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What is your vision for your children?

Who is a good fit to be a Regents family? 

Without a doubt, there are many ways to answer that question, but certainly one good answer is this: a Regents family is a family who has a distinctively biblical and Christian vision for their children. These families want something more than just a safe environment with Christian teachers and a good college prep curriculum that produces high test scores and college entrances. Rather, a Regents family merely begins with these things. They parent with eternity in view. They see the long term and know that in the blink of an eye, their children will be young adults about to go out into the world. They envision their children bearing the fruit of a long, worthy journey through a classical Christian education that influences their souls and minds for Christ, shapes their worldview, molds virtue, and inspires a lifelong love for learning. 

In short, what is your vision for your children? The school publishes its vision for its graduates. Take a moment and consider this vision as worthy aims for you as parents. When we partner together, humbly and prayerfully, committed to Christ and His church, God can work mightily in the lives of our children over the years they are under our mutual care.

We envision that a graduate of the academic program at Regents Academy will embody the following traits:

  • Virtue and mature character: This includes heart-obedience rather than mere rule-following, good manners, honorable relationships, self-control, and Christian leadership. If nothing else, students should live in accordance with Coram Deo—living as though they were in the presence of God at all times.
  • Sound reason and sound faith: We expect students to realize a unified Christian worldview with Scripture as the measure of all Truth. We expect them to exhibit the wisdom to recognize complex issues and to follow the consequences of ideas.         
  • Service to others: We expect our graduates to “love their neighbor” by serving others in their community.  Graduates need to develop an awareness of the many types of needs that others around them have and learn to be like Christ in their willingness to minister to others.        
  • A masterful command of language: Because language enables us to know things that are not directly experienced, nothing is more important within Christian education. Without a strong command of language, even Scripture is rendered mute. As people of “the Word,” Christians should be masters of language. Students master vocabulary, grammar, usage, and translation through our study of Latin, English, and Spanish.  
  • Well-rounded competence: Educated people are not specialists who know little outside of their field of specialty. Educated people have competence in a variety of areas including fine arts, drama, music, physical activity, history, logic, science, and arithmetic. Throughout our program, skills essential for an educated person are introduced and developed.        
  • Literacy with broad exposure to books: Educated people are well-read and able to discuss and relate to central works of literature, science, art, architecture, and music. 
  • An established aesthetic: Further, educated people have good taste, formed as they are exposed to great aesthetic masterpieces, particularly at a young age.
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What Really Matters

Here are some wise words from author and professor Peter Kreeft, author of Before I Go: Letters to Our Children about What Really Matters.

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One of the stupidest songs I ever heard on TV was the theme song of a kids’ show of the seventies, “The Electric Company.” It said: “The most important person in the whole wide world is – you!” Implied message: be a self-centered little spoiled brat. You’re number one, everyone else is number two.

Here is an alternative philosophy:

  1. The most important person is God. This is necessarily true as 2 + 2 = 4. It is true whether you know it or not, whether you like it or not, whether you believe it or not. So you’d better learn to know it and like it and believe it.
  2. The second most important person in the world is the person you marry. Nobody else comes even close. That’s what marriage is. If you don’t know that, you’re not really married.
  3. Next come your kids.
  4. Then comes yourself. Take care of yourself before taking care of anyone else except your kids, your spouse, and your God. Because if you don’t inflate your own oxygen mask first, you won’t be able to help others inflate theirs.
  5. Then comes your friends. Never betray a friend.
  6. Then comes everyone else you know, your “neighbors.”
  7. Then comes the rest of the world.
  8. Then comes things, any and all things: money, the things money can buy – houses, cars, vacations. Stuff. (Remember George Carlin’s routine about “stuff.”) Always, people before things. Use things and love people, not vice versa.
  9. Finally, abstractions: ideas, causes, organizations, political parties, etc. they are means to the rest as ends. By the way, the Church is not an “organization,” it’s a family. I never saw “organized religion,” only disorganized religion, like Noah’s ark.
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Celebrating 100 Days of Kindergarten with Heartbeat

Each year the Kindergarten class celebrates their 100th day of school by collecting supplies for Heartbeat Pregnancy Center in Nacogdoches. This year the kindergarteners, with the help of the Regents students and families, collected more than 100 newborn hats, bibs, diapers, onesies and other baby items to donate to our friends at Heartbeat.

