Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Fire Re-lit

Plato (I couldn't find a picture of Socrates!)

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful event that exercised my brain in a way it hasn't been worked in a LONG time. It felt just like the days when Russell and I would trek up to Cedar City for another TJEd event, and come home, filled to the brim with excitement, enthusiasm, and inspiration to keep going another few months.

You see, these last couple of years I have not worked hard on my own education. We moved to another state, our Five Pillar group broke up, I've been swamped with mentoring Shakespeare, we moved back again, and I had a baby.

You could say I've been a bit busy.

 But then, I attended the Southwest TJEd Forum yesterday, and I feel like my veins have directly been given the shot of inspiration and excitement I haven't been able to find for a very, VERY long time. My four biggest kids also attended, and it was a LIFE-CHANGING experience for them. They're rejuvenated and ready to focus more on their missions, as well as already pining away for their Forum friends. *grin* We're all walking around with new eyes and minds today!

I wish I could share everything I learned, thought, and felt, but that would take me hours! Here are some of the things that inspired me and the random list of the books that were mentioned throughout the day:
  • How can we lead unless we KNOW what is true, right, and good?
  • Nietzsche was the first one to use the word " values", rather than teaching about good and evil or wrong and right. It's interesting that he substituted the age-old terms of enlightened instruction with a purely economic term. How telling.
  • Charlotte Corday and the French Revolution: I have read several books on the French Revolution and I had never heard of Charlotte. I also did not know that the French Revolution started out as something good, and then turned into a blood bath once evil, ignorant people started taking over. (Marat) Charlotte's story reminded me that tyrants cannot be overthrown on passion alone-- the MORAL people in America, who were also EDUCATED in the LIBERAL ARTS, made the American Revolution successful. And because the French did not have the same kinds of people at the time of their revolution in France, it did NOT work. (Is it JUST to kill a tyrant? Is it EFFECTIVE to kill a tyrant?)

Charlotte Corday and Marat
  • I  need to read Plato's Republic. (I think I'm finally ready!)
  • I need to research Plutarch's Parallel Lives
  • Justice is its OWN reward. (Thank you, Socrates!)
  • I am astounded-- yet not surprised-- at how wonderfully Socrates' philosophies on education mesh with the Learning Phases taught by TJEd. Truth is truth is truth. :-)
  • "Ethics of Elfland" by G.K. Chesterton 
  • I need to sit down and listen to different types of music with my kids, and then discuss them together. We do this with books, but I haven't done that with music since my biggest ones were small. How could I forget there are "classics" of every kind? We need to do the same with great artwork.
  • Tell stories. It's from STORIES that we learn and become inspired to change and be better. There's a reason Christ taught in parables.
  • The BEGINNING is the most important part of any work. (Character Building is the MOST essential of ALL learning!)
  • Who knew that "The Headgate" would be in Plato's Republic? (There's that TRUTH stuff, again!)
  • I need to read and discuss Shakespeare's Henry V with my kids.
  • "History of the American People" by Paul Johnson
  • The Math taught in today's society is based on TRUST and FAITH (not PROOF!) that those who came before us actually PROVED their theorems. If  I want to understand math, I need to go through the steps and the hard work MYSELF. Am I ready for Euclid? We shall see...
  • Leadership Education is all about ENVIRONMENT. That's it! ("The Headgate" again!)
  • Pray and ponder. Pray and ponder.
  • "Skills" do NOT equal EDUCATION.
  • I need to create an internal change in me (inspiration), so that I can create an inspiring external environment, so that our children can experience their own internal changes. (Everything is cycles.)
  • JUMP IN with both feet. I need to get back to the deep end. I've spent enough time taking a break in the shallow waters.
  • Getting MY education right now is not "ideal." I need to both accept and embrace that, and move forward, so that my CHILDREN can have the IDEAL education.
  • Never forget: IT'S ALL ABOUT MISSION.
  • "Teach the ideal, but then you DO what's RIGHT." Thank you, Oliver. (I could hear you saying it through Angie Baker.)
  • Go to the Eight Keys (And remember the Ninth: God, not men.)
  • "The Talent Code" by Daniel Coyle
    "Study creates a more powerful motherhood."
  • Leadership Education is about PEOPLE, not about curricula or test scores. It's RESPONSIVE to what my family needs.
  • The Power of parental EXAMPLE is enormous! It can be used for good OR for bad.
  • We are ALWAYS teaching, whether by design or accident-- whether we homeschool or not.
  • As parents, are we cheerleaders, or coaches? (I choose to be a COACH!)
  • "The Spyglass" by Richard Paul Evans ("You've seen what might be. Now, go and make it so.")
  • WE, the parents, are the key.
  • "Work without vision is drudgery. Vision without work is just dreaming. Work PLUS vision is a dream come TRUE."
  • Pioneering: We'll learn and succeed by DOING!
  • I LOVED learning about Mentoring in ALL its forms: Peer Mentoring, Mentoring from the Classics, Classroom Mentoring, PARENT Mentoring, and Personal Mentoring
  • I am so excited to simplify my mentoring sessions with my kids!
  • Mentoring is RESPONDING.
  • "Eight Cousins" by Louisa May Alcott
  • "A parent's subtlest power is in Parent Mentoring."
  • Mentoring MULTIPLIES our efforts! 
  • It's more important to prepare what my students NEED, than to prepare what I WANT to present to them. (Powerful mentoring follows.)
  • Madison was ONE little man who changed the WORLD. (If not us, then WHO?)
  • Genius is not a level of intellect-- it is a CALL. It has the same root word as "genie." A GENIUS is a guide, a path, a direction. We ALL have genius.
  • "Let us not be weary in well-doing..."
  • Find out more about the movie, "Secretariat"
  • And much, much more...


