Homeschooling is a wonderful way to provide your child with an education that meets their needs. The Thomas Jefferson Education (TJEd) philosophy of education emphasizes mentoring and teaching children how rather than what to think or learn.
The goal is for students to develop a love of learning in an atmosphere that fosters their natural ability to reason, question, explore, and experiment. In essence, the educational process becomes more organic as parents tailor-make lessons around each child’s passions and interests.
This method can work for all ages and abilities. Read this article for more information about TJEd and how it could be right for your family.
To learn even more about various homeschooling approaches, check out 10 Different Homeschooling Methods You Need to Know.
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What is the Thomas Jefferson Education method?
If Classical Education and Unschooling had a baby, it’d be Thomas Jefferson Education.
All kidding aside, TJEd is a unique homeschooling approach whose focus is on helping children find their true calling in life. It’s much more of a lifestyle than a method or curriculum.
Much like Classical Education, Thomas Jefferson Education is a system in which the student progresses through three different educational phases divided into two parts.
During the Foundational Phase, children from birth to age 8 learn about morals, family values, relationships, and responsibilities. In the second part of this stage, kids from ages 8-12 focus on interest-led learning, projects, and reading classic literature to foster a love of learning.
Next is the Educational Phase, when 12-18 years old study the classics and work with mentors to refine their skills. The second part of this phase is 18-24 years old, where young adults deepen their knowledge base with a mentor-guided program.
Finally, the Application Phase occurs during adulthood (or when your prefrontal cortex finishes developing!), where the student continues to self-educate. Once they reach middle age, they utilize their skills as leaders and mentor future generations.
This method may be right for your family if you desire an approach that doesn’t depend on a curriculum, but still provides a rigorous and quality education.
What Are the Pros?
- Your children will grow to be confident leaders.
- No textbooks or worksheets! Children read classics and living books
- Parents are seen as mentors that inspire, discuss, and guide children through their education
- Children grow up to be life-long, self-educators
What Are the Cons?
- No textbooks! TJEd is not an open-and-go curriculum or program.
- There is A LOT of parent involvement as you mentor your children through their education.
- Secular homeschoolers will need to glean information from the books and courses by TJEd.
- There’s only one source for information about Thomas Jefferson Education, which is the company’s website.
- A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the 21st Century
- Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning
- A Thomas Jefferson Education Home Companion
- Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens
- Hero Education: A Scholar Phase Guidebook
Popular Curricula & Teaching Materials
I hope this article has helped you to understand the Thomas Jefferson Education method better.
I know that choosing the right approach for you and your child will depend on several factors. Thomas Jefferson Education is undoubtedly an interesting homeschooling method, so if it aligns well with your values, then definitely look deeper into it!
What homeschooling method do you think would be best for your child? Let me know!
Xuan Klevecka is a Southern California-based homeschool mom, wife, and sometimes purveyor of vintage goods. She’s an Enneagram 5w4, a lover of good food, and a former middle school history teacher. You’ll either find her looking at road maps and daydreaming about her family’s next epic adventure or perusing recipes and cooking up a feast for the brood.