My three Quest graduates. Quest is a scholar project offered by Leadership Education Mentoring Institute.
Why give your children a “leadership education?” Why watch them go through the pain of scholar phase, particularly the Quest class, formerly known as Thomas Jefferson Youth Certification?
Here is an open letter to all parents who are striving to assist their children in going through scholar phase, as outlined in the book, Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille. One of my dear friends in leadership education, who mentors the Quest III scholar project, wrote the letter. She gave me permission to reprint it here. I have interspersed the text with photos of scholar moments from my kids.
My purpose in writing serves two purposes:
1. To hopefully lay aside apprehensions that may be associated with Quest.
2. To lay open the vital purpose this course and a Leadership Ed. has for your child’s success not only throughout the course of Quest, but in life as well.
You should already be familiar with the learning phases and the skills developed in Scholar levels after having read A Thomas Jefferson Education, by DeMille, Aneladee Milne’s book, A New Commonwealth School, and having attended LEMI Philosophy training. Our commonwealth provides the environments where these skills are developed through classes that help them find their voice through reading, discussing, writing, oral presenting, memorizing, acting and simulating (and, yes, Shakespeare IS a life changing simulation.)1
Up until Quest, the students have mostly written opinion papers, some research, and short reports. All of which prepare them for Apprentice Scholar level classes which further fine tunes the previous skills. However, I believe there is much more gained from the Quest course than improved reading, writing, etc.; they gain a new language.
There is a language in our society that only a few understand and use, a language that moves society through political, moral, economical and international waves, or currants, of leadership, wars, government forms and world views.2 It is through a Leadership Education that this language is discovered.
Dr. DeMille’s subtitle of A Thomas Jefferson Education is “Teaching a Generation of Leaders” and our commonwealth understands the system in which this lofty goal is achieved and its success is proven repeatedly by its graduates and their successes. 1
Leaders, by the way, know this language, they know its impact in swaying a vote, leveraging economies, molding an institute, gaining support, creating curriculum, wording a legislative bill, arguing in favor or against, and understanding an opponent. Familiarity with the language helps our children recognize fallacy, in other words, they will be able to discern the truths or untruths in the rhetoric. This language comes from a variety of sources. Regardless of its source, it will impact your life and your children’s lives and how it influences those lives, positively or negatively, will depend upon those who are involved in the conversation. Quest I, II and III will bring your children into that conversation.
I have personal experiences that illustrate that impact from both the negative and the positive.
First the bad news…
At age 12 my son felt certain that he wanted to “try” public education after being homeschooled up to this age. I felt he had had a good founding on correct principles and would either be disheartened by his experience, would not be adversely affected, and want to return home for a better educational experience. I was wrong. This is what really happened. Against all council from my religious leaders to teach in the home & not let ungodly men (women) teach my child, 4 I allowed my son to enter the public school system. In a World History class, a secular instructor took the liberties to include his own world view. My son was so intrigued that he embraced it and has since abandoned God, rejected all teachings of his parents and has gotten involved in illegal activities which cost him his liberties. He is always angry, unguided, depressed, and uncertain of his future, has no goals and hates all authority. All because one teacher, who held to worldly values, felt it necessary to introduce a “language” unfamiliar to these young immature children in hopes of having them “look at things differently.” My son did not know the language and was therefore snared into believing something he still does not fully understand. I am not saying this will happen to your child if or when they enroll into a public school or an institute of higher education…But it might.
Now the Good News…
Another experience has given me even more insight into the importance of understanding this language. While volunteering at a youth simulation immersion event this past June, I was able to observe the activities. The main activity was to have the divided groups (nations) conquer the other groups though various attempts of subterfuge, spying, challenges, and verbal persuasion, among others. Each group had to decide whether to counter or not. In the end, the group that was the most aggressive won and the government form that ruled all “nations” was a totalitarian despotic leadership. Granted it was not real and no harm came upon any participant aside from the frustration of not knowing how to avoid this type of leadership or form of government. In this experience, I realized with a resounding epiphany that had these kids known the “language” and really understood government forms, they would have had a greater experience AND a better outcome AND a superior chance to be effective in the real world. They all needed to attend Quest I, II AND III!
The Quest course is not separate levels; it is a continuous progression to understanding what virtue looks like and the language that is so powerful today; a language that is undermining our culture.6 In order to counter that subtle and not so subtle attack, we must be in the conversation and have a handle on the sophistic rhetoric world leaders are using to sway and gain support- A Support that includes your children.
As a parent, I want my children to be contributing citizens upon entering the world as an adult. But, what does “contributing” mean? Is it a taxpayer, a business owner, a loyal employee, a skilled craftsman, an Olympic athlete, a college graduate, a professional, a missionary, a parent, a public servant, an international dignitary, or maybe all of these things? Does it mean more than just being successful in these fields? Isn’t it more than just living day-to-day? Isn’t it more than just obeying the laws? Isn’t it more than a college degree?
