Monthly Archives: August 2010


Regents Senior Awarded Loyalty Fund Scholarship

Congratulations to Regents Academy senior Kelsey Kunk, who has been awarded the Loyalty Fund Scholarship from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. Kelsey will receive $20,000 through the Loyalty Fund scholarship, which each year is awarded to 10 high school students who are accepted to UMHB by the end of their junior year. This highly coveted scholarship is given to young men and women who are Christian leaders in their community, church, and high school.

Congratulations, Kelsey! You have made your parents, your church, and your school proud.


“What Did You Learn?”

Dr. John Patrick is a medical doctor, researcher, and professor who speaks often about the decay of Western civilization and the need for thoroughgoing Christian worldview thinking. He recounts his experiences from around the world working with starving children and the transforming effects those experiences had on his own children, who shared the work with him. When you have a held a starving child in your arms as he dies, Dr. Patrick says, you lose interest in the latest fashions at the mall.

Dr. Patrick also describes his children’s education. Each evening over dinner he asked them questions about their classes. But his question was never, What did you make on the test? It was always, What did you learn?

To be interested in your children’s education does not require that you merely want or demand certain grades. Grades and scores have their place, certainly, but what is their place? Are grades and scores the goal? Or are grades and scores the indicators of progress toward the real goal?

Obviously, I am suggesting the latter. Our real goal in classical Christian education is the cultivation of the mind, heart, and soul in wisdom and virtue. It includes the acquisition of knowledge and skills, but it consists in the formation of character and the shaping of a consistent Christian worldview. That takes time, something we seem somehow to have less of than previous generations.

What are your goals for your children’s education? I hope they are ultimately something higher than merely getting a job and making money. But I also hope your immediate goals for your children reach beyond good grades. Encourage your children simply to do their best. Study your children and their habits and desires. You know what their best looks like. Don’t suffer from the blight of low expectations that infects education and childrearing today. If our children simply do their best, if they are reaching their God-given potential by applying themselves diligently and enthusiastically, we can be content, whatever the grade.

If we consistently ask the question, “What did you learn?,” and then if we engage their answer and show them our interest and our own thirst for knowledge, then we can help lead them toward real education. The English word “education,” by the way, comes from a Latin root, “educo,” meaning “to lead forth.”

Toward what goal do you want your children led forth? We are joining together at Regents Academy, parents and teachers together as partners, to lead our children not toward higher test scores, though high test scores tend to be one wonderful side-effect of a classical Christian education. We are leading not merely toward jobs and money and acclaim, though we are thankful for all of these and recognize their place. We are leading our children toward the cultivation of wisdom and virtue, real knowledge and usefulness to God in His kingdom.

So, now you’ve read this article. What did you learn?


On Tuesday Morning

On Tuesday morning, one of our families was in a car accident travelling to school. They were not seriously hurt and were able to get to school without too much delay. As I was helping them get to school, I had to drop off a backpack in a classroom and what I experienced was not likely being experienced anywhere else in Nacogdoches that morning… A classroom of students praying for their teacher!

Thank you, Mr. Bentley, for filling in during our time of need but also for being a Christian leader to our students during a time of trial. Regents Academy really is a family. Sure, we have our moments of pettiness and difficulty but we also have our moments of love and caring for one another. Our students love our teachers and our teachers love their students. Praise be to God!


G. Washington’s Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior

By the age of sixteen, George Washington had copied out by hand 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. They are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. You can read them here.

We should teach our boys to follow rules like these so that they will be real men.

We might be tempted to dismiss these rules as fussy or silly, unsuitable for men, outdated tenets more appropriate for a time of powdered wigs.  But in fact George Washington — a man among men to be sure — lived by them through military campaigns and presidential politics. They are guidelines for a mature person who has a clear focus on others rather than self.

The rules detail guidelines for etiquette in a multitude of situations. But in the introduction to Rules of Civility: The 110 Precepts That Guided Our First President in War and Peace, historian Richard Brookhiser warns against dismissing the maxims as “mere” etiquette. “The rules address moral issues, but they address them indirectly,” Brookhiser writes. “They seek to form the inner man (or boy) by shaping the outer.”

That’s the power of manners.


A Message to Our Regents Teachers

In 2001 a group of families got together and decided to open a school.  They knew they wanted something better for their children and their community.  They knew they wanted a school that passed on to their children a Christian worldview and created children that could think.  These families wanted a school that teaches children how to learn and children that could be lights in a dark world.

So this group of families began meeting in someone’s house with moms filling the role of teacher.  Slowly the group began learning what worked and what did not.  Strong-willed people had to learn to work together to make this happen.  They used borrowed facilities, bought supplies at auctions and crammed into spaces that were too small, all in hopes that someday there would be a school they could pass on to their community.

This group grew.  They added families much smarter and better looking than their own and steadily they have seen the school develop into what you see today.  God has blessed us with 12,000 square feet, 115 students, a soccer field, classrooms, playgrounds– and with you teachers.

