Fifth grader Dennis Choi edged out runner-up Jean Choi (yes, his older sister!) in the 14th round of the individual spelling bee to be named the Regents Academy Spelling Champion last week. Dennis correctly spelled “foppery” for his winning word. He will represent Regents Academy in the Scripps area spelling bee sponsored by the Lufkin Kiwanis Club on Saturday, February 1, 2020. The winner of this area competition will win a BIG trophy, a nice lunch at Crown Colony, and will go on to compete in the Houston regional bee in March.
Second through 7th grade teams will also represent Regents Academy at the Kiwanis area bee on February 1st, but this competition is just for fun. The winners of the K-5th grade and 6th-8th grade divisions will win trophies and a free lunch at Crown Colony, but they won’t have any more competitions after this.
We are thankful to the ladies who served as judges for this year’s spelling bee. Mrs. Pat Vanover, Mrs. Anna Polk, and Dr. Carmen Mackey spent their Tuesday morning helping to ensure that the bee ran smoothly. Thank you for your service!
Again, congratulations to Dennis Choi for winning our school spelling bee, and hurray for his sister Jean for winning runner-up! We are proud of both of you!
The 9th grade Omnibus class and their teacher, Mrs. Lauren Lawrence, have been reading Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford, the record of the experiences of the early Pilgrims and of the founding of Plymouth Colony.
The class took a trip to Lake Naconiche, where they re-enacted the colonists’ journey and learned firsthand what it was like to be a Pilgrim.
Here is a brief recap of the day’s events, from Mrs. Lawrence.
Bradford (Katelyn) journaled the day’s events, starting with our expedition of “sailing” to America via the Golden Eagle, aka the Mayflower (or Regents’ school bus). Before setting off on the windy sea, our elder Brewster (Susannah) gave a sentimental speech about why we decided to depart all we have ever known for a different land. Then we fell under Captain Standish’s (Elijah’s) command, as captain of the Golden Eagle, who guided us on the rough and windy seas and eventually lead us to find beaver. We then partook in a feast where Squanto (Gabe) served us all our Thanksgiving meal and then taught us about the local flora and fauna. Robinson (Quint) gave an endearing sermon that sparked genuine conversation amongst us all. However, because of the fall of man, there can never be a sinless and perfect colony and thus the pilgrims had a crook among them, Weston (Haylee), who swindled the colonists throughout their exploration.
And only one student fell in the lake! (We’ll leave it to you to guess who it was…)
TMEA (Texas Music Educator’s Association) All-Region Orchestra is an event that takes place every year across the state of Texas. Our region, Region 4/21, encompasses more than 20 counties and includes the school districts of Tyler and Longview. Each year students learn music and audition in October. If selected at this audition, students go on to perform in December. The clinic and concert is a two-day event, all day Friday and Saturday, when these students get together for the first time and rehearse the music with an expert, guest conductor. Then, Saturday evening, the students perform the music for family, friends, teachers, or whoever wants to come.
Regents Academy is proud to announce that all seven of our students who auditioned were selected and will be performing with the All-Region Orchestra on December 7th in Longview!
What a joy it was to honor the five Regents Academy seniors who lead the Regents Academy high school soccer team. During halftime of their final regularly scheduled home game of the season on September 27, Coach Rick Bertke presented the seniors with game balls and honored them with words of praise.
These five excellent young men have played soccer all four years of high school and helped lead the team to a TAPPS state championship in the 2018 season. The team is currently undefeated and vying for another state championship in 2019.
Pictured above are Coach Rick Bertke with seniors Zane Anderson, Knox Fairley, James Vermillion, Conner Young, and Ethan Fairley.
In J.R.R. Tolkien’s masterful tale The Hobbit, the wizard Gandalf accompanies the story’s unlikely hero, Bilbo Baggins, and his dwarf friends on their adventure across the Misty Mountains. As they prepare to enter the forbidding forest of Mirkwood, Gandalf announces that he must leave his friends. Danger awaits them ahead, he assures them, but they will be safe as long as they follow a simple rule: “Stay on the path!”
It strikes me that this is good counsel for us all, parents. We need to stay on the path of classical Christian education to the end. There are plenty of detours and dangers ahead. Our own children will probably want to veer off the path at some point (yes, you should expect your child at some point to see greener grass elsewhere). But in the adventure of raising children toward Christian maturity, our children need the right path, and so do we.
Classical education is predicated on a final destination, an ending point, a vision for where the education is going. The vision for a graduate of a classical Christian school includes love for learning, virtue and mature character, sound reason and sound faith, service to others, a masterful command of language, well-rounded competence, and literacy with broad exposure to books. Don’t you want those traits to describe your children when they are 17 or 18 and are preparing to enter the larger world?
The Trivium – grammar, logic, and rhetoric – are the road map to arriving at this vision for a graduate. In other words, making the educational journey through the years of grammar school, logic school, and rhetoric school is a voyage toward a final ideal, a great vision for our children to become mature, thinking Christians who know how to learn and who are prepared for a lifetime of faithful service and vocation.
But if we get on the classical path for only a short time, though our children will certainly benefit, they will never gain the long-term, life-shaping benefit of completing the journey. I want my children to make it all the way to the final destination that the classical map shows me, not end up in the middle of the wilderness with the path nowhere to be found.
All of this is to encourage you, parents, to consider the long-term vision of classical Christian education in the lives of your children. Grammar, logic, and rhetoric are more than just buzz words. They are distinct stages in your children’s voyage toward a lofty vision of preparedness for all that will come next for them. The journey is arduous and can be expensive, for sure. The struggles of today are real, and the work is hard. But the undertaking is well worth the effort and expense. And though the voyage seems long, in fact travelling from kindergarten to graduation really just takes the blink of an eye. Ask a parent of a graduate how long it seems since their children were being dropped off for kindergarten!
What is your vision for your children? How high are your goals? What kind of person do you want them to be? Is classical education just a stopping off point on the path to a different destination? Today is the day to plan for your vision for your children to become a reality.
Regents Academy’s classical Christian education and Christ-centered culture is the best path I know for your children. Let me encourage you to stay on the path, to persist to the end, and then (to mix my metaphors) to anticipate reaping the good fruit of grammar, logic, and rhetoric in the appointed season.
Remember the words of Gandalf at the entrance to the dark paths of Mirkwood: “Stay on the path!”
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.
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.