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Christian Education – an Investment in the Future

Posted by Bela Franklin on May 07, 2014 @ 7:35 PM

By Nancy Huckaby

The Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX)
 
Christian parents understand well the responsibility they have to not only love their children, but to educate them in an environment that embraces Christ’s fundamental truths.

Many find the answer in home schooling, but for countless others, Christian schools provide the perfect answer. Christian education facilities – both elementary, secondary and higher learning – can help parents make sure their children receive a quality education, taught by dedicated and knowledgeable teachers.

Christian education is not without its critics. Some say it insulates children from the real world, or shelters them from many of the negative influences they’ll have to face in the future. On its Web site, cornerstonekingman.ca, Cornerstone Christian Academy in Kingman, Alberta, Canada, offers this view:

"The Christian school works somewhat like a greenhouse which is designed to provide optimum conditions for growth while a plant is young. Young children are protected and carefully nurtured to help them mature properly. When the time comes for them to be 'transplanted’ into a more hostile environment, they are more likely to endure difficulties and continue to thrive because they have been trained well and have developed a discerning heart."

Christian educators want to help students recognize the hostility and injustice in today’s world while giving them the tools – critical thinking skills, a core value system and a strong foundation of faith – to apply Christ’s truth to solving those problems.

Administrators know that the academic standards at a Christian school must be strong if parents are asked to make what, for many, is a significant sacrifice for the cost of attending a private school. College bound students face their own brand of challenges and for many (and their parents) knowing that the college or university they select is based on Christian principles is paramount.

Gary Ledbetter, communications director for the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention in Grapevine, offered this advice on the CollegeView Web site:

"A final benefit of Christian higher education is perhaps the most significant. The quality of a Christian college experience is higher than any other. Christian educators have an additional motivation to do their work with excellence – the call of Christ on their lives to do just that (I Cor. 10:31). Quality may also be enhanced by the emphasis on subjects and teaching deemed by God to be the first importance. A biblical focus will inform the manner, content, and even the scope of an educational experience, and Christian schools may be less influenced by cultural (or educational) fads."

Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22.6

Risk

Posted by Bela Franklin on May 02, 2014 @ 6:43 PM

When was the last time you took a risk? 
Making changes, especially big ones, usually feel risky. The hard part about risk is that success is not guaranteed.

Is it possible that the reason you have been avoiding a Christian school for your child is because it feels like a risk? Maybe you’re afraid that your friends or family will judge you for choosing a private, Christian education. Or, maybe you’re afraid that if you choose a Christian school and your child grows up to make poor life choices, you will look like a failure as a parent. 

If fear is the only thing hold you back from doing something bold for Christ and for your, then maybe it’s time you took the risk.

To learn more about Christian schools or to find a Christian school in your area, please visit www.DiscoverChristianSchools.com.

INSTILLING CHARACTER IN YOUR CHILDREN

Posted by Bela Franklin on April 30, 2014 @ 7:33 PM

BY: HAROLD NAYLOR


Do you know what type of character qualities you are trying to instill in your children?

Few of us ever sit down and make a written list of the character qualities we are attempting to teach our children and model for them. If we did, certain aspects of our parenting would certainly change. After all, seeing goals spelled out and defined in black and white can be a powerful took of focus, self-examination, and reprioritizing.

Partnering with a Christian school in your child’s education can be a great way to help you as a parent start to focus on the specific character qualities you want to see develop in your child. It can also help ensure that many of those qualities are being deliberately modeled to your child every day by Christian educators.

To learn more about Christian schools or to find a Christian school in your area, please visit: www.DiscoverChristianSchools.com

Arrows

Posted by Bela Franklin on April 29, 2014 @ 7:23 PM

Psalm 127:4 compares children to arrows “in the hand of a mighty man.”

Of course, this scripture is referring to children of upright and God-fearing parents. However,
the only arrows that are truly effective are arrows that have been carefully and deliberately
designed and prepared.

