Monthly Archives: May 2015

Some Summer Advice

As we close out the school year (it’s late May, all of a sudden!), I find that my thoughts turn to the long, hot days of summer. I think of the change of pace, planned trips and times with family, a slowdown in the demands of school, and the fact that it flies by every year. My musings inspired me to offer some random bits of advice for the summer months.

Make this the summer of the book instead of the summer of the screen. One sure way to lose academic ground is to allow our children to give themselves over nonstop to the passive entertainment of electronics rather than to the active pursuit of the good, the true, and the beautiful through books. Certainly, screen time is a welcome form of amusement and fun. But beware too much screen time, to the neglect of the joy of reading. Henry David Thoreau famously wrote, “How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book.” I doubt that a few generations from now someone will ponder how a new app or a video game changed his life. But books will never lose their power.

Make a Bible reading plan for the summer. This is something my family has done for several years now. We all read the same Bible passages each day and then hold each other accountable. It helps keep us on track spiritually. We all need a steady diet of the Word of God so that we continue to grow in our faith, even during the summer months. I know how quickly the summer and good intentions can slip away, so I recommend getting a plan together and starting right away to stick to it.

Find balance during the summer days ahead. Some parents tend to push really hard academically, even during the summer, while others relax and let down too much. Believe me, I’ve been guilty of both. Summer is a welcome break from the labors of school – but many academic gains can be reversed when we expect far too little of our children from June till August. Something my wife has done since our children were little is to find a workbook for them to complete during the summer. It’s something fun and different from what they do at school, but it’s academically valuable nonetheless. While we’re on vacation, though, we just call it off and do as little as possible for a few days. We all need a break, but the last thing we need is to vegetate for three months!

Keep the Regents vibe rolling. A big part of what makes Regents what it is, as a school, is our culture and expectations of our students. We expect students to be respectful, courteous, diligent, responsible, happily obedient, and accountable. We aim for loving learning, not just going through the motions of assignments and worksheets. So keep it rolling at home. Don’t accept excuses from your children, but instead, expect the best from them. If you’re like me, it’s all too easy to take the path of least resistance, to just let down. But whether it’s taking out the trash, exercising, reading, sitting with good posture, or saying yes ma’am, require your children to do the right thing and hold the standard high.

Finally, enjoy the time. The older I get, the more I sense how time is flying by. As St. James wrote, life is but a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. So let’s be motivated to enjoy a season of family, leisure, and freedom as a gift from the Lord’s hand.

I hope you have a wonderful summer.

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Awards Ceremonies

We had a wonderful night honoring our hardworking students, talented teachers, and dedicated volunteers at our Academic Awards Ceremony yesterday. Our school chaplain, Randy Booth, wrote some reflections about the event that are worth reading. Thanks to all our students, parents, and family members who came out to a packed house event. I hope you enjoy Pastor Booth’s comments.

My wife and I attended the end-of-the-year school Award Ceremony last night for our local Classical Christian school. Honestly, my first thought when I heard that it was coming up was not one of excitement but more like concession…okay. Sitting for an hour, or an hour-and-a-half, while lists of names are called out, certificates and medals are handed out, and accomplishments are enumerated could be boring, especially when you don’t personally know most of the people getting the awards. It would be easy to justify staying home and skipping such an event since it seems so routine and unimportant, but that would be a very superficial understanding of what is actually taking place. Upon reflection, I thought about several reasons why participation in these kinds of events is so vital to our communities. Here are three of them:

First, an awards ceremony is not just about me and my children or grandchildren. We are part of something bigger that is of far more value than the sum of its parts. This event is not simply about a particular student receiving an award; it’s about the achievements of the community itself. No student accomplished anything by themselves. Every award represents family, teachers, administrators, staff, board members, donors and others coming together to assist individuals in becoming better than they would have been alone. The student is handed the tangible award but many others are also honored by that award. That student is the work of other hands as well. Our presence at the Awards Ceremony is a small way to recognize that — to honor all those who helped these students and to publicly say “thank you.”

Second, the only way the community can succeed is for all the individual parts of the community to do their share by way of self-sacrifice (which is what love is all about). Coming to the Awards Ceremony is part of the contribution. I could just have the award for my child sent to the house and not have to sit through all of that. Of course there are always a few families that slip out of the ceremony after their child receives their award, but that too misses the bigger point. By sitting through the program we are showing love as we serve one another; we are honoring the other members of our community as well as our children. We are also teaching our children (who might be indifferent, or who might not want to go to the ceremony), that it’s not all about them or us but that, as members of the community, we all have a duty toward others which transcends our personal preferences. This is one of the great lessons of life that our world is lacking (i.e., I am not the center of the universe). Selfishness is immaturity. Maturity is doing our duty toward others; loving our neighbors as ourselves.

Third, an Awards Ceremony provides the opportunity to learn. We have set before our eyes perfect attenders, academic achievers, athletes, artists, and writers. For our children and grandchildren, they learn and practice humility and poise — to stand before a crowd, to represent the community, to be gracious and confident. Younger children get to see the older students and many of them will be inspired to follow those examples. Teachers and staff are also encouraged and satisfied to see that their labors have some immediate and tangible benefits today. Parents also realize that they are not the only ones making these great sacrifices and that the sacrifices are worth it.

So, a full house at an Awards Ceremony is a lovely picture of community — a room full of loving sacrifice to the glory of God!

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Introducing Jeni Gilbreath

We are very happy to introduce Regents Academy’s new School Secretary, Mrs. Jeni Gilbreath. Regents parents for two years now, Jeni and her husband Lance live in the San Augustine area and are the parents of two Regents students, Elijah and Skeeter. Jeni has already begun her duties as school secretary, working alongside Debbie Moore through the month of May. We welcome Jeni to the Regents staff and look forward to her service.

Jeni Gilbreath

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