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What is iFamily Leadership Academy?

iFamily is an organization of Mom Schools, who come together to hold weekly classes in one location to make it easy for a variety of families to participate. Our organization is built on principles of belief in God, leadership education, and family stewardship of education. iFamily is led by a five-member Board of Directors who approve the Mom Schools, create the schedule, govern the organization, and have a lot of fun!

What is Leadership Education?

Thomas Jefferson Education is an educational philosophy that builds leaders. It is often referred to as Leadership Education. First of all, TJEd is not really a method in and of itself. One can use almost any method and still apply TJEd principles, which are grounded in the Seven Keys and the Phases of Learning.
For example, the Montessori method, Unschooling, a focus on family culture, and working and playing together are wonderful for children in Core Phase. Charlotte Mason, Unit Studies, Epic Adventure, and many others are a tremendous guide for children in the Love of Learning Phase. A child is ready for Scholar Phase when she willingly submits to a demanding mentor and has a powerful sense of mission that drives her to immerse herself in the study of subjects of her own choosing for several hours each day. At this point, many other methods and curricula can be used to supplement a personalized education plan.

What is a Mom School and how does it work?

A Mom School is a club, group activity, or class created by a mom (although there can certainly be Dad Schools and Youth Schools!) as she assesses the needs of her children, family, and community. It is often said she creates it for her children and then invites others to join in with them. Mom Schools are optimally run when someone is passionate, inspired, and dedicated to the growth of each of their participants.

The Mom Schools at iFamily Leadership Academy are created and owned by approved Class Mentors who seek to fulfill the Vision and Mission of iFamily.

Mom Schools are the foundation of iFamily. The board does not seek mentors to teach our students. Conversely, mentors submit Mom School Proposals to the board and are then approved or denied based on scheduling needs, mentor skills, and ability to create excellence in the classroom.

For more information about Mom Schools, read Chapter 6 of A Thomas Jefferson Home Companion.

How do I become a member?

Before you join iFamily, it is important to understand our Vision and Mission along with the Basics of Leadership Education. We believe our members are most satisfied with iFamily when their educational philosophy meshes well with these principles and we recognize our model of education is not the right fit for every family’s approach to education. We recommend reading A Thomas Jefferson Education by Oliver DeMille OR read Part 1 of Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning by Oliver and Rachel DeMille.

iFamily membership is currently capped, but the road to iFamily Membership is simple.

  1. Register as an iFamily Associate Member here. Associate Members are given preference for full iFamily Membership when uncapping occurs.

  2. If the registration target of 80 families is not met during iFamily Member Registration, the board will open as many membership spots as it takes for us to hit our target.

We have been able to allow membership for every requested membership since our new registration procedure was put into place!

Is TJED just for homeschool?

No. You can learn more about creating a TJEd classroom in any school by reading in Oliver DeMille’s book, A Thomas Jefferson Education.

What are the Phases of Learning?

Core Phase (ages birth – 8 yrs.)
Love of Learning Phase (8 yrs. – 12 yrs.)
Scholar Phase (12 yrs. – 16 yrs.)
Depth Phase (College or equivalent)
Mission Phase (Change the World)
Note: Ages are approximations, and may vary individually by several years.

What responsibilities come with being a member?

  • Pay membership fees and all class fees for the Mom Schools your family is enrolled in.

  • Join the iFAMILY Leadership Academy Facebook group for iFamily Members and Associate Members. It is our main form of communication.

  • Attend parent meetings.

  • Take the Intro to iFamily class in the first year you attend.

  • Fulfill cleaning and monitoring responsibilities.

  • Ensure that your children under the age of 15  have adult supervision when they are not attending a class.

  • Respond to all communication in a respectful and timely fashion.

  • Abide by the Standards of Moral Conduct.

  • Follow the Building Use Guidelines of Christ Community Church.

What is the registration fee and what is it used for?

The registration fee is $80/semester per family for a Full Member. $70 goes towards membership fees which are used to pay rent on the facilities we use for classes and member meetings, to pay for insurance, and to cover any other miscellaneous costs that come with running a non-profit organization. The remaining $20 is a refundable cleaning deposit that is returned to you upon completing your cleaning assignment for the semester. Associate and Sabbatical Memberships are $20/year and cover the cost of maintaining our website.

How often do you meet?

iFamily meets every Wednesday for two semesters - one in the Fall and then one in Spring. Fall semester is 12 weeks and generally begins the first week of September and ends the week before Thanksgiving. Spring semester is 14 weeks and typically begins the 2nd to last week of January and ending the last week in April.

Do you have to mentor a class?

No. We all have different family situations and various abilities. Mentoring a class may not be right for you. We welcome all levels of participation and service to our organization.

Do my children need to be enrolled in classes to participate in the community?

No. We offer an Associate Membership for $20/school year which allows you access to the Facebook page as well as participation at any activities outside of weekly iFamily classes.

What kinds of classes do you offer?

Because all of our classes are taught, created, and owned by inspired parent mentors, they vary greatly from semester to semester and cover a variety of subjects and phases of learning. Some classes that regularly appear on our class schedule are Shakespeare, ACTivate, Key of Liberty, Worldviews and You, Choir, and Art Classes.

Can I drop my kids off or do I need to stay the whole time?

iFamily Leadership Academy is designed to bring families together for shared leadership educational experiences. iFamily is not a daycare or school and is not a drop-off situation, but a family learning environment. Parents are expected to be on-site at all times. On-site is within the building so children have easy access to parents. 

What is your Vision and Mission?

iFamily Leadership Academy is hereby formed to bring together families for shared leadership educational experiences based on a godly foundation and principles found in A Thomas Jefferson Education. We endeavor to provide a synergistic, inspiring, Mom School environment which will assist children, youth, and adults in gaining the vision, skills, and abilities specific to their phase of learning and their personal mission.


iFamily Leadership Academy honors each individual as the steward of his/her own education and seeks to support, not replace, the family as the center of learning.

The iFamily Leadership Academy mission is to grow scholars: leaders who love learning and pay the price of greatness; leaders who embody a moral foundation of truth, virtue, compassion, courage, and voluntary sacrifice; leaders who positively impact their families and the world for good while fulfilling their personal mission.

Leadership Education
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