What are people saying about Thomas Jefferson Education? Click on a title (or simply scroll down) to read the reviews of leaders in education, business and publishing, as well as “regular” moms and dads…


Thomas Jefferson Education

This is a message homeschoolers need to hear!

“I have read TJEd twice, and I LOVE it! Oliver DeMille voices the need for a generation of leaders to be thoughtfully trained in our homes today. This is a message that homeschoolers need to hear! I don’t know when I’ve seen another book that communicates with such clarity, purpose and vision the powerful potential of homeschool. I find myself nodding my head and marking passages that sound like something I might have said–and DeMille says it so well.

“TJEd gives clarity and purpose to the decision to homeschool, and a template that can be applied by any family to achieve their goals. I refer to it often as a handbook to help me further my own studies, and highly recommend it to anyone interested in quality education. Parents, teachers, and students alike will be energized by this exciting book.”

~Rebecca Kochenderfer, Author of Homeschooling for Success: How Parents Can Create a Superior Education for Their Child, Senior Editor of Homeschool.com (#1 homeschooling site on the web)


  The Thomas Jefferson Education materials improved my life…

Like most homeschooling parents, I found it difficult not to fall into doing “conveyor-belt” education at home, using grades, grade-level materials, and checklists. After several years of doing this, I had successfully helped one of my children go from Core phase into “Hate-of-Learning” phase, where her main goal was to get the “schoolwork” done, as quickly and with as little effort as possible, so she could have her time back. It was awful.

“As I discovered and began to understand the “Seven Keys of Great Teaching” as presented in the Thomas Jefferson Education book (and DeMille’s presentation on the Seven Keys), I realized why I had been so successful at creating a “hate-of-learning” student. Her textbooks were so boring, even I couldn’t stand reading them. We were focused entirely on content, not time. Home education had become so complex, there was no time for simplicity. The results were tedium and frustration. I found that it is very, very hard not to do to my children what was done to me by schools.

“Now, having applied for several years— albeit imperfectly—the “Seven Keys…”, along with many other ideas gleaned from the TJEd book and related materials, my children are thriving. They really don’t know or care what “grade” they are in, and they never say the word “schoolwork” (except by accident). We “study” as a family, and the “Love of Learning” phase is truly exciting.

“My older children have been successful in Great Books programs in college, and I, myself, have taken time to read and study more than I ever would have thought possible. As you might imagine, I am profoundly grateful to Oliver DeMille and his co-authors for opening this world of educational thinking, life to me. It is now my great privilege to be able to speak to parents and teachers around the world, and help them rebuild their education paradigm, pointing them to the same source of wisdom that I was so fortunate to find.”

~Andrew Pudewa, Director of the multi-award winning Institute for Excellence in Writing

…helped my wife and me create a better learning environment for our children

Oliver and Rachel DeMille have inspired me as a teacher and a parent. Oliver’s book, A Thomas Jefferson Education, has not only helped my wife Laura and I create a better educational environment for our children, but has constantly reminded me that master teachers believe that each child who walks into their classroom is a genius, waiting to be discovered.

“As a co-founder of Acton MBA (as well as the recently launched Acton Academy for children and youth) I believe our future rests on how we inspire the next generation of leaders to educate themselves –- safe from the meddling of ‘assembly-line’ schools. It’s only through the efforts of educators like Oliver and Rachel DeMille that we can hope to safeguard our freedom and prosperity for the next two hundred years.”

~Jeff Sandefer, Founder and Faculty Member of the top-rated Acton MBA

Tells us how to see what the Founders saw…

“We have known for a long time that it was the extraordinary, far-reaching vision of America’s founding fathers that produced the freest and most powerful nation on earth. What we have not understood, however, is the rigorous educational experience that gave them such remarkable vision. The loss of that knowledge poses a clear and present danger to our generation, because liberty cannot perpetuate itself.

A Thomas Jefferson Education tells us how to see, in our own day, exactly what the founders saw, and thus how to safeguard and build upon what they created. It’s not a quick or painless prescription, and DeMille doesn’t sugarcoat it. But he does show us, honestly and authoritatively, the price we must pay to remain a free people. “If you are willing to find out what that blessing will cost you and your children, read this book.”

~Andrew M. Allison, Best-selling author of The Real Thomas Jefferson

Mentors and Classics

“When I was young, I had the benefit of having two great mentors: my grandfather, Earl Millett, who was a High Priest in the Mormon Church, a teacher, a farmer, and a businessman; and Larry Austin, who was a Presbyterian Minister, a teacher, and a philosopher. The education I gained from these two men was offered not in classrooms, but in barnyards and offices, in their homes reading the Great Books and playing chess, and talking – often over the drink we all loved, Vernors’ Ginger Ale.

