The Thomas Jefferson Education

It's late and I really should be sleeping so that I can be my best self when my kids need me tomorrow. But I really need to just say a few words about A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first Century
by Oliver de Mille. You'll see that I have this book posted to the right as a "must have" and it certainly is, in my opinion.

This is a book that should be on every parent's shelf. It explains the different goals of the various types of education available today and asks a simple question: "Is the education your child receives preparing him/her to be everything they are meant to be?" That's paraphrasing of course.

This book brought something to my attention that I had already known, but never really given conscious thought to: In the past, public education was considered the only viable option for poor children. Wealthy children destined for greatness were home schooled with mentors and classics. Hm. I hadn't really thought of public education as a last resort for those who have no recourse. But that certainly was the beginning of "public" education.

I'm not going to spend lots of time here outlining the pros and cons of public versus private education. I think De Mille's question is really the only one that needs to be posed and when it is answered truthfully, each parent will be led to the kind of education that is best for their child.

Reading this book was a joy. It gave voice to truths that I have held dear for a very long time. It rang true to me instantly and I read it through as quickly as I could. I became convinced more than ever that real education, or leadership education, is best obtained through extensive reading, writing, and discussion. This book embodied every thing that I love about educating and inspired me to take steps toward improving my own education so that I can mentor my children to the best of my ability.

In an effort to take this book seriously and improve myself as a mentor, I am indeed reading more classics as recommend by de Mille. Right now I'm reading The Walking Drum The trick is finding time to read for myself while balancing all my other responsibilities. But I do realize, now, that a good mentor is key to the entire education process. I have to make time for me. I have to be the best that I can be so I can pass on what I've learned and set an example of life long learning.

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