>> Sunday, March 30, 2014
A couple of my friends from our homeschool group are moving. They are looking to start a Vanguard scholar group in their area when they move. As I think about the most important advice I could give them, I decided to write a blog post about it in case it may be of some use to anyone else thinking of starting a scholar group.
Homeschooling is growing so fast and it seems to be sky-rocketing as people are better understanding the "Common Core" program. Maybe some of my experience will be helpful to some.
I do know tests and making money is important, but I believe if my children have the abilities and skills listed above, they will be able to quickly learn what they need for any test and be able to provide for their families. Besides, learning to think logically often involves doing some math...
2. Decide what you want to do at home and what is best done in a group setting. (For example, for us, math is best done at home, but group discussions are a powerful way to learn to find principles and see their evidence in the lives of our peers).
4. Set up an information meeting (look for yahoo groups or other homeschool websites in your area) to tell people your vision and to let them know you are looking for people who like your vision and would like their youth to participate and would like to help you see it through. Then read great books together and find true educational principles you want to apply to your group.
-The deeper you follow a truth, the more connections you will find. If you go deep enough, it will connect to all subjects or disciplines of study
6. Only plan assignments, lessons and activities that support your purpose, don't get distracted with all of the other good purposes out there.
7. Be okay with change, you may have found the perfect system for a semester, but it may need to be changed to fit different needs the next semester. It is okay, and perhaps for the best, for your group to looks different every year. Just stick to the true educational principles you know and be okay with changing the application of those principles as you are inspired or see a need.
My favorite books or sites for finding true educational principles (just remember to apply them in your own way):
Teach the Children by Neil Flinders
A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille
Norms and Nobility by David B. Hicks
Increase in Learning and follow up books by Bednar
D&C 88 and 93
Gateway to the Great Books Introduction
The Great Conversation by Hutchins
Arm the Children by Arthur Henry King
Ten Boom Institute
The list may look overwhelming, but the good news is most of the principles are the same in each book :-) And it is hard to apply more than one principle at a time so just get started and apply the principles as you come across them. Then the next time you come across one, you will see a way you can apply it even better, and you can just keep progressing in your educational journey :-)
Our youth need a great education. Schools are often (not always) failing them in this. Too often they are training instead of educating our youth. I think a grassroots effort to help these youth get a real education may be the best answer to this dilemma.
I love learning about learning. If any of you are embarking on the great adventure of building community and helping one another inspire your youth, I am happy to help by sharing my experience if I can. I don't claim to be an expert, but I do believe there is a need for better education out there and so I am happy to help in this endeavour when possible. Have joy in your journey!