Another principle for being a good school parent: Read up and understand classical and Christian education.
This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s not. Classical education is quite new to most of us, and most of us did not receive a Christian education ourselves. We want great things for our children, but we can’t achieve those great things apart from embodying the principles of classical and Christian education ourselves, in our own homes. Education goes on 24/7, not just when we drop off the children at the stone building on the hill.
So read up on classical and Christian education. Grasp it, know its history, its philosophy, its methods, its soul. Then, most importantly, live it out. It’s great to know, but it’s better to do. And living out the disposition and spirit of classical and Christian education is most important of all.
Where to start? Here is a list of books to lay your hands on and read. If you would rather listen to a lecture, check with the school office about borrowing a CD of a classical Christian educator’s speech or lesson. We have tons of them.
1. Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Douglas Wilson.
This book, based on Mr. Wilson’s successful venture with Logos School in Moscow, Idaho, has been the pioneering guide to the renewed interest in classical Christian education.
2. Repairing the Ruins: The Classical and Christian Challenge to Modern Education by the staff of Logos School in Moscow, Idaho.
This collection of practical essays gives insights into applying the classical model to the curriculum and administration of a school. The authors have all worked in the Logos School which has been the model for many classical Christian schools.
3. The Christian Philosophy of Education Explained by Stephen Perks.
This text clearly defines Christian education. It is not to be academically inferior, culturally retreatist, or modeled after the humanistic schools. This book shows how Christian education should be explained.
4. “The Lost Tools of Learning” by Dorothy Sayers.
English scholar, mystery novelist, and Christian thinker Dorothy Sayers wrote this insightful, idealistic essay many years ago. It outlines the model used in classical Christian education called the Trivium, and it explains how the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages naturally fit the mental growth of children and the mastery of a field of knowledge. She had no idea or expectation that her essay would have such a tremendous influence in the latter part of the twentieth century. But “ideas have consequences.”
5. The Case for Classical Christian Education by Douglas Wilson.
Doug Wilson says that education must deal with basic questions of life — questions that require religious answers. Building on his previous book, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, Mr. Wilson encourages parents and educators to turn to Christian classical education.
6. The Seven Laws of Teaching by John Milton Gregory.
First published in 1884, this presentation of the laws of teaching is a timeless guide to the basic principles of good teaching.
7. The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness by Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby.
This book provides excellent guidance and counsel for those preparing for one of the most difficult transitions of life — that of leaving high school and entering college. Helpful for students and parents alike.
8. Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman.
Though Mr. Postman is now deceased, his work lives on, encouraging 21st century people who are immersed in digital media to re-think the power of the printed word and resist the ever-present temptation to be amused to death by the trivial and banal influences of television and electronic media.
9. Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
More than a handbook on parenting, this book is a guide for parents to apply biblical truth to childrearing. The principles in this book are also an excellent guide for the discipleship and discipline of students while at school.