Commonwealth aka:Mom School Homeschool Cooperative
Introducing A NEW FAMILY COMMONWEALTH HOME SCHOOL COOPERATIVE of THE CLASSICAL LIBERAL ARTS Serving SW Florida Catch the Vision! Beginning with our great grandchildren in mind…
We create a self-reliant, Liber learning community that inspires disciplined instruction in the Classical Liberal Arts, cultivating a liber mindset. From which character lessons founded in truth, virtue and discovery of life’s purpose will sustain and lead future generations.
Raising children through the science and phases of natural human development and multiple intelligence engagement, the same training as that of history’s most thoughtful contributors, we train their minds and hearts to be adept at contemplative thinking and critical analysis before rendering judgment on the issues they will face.
We realize our legacy as we send our grown children into the world as citizens and statesmen who will be prepared to take up positions of leadership in their families, communities and country.
A natural outgrowth of this education is the development of the
Six Character Traits of a Statesman:
Virtue-Wisdom-Diplomacy-Courage-The ability to Inspire Greatness in Others-The Ability to Move the Cause of Liberty
~~Liberty derives from the Latin libertas, from liber (library), to be "FREE".
Classic Book List A good book - a classic - is a reading and an experience that you can return to over and over again...
"Sarah Clarkson is a wonderful example of what can happen when you raise a child on whole, living books. Not only does she love to read, but she beautifully conveys rthis passion through her writing." ~Tina Farewell, Founder, Lifetime Books & Gifts
Keeping this volume close at hand is like having a child's librarian for a best friend! A great book spurs the imagination in childhood, inspires our dreams in adulthood, and nourishes the soul with depictions of life fully and courageously lived. Among the greatest gifts you can bequeath to a child are a love for reading and a passion for books. But how do you sort through the many thousands of books available to your children to find those that are worthwhile? Let Sarah Clarkson be your guide to the best in literature for your family. From timeless classics to modern favorites, from picture books to adventure novels to read-aloud favorites, more than 1,000 wonderful stories for young people are recommended within these pages. Now you can make great literature a lasting part of your child's life and education."
An absolute must-have! No homeschool library would be complete without it. Paul A. Suarez Publisher, The Old Schoolhouse magazine
Inspiring a Love for the Classics in Your Home Learning
Why the classics?
The Hebrew word
for book is Sefer which comes from the root that means light. Hebrew
is believed to be the first language full of sounds and vibrations that the
Creator used to speak to us and in turn is how we tap into the ninety nine
percent of the universe that we don’t experience. Hebrew is the universal language. It is full of codes, sounds, energies and
vibrations that awaken in us the eternal desire of the soul.
Our eternal desire is to connect with our nature,
A classic book
awakens our souls. A classic book in its
original language is huge! It brings the
vibrational sound of the writing and the author’s creative energies into the
universe and touches our soul more deeply.
If you don’t understand the original language written on the page, some
sages tell us to just scan the book in its original form as if your brain is a
computer downloading and there will be a connection.
A classic is a
popular book, song, work of art or useful tool that evokes universal
understanding. Reading a classic book from beginning to end
awakens intelligence and we get the opportunity to live the human condition in
our imaginations making us wiser. Think of
all we know about the habits of those wise men and women whose thoughts and
works changed our world and human condition for the better. Einstein spent many an hour in his
imagination which is where his ideas and formulas came from. Marinating in the words, ideas and themes of
a classic work as we figure out our human condition and then being able to
experience the modeling and examples we find in those works allows us to express our ideas more clearly.
classical environment in the home, where we choose to spend time with the original
thinkers of the original thoughts, allows us to grow from our core and in our
truth. How we treat our classic books makes
all the difference in what we get out of them as well. If we model for our family, the act of
creating an aura full of reverence for all that our classic works encompass, we
are modeling an act of love, and love inspires love.
The daily meditation of creating a space for
reading and the artful placement of the classics into our surroundings brings
forth the universal principal of love as we find ourselves, face to face with
greatness. The truth found in those writings will inspire
the ability to really listen, understand and know on a deeper level what is
We learn to use our reasoning
skills and not just our visceral reactions and that combination gives us a
learning that is more holistic; it develops our multiple intelligences and
allows our mental awareness and body intelligence to grow according to nature’s
plan for the phases of development.
Classical atmosphere, filled with study of the Great Debates, or as those in
the Great Books Community like to call it, The Great Conversation, we are
encouraged to take the imaginary and conversant practice of our reading and one
by one, each decision we come in contact with becomes more clear and aligned
with our Core Book, Moral Philosophy or Document. This Core is what we call our Family Canon. Through the eyes of our Family Canon we make
decisions easily because we are able to scan through to the heart of the matter,
seeing directly to the Universal Truth that is born through spending time growing
up in a world of Classics.
