From the Desk of Rachel DeMille…
The times, they are a-changin’.
Ten years ago, most of our effort was spent helping parents to recapture their own Core and Love of Learning.
Back then the Big Prize was Adult Scholar Phase, and everyone was talking about how to prepare for it, and how to fit it in to Getting Off the Conveyor Belt.
While TJEd is attracting new adherents all the time, there are many, many people who have been at this a while.
Used to be I could count the TJEd’ers I knew in Mission Phase on my fingers.
Now I probably don’t have enough beans in the house to do the math.
This means that the rising generation is in the unique position of actually doing Scholar Phase before they leave home, and fulfilling Depth Phase before they even have children. Isn’t that exciting?
In some very important ways, we are seeing the realization of our dreams!
Classics and Mentors are no longer relics of the past.
They are everywhere spoken of and sought after. The principles of freedom and prosperity are no longer the domain of the fringe, but topics of blogs and books–really, of entire movements in pop culture.
We’re witnessing a tsunami of change.
When several years ago we suggested limits on computers in the TJEd model, in most people’s lives they had one of two uses: Serious Work or Serious Play.
Based on that, our position on computers as a learning tool was that Only Adults Have The Maturity To Reap The Benefits And Avoid The Negative Consequences.
And in context, that was right on.
Core and Love of Learning still don’t need lots of bells and whistles, and the purpose of these Foundational Phases is to facilitate the development of personality, moral identity and the beginnings of a worldview.
This applies whether you are 7 or 77.
Time spent with the TV and the computer so easily fills that “right kind of vacuum” that is the genesis of imaginative play, meditative thought, creative learning, refinement of skills/talents/relationships, making friends with books, etc.
I still get emails all the time from frustrated parents (and frantic wives) about the encroachment of computer playtime into the family culture and learning environment.
Clearly, some people get sucked into the vortex of “entertainment,” and it becomes addictive and even destructive.
But to characterize all computer time as dangerous or wasteful is not only backward, but something akin to swearing off refrigerators.
Sure, eating fresh from the garden can’t be beat; but when the produce reaches its peak it’s nice to be able to keep it fresh for a few more days.
In the same way, books will never go out of style, and live one-on-one time with friends is irreplaceable; but there actually is something new under the sun that not only is worth our time, but is so much a part of the current trends that to opt out is to render ourselves and our children mute in the Great Conversation.
Over the years computers have gone from pure commerce and pure diversion to now encompassing the worst and the best of pursuits, from leisure to innovation and everything in between.
They are every day more and more integrated into virtually every aspect of life–education, the arts, scientific discovery, family relations (including genealogy, journaling and correspondence), news and current events, thought-leader dialog via editorials, blogs, forums and other comment-media, etc.
As the use and benefits of computers have changed, so has our position regarding their best application in the TJEd model.
In my last message, I ended with this thought: