We started interviewing for jobs during Mike’s last year of residency. He set up several interviews in California and Utah. I was a big city girl from LA, and he was a small town boy from Lehi, Utah.
We knew we wanted to be somewhat close to family. Most of the interviews were in places we didn’t want to live, or were too far from family.
The possibility we liked the most was a group in southern Utah.
The area was right in between both our families, it was beautiful, it had plenty of culture like the Shakespeare Festival, and it had a small liberal arts college called George Wythe.
The president of George Wythe College was none other than Oliver DeMille, the man who wrote A Thomas Jefferson Education. There was an entire homeschool community in Cedar City that followed his philosophies. It was too good to be true.
The ER group in southern Utah wasn’t holding any interviews for any job openings or looking to fill a position, while all the other groups we were considering were actively searching for someone. This group wasn’t looking. The year before, we had stopped by to meet the ER director and had a nice chat. He liked Mike, and mentioned the possibility of us coming there.
Then when the new hospital opened a few months later we stopped by again for another visit. When Mike started his interview trips, we gave them a call and set up a dinner with a few of the other docs and their wives. We decided to keep calling to see if was a possibility. We knew that if the chance arose we would jump at the opportunity.
Happily, our persistence paid off, and the southern Utah group hired Mike. I was ecstatic about it, and excited about all the educational opportunities, not only for our children, but for us as well.
After we moved, we attended several seminars sponsored by George Wythe College. These seminars opened our minds and transformed our thinking. I felt like I was at a great feast, devouring tremendous amounts of satisfying food that I never knew existed before.
Some of the methods of learning they promote are:
- Classics, Not Textbooks
- Mentors, Not Professors
- Inspire, Not Require (If I try hard enough, this works most the time)
- Structure Time, Not Content ( I don’t always do this, but it’s really important to give kids choices)
- Quality, Not Conformity
- Simplicity, Not Complexity
- You, not them (in other words, I needed to focus on teaching myself, not just my kids)
These ideas became a framework for me, although I don’t always follow it 100%. They have led me to many great successes with my children over the years. I don’t believe you can find success by following this philosophy passively. There must be substantial behind-the-scenes effort on the part of parents to expose their children to greatness and creatively inspire them to learn on their own.
I discovered an educational program called 5 Pillar Certification. The college offered it, and I learned of many other moms that were doing it to enrich themselves. I began working on it, and slowly it changed me. As I applied the principles I was learning in our family, I could see them start to work with my kids as well.
Mike jumped on the bandwagon. He signed up as a student at George Wythe while he was working full time in the ER. He couldn’t get enough of what they had to offer. He has continued learning at what is now George Wythe University, and has even helped teach some classes.
The last 5 years have been a fantastic journey for us!
Welcome to our continuing story . . .