Hello! Wonderful Family Commonwealth School of The Classical Liberal Arts, Through the Phases of Human Development Home School Co-op People!!!
Phewww... that's a mouth full but it's titled in the spirit of gratitude for our little learning community, and all that we are doing is encompassed in it.
We finally have our "groove on"!
I am excited for this next semester and the year 2013! I love mentoring each of you and feel that by making our local community a better place, we are on the front lines of making the world a better place. Yes, there is much work to do. Lucky us, we have a head start because of our individual home schools and our weekly co-op gatherings, which give our children the opportunities to spend time in a different kind of culture than society's norm!
I feel so blessed to be surrounded by each of you and your children. Bearing witness and being part of each of your home school lives makes my soul sing with joy that there is hope for these trying times we find ourselves living in. Learning to think and debate more deeply is the cure for the present cultures sickness. Knowing each of your children shows me that future and it is bright! Each of you inspire me and I am constantly learning from all of you. Being in your company nurtures my soul and motivates me to learn the tools I need to allow me to express my mission in the world.
As I go about my mentoring business of inspiring you and other families to take back the responsibility of educating children through the classical liberal arts, and honoring the phases of natural human development, I become more and more thankful. I see our efforts come to fruition. Our little co-op has got its groove on. Can you feel how the afternoons we spend learning and growing together are precious moments indeed?
I just finished my own mentoring classes with Oliver DeMille and I am very excited to share with you and model for you all that I am learning. Oliver's ideas about running a discussion and colloquium on classic literature, language arts, and writing are naturally wonderful and your students will continue to love to learn this way. I got a glimpse and a little practice incorporating the use of these tools and mentoring strategies before we broke for the holidays. While facilitating the Hobbit colloquium, I discovered just how juicy and deep a learning experience we can have with classic literature and what Oliver calls "student whispering".
Oliver's classes were so smart. They combine all the wisdomabout how to mentor,read a classic, and how we humans learn; all the while honoring the phases of development. Yet, they are simple in their philosophy, applications, and processes... The ideas will be so easily applied into your own home school, I promise you will love the philosophy and strategies too!! A few hundred folks from every continent but Africa participated in these classes. As we journey on this year you will discover why
Oliver takes even Adler's ideas on reading the classics and Hirsh's on cultural literacy to the next level, all the while combining his own trade mark "student whispering-mentoring"
Mamas, you should be very proud of your children and their participating in the Hobbit colliquium. Don't take my word for it, you can ask Michelle. She helped with the last discussion when we created the book report jackets and review presentations. The kids took on the Hobbit discussion and colloquium with gusto, and dug deep to bring it to life for their own personal learning. The insights they shared were impressive, and for some they were very deep, brave, and heartfelt. See what happens when you ask your child, "What is your ring?" Using the ring metaphor as well as many other symbols and metaphors in the story, we discovered things about ourselves, the human condition, and quality writing. In turn, these realizations grew each of us in various ways.
The Hobbit was complex in its learning offerings and each of us took away gifts at our own individual levels of awareness. For me, there is no better place to be than in a room buzzing with this kind of deep learning and succulent discussion. We worked on creative expression through art and writing, followed by a practice of public speaking as each student presented his/her work and ideas. This made us want more! By sharing thoughts, our students' exercise their own personal leadership and learn how to mentor to others. Now that I know the kids better and our groups are running smoothly, I was able to lean on the kids' interests, enthusiasm and insights, and think up more and more mentoring questions and strategies that lead all of us to discover deeper. What we call "student whispering" created a synergy that was on fire with joyful learning! I love being in the moment when everything comes together in group learning!
I look forward to mentoring, modeling and learning more from each of you. We should have a whole bunch of learning fun with Narnia. It is rich in symbolism and metaphor. The story tempts the imagination, while the writing inspires the art of communication. I am excited for my opportunity to inspire the kids as we work together to understand all that Narnia has to offer.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for
participating in building community, changing culture,
and for doing this life
leaning dance with me and my family. ~~xo
Now down to the business of this semester:
We are starting back up this Friday, January 4th, 2013. 12:30-5pm...
Please be here on time! Just one person coming in late disrupts the flow and brings down the whole environment. Arrive at 12:30 with full bellies. Here's an idea for those coming from Naples: why not plan on eating lunch in the car? My friends who have been coming to Marco over the years say it really is the best way. They pack lunches the night before or on Friday morning so that they can just grab them when walking out the door :-)
It's season! I highly suggest the Naples folks leave at 11:30 to get here by 12:30!
