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.
People come and people go. That is a truth in any community. It is human nature, I suppose to some extent, for people to get interested in a thing, even convinced about a thing, then lose interest or become unconvinced over time. Maybe we just have a short (and shortening) attention span. Because it is enrollment season, though, and families are deciding whether or not their children ought to attend Trinitas next year, I am spending a few weeks focusing on some of the top reasons people give for losing interest in and leaving Trinitas. This is the third of four such installments, and I hope you find it helpful if you are trying to make an enrollment decision.
A pretty famous guy once said that the goal of a good education is not to make one think right, but to make one act right. I’m paraphrasing, of course. I can’t recall the exact quote or the name of the fellow who uttered it, but the gist of it is hard to forget. Now, we all know that education does not save—only Jesus can do that—but education can and does form virtue in students when it is done well by parents and teachers; and virtuous students, after all, are students who act right. Last week I asserted that a good education teaches “a way of being.” Another way of saying it is to say that a good education forms virtue in students so that they not only think right, but they also act right. And what better way to form virtue than by reading old books?
Once while introducing an author who was confined to a wheelchair most of her life, I asked a group of students, “What would you do with your time if you had to spend every day of your life in a wheelchair?” Here are the top three answers: 1) play video games, 2) watch television, and 3) sleep. No one said “Read” until I prompted them. The option of reading was simply an after-thought.