Great job, kindergarten class!

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TAPPS Fall Photography Awards

Congratulations to Regents senior Hannah Alexander and junior Abby Powers! These ladies entered and placed in numerous categories of the TAPPS Fall Photography Contest. Hannah brought home first place in Cityscape/Urban Architecture. Abby medaled with third in both Scenic/Landscape and Cityscape/Urban Architecture. We are proud of their accomplishments!

(TAPPS stands for the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools)

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DAR Writing Contest Winners

We are happy to announce the Regents Academy students who won awards in this year’s Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) writing contests.

Eighth grade student Quint Middlebrook won second place with his essay for this year’s American History essay contest. 

In the Junior American Citizens (JAC) division of the DAR, we had a winner as well: Piper Jobe,  first place winner in the Short Story category for 5th grade.

We are very proud of both Quint and Piper. Congratulations! Of course, we know these winning papers get a little help from the teachers who oversee these efforts, so we also congratulate 8th grade writing teacher, Mrs. Wiggins, and 5th grade teacher, Mrs. Cunyus. Thank you, wonderful teachers! And congratulations, students and parents!

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Reward for the Diligent

The inimitable Bill Watterson places wise words in the mouth of Calvin’s teacher, Mrs. Wormwood. “What you get out of school depends on what you put into it.” This is to say that the wise and diligent student is rewarded, both when receiving his education and beyond as well.

The Bible commends hard work by promising great reward for the diligent. “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, but the hand of the diligent makes rich” (Prov 10:4). The Bible also exhorts us to diligence. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15). The motive for our hard work is to be the glory of God in Christ. “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (Col 3:17).

But the Bible acknowledges a strange paradox: the lazy person is the hardest working person of all. “The hand of the diligent will rule, but the lazy man will be put to forced labor” (Proverbs 12:24). The man who works the hardest – is “put to forced labor” – is the man who has the least motivation and diligence. Because he refuses to work hard on his own, he ends up working hard as another man’s slave. The applications to education here are important. Education, properly understood, is freeing.
Education is fitting for free men and women, not for slaves. The hard work and diligence that must accompany study is for the purpose of the freedom that learned people enjoy – freedom of mind and spirit and also freedom from the drudgery of manual labor.

But there is a practical application as well. C.S. Lewis captures it wonderfully in Mere Christianity:

Teachers will tell you that the laziest boy in the class is the one who works the hardest in the end. They mean this. If you give two students, say, a proposition in geometry to do, the one who is prepared to take the trouble will try to understand it. The lazy student will learn it by heart because, for the moment, that needs less effort. But six months later, when they are preparing for the exam, that lazy student is doing hours and hours of
miserable drudgery over things the other student understands, and positively enjoys, in a few minutes. Laziness means more work in the long run.

All of this is to say that Regents Academy is a place that seeks to honor the biblical principles of diligence and hard work. Look in a classroom, and you’ll see students working industriously, with diligence as the norm. Lord willing, the result will be that learning is freeing and those who are being taught to learn are being prepared for a lifetime of ruling and not being ruled.

Hard work will then be its own reward.

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Classical Education: A Few Simple and Direct Words of Explanation

Classical Christian education is a new and exotic animal for many Regents Academy parents. I always appreciate finding simple and direct explanations of many of the concepts, otherwise unclear or unknown, associated with our school’s philosophy of education. Below are a few questions and brief answers by Douglas Wilson that get right to the heart of several of these issues. I hope they are a help to you and also a way for you to be able to share what you’ve found with others.

What is classical education and how does it benefit the student?

Classical education refers to two principal things. The first is the structure of the curriculum, which follows the medieval Trivium. This consists of grammar, dialectic (or logic), and rhetoric. In her wonderful essay “The Lost Tools of Learning,” Dorothy Sayers observed that these three stages of the Trivium correspond nicely to three basic stages in child development—what she called the poll parrot stage, the pert stage, and the poetic stage. Classical education instills the elements of the Trivium at the ages of the student when acquiring that element is most natural. When the process is over, the student has acquired the tools of learning. The second aspect of classical education refers to the content of the curriculum, which emphasizes the great works of western civilization—Homer, Virgil, Herodotus, Augustine, Beowulf, and so forth.