Islanders leave by 12:15. I need to know who needs to car pool so we can organize. If you get here at 12:30 everyone gets to socialize and we can start at 1pm sharp with all of us on the same page and in the same flow.
If you haven't done so already, please read the following books. It will put you on the same path as everyone else and use our co-op to its best advantage. Remember this isn't "school" or a "workshop". The educational priorities are different.
Family Commonwealth School Home School Co-op Participation Requirements
and to also participate in colloquiums based on the readings.
For our Self Reliance Project, Is anyone interested in... Project Appleseed for Parents, Love of Learners & Scholars: The Revolutionary War Veterans Association is committed to teaching two things together: rifle marksmanship and our early American heritage.
Love of Learners: Narnia, The Magician's Nephew Reading Colloquium. We are combining the Core and Love of Learning groups for the Narnia read, language arts, and discussion.
All students, even those that can't read must have a copy of the book! We are going to learn to take notes and may write in the book and/or use sticky notes to take notes. For the students who cannot read an adult or other student will be their buddy.
The older participants will follow along with the read using their fingers and will model the note-taking and discussion about the book. They will also help the younger students with the language arts activities. The books will stay here, so have students put their names on them.
Some of the older students in our Love of Learning group will be joining the Scholars for the Hamlet read & discussion. Students ages 13 and up can choose which group they want to participate in.
Note about the very young children... They will be encouraged to listen to the story and can come in and out of the activities as they wish. They can play quietly in the room or on the lanai, and if a mom wants to organize something for them please feel free to do so!
2:45-3:15: Snack sign up here.We request only healthy snacks please.
3:30-4:45 Rotating through: Art, Handwork, Garden Projects or Science
Jan 4th & 18th:
Love of Learners, Art with Mr. Horton
Scholars, Physics: Mechanics, Objects and Motions with student mentor Jonah.Jonah and his family use to live here on Marco and were a part of our home schooling community. Every year they visit for the month of January and join us in our co-op. Jonah is 17 and has a brilliant mind. He called and asked if he could teach a Physics class for both groups on Friday's during January. Having student mentors is something we aspire to in our Leadership Education co-op, so of course I said yes. He will meet with each group twice this month for a workshop and experiment.
Jan 11th & 25th
Love of Learners, Physics: Mechanics, Objects and Motions with student mentor Jonah.
Scholars, Art with Mr. Horton
Looking forward to seeing all of you on Friday! ~~:-)p
Having one of those days in your home school?For us it's alway's Monday's... Weekends are usually pretty busy so I learned over a decade ago to make Monday's our decompression day and to spend more time in our Family Read, just laying around talking about the book and life. Monday's became a slow, inspiring, snuggly -kind of day.
Our books of choice are the classics. Reading a classic gets our creative juices going, exercises our brains and inspires us to want to learn more, making it easier to show up for studies during the rest of the week, especailly Tuesday! Sometimes we would even start on Monday night after laying around much of the day reading. What a wonderful way to condition a love of reading especially for those students going into their teen scholar phase who will spend hours reading each day!
"The great classics and stories are great because they teach the great lessons, the great ideas and ask the great questions. And when we add to such great writings the love of parents and grandparents gathered with children and youth, something profound happens. Allan Bloom called such regular family reading a vital family ritual. “The reading thing” is real, and “the family reading thing” is a great key to the future." ~Oliver & Rachel DeMille
Oliver and Rachel DeMill speak about he desperate need for Family Reading in their highly reccomended, January 2012 news letter, the following is quoted from them.
The Power of Reading
In short, our assessment of the current state of our union is simple: Family Reading Desperately Needed. “The reading thing” will dominate the future success, or failure, of our world on so many levels. Consider a few of our favorite quotes on reading:
“To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries.” —A.C. Grayling
“Wear the old coat and buy the new book.” —Austin Phelps
“No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance.” —Confucius
“Children are made readerson the laps of their parents.” —Emilie Buchwald
“The greatest gift is a passion for reading.” —Elizabeth Hardwick
“The things I want to know are in books; my best friend is the man who will get me a book I ain’t read.” —Abraham Lincoln
“The reading of all good books is like conversation with the finest men of the past centuries.” —Descartes
“Teaching reading IS rocket science.” —Louisa Moats
“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.” —Jacqueline Kennedy
Valjean is running with Cosette hiding from Javert. Having trouble putting it down! But bed calls... There's just not enough time in the day for a classic such as this. The juicy family discussions alone will probably have us reading and contemplating this book for years :-)
Q. Is this new content? A. This brand new class, never before offered; it is not "canned" or "pre-packaged". It is being developed in direct response to a growing need in our own local community for a course for youth to prepare for adult studies, and to help adults mentor older youthandadults.
