Monthly Archives: September 2019

House Kick-Off Launches a Year of Service and Togetherness

Upper School Regents students enjoyed a day together at the SFA ropes course at the House Kick-Off on September 13. Here are a few more pictures to enjoy!

Our vision for the House System is to give students opportunities to lead and shape the culture at Regents. Our hope is that through weekly service projects, friendly competitions, House worship, and through connecting the Grammar and Upper schools, a pervading love for one another and the Lord will deepen.

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Students “Hang Around” at House Kick-Off

The Regents Academy House System kicked its year off with a visit to the Stephen F. Austin University ropes course. After a morning of fun competition at the school, Upper School students trekked to SFA to engage in team building, have fun, and take risks together on the zipline and other ropes challenges.

Many thanks to our House Coordinator, Mrs. Lauren Lawrence, the fine staff at SFA, and the many parents who helped make the day happen.

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Fighting tanks with rifles?

I want to share a passage with you from Dorothy Sayers’s seminal lecture “The Lost Tools of Learning.” Delivered at Oxford in 1947, her lecture has been reprinted as an essay that has had enormous influence on thinking Christians interested in giving their children an excellent education. But don’t think of her lecture as a dry narration of Medieval history or a nerdy recital of educational techno-speak. 

Mrs. Sayers’ lecture was more akin to a prophetic paradigm-buster. One paradigm she tackles is that of teaching subjects. She attacks the modern, progressive assumption that education must be compartmentalized into vacuum-sealed subjects that are taught independently and that leave students unprepared to think and to learn on their own. Her words are quite incisive and thought-provoking:

For we let our young men and women go out unarmed, in a day when armor was never so necessary. By teaching them all to read, we have left them at the mercy of the printed word. By the invention of the film and the radio, we have made certain that no aversion to reading shall secure them from the incessant battery of words, words, words. They do not know what the words mean; they do not know how to ward them off or blunt their edge or fling them back; they are a prey to words in their emotions instead of being the masters of them in their intellects. We who were scandalized in 1940 when men were sent to fight armored tanks with rifles, are not scandalized when young men and women are sent into the world to fight massed propaganda with a smattering of “subjects”; and when whole classes and whole nations become hypnotized by the arts of the spell binder, we have the impudence to be astonished. We dole out lip-service to the importance of education–lip- service and, just occasionally, a little grant of money; we postpone the school-leaving age, and plan to build bigger and better schools; the teachers slave conscientiously in and out of school hours; and yet, as I believe, all this devoted effort is largely frustrated, because we have lost the tools of learning, and in their absence can only make a botched and piecemeal job of it. 

Is Mrs. Sayers right? Do we leave our children unprotected in battle when we deprive them of the ability to think and learn? How much better is it to teach students the tools of learning? 

Regents Academy teaches subjects. But then again, what we are really doing is teaching many ways to understand the same grand Subject – Christ, who is the Source of all knowledge and the One in whom all truth coheres. As students understand Christ’s creation through science, the power of the printed word (given by Him who is the Word) through literature and writing, the structure of language through grammar and Latin, the story of Christ’s world through history, and the nature of mathematics, students are learning how to think Christianly. And on top of that, history is connected to literature, which is connected to grammar, which is connected to logic, which is connected to math, which is connected to history, and on and on it goes. 

Classical education seeks to harness the power of these interconnections and this grand center point in Christ’s Word and unite them under a philosophy of education that teaches students how to learn so that they can be well-equipped to face an often-hostile world with a comprehensive Christian worldview. To do otherwise is to send our children into the world with rifles to face tanks.

Mrs. Sayers referred to being “scandalized in 1940 when men were sent to fight armored tanks with rifles, [but not being] scandalized when young men and women are sent into the world to fight massed propaganda with a smattering of ‘subjects.'” 

I’m generally pro-gun, but when it comes to sending our children into the battle of ideas, I’m not. Instead, let’s teach our children to drive tanks and shoot big cannons. Let’s teach them to think. Let’s train them to be confident in the authority of God’s Word. Let’s prepare them for victory on the battlefield of adulthood. 

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Congratulations to Conner Young – National Merit Commended Student!

Congratulations to Regents Academy senior Conner Young, who has been named a Commended Student in the 2020 National Merit Scholarship Program.

About 34,000 Commended Students throughout the nation are being recognized this month for their performance on the 2018 PSAT and for their potential for continued outstanding academic success. This year’s Commended Students placed among the top three percent of more than 1.5 million students who entered the 2018 competition by taking the PSAT during their junior year, with all earning a national Selection Index score of at least 212.

Conner is the ninth Commended Scholar from Regents Academy. Previous awardees include Isaiah Bertke (2018), Wesley Young (2017), Kyla Alders (2016), Mitchell Henry (2012), Adrienne Duke (2011), David Henry (2010), Madison McCune (2009), and Kelley Duke (2008). Sam Alders was named a National Merit Scholar in the 2014 program.

Regents Academy is very proud of Conner and this achievement. It’s a reflection of his diligence, his disciplined mind, and his commitment to doing his best for the Lord. Well done, Conner!

Conner is pictured with Headmaster David Bryant and his parents Tim and Kelly Young.

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ed-u-ca-tion (n.)

What is education? Let’s hear wise words from the originator of Webster’s Dictionary:

EDUCATION – The bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

– Noah Webster’s Dictionary (1828)

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Hands and Feet of the Mission

Each August, about a week before school starts, Regents teachers congregate to prepare for the year. It’s a wonderful week of training, preparation, and fellowship. New teachers get to know the vision of the school and their new friends, and returning teachers prepare to practice their craft for another year. Each August, without fail, several key themes, quotes, and Bible passages are always part of the conversation, serving as reminders of our work as teachers and the distinctive role of a classical Christian teacher.

“The most important thing, therefore, about a classical, Christian education is that faculty members exhibit in themselves the virtues and values that we want to see in our students.  Thus, in the classroom the teacher is the primary text.” (David Hicks)

“A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40)

 “The end then of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright, and out of that knowledge to love him, to imitate him, to be like him, as we may the nearest by possessing our souls of true virtue, which being united to the heavenly grace of faith makes up the highest perfection.” (John Milton)

And then I tell the teachers something like this every year:

You are the hands and feet of our school’s mission. Policies, philosophies, methods, and goals are essential. Facilities are needful and useful. Technology, books, curriculum, lessons, assignments, classwork, and homework enable us to do our job. But without teachers none of these things mean much. The key to fulfilling our mission as a school, which is another way to say being faithful to what God has called us to do, is you. You are the hands and feet of the mission of Regents Academy.

I want you to sense something that our teachers are made to feel very keenly: Regents teachers have a very high calling – that of embodying in themselves those virtues they strive to bring to fruition in their students. Each teacher is his or her own greatest project. They are themselves striving to be lifelong learners who possess the tools of learning and who love to learn about God and His world. Then they invite their students to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ and to follow them on their journey. 

Every day your children spend their days with godly, gifted men and women who are passionate for the truth, skilled in the art of teaching, and committed to a classical Christian education. Your children’s teachers love your children, and they work diligently every day to be the hands and feet of our mission to your family, while living out the love of Christ. I feel blessed beyond words to call them friends, colleagues, and fellow workers. 

Please pray for your children’s teachers daily. Ask the Lord to bless them and allow them to be worthy examples, inspirations, and guides for your children. And let me encourage you to love and bless your children’s teachers yourselves also. It makes an eternal difference in their lives and the lives of generations to come.

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