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on June 26, 2004
A Thomas Jefferson Education is perhaps the most important book published in the field of education in at least 20 years.
It is based on the educational method that George Wythe used when he taught many of the founding fathers (George Wythe was the teacher that taught Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, James Madison, and over 20 other Founding Fathers (Senators, Representatives, Governors and Judges). Clearly, George Wythe was a key man behind the scenes of the birth of the USA and the Consitiution.
The method used to educate Thomas Jefferson (and all great leaders throughout history) is simply this:
1) Classics and Mentoring
2) Depth and Breadth
3) Quality and Application
DeMille notes: "Whatever the culture, look at its greatest leaders and you will find that they were
1) guided by at least one mentor and
2) made a lifetime study of classic works."
So, what does this imply about our current school system based on standardized textbooks and tests, tests and more tests? It is just a "conveyor belt" preparing us for mediocrity ("a job").
Get this book and learn how to mentor your children with the Classics so they will have a chance of making a difference.
A Thomas Jefferson Education = LEADERSHIP Education.
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on April 22, 2005
This book puts the right person in charge. You! Oliver Van DeMille show the tried and true methods to succeed in the world and business world today. Harvard School of Law, Princeton University and George Wythe College list the top 30 skills needed to secure the job of your dreams! See list below.

DeMille argues that our public school system is a major component of the problem with education in America today. As a product of our public school system...one who has take more than 20 years to make up for this I found this book a vital read to every parent.

With easy-to-follow guidelines and a take-control-of-your-children's-education approach you will learn how to mentor your children to succeed. Our society is in desperate need of leaders and A Thomas Jefferson Education shows you just how to make leaders of your children-by taking charge and leading.

As a corporate marketing trainer I teach customers service and employee training classes. I see the need for self-motivated employees. I see the need for improved customer service across industries. I feel that the skills to succeed today are obtainable through personal study, reading, and education and DeMille builds the case and describes how to do it.

If you really care about the success of your children get and read this book and as DeMille advises start reading classic literature and discuss what you learn with them and they will have the foundation to be the great people and great leaders that our country needs! It's fun, it's not hard though it is difficult but worth it!

Top 30 Skills needed to secure the job of your dreams!

To secure the job you want there are a number of minimum criteria that businesses look for. If you are not prepared you will not be hired. What are you doing to be prepared to get the job of your dreams?

Harvard School of Law's Required Skills

1. The ability to define problems without a guide.

2. The ability to ask hard questions which challenge prevailing assumptions.

3. The ability to quickly assimilate needed data from masses of irrelevant information.

4. The ability to work in teams without guidance.

5. The ability to work absolutely alone.

6. The ability to persuade others that your course is the right one.

7. The ability to conceptualize and reorganization information into new patterns.

8. The ability to discuss ideas with an eye toward application.

9-10. The ability to think inductively, deductively and dialectically.