It is harmonious with the principles taught in the books, and is not a repeat of the content in the books or any previously presented class or seminar. It is highly specific in application and technique, rather than just philosophical or motivational.
Q. What if my schedule doesn't work with the dates? A. The content will be delivered to your email inbox on the dates of the class, and you have the option to listen when, and as often, as you like.
Q. Is it interactive? A. Those enrolled in the online course will be asked to complete an interrogative form prior to the class start date to help Oliver get a "feel" for those in the course he does not already know.
Of course, many of those enrolled are mentors that he has had as students over the years, and he is well familiar with them and thrilled to have them join us again! (You know who you are ;-D)
This class is actually being delivered twice, [almost] concurrently. Oliver is offering this class live, in-person, starting on October 2nd in our own home to a group limited to 16 adults, aged 15 and older.
Once that class is completed each week, Oliver will do an "inventory", considering the students in the online class.
From the local class and the "inventory", he will glean insights to inform his approach as he develops the optimal online session for those enrolled in the audio course.
The online session on a given topic will be delivered one week following the locally-offered class, beginning on October 9th.
Both the local and the online classes will be mentored in the truest sense of the word, in that Oliver, as the mentor, begins with an end in mind - to empower the individual students.
He does not have a rigid, preconceived plan for lecturing each week. The content he delivers will be tailored specifically to the needs of the participants as the course progresses. It is interactive in that the mentor will be shaping the content and delivery of the course based on the needs of those enrolled.
Individual class participants may have limited email and occasionally (where warranted), phone interaction with Oliver to help personalize the content and application of the class. (This benefit is not extended to those joining the class under the group rate - see below.)
For your convenience, here is a copy of the class schedule:
Week 1, October 9: How to Teach How to Think! Week 2, October 16: How to Teach How to Think II, How to Run Transformational Colloquia Week 3, October 23: How to Run, Teach and Debrief Fantastic Simulations Week 4, October 30: How to Teach and Mentor Writing, Part I Week 5, November 6: How to Teach and Mentor Writing, Part II Week 6, November 13: How to Teach and Mentor How to Think, Part III! Week 7, November 20: How to Teach and Mentor Math Excellence the Leadership Education Way
How will the Discussion portion of the class be done? The discussions are intended for you to use as a practicum of the principles you're learning. Oliver will be giving examples and suggestions on how to carry out and improve discussions.
Those in the online course will be invited to participate in a dedicated Facebook Discussion group that we will host for that purpose. They will also be encouraged to take initiative to set up live discussions on Skype, Google Hangout and other options, and to conduct local, real-time discussions in their own area. This will facilitate a deeper engagement with the principles, and the opportunity to practice the techniques suggested.
Can my spouse participate with me at the same cost? Immediate family in the same household may access the course materials at no additional cost.
Is there a group discount? We are pleased to encourage a shared experience for your local commonwealth, extended family or learning community by offering a special price for groups hosted in a single location. This discount does not apply for individuals attending in separate locations. Those in a family or group wanting additional personal mentoring apart from the downloadable course materials may arrange for that privately with Oliver. Those interested in hosting a group may contact us for special pricing and details.
Join us! I do hope this is helpful. Please let me remind you that the early bird discounted price ($199) is only available through September 30. After that the price goes up to $249.
However, if we get a big response we may choose to close the enrollment at any time (as we had to do for the recent webinar). We won't want so many in the class that we can't be effective in responding to individual questions from the participants, so please don't sit on the fence for too long!
Rachel DeMille, TJEd.org "An Education to Match Your Mission"
P.S. You really are going to love this class. Ask anyone who's taken class from Oliver - he truly loves his students and has a gift to help them trans form into a greater version of themselves! Join us!
I went into our TJEd, Leadership Education, and Classical Liberal Arts
Community and asked for some inspiration… Does anyone know of
any good resources that inspire parents to honor the Core Phase? Something that can give parents coming off the
Conveyor Belt a vision of how to live
with little children. Maybe something
that speaks to the hurried child
syndrome. I have a group of six Core Phase parents that I am mentoring and who are
a part of fifteen families who come together for our Friday Family
Commonwealth/Mom School. Four of those
families also participate in our Girls Club
Community Service & Handwork Circle on Tuesday's. We invite these parents in for
modeling and inspiration and to give them practice while Mentoring other
people's older children. We allow their
Core Phase children to be in the room and to
participate in and out of activities when they want, to play at it, all the
while conditioning character development. I don't want to separate the littles
into a nursery, I believe they should be a part of and see the modeling of
community life. So I am looking for resources (books, videos, articles) that can
inspire my Core parents. Your thoughts and ideas would be much appreciated!