Some parents may be put off by classical education because Latin is a central element and they’ve had no background in the language. Why is the study of Latin important? 

Over 50% of English vocabulary comes from Latin. Learning Latin is a wonderful way to strengthen English vocabulary skills, not to mention learning how grammar works. I learned some things about English grammar when I first learned Latin. Latin is also the foundation of modern Romance languages—it is a wonderful platform from which to learn Spanish, French, Romanian, Italian, and so on. And then there is a literary element. Many of the great works in English literature presuppose a knowledge of the classical world and, to a lesser extent, a knowledge of their languages. Finally, Latin is a great mental discipline, which carries over into other subjects. The study of Latin certainly enriches a student.

Because of its emphasis on “intellectualism” and because works from the pre-Christian era are part of the curriculum, some people may view classical education as incompatible with the Christian faith. What is your response to these concerns?

It is quite true that students should not be simply “turned loose” in the thickets of pagan literature. The Greco-Roman world was incompatible with the Christian faith—until the Christian faith overthrew it. Now that this has happened, we simply must take into account the nature of that battle. The New Testament cannot really be understood without understanding its context, which happens to be the context of the classical world. Jesus was born in the reign of Caesar Augustus. Gallio threw the apostle Paul out of court—and Gallio was the brother to the famous Stoic philosopher Seneca. Paul cast a demon (lit. a spirit of a python, a snake that was sacred to the god Apollo) out of girl at Philippi, and the story suddenly makes more sense. So classical education, rightly understood, rejects a cold intellectualism and rejects any attempt to combine Christian and pagan categories.

Many jobs in today’s society are specialized, especially those in technology and the sciences. What is the value of a classical education in light of such an environment? Is classical education for everybody?

The point of classical education is to teach the kids how to think, giving them the tools of learning so that they can reason things through themselves. The point is not vocational training primarily, and this is why it is such good vocational training. This is not to say that classical education is for everyone (I do not believe that it necessarily is). But I do want to say that a classical Christian education should be available in every community, so that it is at least an option for every Christian household.

Douglas Wilson is the author of Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, The Case for Classical Christian Education, and many other books and articles associated with classical Christian education. You can find his books on Amazon.com and many of his materials on line.

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The Lesser Known Demon

Here are some wise words from teacher and author Josh Gibbs at the Circe Institute blog: “The Lesser Known Demon.”

There are two kinds of demons. Nearly everyone is familiar with the first kind. Almost no one is familiar with the second kind.

The first kind of demon is simply the demon of folklore. He comes to tempt, to whisper lies, to deceive a man into rejecting God. The first kind of demon is a Baal or a Dagon, who con men and distract them from the truth. Such demons betake themselves to bridges and cliffs and invite innocent passersby to leap off for no good reason. These are the malevolent beings who suddenly fling foul thoughts into a man’s head so that he will needlessly question himself, form a base opinion of himself, and act accordingly. We have read of such demons in Scripture, for they throw children into fire or water, or incite a man to cut himself with stones. These demons are commonly known by every nation of the world, Christian and heathen alike.

However, there is another variety of demon whose work is wholly unlike the first, for he is not a tempter or liar. The first kind of demon is highly intellectual, and, as Milton suggests in Paradise Lost, has been meticulously studying mankind for nearly eight thousand years now. The first kind has a file on you which is several feet thick. He knows your weaknesses, your strengths, and perpetually strategizes on how best to snatch your love of God. The second variety of demon is not so cunning, though. The second variety of demon does not labor to trick a man into sinning, but simply helps him get away with the sin he has already committed.

This demon has a name in the infernal kingdom. He is known as a cellar demon, for any sin which a man gets away with is cellared in his soul to ferment and grow rich and heady. While not all demons are of one mind on the matter, a great many fiends would prefer a man not commit a certain sin than that he commit that sin and immediately be found out. Demons are not so impatient as you might have been led to believe. For instance, if a demon has the chance to tempt a man to drunkenness on a Friday night, yet knows the man will be caught, or the demon can wait until Sunday evening to do his tempting, and knows the man will not get caught then, well, the average demon will wait. Many thousands of years ago, the much-celebrated demon Belial wrote a highly influential book entitled Stored Up Wrath. The very famous first line of that book is, “I play the long game,” and to this day, lesser demons encourage one another with those words on a daily basis.

