon the writing style and choice of words the poster known as Lady Poet is most probably the poster known as "Donna" in your comments section here.

Apparently, J.L.L., you've REALLY hacked off a very, very faithful adherent to the TJED religion...er...philosophy (hey - it was even started by a man and is mingled with scripture by a lot of his followers! lol ).

Anonymous said...

Annnnd, J.L.L. -

You are correct in your observation that it is considered perfectly normal for the following passive-aggressive behavior to be present on certain websites: Poster A makes a post. Poster B decides she is angry at the mere existence of Poster A's thoughts. Poster B then, at some point during the conversation - no matter how it is going - decides to plant the idea that Poster A was "contentious" by...saying that. Poster B then goes on to be extremely contentious and make ultimatums (such as "shut Poster A DOWN or I'm LEAVING!"). Unfortunately several posters then fall for this emotional blackmail.

And, that is exactly what that behavior (on the part of Poster B) is: It's emotional blackmail. And, this LadyPoet person (who I strongly suspect is the same as "Donna" on your comments) did just that on the homeschooling website you were involved with: She committed emotional blackmail after planting the propaganda that you "made" her resort to that behavior (like blaming the wife for getting beaten by her abusive husband).

I have been involved with several messageboards for many years. But, the only one that I have seen this behavior repeatedly exhibited (and accepted with a blind eye) is an LDS homeschooling messageboard (just google those two terms and you'll immediately find it). Ironically you'll find this poster (if LadyPoet and Donna are one and the same) regularly posting on that messageboard as well. ;)

Anyway, what you described is something I have definitely seen - you weren't making things up! I think it might be cultural - and it might be related to the same circumstances which attract people to the TJED philosophy to begin with. It would definitely make for an interesting set of case studies in psychology!

Diana said...

Thank you for your blog!! I am researching various homeschooling methods with the intent of homeschooling next year. I like the focus of TJed on the 'classics', and think that there are some helpful things that might be incorporated from TJed my homeschool curriculum, but it most certainly won't be my only source! I've only read one of the books -- the home companion, and felt doomed from the outset....how could I possibly succeed in TJed starting after the 'Core Phase' had already passed? (My son is 9 1/2).

The one thing that TJed did for me was to help me to evaluate what my 'core classic' is. I discovered it would simply come down to the scriptures, and determined that this isn't being reflected enough currently in my teachings in the home. Therefore, I am promptly making changes in this area while continuing to find or create the curriculum that will match the needs of our family.

I also appreciate your discussion of the 'phases of development' (for all theorists) -- because that's precisely what they are - theories -- imperfect philosophies of men. They can be used as tools to help understand human development and behavior, but their limitations also need to recognized. Because I am still an 'outsider' to the homeschooling community, and not emotionally involved with any one philosophy, I can fully appreciate the research that you've done, and even more your forum for discussion. Thank you again!

Geoff and Kash said...
This comment has been removed by the author.