This year’s teaching staff is the best collection of minds and hearts that this school has ever seen.  The board could not be more excited about each and every teacher on our staff this year! We have gotten to know each of you over the years through classroom interactions, interviews and from afar through your students.  The board wants you to know that we see you as brothers and sisters in Christ working shoulder to shoulder with us in an effort to make a lasting change in our culture.

Please know that the board and administration are here for you and we want to empower you to share your love of God, your love of learning, and your love for each student every day.

Additionally, the board wants you to continue to grow in your knowledge of what we are trying to do here at Regents Academy.  I’m talking about a better understanding of what it means to be classical, what it means to be Christian, and understanding how we are helping families to name a few. I know you are busy, but please participate in the bigger picture of what is going on here as well.  As I asked our parents at orientation, read the Nightstand Articles, attend the board meetings, and communicate with us.

We know that teaching at Regents Academy can be a challenge, and we know that teaching at Regents Academy requires a huge sacrifice from each of you.  The board wants you to know that we are doing our best to support you and keep the mission of our school as we continue to grow and learn.

I was taught that when someone gives you a gift or does something special for you that I should say thank you.  On behalf of the board…Thank you for all you do for Regents Academy and on behalf of the Sowell family…Thank you for all you do for my children.  I am looking forward to an incredible year at Regents Academy!


Why Study Latin?

As the school year gears up, prepare yourself for an inevitable question from the backseat on the way home from school: “Why am I learning Latin?”

I love Cheryl Lowe’s short and sweet case for studying Latin. She writes for The Classical Teacher over at Memoria Press.

Why Study Latin?
by Cheryl Lowe

Have you ever wished you had a good answer for those people who ask why you would spend your valuable education time studying Latin when you could be spending it on something more “practical”?

There are three reasons Latin has long been considered the one master subject before which all others must bow.

First, Latin teaches English better than English teaches English. “The study of one’s own language,” says classicist Charles Bennett, “is achieved incomparably better by the indirect method of studying another language … It is because translation from Latin to English … is so helpful to the student who would attain mastery of his own language … that I find the full justification for the study of Latin.” In other words, education based on the study of the child’s own language is inferior to one based on Latin.

Second, the mental discipline Latin instills in students makes it the ideal foreign language to study. Latin originated with the Romans, and their character pervades the language they created. The Roman, says R. W. Livingstone, “disciplined his thought as he disciplined himself; his words are drilled as rigidly as were his legions, and march with the same regularity and precision.”

Latin is systematic, rigorous, analytic. Its sentences march “serried, steady, stately, massive, the heavy beat of its long syllables and predominant consonants reflecting the robust, determined, efficient temper” of the Romans themselves.

Latin is clearly superior to other languages in this regard. Like English, modern languages are “lax and individualistic,” reflecting the modern temper of those who speak them. Thinking that you can get the same benefit out of studying them is, in Livingstone’s words, “like supposing that the muscles can be developed by changing from one chair to the other.”

Third, Latin is the ideal tool for the transmission of cultural literacy. Latin is, in fact, the mother tongue of Western civilization—a language that incorporated the best ideas of the ancient Greeks, and which then, after the conversion of Rome, put them into the service of Christian truth.

Rome fell into ruin, but the dying language of the disintegrating empire was infused with new life. Harnessing the power and precision of the old Latin, Christianity transformed the tongue of conquest into the tongue of conversion, and Latin became the very language of the Christian faith for over a thousand years.

Christian Latin takes the intellectual discipline of classical Latin and adds another element: simplicity. Although the basic grammar and vocabulary of Christian Latin are the same as the classical, Christian Latin authors emphasized the transmission of Christian truth, striving for clarity and simplicity above all else. Because Christian Latin is easier to read, it is the perfect gateway to the more difficult classical Latin of Caesar, Cicero, and Virgil.

And then she offers this compelling tidbit:

Need a short answer?
Mean Verbal SAT scores for 2006:

LATIN STUDENTS: 672
Spanish Students: 577
French Students: 637
German Students: 632
Hebrew Students: 623

Average for all students: 503


Other-Worldly and Resolute Christians

What is your vision for your children?

Here are some words by Pastor Robert Rayburn stirring Christian parents to take their calling as parents seriously. Through our faithful parenting we will

furnish the church with generation after generation of great multitudes of Christian servants and soldiers who reach manhood and womanhood well taught, sturdy in the faith, animated by love for God and man, sophisticated in the ways of the world and the Devil, polished in the manners of genuine Christian brotherhood, overshadowed by the specter of the Last Day, nerved to deny themselves and take up their cross so as to be counted worthy of greater exploits for Christ and Kingdom. Presently the church not only suffers a terrible shortage of such other-worldly and resolute Christians, superbly prepared for spiritual warfare, but, in fact, is hemorrhaging its children into the world. Christian evangelism will never make a decisive difference in our culture when it amounts merely to an effort to replace losses due to widespread desertion from our own camp.