Tuesday, October 16, 2012

To Tibbets or Not To?

So after my last class I was hearing more about this Tibbets lady and all of this wonderful stuff. I want to be like her I thought as all of these wonderful things were flowing through my head. This lady must have it all figured out. So I decided to learn a little more about how she was putting TJEd into her home. First I read her paper called headgates. It was an idea comparing how a child mind works like the headgates of a water ditch works. She explained that if a child is in the right environment then they will be inspired to read over play. Now who would not want that? We all wont our kids to have a great classic based education and are trying so hard to share all of these wonderful books with them. I liked this whole idea even more. As I read though this it seemed a little off to me.

Very strict guidelines for what toys should be allowed. Now some of it makes since so one may think, well she must be right. But legos, Lincoln logs and tinker toys are out. Yep you heard that right...no lego's. Just to clarify...Lego's will never leave my house even with how messy and annoying they can be at times.

So I was going through it all and then after reading all 32 pages I decided to check online for any other info on her. She had her own site (very sparse). You could email her or check out her QandA page. "Ooooo",I thought, "more information". I was still trying to figure out if I though her method was a good and worthwhile method to use. After just reading through a couple of the answers to the many questions people had asked her I was feeling more and more uneasy about it. Here are some of the things I did not agree with

1.At the dinner table the children are to speak only when spoken to. It is a privileged to be able to listen to their parent's talk

2. Children do not get to chose when they get to listen to music nor what music they listen to.

3.She chooses all of their books. Only at night are they allowed to choose a book of their liking.

4. A journal is only for those who have beautiful penmanship, spell correctly and perfect grammar.

5.All subjects should be avoided besides reading and writing because they are beyond them and will be learned during scholar phase.

6. If a child decides to widdle a toy it is not allowed in the house because it is not a useful thing for the family. Children are to only make things that are useful.

Ok, so that is only the tip of the iceberg  What happened to a loving family? What happened to raising leaders who can make choices? What happened to letting kids make mistakes and encouraging them and expecting perfection once they are scholars. I feel that her ideals take a lot of this away. It sounds more like a dictatorship to me. If my child would like to listen to some classical music I am not going to say no just because I didn't choose to have it on.

What I do agree with is creating an environment that encourages children to read. I have made it my mission to develop the way I feel will work the best for my children. I look forward to sharing what I come up with. For now I am sticking with what I am doing with little tweaks here and there.


  1. Your assessment is good. I also feel very uneasy about Headgates and the Tibbets mentality. I call it "extreme" and not even TJED really. She gives very little choice to her children and that is not in keeping with TJED principles.

    P.S. Check through your spelling and word usage again. A few typos. ;-)

    1. I am so sorry about my spelling. If spell check does not catch it I am usually at a loss. Spelling and math have been a life long challenge for me and slowly gets better. I will try to find the errors. Thanks for reading.

  2. I'm new to your blog and very much enjoy it.

    I saw on TJEd Muse that some were a little upset with your assessment of Tibbets (which I am not at all familiar with) but I wanted to let you know that I think your post on the topic comes across as very respectful. Although you make it clear that you find many of her ways of implementing TJEd too restrictive for the way you choose to educate your family, you were not attacking or mean spirited. You also give her credit for the ideas that you have gleaned from Tibbets that will make reading more of a focus in your household. There is absolutely nothing wrong with voicing your opinion as long as you are honest and respectful. The great thing about the principles of TJEd is that they can be applied differently for each family and they see fit.

    Keep up the great work!