Two Saturdays ago I attended and spoke at the Winter Homeschool Conference in Ogden UT. Despite the long time I spent hunting for a parking spot (over 1000 people attended), it was lovely to see so many friends and meet new ones as well. I even got to meet two of my Mothers Who Know “alumnae” students from Oregon. Yes, they flew all the way out to hear the DeMilles speak. I wish I could say it was me they came to hear, haha, that would be cool. My friend Katie Hansen used the event as motivation to get a product ready to sell at her Liber Labs vendor table. When she gave me my own finished copy and I started looking through it, I felt like crying tears of joy for her at the amazing thing of beauty she has created!
The picture at the top of this post shows Katie’s two brainchildren. First, her brand new binder, on the right, The Hebrew Project, which she has been putting her whole heart and soul into the past three years. It’s a mentor’s guide to teach students the symbolism of the Hebrew alphabet class. I used the “beta” version to teach the class recently. Then on the left of the picture, you you can see the curriculum she finished last summer, The House of the Book Family Guide Year 1.
If you were into Thomas Jefferson Education and wanted an easier to understand name for these two publications I would call them: A Foundation for Doing Core Phase and Love of Learning in Your Home if You are Into Thomas Jefferson Education.
If you don’t know what Thomas Jefferson Education is then I would call these two binders (which are essentially books, just in 3-ring binder format) a Hebraic-Christian Foundation for a Family Homeschool. These binders give you the material to use in in your homeschooling for inspirational devotionals and “time to learn what mom knows” time. This can be a brief period, 5 to 10 minutes, where you share what you are excited about every morning in your homeschool time.
The books go together, like sisters, and both are the culmination of many dreams, blood, sweat and tears! The amount of scholarly work she has put into these books are worthy of a PhD! Here’s the story, at least from my point of view, and an invitation to you come to two webinars to learn more
When I first started homeschooling “officially” back in 1998, I heard Oliver DeMille speak at a homeschool conference about giving kids a “leadership education.” I have to say, I was very skeptical. I didn’t embrace that idea right away. I wasn’t sure what to think of it. The main idea seemed to be to take away the distractions from your kids life, make them work, and then let them study whatever they wanted. I wasn’t sure about letting kids avoid steadily progressing in math skills (daily math worksheets) so they could build forts all day. The idea seemed dangerous to me at the time. I know some people say “Hey building forts involves math!” To which I say, “Yes, some measuring and addition, that’s it. I want my kids to progress beyond that before they are 13.”
So I homeschooled my own way for about six years (including requiring math worksheets every day, which I still do), and then I moved to a new city where a lot more people were doing this “leadership education” thing. I actually found not one, but two groups, who were doing it, in my new county! The two stories behind those two groups could go on for pages, including a Providential finding of my friend Kelli at a random concert at our local high school that I almost didn’t attend, but I will leave those parts out for now. The interesting thing about the group that Kelli led was that the meetings that were held were not for the kids to have school together, like I did in my previous residence, but for the moms to get together and learn together about leadership education while the kids played. I really liked that!
Through that group which met over 8 years ago, I met a wonderful woman named Katie Hansen. Little did I know how much our lives would intertwine after that first meeting at our mutual friend Kim’s home! I didn’t know that she, like I, was into natural healing, home birth, and crunchy living. I didn’t know that someday our sons would be best friends, mock trial buddies who would win second place at the state level, and peer partners in their scholar experiences. I didn’t know that someday our little girls would bond together over cooking as the lone daughter among a sea of boys.
Anyway, in the 8+ years I have known Katie, I have seen her blossom in her knowledge of what we both call organic education. We have been to many book discussions, moms and dads as mentors meetings, Commonwealth trainings, a drive through Zion National Park, and other classes together. She has taken a beautiful set of ideas, represented by the Hebrew alphabet, and used it to answer the long ago question I had of
“Just how does a mom do leadership education in the home?” Our mutual friend Kelli ignited a fire in Katie about symbolism and how that fits in with the Hebrew alphabet. Katie read The Chosen, like I did, in our TJEd journey, and it got her thinking more about Hebrew and gematria. Then Katie’s husband, who has always loved the Jewish people, took a class on Hebrew from Oliver at GWU and made some discoveries which he wrote about in a paper he shared with Katie.
As you learn more about her story and her books, you too can learn answers to the puzzling questions that come up when doing “Leadership Education,” such as:
- “Every day when I wake up, I have no idea what we going to do for homeschool. I’ve been told to let the kids study whatever they want. Actually not knowing what they want to study until the moment we are into the homeschooling part of the day can be frustrating. Is it OK to have more structure for our homeschooling and where can I get the knowledge to do it? I would like more of a framework to guide us in our studies, without being scripted for each step of what to study.”
- “Is there some kind of “curriculum” I can use for core and love of learning phases that isn’t too scripted or artificial or conveyor beltish?”
- “How could I do a Thomas Jefferson Education-based ‘preschool’ or classes for love of learning kids on a weekly basis?” or
- “What can we use as a program for the younger siblings of the kids at our Commonwealth School?”
- “Is there some kind of curriculum I can follow in doing TJED that incorporates literature, history, art, science, math, that won’t burn me out as a homeschool mom?“
- “Is there some kind of TJED compatible curriculum that teaches kids respect and self-government?”
- “What ‘curriculum’ can I use to increase and strengthen belief in God and God’s laws, in myself and my children?”
Yes, Katie has the answers to all of these questions! Come to her webinar and find out!
I would also like to share my Homeschooling Hacks that I presented at the last Winter Homeschool Conference in Ogden. So…I am announcing two webinars that will be taking place this month.
Coming to a Place of Healing and Wholeness While
Discovering the Hebrew Way in Order to Homeschool Organically
by Katie Hansen
Friday Feb. 13
3:30 PM MT
4:30 PM CT
5:30 PM ET
2:30 PM PT
Tuesday Feb. 17
2 PM MT
3 PM CT
4 PM ET
1 PM PT
(same presentation both dates, pick which one works best for you)
Please join us at this link
How to Get a Most Excellent Education in a Faster, Cheaper, Fun and Organic Way
by Celestia Shumway
Wednesday Feb. 18
Wednesday Feb. 25
2 PM MT
3 PM CT
4 PM ET
1 PM PT
Please use the following link to join the webinar:
We can’t wait to meet you there!