They taught me how to think for myself, how to make choices, and how maturity and leadership meant learning to be responsible for those choices. But more, they taught me how to think ethically; to understand and appreciate values; and to learn how to approach new ideas with passion and joy. They taught me to be proud of my strengths, and to use those things in which I excelled to learn to overcome my weaknesses. They taught me how to become a leader – and I hoped that I would be able to do so for my own children when the time came.

“To me, the concept of the Thomas Jefferson Education which resonates most strongly is the one I learned from these men: that of classics and mentors, wherein the course of study is customized to the student, utilizing the greatest works of inspiration and learning, and guided by mentors of great integrity and strength of character. To have access not only to others who share this philosophy but also to resources, teaching tools, and most of all, the shared pool of knowledge gained as we all move forward in our education is invaluable.”

~James A. Owen, Best-selling author of Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica

stephen_palmer Infinitely more than a curriculum…

“‘Curriculum’ is an educational buzz word, especially with home education. My wife and I wanted more than a simple, regimented curriculum — we sought sound and timeless principles. We wanted a coherent methodology to provide insight and direction, while allowing us to personalize education to the interests and abilities of each of our children.

“We yearned for keys to liberate the natural gifts of our children to prepare them to succeed and to have lasting impact. We wanted to be active participants in and hands-on facilitators of the educational process, rather than strict rule-makers and curriculum-imposers.

“Leadership Education, as outlined by this book, has been our answer, our relief, our guiding light, and our key. It’s given us everything we knew we needed–and far more than we ever realized was necessary.

“It’s pushed us as parents to make education a lifelong process for ourselves — we’ve learned to lead by example, rather than force by dictate. Infinitely more than a curriculum, Leadership Education is a worldview and a way of life that teaches us and our children that, yes, we can and we must make a significant, positive difference in the world. Because of Leadership Education, our family is stronger, happier, more confident, and more at peace.

“Our children are self-motivated with their education and they enjoy learning. Because of this book, we’re more sensitive to their needs and better able to facilitate their growth. We understand better how to guide them with patience and wisdom.

~Stephen Palmer, Co-Founder, KGaps Consulting & The Center for Social Leadership, Best-Selling Co-Author of Killing Sacred Cows: Overcoming the Financial Myths That Are Destroying Your Prosperity

Home more peaceful; children independently creative, more family unity

“I am so grateful for the principles taught in A Thomas Jefferson Education! Because of that book, I’ve had five of my children home with me for the last two years now, and the ‘detox’ process has paid off tremendously.

“Our home is more peaceful, and the children have learned to be independently creative, finding fascination in the simplest things. I feel that if the world were to fall apart all around us today, I’d be at peace knowing I followed my own instinct, and because of it, our family has developed a greater feeling of unity, and a higher awareness of God’s greater purpose for our lives. To me, that’s leadership training.”

~Leslie Householder, Author of The Jackrabbit Factor: Why You Can

We have learned the difference between well-trained and well-educated

“Leadership Education has completely transformed not only our individual learning as parents, but our entire home. It has helped us decide what truly is “foundational” learning. We have also learned the stark difference between being well-trained and well-educated. We have been inspired to become truly educated and discover our personal missions and in turn hope to inspire our children.

“We recognize stages of growth in our children and are ready to help them move to higher levels of independence and empowerment in their own lives. In the short 8 years that we have practiced leadership education in our lives, we have truly embraced the principles it teaches.

“I want to bring up thinkers and leaders. I can’t imagine going back to the old way.”

~Rusty and Becky Bastian, Redmond Inc.

I feel much more confident that I’m doing the right thing…

“We took a spur-of-the-moment decision to homeschool for our 5 and 7-year-old daughters after last Christmas while living in Jordan. I found TJEd this past summer after spending a semester trying out workbooks and other materials I came across. I’ve read TJEd and the Home Companion, and love the philosophy behind TJEd!

“I am now starting to read through classics listed in both books. I never thought I’d be so engrossed with reading the classics. I’m LOVING them! Since homeschooling is unheard of here in Jordan, I’m constantly bombarded by moms to put our girls into school, but now I feel much more confident that I’m doing the right thing and why. I want to bring up leaders and thinkers. I can see much better now that the principles of Leadership Education are the way to foster this.”

-K. M., Amman, Jordan

Few books have resonated so profoundly with me; …given me the courage to take charge of my education…

“The principles in this book and the resulting subsequent journey have deeply changed me and the course of education for me–and my children. The path at times has been difficult, but few books have resonated so profoundly with me, that I could not abandon what I knew to be truth.