As we consider Psalm 127 we should carefully consider how God sees them from a spiritual
perspective – they need care and fashioning. Like the arrow, children need a sharp point – a
Christian world view, a strong shaft – the unchangeable Word of God, and the feathers guiding
their flight – this is discipline of parents and teachers.

“Happy is the man who has a quiver of such arrows”.  Christian education aims at partnering with parents and preparing children to be arrows of truth for God’s Kingdom.

We can help you find a Christian school and fulfill the directive we have been assigned as
Christian parents.

DiscoverChristianSchools.com - Where Christian education is priceless!

Effective Christian Schooling - A Mission to Forge a New Mind

Posted by Bela Franklin on April 28, 2014 @ 7:33 PM

Submitted by Jonathan Ekeland

The Christian Academy (Brookhaven, PA)

Effective Christian schooling is not simply a process of adding chapel and Bible class to a traditional academic curriculum. Rather, its mission is to forge a new mind – a transformation that begins through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and is then nurtured and developed by deliberate and strategic integration of biblical truth into every curricular area. Christian schooling, then, confronts and challenges the fragmented secular worldview.

But what does that really mean? Many people, adults and teenagers alike, don’t know what “worldview” means, though they hear about it or see it in print. The concept of a worldview is easy and difficult at the same time. For instance, you may have heard the name “Cape Cod” dozens of times, but have you ever stopped to think that a “cape” is a point of land that projects into the sea and a “cod” is a North Atlantic fish? We usually don’t dissect such terms on a regular basis. Well, the term “worldview” may be that simple. It is a set of presuppositions (which may be true, partially true or entirely false) which we hold about the basic makeup of our world. One who holds a Christian worldview would look at everything through the grid of Scripture.  
 
To apply this concept to our basic premise about Christian education, a Christian education does include Bible classes, chapels, Christian faculty, and a host of other “Christian things,” but if students are not learning how to assimilate and put into practice what they are learning, then they are as James describes in chapter 1, verse 22. “But prove to yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.”

When students study Shakespeare they should ask themselves, “From what worldview does Shakespeare speak?” Then students should compare their own worldview and Shakespeare’s to see the differences and similarities. Similarly, what worldview is presented in Science class? In World History and American Literature, what views are impressed upon the students? If the students have not begun to formulate in their own minds what worldview they espouse, then most everything they absorb and consider will be acceptable (tolerable).

All Christian schools certainly cannot be lumped together, but I would be willing to state that most value the opportunity to teach their students to develop a Christ-centered worldview. From as early as kindergarten, Christian schools are teaching and modeling a Godly perspective regarding every aspect of their education, from math to physical education class. Incidentally, if Christ is not the center of PE class, what does competition look like? If Christ is not the center of History class, where does God fit into the history of mankind? Does He, or doesn’t He? These are just two of dozens of perspectives that children are taught every day for 30 hours a week. Do the math! 30 hours a week times 36 weeks of school equals 1,080 hours in the classroom in a school year. Now multiply that by 13 years. It equals 14,040 hours that children are absorbing worldviews. The question raised to parents is, “What kind of worldview do you want your child to have when he or she graduates high school?”

A catechism question that some kindergarten students respond to is “Why did God make all things?” The little ones answer correctly, “God made all things for His own glory (Rom 11:36).” Our worldview, even at the age of five, should start with God at the center of our lives with everything revolving around Him. As the initial premise mentions, our society’s secular worldview is fragmented. In other words, it is broken and sinful. We as parents and educators need to have a plan -- a plan to instruct our children to compare everything to God’s Word. His Word is our lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. That path that our children tread upon is full of rocks and holes and other obstacles. They need God’s Word and its perspective to keep from falling. They need a bright and true light.

To learn more about Christian schools and Christian schooling - and to find a local Christian school in your area - please visit 
www.DiscoverChristianSchools.com.

