I’m reading A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver Van DeMille at the moment, inspired by Jamie at Steady Mom and Simple Homeschool. She’s often identified herself as being inspired by Thomas Jefferson Education (also called Leadership Education) and I was curious. I’m about halfway through the book, but so far I like it. The approach seems to be a blend of Classical Education and Mentoring. It feels very USA-centric, as you might guess from the title. But it is easy enough to substitute other Classic books or documents from your cultural background for the American ones mentioned.
One of the things Van DeMille suggests is to have kids write a mini-essay daily to hone their writing skills. His general formula seems to be: Read Lots of Classics + Discuss Classics + Write About Classics = Thorough Education.
When I look at my own learning process I can see how I do this, albeit on a rather reduced volume. My formula looks more like this: Read + Discuss + Experiment + Write + Reflect = one iteration of learning. Repeat iterations as often as required.
What kind of effect would I see if I wrote more often? I wonder how that would affect my learning process… would I pass through iterations more quickly, or process information in a more conscious way instead of letting things percolate below the surface?
I keep coming back to this idea, that the only real change we can make is in ourselves. That we cannot teach what we do not know. I need to look to myself first, challenge myself as a learner, stretch my own creativity or build up my own powers of self-discipline before placing any of those demands on my kids.
And that maybe it’s time I gave a daily writing practice a really serious try.