Sometimes the best way to explain something is to compare it to something else, some image that gives greater shape and contour. Jesus asks, for instance, “To what shall I liken the kingdom of heaven?” In this session of Classical Clips, we answer the question, “What is Classical Christian Education?” through analogy and metaphor.
The other day I was talking with a teacher about the aims of education. She reflected on how we should be preparing our students for more than just getting into college. I remarked that one the goals of education is to raise the pupil above the level of just being a consumer, above a materialistic existence of buying and getting and consuming. It reminded me of a few old posts I wrote that speak to these ideas. Hope you enjoy!
Who doesn’t love donuts? And bacon? (Well, there may be a few non-bacon lovers out there, but…) We would love to spend a morning with the St. Abe’s dads on Labor Day morning. Dads, you’re invited to come see your kiddos in their classrooms, meet one another, have some yummy donuts and bacon, and pray together! Don’t forget to check the newsletter for the link to place your order TODAY!
“Listen up!” “Pay attention!” “Tune in.” How often do you catch yourself saying that to your children? You’re not in bad company if you repeat this command often. This is one of the most repeated directions in the book of Proverbs as well. In just the first 8 chapters there are over fifteen instances of some form of this command. Jesus was also fond of saying his own version of this: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Why such a big emphasis on hearing? My hunch is that it is because hearing is one of the only, if not the only, entrances to gaining knowledge. There is no other way to get in. Hearing is the doorway you have to go through if we’re going to grow in wisdom. If we can’t hear God, we can’t learn about him. If we can’t listen to instruction from Him, or from our pastors, parents, friends and teachers, we’re stuck. We need the input and advice from all those places, and to receive that instruction, we need to be able to hear.
You donâ€™t have to look hard to find people giving in the St. Abeâ€™s community. For this Iâ€™m extremely grateful. A group of moms sit in the office, busily planning for the upcoming Barn Party, investing time and energy to ensure it is a success. Parents and grandparents gather weekly, praying over all aspects of our school. Teachers briskly walk from class to office to playground over and over again prepping and planning for how they will craft upcoming lessons. Students pour over math and Latin texts in the courtyard with rays of sun watching over their shoulder. Friends and family members send anonymous donations to ensure our mission will continue for many years to come. This is not to mention all that happens at home in preparation for each day at school â€“ endless cycles of laundry, lunch packing, homework checking, praying for classmates and teachers, more laundry, more homework checking, and be sure to get to bed early enough so there is not a homicide the next morning as everyone runs around getting ready for school.
A few weeks ago, we reflected on the importance of passing down the stories from one generation to another, as seen in Psalm 78. As a culture, we have by and large, stopped doing this, and the results have been disastrous. As we have abandoned our Classical and Christian heritage, we have also abandoned the elevated perspective such an education gives. Classical education provides a mountain top view, helping us to see above the tangle of post modern and post Christian thought.
Anyone whoâ€™s stood atop Mt. Madonna, looking out over Watsonville and the Pajaro Valley gains a certain perspective of the area. Looking at a map is one thing, but standing on the edge of Highway 152, looking out towards Watsonville, you gain perspective. Youâ€™re able to see Watsonville is not as close to the ocean as it seems, and the Aptos hills start just over to the right, beyond that you can just begin to see Capitola. In the other direction you can see the Pajaro Valley, and the famous â€œtwo towersâ€, as my kids call them, down in Moss Landing. Unless weâ€™re willing to take the serpentine route up 152, we never gain the outlook provided by this view. In a similar way, by cutting ourselves off from our Classical and Christian roots, we loose that mountain top perspective.