It’s Back-to-School time and everything has shifted. For Moms, Dads, Kids, Teachers and Administrators. It’ll never be the same again. Is there a problem with that? Absolutely not. ◊
Now that children around the world are back to school at some level, either with safe in-class/home sessions and/or distance learning with virtual online sessions, I sense a major cultural shift. While to some it may appear simply to be another “short term” social adjustment to Covid that is forcing yet another inconvenience and change to our comfortable patterns of family, work, church, and school life, I see a seismic shift of significant proportions with long-term implications.
And shifting sands expose the weaknesses or strengths of current foundations.
But this is a good thing, as many eyes are going to be opened to the ways of education for our children and families. The net result will be better educational offerings, better families, better parenting, better learning, better awareness.
And new foundations, stronger and fortified, like homes built on sturdy ground, will pave the way for a better way.
School Choices: Home, Public, Private, Charter
Over the past several months, our own three children and their elementary school-age children, have experienced all of the above. What used to be simply Public schools and Private Christian schools for our 10 grandchildren, we now have all our children choosing Home and Charter Schools as the best option for their families.
And even over just a couple of weeks, it’s a sight to behold.
Our children’s homes are like dynamic learning centers with kids in various rooms during fun lessons involving both mothers and fathers, and even grandparents. Our children are all Christians who are raising up their children “in the ways of the Lord,” meaning that the Bible is respected, read and taught, Jesus is a personal Lord and Savior, God is revered Creator, Holy and Almighty, and the Holy Spirit is our spiritual helper and intercessor.
Now that’s laying a firm foundation you can rely on. Overlay that with a parent’s and/or teacher’s nurturing love, time and attention, and guided “Classical Education” curriculum that supports Biblical teaching and foundations of truth in the study of history, literature, arts and sciences, and you’ve got an ideal situation.
Agenda-Driven Secular Education
I will cast no specific judgment here on current public education curriculum. I will only claim that, at least in California, there is an underlying liberal-leaning agenda at all levels of K-12 education that is not necessarily Christian values-friendly. And while this may be acceptable to and even preferred by liberal secularists, non-Christians, and unaware Christians, it is counter to the public education that I received when I was growing up in California over 50 years ago.
But I believe this new home/virtual school environment is going to expose and awaken parents to just what their children are being taught today through secular education programs. Combine this with the growing cry for returned tax money in the form of Free Choice School Vouchers, and I believe in the coming years we’ll see an explosion of private and charter schools in cooperation with public and home school networks. Schools will never be the same again.
And is there a problem with that? Absolutely not.
The Purpose of Education
Here are some famous quotes that put education and its purpose in perspective:
- “The object of education is to teach us to love what is beautiful.” – Plato (The Republic)
- “Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.” – Aristotle
- “Fathers (and mothers) bring your children up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” – Paul (Ephesians 6:4)
- Truth is defined by Him, and knowledge of all things comes from Him. (Anonymous)
- “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” – Solomon (Proverbs 1:7)
- “A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a College education.” and “To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society.” – Teddy Roosevelt, past US President
- “Education is useless without the Bible.” – Daniel Webster, former US Senator and Secretary of State
- “The center of classical education is to love goodness, truth and beauty, and at the very core of a classical education is God.” – Charlotte Mason (British educator)
Therefore, one might say that the real purpose of education is to teach and prepare children in true wisdom and knowledge. God is the source of all knowledge. As highlighted before here in other posts, the “classics” at the core of Classical Education curriculum are the great works of art, music, literature, history, and science. Studying the classics through the lens of God’s Word equips students to make decisions and judgments rooted in Biblical morals and provides them with discernment when considering profound ideas, including those that directly clash with Christianity.1
Apart from that, public, private or home school education can produce highly educated young people hopefully equipped for the adult world. But the common disjointed fragmentation of topics, courses, and values-neutral teaching tracks common in a secular education may ultimately leave children educationally unfulfilled. Without the integration of a sound understanding of real Wisdom, Truth and Purpose as presented in the Bible, the Scriptures that surpass all human documentation and literature, all children will miss the daily opportunity for Godly character development, moral clarity, and to “love what is beautiful” as dictated by God, the Creator of all life and beauty.
How are the sands shifting in your children’s school?
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” – Matthew 7:24-27
2 Calvary Christian Academy, website: http://calvarychristiansj.org/about-us/the-cca-story