Worldview and Christian Education, Part II

Posted by Bela Franklin on April 25, 2014 @ 7:14 PM

by Allison Hyer

Allison is a gradaute of Calvary Christian School in Naperville, IL (elementary school) and Wheaton Academy in West Chicago, IL (high school). She graduated from Bryan College in Dayton, TN. In addition, Allison is the daughter of Mr. Mark Strohm, Elementary Principal at Delaware County Christian School (Newtown Square, PA).

A person’s worldview—the basic set of beliefs through which you understand the world—is affected by the influences around them. One of the most important influences in a child’s life is his teacher.

Each day teachers pass on basic information that students accept as truth. Especially with young children, the truth of what a teacher says is not generally questioned. Not only in matters of fact does the teaching go unquestioned, though. The way a teacher treats students, the opinions a teacher may communicate—these are accepted as well.

Whether a teacher is passing on factual answers to the foundational questions (like teaching a child about scientific origins) or more subtle opinions (such singling out a child as commendable for something, which teaches about identity), a child is exposed to a teacher’s basic beliefs. Children are not equipped to untangle these beliefs on their own or even communicate them to their parents, so these beliefs will most often be accepted without question.

Since worldview is so foundational, the importance of answering basic questions correctly and consistently cannot be overestimated. When parents send their child to school, they are entrusting the mind of their child to his teachers. If the worldviews of his teachers are not biblical, the parents have led their child into a position where he will absorb basic beliefs that are not true or consistent. And because basic beliefs are also assumptions, he will not know how to question them.

His foundation for meaning, morality, identity and his understanding of his destiny will still be influenced by his parents, but because his teachers are in a position of authority and because they spend so much time imparting knowledge to him, there is no question that they will also be a huge influence on him in those areas. These unbiblical basic beliefs will be established in his mind, leading to, if not action based upon unbiblical beliefs, at least confusion. Which way of thinking is the right way—his parents’ or his teachers’ and friends’?

However, when parents send their child to a school where the teachers’ worldviews are biblical, they can be assured that he is learning—both extrinsically and intrinsically—the same basic beliefs and assumptions that they are imparting to him at home. They do not have to worry about their child learning unbiblical answers to basic questions about who he is, where he came from, what right and wrong are based upon, the value of other people and the meaning of life.

This leads to increased confidence for the child—there is no conflict between the authority figures in his life, so he can be more sure that what he believes is true. This will lead to a greater tendency toward action based on a biblical worldview, as well. Because he is learning to think in ways that are consistent and biblical, the fruit of those beliefs will be evident in a life lived more consistently by biblical principles.

An increase in confidence will also come for the parents—they do not have to worry about trying to help a child who is too young to question his assumptions unlearn what his teachers have taught him. Not that they can or should disengage in the process, but when they send their child to a Christian school, they can rest assured that they have entrusted the formation of their child’s beliefs to allies who are working toward the same goal—imparting a true and biblical worldview to their child.

 

 

The Distinctive Mission of Christian Education

Posted by Bela Franklin on April 24, 2014 @ 7:19 PM

Submitted by Bill Stevens, Headmaster ~ Wilmington Christian School (DE)


Jesus' Greatest Commandment
Dr. David Dockery, in his book, Renewing Minds: Serving Church and Society, writes about the Great Commandment of Christ . . .

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” ~Matthew 22:36-37

Dockery states that this is the starting point of our thinking about the integration of faith and learning. He says that these words of Jesus serve as the framework for carrying out the distinctive mission of Christian education to this changing postmodern world. It’s learning to think Christianly, to think in Christian categories, and at the same time connectedly to a Christian focus . . . namely Christ.

“Learning to think Christianly impacts our homes, our businesses, our health care agencies, our schools, our social structures, our recreation, and, yes, our churches too. Applying this Great Commandment entails all that we know of ourselves being committed to all that we know of God” (pp. 11-12).

