Mom School, Dad School & Homeschool Log April 2019

A few months ago, we wholeheartedly started our journey with the TJED homeschooling approach. We have been reading about this approach for about one year, and had looked into unschooling, radical unschooling as well as the Montessori and Waldorf approach to home educating children.

TJED resonated with us most, because it focusses on both the education of the parents as well as the children. I personally love to study and felt guilty for years, having that desire to learn and grow as an individual. I thought, I had to give up everything to homeschool our children and that it was selfish of me to have interests beyond a small hobby.

Reading “A Thomas Jefferson Education” opened my eyes to the importance of us as parents influencing our children by inspiration and example - before requiring them to strive high in their own life.

Oh my goodness, I can still hear that rock falling off my heart, when I realized, that I not only was allowed to study, but in fact HAD to study and get (complete/ further) my own education, so I could inspire my children to aim for great things in their own life.

I have to pursue my own dreams and strive towards finding and feeding my passion, to then grow into walking in the purpose of my life and living up to my full potential. Only then can I truly inspire my children, to do the same and enable them to get a great education for themselves.

At first I struggled though, wrapping my head around how to practically do this on a daily basis and how to structure my days, so I could work and study as well as be there for the kids in their different phases and with their different needs.

I signed up for one of the TJED conventions as well as their “Mentoring in the Classics” subscription, and asked a ton of questions in their facebook group. Over the past few months, I have adapted a totally different mindset around education, self education, home education and leadership. We are also slowly coming to a routine that works really well for us - both for my learning, the kids learning and for us to live life together as a family (which is a huge part of education itself).

Record keeping is important and helps us, develop our list of Family Classics, and provides a document that can be used for our childrens further education (college/ university etc.). Since I need to keep record anyway, I wanted to share this journey with you, so you could benefit from learning from what works for us and what we enjoy with our kids. There are so many approaches to homeschooling and to TJED, there’s not one way that’s right - but by sharing we can inspire each other and help each other find our unique way.

So, here is what we read and did this month

Mom School

This month, I have used the TJED Mentoring in the Classics to go through the books “A Thomas Jefferson Education” and “Dumbing us down”. The subscription offered me 3+ hrs of extra content besides the books, optional questions to answer, a study guideline for the books and a community where I could discuss and learn from other discussions and comments. This makes learning so much more effective and deep.

I have also gone through several sessions of the TJED 2017 Convention, where Rachel and Oliver DeMille (and other speakers) share about how this homeschooling approach looks like on a daily basis and in the different phases. These examples really helped me get a much clearer picture, say goodbye to super mom, accept that life itself is a teacher and that I don’t need to work as hard (academically) for my kids as I have been (fearing not to give them enough, I tend to over provide them with opportunities and material). It also showed me, that all the other moms struggle as much as I do, and that there are seasons in life and our homeschooling life.

I have used several sessions in a business school called “Jumpcut” to improve my sharing on my youtube channel, as well as set up business automation for products I have and am going to have for sale - so I can have more time to spend with my family (while still sharing valuable content with my audience). I also took classes to learn how the app PLANN works (so I can pre-schedule Instagram posts a week or weeks in advance and don’t have to scramble daily to post on social media). Another thing I did for my business was, to get some more presets and I bought a photo editing course I will be going through in the next weeks. I also bought a few video editing presets - shortening the time it takes me to edit a video.

Besides that, I read the books

The One Thing
Totally loved every minute of it and can highly recommend it for everyone who has several things on their plate or who is an entrepreneur. It’s definitely a book I will read a second and third and fourth time.

The 5 Love Languages
Loved the book and will re-read it again. Additionally I watched several love language videos that summarized the book … just an additional way for me to have a higher retention. You can never do enough to improve on your marriage and communication as a couple.

5 Love Languages of Children
I rented this book from the library and will read it again. Again, it did help me a lot to watch short youtube videos that summarized the content. I am currently converting these into notes where I list practical examples for each child in our family. It’s not just about reading the books, but about putting the learned information into action.

Dad School

Paul is still trying to ignite his love for learning. This month, he read the book “A Thomas Jefferson Education” and went halfway through this Dad Convention - which really helped him understand the importance he as a Dad has in our kids education.

He also helped with some of the building projects and started playing soccer with Samuel. And he bought himself this keyboard and started these piano lessons (re-igniting a passion for music he has had since childhood). He also read the book “The Christian Passover” by Fred Coulter.

Kid School

This month, we build two loft beds - without a plan. We created our own plan, and used wood we already had for free at home. We learned lots about math, measurements, logic, design and actual building skills. We consulted professionals to help us with questions and challenges about design and materials. We cut and built everything by ourselves.

We also got salamander eggs and watched them hatch and grow into baby salamanders. We watched our neighbors baby cats and learned how to take care of them and feed them. We researched for potting soil and seeds as well as seedlings to plant into our container garden and started hundreds of seedlings. We watched a bird lay eggs and breed them in a tree in our yard.

We made lots of new recipes, and the kids made several meals all on their own. We harvested fresh mushrooms and the kids went on a mushroom excuse with a professional. We had lots of time in nature, at an Eco Village and State Parks, and Samuel and Priscilla practiced photography.

Samuel learned how to mow the lawn and I “hired” him to babysit for 1 hr Mon - Fri (he does help voluntarily any time I need him, but I needed that extra hour of time and decided to pay him rather than an outsider to our family. He is saving up for some special projects to buy and was looking for a way to boost his pocket money … mowing lawns for people is no longe “in” as it was in the old days …). We also got pet fish from friends and the kids take care of feeding and cleaning them. And we started a worm farm for compost.

Priscilla got a violin this month and will start violin lessons with the violin lab. Samuel and I got this guitar and started guitar lessons here.

We read tons of books, but here are our favorites for this month (click on the books for more information and a link to where to buy them):

This collection of library books listed is by no means all the material we have used and read. But it’s the best books, the ones we truly loved and would and will rent again - some even buy.

I hope this information is useful and inspiring to you. I will be posting our school log once each month from now on. Do you have any absolutely favorite books or resources for homeschooling? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you!

Jessica Ajayi