Sunday, October 26, 2014

Some photos from our Defenders of Faith class.  They are acting out a dramatic scene from the scriptures.  (Even cooler than that:  they are building their own suits of armor!)

I don't know about you, but I think those are about the cutest kids in the world!  And such good boys.

Camelot Commonwealth is in full swing for the 2014-15 school year.  It is off to an amazing start!  We have a great team of mom's on the job, and the most wonderful youth.  What a blessing to be a part of something so great.
Here are just a few pictures to show our first few weeks of school.  I will try to be better at posting every week.  Sometimes we are having too much fun, and I forget to snap pictures!  
Our schedule includes:  Defenders of the Faith for boys up to age 12, and GRACIOUS girls for girls the same ages, Building and Making class, P.E., and boys and girls club.
For the older youth, we do P.E., 30 minute missions and Public Speech.
It's so great!!!
This is our very first gathering time.  Everyone is excited to be there!

We sing a song, pray, say the pledge of allegiance, recite a scripture and a poem.

Our lovely Vanna White is showing our Code of Conduct, complete with hand drawn visuals by an artist who is famous in her own home.  (We love her to pieces.)

This crazy conglomeration of Kids is the Human Knot.  Our first simulation.

They worked very well as a team. 

These youth are participating in a 30 minute mission.  These will include logic challenges, team-building exercises, games and service opportunities.

They need to all be on the rug and flip it over without anyone getting off of it for this challenge.

It took them a little while to figure out the trick, but they got it.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Inspire, not Require...

Dr. DeMille's 7 Keys of Great Teaching are a VITAL and irreplaceable part of our Commonwealth.

Without them, we will fail. That is: we will fail if our purpose is to raise future leaders and encourage young people who will stand for truth.  If our purpose is to create something different, and to avoid becoming another source of a "compulsory" education, we simply must do things differently than we have seen them done in our own education.

It is up to us to "be the change that we wish to see in the world."  (Gandhi)  And if we are unable to change paradigms and do things differently, we will be unable to raise up a generation of youth who will do things any differently from how they have been done in the past.  

We will first address the hot topic of inspiring vs. requiring our youth in their education.  This key is one of the most controversial and difficult to implement, simply because it is something we are not accustomed to in our generation. 

Please take a moment and think of the two words:  

What thoughts and images do they bring to your mind?
How does each word make you feel?

Here are some thoughts I have had regarding this subject:

What is 'Required' of us by God?  

I have not been able to come up with anything that we are required to do by our Heavenly Father.  In fact, a quick search brings up more entries saying the word Inspire when referring to our God.  There are prerequisites to entering His Kingdom, of course, but He doesn't require us to enter His kingdom.  That would be quite contrary to His nature, in my opinion.

Scripture search!  D&C 10:65-67 is a good illustration of how He operates.
Which brings us to 3 Nephi 27:27.  
We all must model our lives after Him.

In other words, God doesn't require.  He inspires.  And so should we.

Dr. DeMille states in his book, A Thomas Jefferson Education,
"If the purpose is to train leaders, it's important not to force the young person through their learning experiences.  Force in learning kills the spirit, dampens the passion and destroys the zest and life of learning.  Force trains followers, not leaders.....inspiring, in contrast to ignoring and forcing, means finding out what the students need and then creatively encouraging them to engage it on their own - with excitement and interest."

Plato quote let amusment be early education

One last quote by Joseph Smith:
Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand, and watch over them with tenderness.  When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what power it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind.

If the human mind is depressed, it's not in a very teachable state...

So what does it mean to inspire?  Here is the textbook definition of this beautiful word.  Look at the word. When you break it down, it is In-Spirit...

in·spire  (ĭn-spīr′)
v. in·spiredin·spir·ingin·spires

1. To affect, guide, or arouse by divine influence.
2. To fill with enlivening or exalting emotion: hymns that inspire the congregation; an artist who was inspired by Impressionism.
a. To stimulate to action; motivate: a sales force that was inspired by the prospect of a bonus.
b. To affect or touch: The falling leaves inspired her with sadness.
4. To draw forth; elicit or arouse: a teacher who inspired admiration and respect.
5. To be the cause or source of; bring about

It is the opinion of the founder of CAMELOT Commonwealth in all of it's manifestations that to inspire youth is the very essence of the Mentor's duty.  We each must do the hard work of being worthy of the spirit, and listening to the spirit as it guides us on what each on of our youth is in need of.

This is not something that can be taught in a book.  It is not common in the world we live in.  and it is a challenge to take it on.  But what it boils down to is this question:  What kind of education are you hoping for in your youth?  Is it a conveyor belt, state standards education?  Or is it one in which they are challenged, and which helps them to build character?

My friend Kathy Mellor is one of the most inspiring people I have ever met.  This song is written by her about how she feels when she receives a new mentee into her life.  I hope you enjoy it, and feel the spirit she brings to her teaching.  It is truly inspiring to be in her classes.

May we each strive to be inspiring as we rub shoulders with the greatest generation God has ever sent to the earth.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Coming Events

This just in:
Coming Events Calendar!
We will try to keep it updated as much as possible.
A few other reminders about the first 2 events:
TJed Book Discussion and Breakfast Potluck
When:  August 31, 2013
Who:  Parents of Commonwealth students
Location:  Debbie McKay
Time:  9-11 a.m.
Debbie will provide a delicious breakfast casserole. 
Bring something sweet or savory to share.
And be ready to have an amazing discussion of a Thomas Jefferson Education, by Dr. Oliver Van DeMille
Family Social and BBQ
When:  Monday, September 9, 2013
Who:  All Commonwealth Families
Location:  Mt. Pleasant Park
Time:  6:30 p.m.
Bring your own dishes and drinks and enough food for your family, and we will share!
It will be fun to visit as families and get to know each other better as we all embark on this amazing adventure together!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Welcome to CAMELOT

Welcome to Camelot Commonwealth!

Our Mission is to:
Create a Moral Education for Leaders of Tomorrow. 
(Remember, that's what CAMELOT stands for!)
Our Vision is: 
To help facilitate, through inspiration, the discovery of genius in each child and parent and to help develop that discovery in order for them to fulfill their divine mission.
We have formed a Youth Leadership Council, called (appropriately) The Round Table.
The Round Table Council will be organizing fun events for the community, helping with service projects and fundraisers, and getting together frequently for some good, clean fun!
Many of the boys participated in a 2,000 Stripling Warrior March.
We are working on a plan for an amazing first semester, beginning the end of September.  Here is a sneak peak at a few of the things we have up our sleeves for our youth:
  • Key of Liberty for Practice Scholar aged youth (must be age 12)
  • TJed for Teens
  • An ART club
  • A Blacksmithing club
  • Other clubs (as they develop...)
But wait!  There's more!  We don't want to leave out Core or Love of Learning youth!  We have way fun, parent-guided and inspired things planned for them, too!
  • Music Theatre
  • P.E.
  • I Love America or the 4 Year Plan (by Terri Ebert) (So many great options to consider....)
  • Math games
  • Reading games/Story time
  • Science
  • Crafts
  • Art
We are so excited.  We have gotten together frequently as Mom's concerned for their childrens' education.  We are forming awesome, lasting friendships, and helping each other to meet the needs of our youth. 
This is going to be a great journey!  If you are interested in joining us, please contact us through this blog!  Good luck!