Education is Always Happening
Education never stops. One of the dangers of sending your children to a traditional day school (like St. Abeâ€™s) is that they may develop a mindset that there is a time when education happens and a time when it doesnâ€™t. We are shaped by the liturgies of our life. The repetitive pattern of arriving at school around 8:15 and leaving around 2:45, 5 days a week for 9 months out of the year can tempt kids to think â€œWhen Iâ€™m at school, I learn. When Iâ€™m not, I donâ€™t.â€ This is a dangerous thought indeed, because education is always happening.
The world never takes a break from teaching our children all sorts of nonsense; neither does the Tempter go on vacation from his educational efforts in lies and accusations. T.V. shows and commercials, billboards, movies, music, magazine racks in the checkout line, the growing presence of handheld technology and the endless stream of information that comes with it are always constantly teaching our kids something. More frequently than not, they are messages that are unbiblical or anti-biblical.
Should we listen to our heart, like most kids movies teach us, or should we see our hearts as deceptive (Jer 17:9), needing the healing work of the spirit? Should we view youth as the fountain of wisdom and the elderly as out of touch and foolish, or should we agree with the Proverbs that â€œfoolishness is bound up in the heart of the childâ€(Prov 22:15) and â€œgray hair is a crown of glory, gained by a righteous lifeâ€ (Prov16:31). Should we encourage the increasingly long adolescence being pushed by our culture, or should we encourage our young men and women to â€œleave behind childish thingsâ€(1 Cor 13:11), and feel the freedom and responsibility that comes with growing older? The pressure to fall into unbiblical thinking is constant. As we raise our children, it is our duty to help them grapple with the ideas our culture is constantly throwing at them.
Our culture never stops teaching, and therefore our children can never stop thinking. This is why I am so thankful for the education my own children are receiving at St. Abeâ€™s. Recently, my oldest son in 9th grade here at St. Abeâ€™s, has been learning about the scientifically broken claims of macro-evolution, the scientific objectivity of sexual identity (aka guys are guys and girls are girls no matter how you might feel about it), and the science (or lack thereof) behind global warming. Mrs. Martin has been training them to come at these topics critically, leaning on science (not political propaganda), and teaching them the long lost skill of thinking in the midst of a world with a lot of mixed messages. These are just a few examples from one class, from the last couple months as to how our teachers are preparing our children to enter the world with their minds always turned on. Imagine how 12 years of this type of training will shape our childrenâ€™s minds.
The habit and skill of training our children to think with discernment is at the heart of our mission at St. Abeâ€™s. This is an ability that must have no off switch. We cannot afford to raise a generation of children who think that there is a time when education stops. Now more than ever our culture is in need of young men and women, equipped with the tools of learning and thinking, who can bring the gospel of Christ wherever the Lord may lead them.