  1. Oh, wonderful, wonderful! Even that list is inspiring. Did they record it this year?

  2. I love the point you made about passion not being enough for revolution. Such an important point! That is the main reason so many African countries had such problems post-colonially, they had passion but nothing else.

    Makes me concerned about Egypt-they may have just gone from the frying pan into the fire.

  3. Would you be willing to post which presenters shared or inspired some of these truths so that we might attend their presentations if they are going to be at the SLC Forum? I was particularly interested in the mentoring/parent mentoring bit. Your list is inspiring. I just copied several and sent them to a friend.

  4. Flora: They DID record it this year. I don't know when or how they'll be sharing the recordings, however.

    Rosie: I don't know that the same people will be presenting in SLC as this last weekend, but the first big part of my notes was given by Dr. Shane Shulthies.

    And beginning with the part that says:

    "Leadership Education is all about ENVIRONMENT. That's it! ("The Headgate" again!)",

    until "Leadership Education is about PEOPLE, not about curricula or test scores. It's RESPONSIVE to what my family needs." are notes from Angie Baker's presentation on "Greatness from the Inside Out".

    The next group of notes are from my local friend, Susan, who is wonderful, but is not planning on speaking in SLC that I know of.

    Angie Baker taught a second time about Mentoring-- Sooo good! Those notes start with:

    "I LOVED learning about Mentoring in ALL its forms: Peer Mentoring, Mentoring from the Classics, Classroom Mentoring, PARENT Mentoring, and Personal Mentoring"

    And end with:
    "It's more important to prepare what my students NEED, than to prepare what I WANT to present to them. (Powerful mentoring follows.)"

    The last notes are from Dr. Shulthies closing remarks and some of the discussions I had with other attendees.

    If you attend my class at the SLC Forum, come introduce yourself to me! :-) I hope to see you there!

  5. Kimberly,

    I am right with you on Egypt! I'm trying to be optimistic, but what kind of Founding they have remains to be seen. :-(


  6. This is a great list. Thank you.

    I've been hearing a lot about that Chesterton man that you listed. I need to get some books by him soon.


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