Leadership Education

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Summer Series At So You Call Yourself A Homeschooler
WELCOME to my summer blog series:
Homeschool Methods & Approaches
Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday throughout the months of June and July, you will hear from several different homeschool bloggers about the methods and approaches they use to teach their child(ren). It is my hope that you gain insight, encouragement, and confidence by reading what these tremendously faithful women have to share.

I am honored and excited to introduce to you:

Teri blogs about family, faith, and lessons learned on her homeschooling journey with her 5 rambunctious sons (ages 10-23) over at Tommy Mom. She is a lover of Leadership Education the Thomas Jefferson Way.


Leadership Education is all about freedom. Since freedom is a huge piece of what Carlie’s family, the Kercheval’s, have themselves, sacrificed as a family to maintain, it is my distinct privilege to be here today.

“Home Education is any educational pursuit that is grounded in the family’s values, directed by the student, and supported by the parents. Home Education can take any form.”~ Dr. Shanon Brooks, emphasis mine.

So much today is outsourced or implemented within our society at the expense of the sovereignty of family. Yet God voted you as the expert within your home to shape and influence specific children. Home Education is executed by everyone then, regardless of where the children attend school! The environment of being at home in my opinion, is the optimal one for this type of learning.

“For what are we educating?” is a question that each of us should ask, and ask consistently; as there are three types. There is the Conveyor Belt Method, which educates the masses and is necessary as one of three options for a literate society capable of getting a job. There is the Professional Method which exists to train to a specific job. It teaches when and what to think. Leadership Education focuses on how to think, and produces entrepreneurs, artists and statesman, with a focus on maintaining freedom for all. The most prolific example for us to look to would be Thomas Jefferson, our third President. Hence, the more specific name, “A Thomas Jefferson Education.”

Organic TJEd is “the promoting of the sovereignty of the family through Home Education utilizing The 4 Phases of Learning, The 7 Keys of Great Teaching, and The 5 Environments of Transformational Mentoring.” You can read more about that here.

I laid this ground work in order for you to understand my heart today.

So what does our lifestyle look like? First of all, it’s all about relationships.

The 5 Boys together, Family Culture in Leadership Education

“Every individual was born a genius, because we are created in the image of God.

It’s your job, then, as the parent to uncover that genius and send each individual in that direction.”

~Dr. Raymond Moore

This photo captures both individuality and diversity. I had the distinct privilege in my life of being mentored directly by Dr Raymond Moore. His quote with my boys has become the foundation of my parenting, and was instrumental in our family choosing a leadership model. Being a Christian and follower of Jesus Christ, I also believe that it is the way He taught and viewed humanity.

Here’s the rub.

It’s simple but not easy. If I look to things like sovereignty of the family, and personal genius, scope and sequence and exclusively training to an occupation don’t blend well. Have we ever participated in a co-op or group learning environment; and do we value foundational life skills? Absolutely! However, well-meaning individuals comparing or interjecting advice that appeals to mass production and performance based on the expectations of others; must be distanced. An implied knowledge that someone else knows what is best for my family produces no good fruit. Considering the influence that particular message is possibly producing; first on me, then on my boys is important. I need to model respect where these thoughts and others are concerned as well. We do a lot of things as a family, celebrating and executing our potential for influence within this unit. It’s about inspiring my kids, not how people look at or perceive me.


For our community and those less fortunate…

So You Call  Yourself A Homeschooler


for the body of Christ…

So You Call  Yourself A Homeschooler


for one another.

So You Call  Yourself A Homeschooler

We attempt as much as possible to do things together. This, initially, included all outside activities. I explained to my boys that I wasn’t a taxi service and couldn’t possibly successfully pursue 2-3 activities per child. I also reinforce that one day, these choices and priorities would be theirs to decide and make; based on how God chooses to bless and use them. We chose one activity together and committed to that with evaluation on an annual basis. So far, so good!

We currently have 2 3/4 children grown, with one living away on his own. We have worked very hard to produce a family culture and identity. What does it mean to be a Helms? How does that look in light of “what everyone else is doing?” What do we believe? What is right/wrong, good/bad, true/false?

We read consistently and constantly from the classics. We discuss, write about, and ponder them; believing that it’s not how many books you’ve been through, but rather, how many have been through you. It takes faith to believe that those who read and articulate well, will write well.

We encourage connection of thoughts, subjects and ideas. Recognizing cycles of history and what those thoughts and ideas produced within those times, help to clarify and identify issues in the present.

Our responsibility is to inspire and challenge to greatness based on gifts, talents and ultimately mission. I can’t educate anyone else. I can only inspire someone to gain their own education. This means I, too, must model a love of continuous learning. This includes modeling that education is for the express purpose of your vocation or life mission, not your occupation.

I desire to cultivate a love for education that produces righteousness.

We concentrate on virtues first and foremost; because skills can be gained as necessary in order to complete a noble purpose.

I hope this incites thought and challenges you. What you are attempting is the most important job in the world; for it will affect the future.

While seemingly ethereal, it works.

Son #1 has an incredible position with a very progressive company in technologies; where out-of-the-box thinking; while connecting concepts and ideas are paramount for success.

So You Call  Yourself A Homeschooler

Son #2 recently had the privilege of being a lead in Shakespeare’s “Two Gentleman of Verona.”

So You Call  Yourself A Homeschooler

He has had no formal training; unlike many of the other actors. Rather, he has immersed himself in Shakespeare for the past 4 years, reading everything he’s written and studying by reading other experts.

Education is life. I hope you’re living it!

Teri is a lover of Jesus, family, community, and leadership education the Thomas Jefferson way. Teri writes and also speaks about lessons learned on her educational journey with 5 rambunctious sons, ages 23 down to 10, one hero Hubby, and celebrating day to day life with lots of humor, within the human race. You can find Teri blogging at Tommy Mom.


Dear Friends,

If you enjoy reading my blog, would you please take 30 seconds of your time to vote for me? I’ve been nominated for the Top 25 Homeschooling Blogs on Circle of Moms. Click the icon below and it will take you to the voting page and just click “vote”! You can do this once every 24 hours thru June 27. Thank you for all your support. I truly am blessed by each and every one of you!


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  1. Hey Carlie…This is such a great series. I just read that someone was interested in this Leadership Style on THL and I posted the link to this page.

    1. Savannah,
      I am so glad you are enjoying it! I, too, am thoroughly enjoying this series as well – and it’s not even half way over yet 🙂 We have LOTS of wonderful posts all the way thru the end of July 🙂 Thank you for back linking this post. Terri really is the authority in the homeschool world for Leadership Education – she is PHENOMENAL!

  2. Wow! What a great post! I really didn’t know what “leadership education” meant, so I completely enjoyed reading about it. Thanks for sharing this series with us. 🙂

  3. Carlie,
    You are so dear! However, I certainly do not consider myself the authority in Leadership Education, my dear! People can find further information at http://www.tjed.org. or monticellocollege.org for true experts! Both have mentored me personally and give far deeper insights. The DeMilles have countless resources and Dr. Brooks is a great higher education resource. I am honored to know both personally. Again, thanks for the compliment! We’re one family attempting to the best of our ability to live what we believe! XO, ;0)

  4. Teri, I’ve always pursued a “non-traditional” education with my boys – reading lots of living books, short lessons, etc. Lately, I’ve been re-reading Clay and Sally Clarkson’s book Educating the Whole-Hearted Child, which makes me want to work harder (again) for a whole life education. Your post has inspired me to go digging into the tjed website, and I’m quite inspired by what I find. Thank you for sharing!

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