Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Current LDS homeschooling Trends

I'm saddened and concerned by the current LDS homeschooling trends I've observed the last couple of years. I think it started with TJED and the idea that they are raising the leaders of the future. Now I'm seeing families declutter their houses to the point that they hardly have anything left for their children to do besides read old classic books. I'm not against decluttering, but I think they are taking it too far. Also, they focus on classic literature and don't seem to be encouraging and helping their children to excel in other subjects such as math. I think math is a hard one to catch up on. I'm afraid these children will not be well prepared for adulthood and this will put a bad light on homeschooling.

People don't seem to know how far to go or when to stop. Like I said before, decluttering is not a bad thing, but throwing everything out is. The public schools definitely have problems, but that doesn't mean that everything they do is evil. What I'm seeing with this group of homeschoolers is that in an effort to push away the bad they see with public school, they are trying to do the exact opposite. For example, some of them blog about how their house looks like a home and not a school. That's fine, but is it such a bad thing to have an area where your kids can really study? Maybe they would like a desk to spread out their books and to be able to write and work out problems. Does that look too much like a school?

The public schools definitely have problems, but they do have their good points. As homeschoolers and especially as LDS homeschoolers I would like to see us take the good things done in public school and incorporate it. I would like to see us take education to a higher standard and excel in all the subjects-- not just classic literature. We definitely need logic skills, critical thinking skills, math skills, computer skills, reading skills, writing skills and a good solid foundation of history as well as of religion.

Anyway, I'm disappointed that so many have enough courage to take their children out of school, but then really don't teach them even what they would have learned in school. Out homeschooled children need to know what they teach in school -minus the social agendas and missocialization- plus way more. Homeschooling is a great opportunity to give our children a really strong foundation and a great education. They should definitely learn Latin and formal Logic and Calculus.

I like the path we are on. It hasn't been proven because my kids just aren't old enough, but we are beginning to see the happy results. It is a lot of work, but so worth the effort! I don't think everybody should do what I'm doing and use the same curriculum I use, but I do wish there were more LDS homeschoolers concerned about the best way to teach math or science rather than writing super long posts on how their kids' friends are so inferior because they play video games and read Harry Potter.

My take on video games and Harry Potter is that it is O.K. in moderation. It can be overdone and like everything we need to find a healthy balance. The healthy balance for us to only play video games on Friday and Saturday with minutes they have earned throughout the week. The healthy balance to Harry Potter is to read lots of books, then the kids will discover the difference between entertainment and a great book. Entertainment is not bad in and of itself, just when it is out of balance. Same with deep study and reflection- it is good, but we can't do it all the time-- we need to unwind. Balance-- it's all about balance!!


  1. Hi, I just popped over to your blog from Latter-day Homeschooling. I just want to say, I totally agree with you here. My SIL is doing TJED and is encouraging me to do the same...I have to admit that I read the TJED book and in the end told my husband that it sounded awfully boring. I don't mean to sound uneducated, but sorry, many, many, many of the classics are really, extremely boring. I wouldn't want to read them...and I don't want to make my girls read them. Ann of Green Gables, Little House, etc... are classics enough for us. With- history mixed in. And, YES - math and computer/typing skills will be essential for our kids' futures! Way to go! I totally AGREE!

  2. Hi, I'm also just over from Latter-day Homeschooling and feel the need to chime in. I agree with your comments. I have also seen a worrying trend toward over-the-top-austerity, not just in homeschooling but in all aspects of life. I think the key is to choose wisely (everything must be in keeping with virtuous standards) and embrace variety. We have toys; some are plastic and some make noise. We have a tv and sometimes watch cartoons. We own a video game system. We go to the movies to see Star Trek and Tangled but we also go to choir concerts and the theater. We read Disney chapter books and Harry Potter alongside Little Women and Swiss Family Robinson. We listen to classical music and hymns but also to a variety of current modern music. We watch Cinderella and Kung Fu Panda along with The Great Race and Singing in the Rain. We attend church and other meetings, serve in our callings, hold FHE, have prayer and scripture study, do household chores, and practice early-to-bed-early-to-rise but we also play board games, go on off-road adventures, and hold BBQ parties. We eat fresh fruits and vegetables and brown rice and whole wheat bread and try to be conservative with meat but we also eat brownies, M&Ms, and ice cream and occasionally soda. We homeschool thoughtfully and with the understanding we are laying down a strong foundation for a life-time of learning. We hope to instill a love of literature and history, science and mathematics, language, art and music. There are so many truly awful things in this world to resist and avoid but there are also so many wonderful things that bring enjoyment and no harm when we partake in moderation.

  3. I just found your blog through utah-hs. I am quite interested in your math club but my 9 year old isn't quite ready for the topics you list. Maybe we'll join you next year?

    I also wanted to say that I appreciate your sentiments expressed in this post. I looked into TJed quite a bit when I first began homeschooling 5 year ago. It is not for me.

    I look forward to reading more from your blog!

    It's nice to "meet" you!


  4. THANK YOU! I honestly got interested in homeschooling by learning about TJED, but the more I researched it and the man behind the organization I have become completely disenchanted by it. The classics (they define pretty much anything you like a lot as a "classic") thing is cool, in my opinion, but that isn't a facet unique to TJED. And as for the rest of TJED, it's more like a multi marketing scam. Anywho... Thanks again for your post.