Help to Homeschool Your Older Teenager

Last Thursday night was so awesome. I am so excited about this! This idea is so powerful! If you have older teens and you homeschool, you will want to know about this. It will change your life and your children’s lives! In the past 6 years of me being in the TJED community, I have observed that sometimes teens in the years after 15 or so flounder somewhat. They don’t know what to do. Some drift until they go on a mission. Others go to community college. Some go to George Wythe College, but not a lot. I wish every one of them would go to college, because after reading the book by President Eyring’s son, Major Decisions, about why college is so important, I think every one should go to college. These youth take LEMI classes (LEMI is like a homeschool jr. high/high school alternative), but when they are done they are left wondering, now what? If they take the LEMI classes starting at age 12, they can be done by age 14 or 15.



Aneladee Milne and Tiffany Earl have decided to create a new scholar project. It’s called “Be the Author of Your Life” and it’s for TJED youth. Scholar phase, one of the phases of learning described by Oliver DeMille in his book, A Thomas Jefferson Education, has four levels: practice scholar, apprentice scholar, self-directed, and mentored scholar.  This new project by Tiffany and Aneladee is for self-directed scholars. The other LEMI classes are all for practice and apprentice scholars. It’s time for the scholars to create their own projects for what they want to learn and how they want to do it. This is called The Edison Project.



So to launch this new class/project, a group of homeschooled youth from Idaho and Utah met with some parents and mentors at this retreat. It was going to be in Eden, UT but there was a glitch so it couldn’t be there. Aneladee called Diann Jeppson for help and Diann hooked up the group a family. Thank you to the M. family and their large home! Their family room alone is 1200 square feet. They graciously opened it up for us and let us use a wing for their retreat. I want to have a home like that someday, where I can host large groups of people and have plenty of room.



Aneladee told this story about last summer. She said she had so much fun planning her daughter’s wedding. She sewed dresses for the wedding and had loads of fun on the wedding day decorating and socializing.



She wondered, “Why can’t I just throw parties and sew dresses the rest of my life? Why do I have to study and put myself out there and go through the pain of leading?” She knows it’s because God is calling her to do more than sew and party. She told the youth that the same will probably happen to them. They will be called to do hard things.


Then she shared how a song she sings to herself when the adversary whispers in her hear, telling her she can’t do something. “Get thee, behind me Satan…I want you out of my head!”  We had a good time singing with her and her guitar.



The youth were supposed to read the book Autodidactic by James Parkinson. This is a book by an LDS man who is an attorney in Palm Desert CA. The book I ordered for my daughter did not arrive in time, so we haven’t read it yet, but the youth who did read it shared so many awesome comments. See their cute expressions below.



Aneladee said that the man who would become her son-in-law told her about the book when he was dating her daughter. He was leaving his misison and told his mission president he wanted to work hard and get an education when he got home from his mission. The  mission president told Andrew to go home and get this book. It is written by the mission president’s friend. So Andrew came home and found the book, and then when he met Aneladee, after starting to date Tatiana, Aneladee’s daughter,  he told her about the book. She started reading it and was so amazed by the content. I am excited to read it myself.


This is Jane, sharing with us her excitement over one of the concepts in the book Autodidactic, that your thoughts are determined by the words you know.


Tiffany Earl shared with the youth how to use the journal she created for them. Every night they are supposed to write answers  to five questions, to help them track their progress as an autodidact:


Mental Skills Assessment—To be kept daily

  1. How motivated was I today?

  2. How present was I?

  3. What did I do well?

  4. What should I improve tomorrow?

  5. (Do you want to add any questions of your own that are particular to you?)


These are such great questions I want to start answering them every night!


These are my cool friends the Bowlers who mentor youth at the Commonwealth school in St. George. They brought up the southern Utah contingent.






I messed up the date on this picture, because I had to change batteries. It really was 9/29/11.


The other LEMI projects for younger homeschooled youth involve vision, mission, skills, and abilities already enumerated by the creators of the LEMI projects. These are called the scholar ladders. For this self-directed project, the youth create their own vision, mission, skills, abilities, and habits. They were given a binder with pages to write these all down. They also have a mentor, not their parent, that they meet with once a week to help them create them. They also meet with their parent once a week for parent-mentor meeting. If you want to learn more about this to provide it for your youth, contact Trffany Earl at tiffanydearl at yahoo dot com or Aneladee at aneladee at yahoo dot com.



I am eager to see what these youth create. I envision that they will get an inkling of their life-long mission in part from this project.


They are all smiling because they are so thrilled to embark on this new project!




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