"Intellectual distinction is a necessary but not a sufficient condition for election to a Rhodes Scholarship. Selection committees are charged to seek excellence in qualities of mind and in qualities of person which, in combination, offer the promise of effective service to the world in the decades ahead. The Rhodes Scholarships, in short, are investments in individuals rather than in project proposals..."

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Less is More

If you haven't read my blog before, you may not know I take an eclectic approach to homeschooling. Call it Classical TJEd or multa non multum, which means not many things (multa), but much (multum). *

I read _A Well Trained Mind_ and was a little overwhelmed to say the least. I read _Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum_ and settled down a little. Then I read _The Thomas Jefferson Education_. All these books form the basis of how I educate my kids.

Classical education is based on academics while TJEd aim is to develop leadership and scholarship. How do we combine the two? Classical education seems subject heavy while TJEd can seem almost like "unschooling." Combining subjects works for us to accomplish the "multa non multum" model. Religion, Literature and History are tied together. Math stands alone until the kids get into higher level Mathematics. Spelling, Writing and Reading are bound as one.

Remember, we must always meet the students where they are, intellectually speaking, and lead them from what they knows to what they don't know. We need to do it, respecting their development level and all the while instilling virtue. I apply the concepts of the Trivium based on my children's cognitive abilities, which don't always line up with the grade or age.

The advantages of the multum non multa approach are many. First of all, it eliminates busywork. Rolling subjects together reduces wasted time. The time savings may be applied to the my kids' own interests and to enrichment subjects such as computer programming, dance, or cooking. My preparation time is much reduced and I am learn right along with my students. This has led to considerable savings on formal curricula.

The principle of multum non multa, which could be translated, “less is more" works well for us. It's Classical TJEd.

* This is also the name of a chapter in _Latin-Centered Curriculum_ by Andrew Campbell. It's not the expressly the same material, but same concept. I am reading the book, so I'll give a review when I have finished.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Tanya looked at your blog and was interested in knowing more aboutTJEd. We are going to try and make the conference. God bless.