“I will forever be grateful that I found this book and that my heart and mind were open to what it had to teach me. It has given me the courage to take charge of my education and to walk an unfamiliar path that has been the salvation for my two special needs children.”

~Janiece Sloan

It’s easy to love this book and its sensibly simple solutions

“If you’re thinking of home schooling or UNschooling, if you’re thinking of what sort of college you want to go to, if you’re thinking of what really matters in education (certainly not standardized tests, sitting in straight rows, or walking single file down the hall under the watchful eye and ready ruler of the teachers) this will jump-start you into TRUE education.

“It’s a shame it is not required reading for every incoming school board member in every public school in every town in the nation. It’s easy to love this book and its sensibly simple solutions to the educational problems that beset us. Money won’t solve them. More workbooks won’t solve them. More assembly line education won’t solve them. This book will.

~Gwynn C. Spencer

If I had the money, I’d buy a copy for everyone I know…

“After reading this book, my husband and I decided to implement a Leadership Education in our own home and it’s been exciting to watch our children respond and get excited about learning. Even if you can’t homeschool your children, you can learn from the philosophies in this book and make their education the kind you only dreamed about growing up.

“If I had the money, I’d buy a copy for everyone I know, every college student and every parent walking aimlessly around at homeschool fairs. Enrich your life and your grandchildren’s…leave the legacy you want to leave…BUY THIS BOOK!”

~A. Taylor

For me, these books are classics

“Several years ago I picked up a copy of TJEd after listening to Oliver DeMille speak at a homeschool conference in Williamsburg, VA. My family and I were truly impacted by his words. We cried on the way home as all felt the need to move to a leadership education model in our home.

“Eleven months later our family moved overseas. After arriving in Qatar and finding that we didn’t have libraries or book stores available as promised, I panicked and went back to school at home. We were miserable.

“For me, these books are classics. The information is invaluable in our walk to follow the path of leadership style education.”

~Darla in Qatar

This is a must-read for all parents.

“This is a must-read for all parents. It is inspiring. It has made me motivated to educate not only myself but also my children differently. I am dedicated now to truly becoming educated.”

~Jen Nigbur

Changed the course of my life

“This book changed the course of my life. As a mother, I was plodding through life in survival mode, with little hope that there could be anything more. “Reading A Thomas Jefferson Education gave me hope that there could be more, and courage to do it. The changes that have transpired in my home are immense, and I owe it to the spark that this book ignited inside my heart. Thank you.”

~Rebecca Tobiasson

Life-changing philosophy

“What an inspiring and life-changing philosophy! Thank you for such insightful information! I particularly appreciate the distinction of the Three Systems of Schooling. The direct and easy to understand style gave me the opportunity to step into creating a Leadership Education environment for myself and my family!”

-Nanette Baker

Transformed the lives of my family

A Thomas Jefferson Education has transformed my life and the lives of my family. This is truly a “classic” to be read over and over again. I learn so much more each time.

“Just this morning, a friend that is new to TJEd and I were discussing how the information in this book hits home. We both felt as if this is what we have been searching for. “We want our children to be prepared for the future and whatever they are meant to do in this life. I really believe that TJEd is the best way to accomplish this. Thank you, thank you, for taking the time and effort to spread this to those across the country!”

-Bente Rodriquez

This will help your marriage, your children, your life

“Proceed with caution: this book is life changing!–for the better, of course. You will want to highlight practically the entire book; but what is more, it is easy to take bits and pieces to implement into your family routines and culture right away. This will help your marriage, your children, your life.”

-Vivian Milius

Gave my rushing motherly mind a swift calm…

A Thomas Jefferson Education was the book that stopped my rushing motherly mind and gave it a swift calm. I no longer am reading and searching for that philosophy that is right for my family. This one is it.”

-Tabitha Leighton

I never knew learning could be so fun…

“This book has not only changed my homeschool, but also changed MY life. I never knew learning and education could be so fun, not to mention the fact that these principles are so greatly needed in our society. Thank you for your message and for getting so many of us off the conveyor belt!”

-Jennifer Pate



Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning

…an indispensible key for success

I once heard Oliver DeMille say, “In any arena of life, the key to success is to fully master the basics.” Indeed, this is true. Whenever things are amiss, go back to the basics and there you will find your answer.

This in-depth look into the phases of leadership education is an indispensable key for finding success in understanding and implementing the principles introduced in A Thomas Jefferson Education: Teaching a Generation of Leaders for the Twenty-first Century. More than just a book to read, it is a book to own and to return to again and again.

-Janiece Sloan

…I understood my children more deeply

Thank you for this practical and detailed outline! After studying Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning, I felt as if I understood my children more deeply.