Education today has become academically specialized and thus, being and becoming more unwilling to form interrelatedness between the disciplines. This unwillingness to relate disciplines to one another has resulted in a fragmentation of knowledge. It has resulted in a false dichotomy between the life of the mind and the life of faith. This fragmentation should alarm all who are committed to Christian education, for it strikes at the heart of our purpose and mission.
But alarmed we are not. Lest we would be so angered at the present state of education as to make the leap and sacrifice what was needed (at home and in our churches) to make a biblical worldview paramount for ALL the children of this next generation. As George Barna so aptly illustrated, we have become like frogs in the kettle, instead of leaping out, we slowly “boil to death” as the temperature rises. It is time, as the apostle Paul (and the prophet Isaiah before him) stated in their day . . .

“Wake up, O sleeper
Rise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you”
~Ephesians 5:14

Unfortunately, we have become complacent . . . at the very least, comfortable; accepting a postmodern, relativistic, God-neutral (at best) environment to educate kingdom kids. It’s not the money, for He owns it all and will honor those who honor Him (I Samuel 2:30). It’s not the “salt & light” rationale, for we are to be that wherever we are. It’s the philosophy, the mind-set, and the perspective under which we place our children for the foundation of their thinking, learning, and living.

As we see throughout this political campaign, and in the recent financial crisis, people are looking for a sound foundation. What do the candidates really stand for? What is there true worldview? What is at the heart of our economic structure? Will the financial foundation hold? Are power, greed and manipulation of people and their money the standard for our society? I can’t imagine you saying, “Yes”. So now take these same questions one-step further (or back) to the educational foundation of this next generation . . .

Let’s remember the question asked of Jesus, “What is the greatest commandment”? He answered it straight, that it was the first and greatest. And affirmed that it is a command, not just an option or nice idea. Our children need to learn to love God with their entire mind. That’s at the heart and soul of a Christian education! It’s our mandate and marching orders.
Thinking Out Loud,
~ Mr. Stevens

World View and Christian Education

Posted by Bela Franklin on April 22, 2014 @ 9:14 PM

by Allison Hyer
Allison is a gradaute of Calvary Christian School in Naperville, IL (elementary school) and Wheaton Academy in West Chicago, IL (high school). She graduated from Bryan College in Dayton, TN. In addition, Allison is the daughter of Mr. Mark Strohm, Elementary Principal at Delaware County Christian School (Newtown Square, PA).

Every person has a worldview—a basic set of beliefs through which you see and understand the world. When you wear a pair of glasses, everything you see is affected because you see it through the glasses. Your worldview is similar. Based on it—your basic assumptions about life—you evaluate and act. Everything in your life is affected, from the priorities on your to-do list to the way you process the evil you see around you.

A worldview is made up of answers to some basic questions that everyone has to answer, whether they want to or not, whether they know it or not. As they grow into adulthood, every person has to answer questions like these: “Where did I come from?” “Who am I?” “What is my purpose in life?” “What is right and wrong?” and “Where will I go when I die?” The answers to these questions, acquired on purpose or picked up from others, are the foundation of their worldview.

The answers affect the rest of their lives—how they think about morality and ethics, what they choose to do with their money, the way they conduct themselves from day to day, their interactions with other people. Let me provide a simplified example. Worldviews are not usually as consistent as in this example, but this will allow you to see the thought process through to its conclusion.

If you answer the basic questions according to the worldview that the majority of our culture has, the answers are that we evolved from animals, so we are animals, fighting for survival. Right and wrong can only come from what works best—for the society, for you individually, etc. The ultimate fate is obliteration. This affects why people with this worldview believe in “tolerance”—because no animal has a better grasp of truth than any other. All views must be equal. Whatever works better for you, whatever it takes for you to survive, that must be right for you. Truth comes from within you.