Princeton's Required Skills

1. The ability to think, speak, and write clearly.

2. The ability to reason critically and systematically.

3. The ability to conceptualize and solve problems.

4. The ability to think independently.

5. The ability to take initiative and work independently.

6. The ability to work in cooperation with others and learn collaboratively.

7. The ability to judge what it means to understand something thoroughly.

8. The ability to distinguish the important from the trivial, the enduring from the ephemeral.

9. Familiar with different modes of thought (including quantitative, historical, scientific, and aesthetic).

10. Depth of knowledge in a particular field.

11. The ability to see connections among disciplines, ideas and cultures.

12. The ability to pursue life lone learning.

George Wythe's Required Skills

1. The ability to understand human nature and lead accordingly.

2. The ability to identify needed personal traits and turn them into habits.

3. The ability to establish, maintain and improve lasting relationships.

4. The ability to keep one's life in proper balance.

5. The ability to discern truth and error regardless of the source, or the delivery.

6. The ability to discern true from right.

7. The ability and discipline to do right.

8. The ability and discipline to constantly improve.

Taken from A Thomas Jefferson Education, George Wythe College Press, 2000, p124-130
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on November 29, 2005
Van Demille argues that even though there are many quality teachers in the school system, the quality of educations has suffered from a reliance on curriculum, pedagogy, standardized tests, rote memorization, and a "conveyor belt" mentality that has lowered expectations to an unacceptable level. As a College Professor, I require my students to read this book. They need to step out of their perception that the institution or instructor is responsible for their education and realize that the responsibility lies with them. Parents should also understand this principal and not blame the school or teacher for their child's poor performance. In my Critical Thinking and Reasoning courses, the student's reflection essays enthusiastically endorse the concepts described by the author as they come realize why they struggle with college level requirements. I endorse the concepts of Van Dmille's thesis to anyone interested in why some individuals rise to leadership positions while others do not.
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VINE VOICEon September 8, 2005
My theories, hopes, expectations, and dreams for homeschooling our children are all laid out in this book. It has classic book lists in the back divided by age range (Dr. Seuss is on the list!), step-by-step instructions for how to become an effective mentor to your child or classroom, and succinctly and interestingly describes the current failures of "traditional" classroom methodology. (I'm a former public school teacher, and I agree from experience!)

The only place I disagree with the author is in learning a foreign language - he states we should read a classic in the target language and discuss it. Reading don Quijote in Spanish to anyone who doesn't already know Spanish, will sound like gibberish...So to get a head start on your young one knowing a second language try Workbook and CD like Flip Flop Spanish instead.

Otherwise, this book is quick and extremely informational to read, and in another year, I look forward to testing its theories in our daily practical lives!
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on January 12, 2006
Having read numerous books on homeschooling ideas and techniques, I was not enthusiastic about this one. The concept of reading and discussing classic literature is not the problem with this book, rather it is Mr. DeMille's tone which is simplistic and vapid. At times it felt like one big advertisement for the college Mr. DeMille founded. Given the subject matter, I expected more substance and less fluff.

If you are serious about a good education for your children and want to use classic literature there are far more excellent books on the market with the same theme, such as, "The Well-Trained Mind," "A Charlotte Mason Companion," and "Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning." These books are more inspiring, convicting and contain better examples than "A TJ Education."
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on October 9, 2014
If you are looking for a recipe for what the American education needs to be to regain our leadership position and to have an option to common core, then you need to read this book. It is amazing how much people 250 years ago learned, knew and understood, which is why our Founding Fathers left us with such a wonderful system. We are not educated enough to appreciate it and will most definitely loose it, likely sooner and not later.
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on July 2, 2013
This book is well written and easy to read and understand.

It's the most clarifying, logical, empowering, enlightening
information that I've ever read on the process of effective
teaching and education.

If anyone is frustrated or concerned about modern education,
and hasn't done anything about it for their family because they
feel overwhelmed with not knowing what to do . . . or are afraid
that it's too hard to do anything about it . . . I HIGHLY RECOMMEND
THIS BOOK. It isn't too hard for the INDIVIDUAL to do something different for
those within their circle. One person or family doesn't have to change the system or
the world to help their own family shine above mediocrity and a counterfeit
education. It's simpler and more readily within the grasp of the private person or
family than one might realize. Oliver Van Demille is a great
and effective teacher and refreshes the hope of the reader for a better future through his writing
as he reintroduces us to personal responsibility as a fun, empowering process rather than
laborious and uncertain.
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on September 18, 2013
This book is full of confidence building information for those who may like the idea of homeschooling but feel they could never do it! It also has good eye-opening information for any reader, novice or experienced. Personally I wish I had read this in high school or before to help inspire me to read good books, specifically the classics. There is a newer edition out that I wished I had known about before this purchase, but information is still great! The lists and sample questions in the back are also very helpful!
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on March 6, 2008
Very few books can reach into your mind and heart and be the catalyst to making concrete changes in your daily life. A Thomas Jefferson Education is one of these powerhouses. A newer version has been released and I recommend you start with that one. But prepare yourself to challenge the way you have always thought about education and start an exciting, new journey - for yourself and your kids.
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on October 25, 2011
During a time that many are rediscovering the wisdom of the founders we now learn the educational method used to set many of them on the path to greatness. Our government run education system is broken and more and more parents are searching for the best way to take charge of educating their children and this book should be central to that goal. READ THIS BOOK!
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