My first introduction to Leadership Education came when my oldest was 18 and my youngest 7. Needless-to-say, we had spent many years on the Conveyor Belt, and this information added depth to the principles of Leadership Education that I could implement and enjoy immediately.

-Nanette Baker

…I love the suggestions for those just beginning the TJEd journey

Leadership Education is for everyone. As the authors tell us, all our youth will be leaders. They may not be in government or politics, but they will be leaders with their friends, their families and those who know them.

We want our children to be able to stand firm and be an inspiration to those around them. We don’t want them to sway with the winds of peer pressure and indecision.

Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning helps explain the stages that everyone needs to go through to fulfill their mission in life (that includes parents, too!). I love that suggestions of activities are included so that those just beginning this TJEd journey can get their feet wet and be mentored along the way.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

-Bente Rodriguez

This is it! The how-to to transform our homes into inspiring places of learning and growth…

Thank you for giving us the next step. After reading TJEd it’s hard to know where to go from there. This is it! The how-to principles that can help those of us who haven’t had a leadership education to transform our homes into inspiring places of learning and growth.

This is a great manual to go along with the Forums and Face to Face with Greatness seminars. Together these three things have helped me achieve the 8th principle – Secure not Stressed!

-Jennifer Pate

Every family needs this incredible book…

“This book has an audacious purpose: the transformation of our families and our classrooms. It teaches no only the philosophy but also the hands-on details of how to effectively educate for leadership. Every family needs this incredible book in their home!”

-Jodie Palmer



Thomas Jefferson Education for Teens

I’m buying a copy for every member of my family!

This book is so-o-o-o good. I am getting a copy for every single one of my young adult children for Christmas even though all but one are now in their 20s (17, 20, 23, 25, 26, 28). I’m buying a copy for every member of my family! The content is invaluable. I think this book is going to have a huge impact on the young people who read it.”

-Deena Ortiz, founder and organizer of southern California TJEd Forum, “FATJEF

Not just a remake; completely new material. What a gift to our teens!

Brilliant! A book on leadership written to the ultimate target audience, the leaders of the next generation! This book is not just a remake of TJEd; it’s completely new material that really speaks to our current needs as parents and educators. Not only will I be recommending it to my students, but to their parents as well. What a gift to our teens, our nation and ourselves!”

-Shawn Crane, President, LEMI Mentors Association; TJEdMUSE Yahoo Group

Easily understood, inspiring to read; the Teen 100 Book List and insights to use it are worth the price of the book!

Oliver DeMille and Shanon Brooks have given insights into the Leadership Education model for teens that are not only easily understood but inspiring to read. Their teachings give credence to my voice as a parent using this model in my home. The Teen 100 Book List and the insights on how to use it are, of themselves, worth the price of the book!”

-Teri Helms, TJEd mom to five boys, Owner, Tommy Mom

Important for parents of teens as well

I have read Thomas Jefferson for Teens and loved the work. I definitely want to share this with my own teens and teens I mentor in my classrooms, both live and online. I really feel the book is important for parents of teens (and future teens) to read, as well. Talking straight to teens empowers them and they almost always rise to the occasion. Thank you for creating this work and speaking with such dignity to the youth.”

-Donna Goff, Co-Founder, The Princess Academies, LLC

Don’t let the word TEENS fool you…enormous perspective for all ages

This a MUST READ for today’s youth and their parents! Don’t let the word TEENS in the title fool you. This book gives enormous perspective for all ages of people. We live in difficult times, our children have a big task ahead of them. DeMille and Brooks have prescribed usable, inspiring medicine for the maladies of our modern society and written them in a way everyone can understand.”

-Nicholeen Peck, TeachingSelfGovernment.com; author of Parenting a House United

…speaks truth to the soul

Every once in a while a second witness comes along and in one magical moment says something that speaks truth to the soul and the hearer–finally–remembers who he is. That is what Oliver DeMille and Shanon Brooks have done. They remind us who we are and what we’re about.”

-Tiffany Earl, author of Say*Go*Be*Do; Mentor to thousands of youth through LEMI Scholar Projects


We’ll definitely be reading it at Williamsburg…

Whether a business plan, a personal schedule, or a wilderness trek plan, great ideas only have results when they are executed. That’s the secret: execution, execution, execution. That’s why this book is so valuable–it gives fun, practical, meaningful ideas and examples that focus on execution. We’ll definitely be reading it at Williamsburg Academy.”