You see, nothing mucks up the work of a demon quite like his subject getting caught, for getting caught leads to punishments, self-reflection, witnesses, the loss of anonymity. Contrary to what most human beings think, getting caught usually restores community and reinforces crumbling bonds of unity. There is little which is truer in a man’s soul than his deep-down yearning to be found out, for a man cannot be known until he is found, and every man wants to be known.

Cellar demons are not free, and tempters must hire them at exorbitant rates. A cellar demon is like an insurance policy which is taken out after a successful round of temptation. The cellar demon comes along and covers over a fellow’s tracks, brushes evidence under the rug, alerts the sinner to remove certain clues, directs the attention of the authorities to different matters. Teenage boys often believe themselves far more clever and sneaky than they truly are— it is rarely their own craftiness which allows them to get away with sin, and far more often the work of cellar demons. Cellar demons charge more to conceal the sins of teenage boys than they do the sins of housewives or the elderly, but tempters always pay up. Cellared sin is simply that valuable in the teenage soul. 

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Why Christian Education?

“Why Christian education?” This is a question that we need to ask and answer again and again. You and I sacrifice to send our children to a school that forthrightly exalts Jesus Christ as Lord. Here at the beginning of a new year, it is good to be reminded that we are doing so for excellent reasons. So in that spirit, here are “10 Big Ideas to Consider” from the website discoverchristianschools.com that are great reminders of just how important it is to commit ourselves to providing our children with a Christ-centered education.

1. There are basically two kingdoms: a kingdom of light and a kingdom of darkness. It seems strange to have those who walk in darkness educate children of light. It doesn’t fit.

2. If Jesus Christ is Lord, then He is Lord of all. We cannot divide things into secular and sacred.

3. All truth is God’s truth, and God’s Word sheds light on our path. Only in His light can we see light. Education is not focused on possibilities but on certainties found in God’s Word.

4. Deuteronomy 6 tells parents that, in all they do, they should provide a godly education 24/7.

5. Three key institutions that shape a child are the home, the church and the school. Children are served best when all three institutions point them in the same direction.

6. Only an education that has the liberty to address the whole child — social, intellectual, emotional, physical AND spiritual — reaches the possibility of excellence.

7. The best preparation for effective service is to be well grounded in one’s mind before direct engagement of the culture.

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A Miscellany of Wise Quotes

Christopher Perrin, from An Introduction to Classical Education:

What makes a classic? The word classic is flexible and ambiguous. It derives from the Latin word classis, which originally meant a “fleet of ships.” It came to refer to groups of people—classes of people. In English it preserves this meaning as in a class of 1st graders. It also has a connotation that means of the highest order—something classy is very good or first class. The Latin word classicus referred to the highest class of Roman citizens. The word classic preserves this meaning of being the very best. Thus scholars like Mortimer Adler refer to classics as books of enduring value. Books that are called “great books” are usually synonymous with “classics.” However, books that are classics are enduring works, meaning they are older works, proven by positive assessment over time. It is possible for a new book to be a great book, but only after wide, critical acclaim and influence. It will take time, however, for new great books to become classics, if indeed they pass the test. Charles Van Doren referred to great books as “the books that never have to be written again.”

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Russell Kirk:

…being educated, they will know that they do not know everything; and that there exist objects in life besides power and money and sensual gratification; they will take long views; they will look backward to ancestors and forward to posterity.For them, education will not terminate on commencement day.

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John Buchan:

Our greatest inheritance, the very foundation of our civilization, is a marvel to behold and consider. If I tried to describe its rich legacy with utmost brevity, I should take the Latin word humanitas. It represents in the widest sense, the accumulated harvest of the ages; it is the fine flower of a long discipline of Christian thought. It is the Western mind of which we ought to turn our attentions to careful study.

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Sir Philip Sidney (1595)

This purifying of wit, this enriching of memory, enabling of judgment, and enlarging of conceit, which commonly we call learning, under what name soever it come forth or to what immediate end soever it be directed, the final end is to lead and draw us to as high a perfection as our degenerate souls, made worse by their clay lodgings, can be capable of.

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