It is more. They need to have more than just “making a living”. They need to be able to hold their ground, to know what they believe, & to know correct principles in order to be a contributing citizen. 5 They need to be able to influence for good outside of their family or community circles. They need to be solidly centered on their core values in order to counter at the right times in an appropriate, confidant manner. They need to recognize when laws are violating rights and freedoms and battle against them. 7 That is my vision of contributing and this is what scholars will become following a fabulous exposure to various leadership models in Quest I and II, and then introduced to the basics of world views, its languages and its various sources. All of which are revealed for their true intent and purposes in the news media, entertainment, speeches, films, curriculum, literature, and even in the local political arena once the language is understood. Truly, if you want your child to succeed in the upcoming difficult times, they must be part of the conversation. They must know of and have a firm conviction to their own world view. One way this can be accomplished is by knowing what other views are saying, then comparing it to the Word of God.2,8
I am not proposing that your son or daughter become the President of the United States (or am I?) What I am stating is that your child will be in leadership positions in various levels and degrees in their lives. Let’s help them succeed in the capacity in which they will be called. Let’s not forget the purpose of a Leadership Education in the swirling mists of socializing, diploma, degree, ACT, college, scholarships and good grades that equal an “education” and equate “success.” Success (and higher education) can be obtained outside of public institutes AND they’ll gain the best education in ALL fields of experience. Let’s not limit our children to a “career,” let’s give them the world. 8
Maybe, about now, you are wondering who I am and what makes me so sure. What qualifies me and why am I so passionate?
As the mentor of the Quest III class, I am well versed in the language. Since my birth, my father spoke of these world views and used their language when discussing the news and other current events. He was actively involved in politics up until his 80th year. From the Young Republicans, Masons, John Birch Society, Independent American Party and numerous attempts at vying for office on such principles that to him “…seem[ed] most likely to affect …Safety and Happiness” for his country and posterity. He loved the Constitution of the United States and instilled this devotion into his children and grandchildren. He revered the Founding Fathers and the great documents they penned and he was able to detect with clarity when their teachings and Constitutional principles were violated.
This is the legacy I inherited. In turn, I studied and got involved. I have taught Constitution Courses, held political party positions for 12 years and run for state government offices twice. All of which have immersed me in the dialogue.
In regards to my qualifications for mentoring at Liber Academy, I have been trained in Key of Liberty, Writing Tutorial, Quest I, II, III, & mentored Quest III class for two years. I have attended all of the Face to Face with Greatness Seminars including the World Views and Mathematics Lectures. I have sat on Liber Academy’s Supreme Court simulations as a judge on four separate occasions. I have also gone through the 5 Pillar Certification program, thus reading the books for this class at least three times. (Have you seen the bulk of Noebel’s, Understanding the Times?) One book in this course that has influenced me the most is Steven R. Covey’s, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I now thoroughly understand my Center, what it looks like and how it guides me in all aspects of my life. From my continuing studies of Hebrew, the way of the Jews, The Holy Scriptures, Economics, Mathematics and mentoring manuals, I can bring insights that assist the scholar in discovering the correct connections to all that is learned within an eternal perspective.
This process of discovery is most effectively facilitated by you, the parent. When you keep them close, immerse them in scriptures, read the same materials they are, discuss them with your child in an informal manner, have weekly mentor meetings to “plan” their day, week, year, future, YOU will bring them closer to Greatness with a velocity that will astound you.3 You will no longer wonder if they will make it in the world, because they with full capacity will want to lead the world.
Come, bring your children, and embark on a wonderful journey of discovery.
LINKS of interest and noted in body of letter:
1 Liber Website: http://liberacademy.org/about-us/philosophy-methodology/
Read the section titled Philosophy/Methodology under the “About Us” menu
2 Understanding the Times new Edition website for Introduction and Islam Chapter. The Intro discusses the point of seeing patterns to recognize if something is of God. Islam is an influential emerging WorldView and should be understood, especially because of US Executive Branch sympathies.
On this page: Choose the “Click here to download…” options
3 TJED site for Parent Interviews
4 “A School in Zion,” by then President of BYU, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
Proofs that our Religious leaders also know the language and are sending out warnings.
5 “What is Truth?” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf https://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2013/01/what-is-truth?lang=eng
6 Relativism: Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s “Free Forever, to Act for Themselves” https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2014/10/free-forever-to-act-for-themselves?lang=eng
7 Secular Humanism: Elder Dallin H. Oaks “Stand as Witnesses of God.”https://www.lds.org/ensign/2015/03/stand-as-witnesses-of-god?lang=eng
8 President Ezra Taft Benson