In these Headmaster posts this fall we are focusing on the basics of classical, Christian and covenantal education. We are working our way through the six Foundational Commitments of Veritas Academy. The first commitment affirmed Christian Worldview -teaching and learning in light of the Lordship of Christ. The second Foundational Commitment affirms Classical Liberal Arts. Our statement says, Classical Liberal Arts: We are committed to a classical liberal arts education; the traditional and long-established, exemplary forms and standards in education handed down from ancient (Greek, Roman) and medieval educators. Our methods and curriculum are modeled on the medieval Trivium. The Trivium is understood as an approach to instruction in which the tools of learning are imparted to students in stages that correspond with their natural pattern of cognitive development (grammar -the tool of knowledge, logic -the tool of reasoning, and rhetoric – the tool of communication). The goal of the Trivium is to educate students not in what to think primarily; but in how to think thoroughly, maturely and biblically. We understand that the liberal arts of antiquity denoted the education “worthy of a free man” (Latin liber, “free”) – an education intent upon cultivating wisdom, virtue, and eloquence through the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty. We emphasize and seek to preserve and pass on to successive generations the richness of our Christian and Western cultural heritage.
This statement is packed with many assertions about what we do at Veritas as a classical school. Essentially, 1) What we do is exemplary. The methods represent the best approaches that have been tested and proven over centuries of educational practice. 2) What we do fits with how children learn. The Trivium –Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric– goes with the grain of how children learn. They progress from information sponges who love to memorize —to abstract and analytical thinkers who love to debate and discern valid arguments —to creative, articulate, and winsome communicators who love to express ideas. 3) It’s about the transcendent and eternal things in life. This is not merely about getting a job at the end of your education. It’s about living a life of wisdom, virtue, and eloquence in the Lord. It’s about pursuing and loving truth, goodness, and beauty!
Lastly, allow me to point you to a wise article from Julie Lowe at CCEF. In Rebuilding Parental Authority, Lowe argues that parental authority is challenging to properly exercise amidst our overpacked and hyperactive schedules. A biblical and godly authority over our children gets lost among all the other influences in our children’s lives. She states, to fulfill our parental responsibilities, we need to prioritize building devoted relationships with our children that display care, sacrificial giving, genuine compassion, and being for them. The more gracious and godly authority we exhibit, the more our children will desire to follow and submit to it. And by the way, I encourage parents to read everything they can from the pen of Julie Lowe. She offers uniquely biblical and practical wisdom in parenting.