However, if you answer the questions from a biblical worldview—we were created in the image of God, we are here to glorify Him and draw others to know Him, right and wrong are defined by God’s character, and ultimately all people are destined for heaven or hell, based on what they choose about Jesus—your belief in “tolerance” is much different. You do not affirm contrary beliefs to be true, because truth is defined by God’s character. You tolerate people with contrary beliefs not because whatever they believe is true for them, but you love others and are respectful to them because they, too, are made in the image of God.

Most people come by their worldview passively, never taking the time to examine the basic beliefs they have. They accept and proceed to act on opinions they have picked up, either from their parents, their friends, the media or others in authority in their lives. This includes teachers.

Because worldview is important, it is also important that a child’s influences share his worldview. The next blog entry (check back next Wednesday) will explore how the worldview of a school’s administration and teachers is foundational in developing a child’s personal worldview.

Why do christian children leave the church after 13 years in public school?

Posted by Bela Franklin on April 17, 2014 @ 7:12 PM

Issac Moffett has posted an excellent article about the impact of education on our culture over at TheGreatEducationStruggle.com.  Moffet goes straight to the source in citing the father of modern education, John Dewey as he articulates his hopes for public education in America.

"I believe that every teacher is a social servant set apart for the maintenance of proper social order and the securing of the right social growth.  I believe that in this way the teacher always is the prophet of the true God and the usher in of the true kingdom of God." - John Dewey

Despite Dewey's outward rebellion and disdain towards Christianity, he does grasp the incredible influence of teachers and the formative nature of education.  Another secular humanist cited by Moffett reveals the strategic dominance that we allow secularism when we place our children in schools designed to be absent of God.

"Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school of humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school’s meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?" - Charles F. Potter

We encourage you to read the article in it's entirety here.

INTEGRATING FAITH OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM: PART 2

Posted by Bela Franklin on April 16, 2014 @ 7:34 PM

Part two of Paul Neal's (Charter Oak Research) excellent article about the nature of Christian education and the intentionality required of its leaders.

How we operate and build our facilities is another way we can do things in a distinctly Christian way. Our values of community and fellowship ought to be evident in the way we plan and build. Both aesthetic value and biblical virtue should be considered. “Frugality” is not often heard in the church today and perhaps because we hear it so little there are more and more examples of schools overbuilding and overspending. On the other hand, it’s encouraging to see schools take long term perspectives on the things they build—communicating the eternal truths taught inside even by the structure. Balance requires maturity, and maturity for the Christian school leader is demonstrated by how faith and scripture informs their decisions—from design to construction.

We communicate a lot in how we operate in the area of enrollment. Whether covenantal or evangelistic, the more clearly we communicate our philosophy the better. If we have a more open enrollment policy, is it effectively communicated such that people understand the purpose and see the great opportunity to impact non-believers with a Christ-centered education? How well does a covenantal school educate its people so that they aren’t communicating an inaccurate description of their philosophy?

There are plenty of other parts of what we do as a Christian school that we could look at—the way we do advancement, how we set tuition, how we do discipline. In each of these cases there is a worldview that can inform the way we do things. Decision-making in light of biblical worldview doesn’t mean that there is one way that each of these aspects of Christian schooling will be done. Rather, our faith informs our actions—and the object of our work is outside of ourselves.

We are all products of a secular worldview, right? We have been influenced by the world both before and after salvation—influenced through our education, through entertainment, by the circles in which we travel. This also means that we don’t always come equipped to make decisions in a biblically integrated way. But this isn’t even possible until we recognize our condition. Just as educators benefit from first recognizing that teaching from a biblical worldview requires remediation, training and discipleship, so does Christian thinking when it comes to school leadership.

 

I’m particularly interested in more ideas on discipline and worldview integration—Please share your ideas and experience, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Please let us know what you think in the comments section!

 

This post origially appeard on CACE.org - http://cace.org/integrating-faith-outside-of-the-classroom-part-2/

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Big Ideas to Consider:

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.