So what happens when you ask a question like this? A bunch of wonderful mommy brains come together and you get a big list of support, ideas and answers! I love this community :-) Here are some suggestions that were offered:
Child's Work and Better than School, both by Nancy
Wallace. They are out of print, but you
can find used copies.
And the Moore's book, Home Grown Kids
Kate from LeadOutEd.com
Please Don't Move the Muffin Tins by Bev Boss
The Geranium on the Windowsill Just Died, but Teacher You Went
Right on By, Albert Cullum
The Way it Spozed To Be by James Herndon
10 Lesson Schoolteacher, by J.T.Gatto,
Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Childrearing by Neill and
If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, which i think we''ve all
read...what a wonderful way to open a discussion on"'what living with young
ones looks like..."
Finally, Paulo Friere of Sao Paulo Brazil brought literacy to
one of the most illiterate countries in the world and teaches us that if CORE
NEEDS are addressed, reading can take place in less than 40 hours. His book is a very, very slender one...maybe not what you're
looking for...and I have more like this, that veer off the topic but hold on to
the principles of your question...just had to mention Friere because it's such
a powerful example of what we can achieve if we address the right things in the
right ways. Child's Work and Better than School, both by Nancy Wallace. They are out of print, but you can find used
FROM FACEBOOK: Our friends over at A
Thomas Jefferson Education suggested:
Richard Eyre in their Teaching Children
Joy series. ( 3 books...Teaching Children Joy, Teaching Children Charity and
Teaching Children Responsibility )They are old books, but we've found many of
them online for purchase and have a nice library of them now.
One of the
books I really love is called The Yes and No Book : about rules and laws for
children. It's written and designed by Arnold Arnold. There are lots of other
suggestions for great books to read to your children who are in the Core Phase
(and beyond.) :D
Using the Teaching the Classics video workshop we will journey through discovering the ease and fun of folding the reading of the classics into our home schools. The mini practicums will give us understanding in:
The Five Elements of Fiction and creating Story Charts- on paper on in conversation with our children. This is such a powerful tool that your students will analyze literature almost automatically.
The Socratic List - An exclusive set of 178 graded discussion questions designed to help you analyze any book on your reading list and wait until you see what it does for everyday conversation!
The Curriculum - A comprehensive literature resource based on the classics YOU prefer. No need for expensive texts or consumable workbooks; all you need is a library card!
The Workshop Videos: Inspiring discussions led by CLE director Adam Andrews that guide you through well known classics with warmth, humor and insight.
Free Resources: Visit the Teaching the Classics website http://www.centerforlit.com/ to find a host of resources for parents and teachers: teacher guides, reading lists, classroom blanks, audio lectures, essays and articles, live events and more.
Why read the Classics:
#1: They Teach Us Human Nature...
#2 We come Face-to-Face with Greatness...
#3 Human beings need a frontier in order to progress....
#4 Like barbells in a weightlifting room, the classics force us to either put them down or exert our minds...
Classics teach and grow us in understanding ourselves and the world we live in better.
There are a couple of moms joining us with similar educational and Classical Liberal Arts training- ladies please feel free to share what you know! The idea is to make parents comfortable with discovering all that the classics can offer and how to make the reading and understanding more natural, and deep, all the while inspiring a love of learning.
Lunch: Yes, let's do lunch too :-) Now what would a gathering of fabulous woman be without getting those of you who love to cook and nurture souls through the taste buds and tummy and who are good at it, to bring some of your favorite pot luck foods to share!
So join us in my home for some yummy food, good company, deep conversation and a day full of inspirational learning as we acquire the knowledge and skills to give our families one of the best gifts we can, a literary education. ~~:-)p
This is a free workshop hosted by Patti Cohen, Home School Mentor
Star Walk for iPad - interactive astronomy guide for iPad on the iTunes App Store Last night's sky was full of an ✫¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•✫ ..✫¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫ AMAZING AMOUNT OF TWINKLING STARS!! ..✫¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.✫ ☻ღ˚ •。* ♥♥ ˚ ˚✰˚ ˛★* I am a star gazer... I love nothing better than to sit outside late at night no matter where I am in the world, and look up into our wild blue yonder! *** A Parents' Choice Gold Award Winner ***
Constructing The Universe I want to learn in his lab!
Michael S. Schneider is an educator and writer who encourages a love of learning through an appreciation of
the intersections of mathematics, nature, art and science.