Imagine for a moment that you’re taking a long trip. You have a reliable map and plenty of gas money to make it to your destination. But a third of the way through your trip, you decide to toss the map aside and go a different direction altogether, one that you think might still get you there and save money as well. However, you find that without the map you actually run out of gas in the middle of nowhere a long way from your planned destination, and you’re cut off from the good things waiting for you there.
I hope this story doesn’t describe one of your family vacations! But I also hope this story does not describe the educational journey of your children.
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 roadmap shows me, not end up in the middle of the wilderness with the map crumpled and thrown aside.
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 road 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.
As Gandalf said to Bilbo when the hobbit entered the dark paths of Mirkwood, “Stay on the path!”