This was my first time attending the Southwest Thomas Jefferson Education Forum. It was AWESOME! I came away from it feeling really inspired! Here are some of my notes from this awesome day!
Carol Shippy came to speak to us, from AFHE (AZ. Families for Home Education). She gave lots of examples of things that are going on in other states and other countries, concerning home schooling. She asked for our prayers concerning England (for example) and something called the Graham Badman Commission, which affects their freedom to home school. I still need to look this up. She also explained about a bill she is proposing called Senate Bill 1280, for making scholarships more equitable at the college level. This would mean that universities must publish all criteria for scholarships so that parents are in the know, about these requirements as they relate to home schooled students. I think this will be a great thing! Carol's enthusiasm and knowledge was refreshing and enlightening!
Dr. Andrew Groft spoke to us about A Renaissance of Kings. This talk was so inspiring! He spoke about some of the reasons for the cynicism that is so rampant today, and gave us ideas for solutions to these issues. He explained the word "King" and it's latin definition. It was so interesting, I wanted to share it here:
Root word: gen = life or origin of life
gen became kin = life and family
ing = suffix that gives action
so then the word becomes kin-ing = give or protect life
verb becomes a noun - King- a man or woman that gives, nurtures or protects life. It is tribal or familial. (He also showed us where the word "Queen" comes from and that it means the same thing.) I found this to be fascinating!
He spoke about the distractions that keep us from becoming the kings and queens that we were meant to be. Distractions such as addiction, sin, greed, self-doubt, etc. He said that we must learn our virtue (our humanness), we must learn to do that for which we were created. This resonates so strongly with the idea of a personal mission. He said that as a people, we have the heart, might and strength to combat daily distractions, but the one thing we are lacking, is that mind. This is why a classical education is so important! He reminded us that as kings and queens, we are to nurture, protect and promote life. He said that these responsibilities belong only in the family, they never belong to the state (or country). As kings and queens, we are to raise our children to be adults.
Ben Muhlstein from The Quintillian School of Oratory, spoke to us about Unlocking the Power of Communication. He spoke about the labels that we, or other, put on ourselves. He asked these questions: Are you limited to what you were labelled to be? Can you become a great communicator? He encouraged us to "become a powerful communicator of our mission!" He encouraged us to "speak with God's power and your words will become more powerful." He suggested that we should:
Gain knowledge about what we are passionate about.
Find out what our mission is.
Dispel the myths of personal limitations
Look to Heavenly Father
Overcome the fear
Become a "good man, speaking well."
Become the "whole man"~ Emerson
Access God's power
Julie Earley spoke to us about the Adult Phases of Leadership Education. This talk was very powerful for me! I finally felt like I have permission to float between the phases of Core and Love of Learning, and not push myself to be a scholar, too quickly. She said "Leadership Education doesn't work under force (upon ourselves or our children) it only works by inspiration." She defined each phase and explained key points about each. For example, Core phase is where a spectrum of truth is established to set your extremes, and then to learn where things fit within those extremes. In Core, it's natural to put things into extremes. In Core, we define who our authority is, and then how to find answers from that authority figure. Through work and play, relationships are built and order is created. She said that as adults in our Core phase, it's great to work on relationships and to read lots of self-help books. Adults in Core Phase, should work about 80-90% and play 10-20%. Kids should work about 30% and play about 70%. In Love of Learning, it is a time for discovery and finding likes and dislikes and talents. It is a time to explore and to "flit from flower to flower". It's okay to not finish books. (I have to admit that I was glad to hear this, as I have been known not to finish books, from time to time, because it's just something that I am not ready to delve into yet.) She talked about Structuring Time Not Content, and encouraged us to find what inspires us. She said basic knowledge (math, spelling, history, science, etc.) and that if we don't like to study those things, (or if your kids don't) we need to find a way to be inspired to do it (or to inspire our kids to do those thins.) She said that commonplace books are really important in Love of Learning, and that Love of Learners LOVE rules because they help them to know how to apply principles. In Scholar phase, we learn how to study and to study deeply. She encouraged us to utilize our work as part of our eduction, no matter what work we are doing. We should find joy in our work and use it for the purposes you need it for. Scholar phase is for principle based thinking, as opposed to plot based thinking. In reference to "gray areas" or things that intimidate us, she recommends that we attack those things, and deal with them first. If we will do so, she says, we will end up with a constant desire to "fill the holes" in our education. One last and important point she addressed is crisis. She said that crisis will shake up our education, and that that is okay. (ie. moving, having a baby, etc.) She suggested that it's okay to go back and re-visit our Core phase during crisis, and that forcing ourselves into a phase that we don't belong in, will cause problems. Finally, to help us understand what phase we are in right now, she asked this thought-provoking question: "If you had 6 weeks to yourself, what would you do?"
More notes to come!