As we seek to educate our children well under the classical Christian model, we can eventually come to the general sense that we're doing something different and good but be unable to say exactly how it is different. And while "being different" should never be the basis of an educational model, we must always be able to articulate the basis of our children's education as in Christ -- and Christ is gloriously different from our fallen world.
Classical Christian education is different as it very simply teaches Christ as the foundation of all subjects -- not just an add-on -- and this means that we are able to take meaningful joy in all things. All things are his gifts to us. The result is a rich joy that goes all the way down, does not ring hollow, and allows us to truly see.
Seeing, particularly with wide-eyed wonder, is so important for children. This is one of the main things we're after at ACA as a classical Christian school: to show our children how to see. Show them how to name things (as Adam did). Show them how to enjoy things (as God does). Show them how to love.
Man by nature tends to criticize and dislike because of our sin; God always loves. Think of it this way: in the Garden of Eden, there was a single tree of "No", and thousands of trees of "Yes". In other words, God loves to say Yes to us, and that is how we should be toward our students. We give them learning as gifts. We teach them the quadratic formula as information, but we teach it more importantly as beauty that reflects God's orderly character. We teach them the anatomy of insects as information that reflects God's love of artistry. In short, we teach our students to notice, to see, to laugh, and to give thanks.
As we walk through our children's lives together as both educators and parents, let's help them to love God's world by showing them how. Let's practice seeing God's love of beauty in all life's details so that they will look outward with thanks, not inward with selfishness. Above all, let's thank him for the profound gift of kids who will, if we are faithful, rise up and call us blessed (Prov. 31:28).
Grace and Peace, Nate Ahern