With increasing frequency I find myself consoling acquaintances whom I find shaking their heads and muttering about the world “going to hell in a handbasket.” In many ways I sympathize with these frustrated folk—look at politics, the media, the government, our Darwinian capitalist machine. One can hardly help wringing one’s hands over the state of the country, even the state of the world. But Christians have been given some instructions about the world, instructions along the lines of taking dominion and baptizing the nations and teaching them to obey Jesus. So let’s dispense with the handwringing, shall we, and get on with the business at hand.
How classical are you? Take this quick quiz and find out!
Spoiler... there is no quiz; though, our recent forays into remote learning might tempt us to think that the work of classical education is as easy as an online quiz. And anyway, if we were to post an online quiz on remote learning, we would be far more interested in responses to the following question:
Has our experiment in remote learning been a success?
And the follow up question:
In what sense has it been successful?
One can imagine our returning to school, thoroughly thanking everyone for participating in this grand experiment, and calling remote learning a smashing success. But will it really have been a success if all we do is complete math lessons and history worksheets? If that is all it takes to constitute a successful classical Christian education, why do we even spend all day at school? Why not just keep the kids home next year and let them work through a history textbook on their own time?
At other times I have written here about the importance of the home, church, and school being in agreement, and it is a message that bears repeating. Those three entities have the most influence over a child’s formation. If the home, church, and school have different messages about who God is or who His people are or how they are called to live, a child’s mind will be divided on issues that are foundational to her existence. For a child to flourish spiritually and emotionally, hearing a consistent message from home, church, and school is necessary. By that same standard, a classical education cannot take root and flourish in the life of a child if it isn’t being supported at home.
In last week’s post, I discussed the hallmarks of a child ready for kindergarten. If your child isn’t ready, relax, August is still several months away. Or maybe you have a two year old, and you wonder how to begin preparing him so he will be ready for kindergarten. One of you has more time than the other but otherwise the path is the same.
One goal not written in the Trinitas mission or vision statements is the goal of building a close community among Trinitas families, but it is our goal nonetheless. Community building isn’t a foreign concept at schools, and especially at the college level since it is a retention tool for colleges and universities. College students who might otherwise consider dropping out or transferring to another school may be reluctant to do that if they have grown close to their classmates, professors, and others at the school. For Trinitas, our reasons for building community run deeper.
I am usually guilty of not keeping up with the news like I should. Sometimes, though, the news is just too depressing to keep up with. I caught the tail end of a news story this week, for example, from a governor’s race where one candidate suggested that what our nation needs right now is an expanding of its moral compass. I think Christians will disagree with the candidate. Has God asked us to “expand” our moral compass or to obey His word? Well, of course, we are to obey His word, but that candidate I just mentioned could end up being the governor of a state and therefore responsible for its schools. I’m hoping Christians won’t just hand their children over to a school system that has as its goal expanding students’ moral compass.
Our board president recommended a book to me recently, and he was really excited about this book. It is common for him to get excited about theology books and such, but this was a book by a politician—not at all common for him to get into a book like that. As it turned out, my family already owned the book. My youngest son had gotten it for his mother a few months ago; he had been so captivated that he read half of it in the bookstore before he bought it. (Is that even legal?)
God has created the world to work in a very ordered way. He is a God of order. He brought order out of nothing—out of chaos if you prefer—to establish a peaceful habitation for humankind. Adam’s job was to maintain God’s order in the garden. When he failed at that, he was cast out of the garden, and the job got a lot harder; nonetheless, as his descendants we inherited the job. God’s people are to maintain order, a God-like order, of God’s creation. It is a hard job. Just look around at the mess we must bring to order. But we were made for it.