-James C. Ure, Esq., Headmaster, Williamsburg Academy

Went straight to my heart…

Wow!!!!!! This book is AMAZING! I have read all the others, but with my oldest child just entering the Scholar stage, I was more than a little anxious to see if TJEd would really work. After reading this book, I am more than convinced. I love how it is written to the youth, but that adults can learn just as much from it. There is so much information I needed, explained in a way that went straight to my heart. I have already been raving about it to friends! Thank you so much for taking the time to inspire me!”

-Bente Rodriguez

…great book to guide teens

What a great book to guide teens along the path to greatness! I wish I’d had this book when I was a teen!”

-Jennifer Pate

The Student Whisperer

Here’s what some reviewers have to say about The Student Whisperer:

… engaging, elevating, and packed with insights. The epiphanies just kept coming from start to finish. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is either searching for a mentor, or striving to become one.

~Christine Taylor, homeschooling mother of four

“While reading your personal story, my heart soared with yours on that mountain top. I worried when Rick was sick. My memory raced back with yours as you mourned the loss of your friends and your place among your peers. I cried with you on those nights you cried yourself to sleep. My foot twitched with yours while you were sitting on that couch. My breath was held with all those students while waiting for your mentor to comment on your mission. You do make people feel it. You do make them taste, see, and smell it. You make it so real.”

—Merijane Bench, mother of six

“The night I sat down to begin reading your introductory chapters, it was already 10:30 p.m. I thought I would at least get started with it—at the most spend half an hour. Quite unexpectedly it ‘grabbed’ me and at 1:00 a.m. I finished it. When I went to bed I was alert and in deep thought. It led me to believe that if I follow these steps I will in fact have success in fulfilling my mission. Your stories portray real life difficulties and struggles with The Path and how you overcame them—showing the reader just what a mentor/mentee relationship looks and feels like. It is like seeing video clips of your experiences.”

—Angela Baker, mother of seven

Inspiring and pivotal. In a world where the focus of most teachers and educational organizations is on the curriculum, this work helps mentors focus on the student himself. Whereas most education today is from the outside in…or how to get the curriculum into the student, this work teaches a focus of inside out…finding and bringing out the greatness and talents in the students and using this to inspire and dictate the curriculum. If the root of the word “educate” is to “draw forth” or “bring forth”, then this work promotes education in the truest form of the word.

~Roxane Colburn, current Home Schooling Mother (15 years), and previous Elementary School Teacher

Extraordinary! I felt like I was taken by the hand and quided through a mentoring experience, the joy, the pain, and the growth. I found fresh clarity, inspiration, motivation and direction for my own development as a student and mentor. What other books merely talk about this one does. No matter what I say, it would be an understatement.

~Kelli Poll, mentor and homeschooling parent

This book was just what I needed! I’ve been wondering for quite some time about how to be a more effective mentor and what each kind of mentor really looks like. This book explains both in an informative and entertaining way. [It] has some wonderful exercises to help you become the mentor you have the potential to be. As with all TJEd books thus far, it has inspired me to reach for the next level of understanding and make myself a better person. I highly recommend it to anyone seeking to improve their mentoring skills.

~Erica Michaelis

I have always known that my life has a purpose and I have spent most of my life waiting for that purpose to be made known to me. Three years ago, through the guidance of a mentor, I realized that I needed to find out for myself what my mission is. Since that time I have been earnestly studying, pondering, and praying about what my personal mission is, seeking guidance and counsel from a myriad of mentors.

The Student Whisperer is a godsend to me in my quest of understanding for it has provided greater understanding in how the mentoring process works. I feel validated in the choices I have made so far, the tests and trials I have faced, and I know that there will be more – but I also know that they will be worth the effort to see them through. I appreciate this culmination of time, effort, and experience and absolutely recommend these works to everyone who are seeking to fulfill their personal missions, and those who wish to help those who follow to identify and fulfill theirs.”

~ Angela Walters, Austin, Texas; homeschooling mother of 2, undergraduate student at George Wythe College

Your book has taught me soooo much. I can’t wait to go back with a journal and do the homework!

~Sarah Nuttall Hoopes

Thank you for The Student Whisperer. As we travel through this journey called Leadership Education we find that we can only be truly successful when we discover The Path. This book helps us to not only see the path for ourselves but to become guides and beacons of light that can direct others to travel the path as well. I love the writing assignments and found them very enlightening, helping me to see the types of mentors that I am seeking as well as opening me eyes to the places where I can improve with those that I guide.

~Emily Gray Clawson has been home schooling for ten years.
She is a mentor with Thoughts Alive International and
co-founder of Mastering Knighthood: Raising a Hero Generation

I feel a stirring inside me – an awakening of sorts. I have felt it before as well. I have met the roadblocks. I have let them overcome me. I feel overwhelmed as I read this,