Monday, March 14, 2016

"How in this world have you managed it? The members of your family whom I have seen are fine, interesting men and women, educated above the average. It is not idle curiosity. I am deeply interested in knowing how such an end came to be accomplished here on this farm. I wish you would tell me just how you have gone about schooling your children."
"By educating ourselves before their coming, and with them afterward. Self-control, study, work, joy of life, satisfaction with what we have had, never-ending strife to go higher, and to do better---"
Quoted from: Laddie; A True Blue Story by Gene Stratton-Porter

   Lately I have had a paradigm shift. When my wife came to me with the idea of homeschooling our children I immediately thought of all the homeschooled social misfits I had ever met (which actually wasn't very many, but in my mind EVERY homeschooled kid was weird or socially awkward). I was mostly against the idea but allowed my wonderful wife to pursue the idea because I trusted her and I knew she would eventually get whatever she wanted in the end so why fight it.

   My wife started to mention a curriculum called, "The Thomas Jefferson Education" as one that she was interested in trying. I kind of shrugged it off as, "Yeah, sure, do whatever." She tried to get me involved in TJ Ed but I had my own ideas of homeschool and proceeded to attempt to cram education down the throats of my children whether they liked it or not. Then one day I decided to give my wife the green light to buy the books that accompany "Thomas Jefferson Education" and help guide teachers/parents/mentors in its method. By the time the books arrived I had finally decided that I was going to back my wife up in this endeavor 100%. So I started to read the first book. My mind was blown. Actually, it was expanded upon.

   If there was one thing I had learned in college it was that I can learn whatever I want through reading the right books. I felt I didn't need to go on to a master's degree because if I ever wanted to learn something new, I just needed to do the research myself. I never thought, though, that this could apply to high school, middle school, or even elementary school. For some reason that concept had never entered my mind. I was just too conditioned to think that school is the way it has to be. But these TJ Ed books helped me realize that the values, morals, life lessons, facts, and practical applications of theories needed to make an educated person can all be learned simply from reading great books and having a great mentor. And for a person to gain an education, they have to seek an education. An education cannot be forced on anyone. It is my job as a teacher and a mentor to my kids to gain that education myself and inspire them to seek their own.

   So, I am starting to read from the classics in earnest. I'm starting to gain the education that I want my children to gain for themselves. I want to inspire them (and maybe bring some more folks along for the ride). This is mainly the backdrop for this blog. As I've begun to read some of the suggested classics, I've found many quotes that have spoken to me. I want to remember them, think about them, write them down and maybe even expound on them or at least try to apply them to my life. I've decided that I will start every post with a quote from a book that I'm reading, or read lately, and then write some thoughts on it and invite comments. Hopefully a new quote daily, or almost daily. The next several quotes will be from "Little Britches: Father and I Were Ranchers." Then I'll continue on with "Laddie; A True Blue Story." I hope you enjoy the quotes I select and will check back in regularly to read and leave comments. In fact, let me know what you think of the quote at the top of the page and what I've briefly touched on in this, my first post ever!

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