Monday, August 13, 2012

This Week In History-Thomas Jefferson Education

This Week in History is what many people refer to as a ‘cross-curricular’ resource. If you’re not familiar with that term, please allow me to try and explain. It means having the student (of whatever age) learn about more than one ‘academic discipline’ at a time. If you’ve heard the term ‘Unit Study’ then you probably understand it already. If you want to study Annie Oakley, instead of just reading a paragraph from a history textbook, you might: read a biography, look up on the map where she was born, lived, and died, search online for pictures of Annie, read up on how a rifle gets its rifling, (and why that’s important,) and research to find out what life was like in the US in the 1870’s.

So, if that sounds like fun, but maybe a little more work than you’re ready to take on, allow me to introduce you to This Week in History(TWIH), the weekly subscription feature from Thomas Jefferson Education. Each week, Rachel DeMille has a whole lot of info, with great pictures, and fantastic links, about what happened this week (in history!) 

Thomas Jefferson Education, online learning

For $9.99 a month you can get more than a whole month’s worth of inspiration and links to activities, books, and websites each week. Yes, you read that right, you’re getting a whole lot more to choose from than most families would ever do in a week, or a month, so you can pick the ones of most interest to you.

We’ve enjoyed the weekly layout, because it seems a more manageable amount to choose from than if it were listed by month. I mean, after all, we’re busy people and I enjoy being able to just pick what suits our fancy at the time. It’s fun to scroll down the list each week as a family and discuss who the people are that are having ‘birthdays’ that week. some of them we recognized, like Nicola Tesla and Annie Oakley, some we did not. 

You may decide that textbooks are getting stagnant and want to change things up, or you may be unit study type at heart. Either way, find some inspiration to do something different tomorrow, or Saturday, or next Tuesday. The when isn’t as important as the doing.

So who is this really for? Well, anyone, everyone. The byline on the Thomas Jefferson Education website states “An Education to Match Your Mission.” So what is your family’s mission? Are you looking to require things of your children just so you can check off the boxes? Let me encourage you to instead inspire them with a love of learning. Wherever and however your child is being educated, this website can be a benefit to you. Besides the subscription based part (This Week in History,) there are blog articles that are really honest, and encouraging, about a whole slew of topics. Maybe you should read the ones about “Burnout” now, before you get to that point. They could be an eye-opener to adjusting routines and expectations NOW before you reach the burnout stage. Or maybe you’d benefit most from reading about a Thomas Jefferson Education. The ‘How’ and ‘Why’ of education, not just focusing on the ‘what.’

Even if you can’t afford the TWIH feature, go visit the website: you’ll be encouraged you did! If the ideals presented there resonate with your family’s mission, you’ll know what to ask for when Grandpa asks what you want for Christmas!


I also want to take a minute to encourage you to read Oliver DeMille’s book “A Thomas Jefferson Education- Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-First Century.” I purchased the book at a Classical Conversations seminar I attended back in March. The book resonated with our desires for our children’s education, and prompted me to want to review the TWIH because I had seen the benefit available to us as a family when we learn together. 

Don’t just send your kids to school, or do ‘school at home,’ give your children the opportunity for a real, lasting education. Read the book, visit the website, down the road your children will thank you that you did!

As a reviewer for the TOS Crew, I was granted free access to the weekly TWIH feature in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are mine. Note: I bought the book myself.

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