Faithful education at a classical Christian school is a topic of great significance, particularly with the growing number of students in classical Christian education. I have suggested in the previous posts in this series that faithful education in this discipline requires an emphasis on formation that nonetheless takes seriously the importance of communicating information that helps students in this formative process. Second, I proposed that history was a necessary component of classical Christian education because it provides us with stock responses and helps us guard against the characteristic errors of our present day. Third, we should teach students to understand and seek after the good, the true, and the beautiful, of which part of the task is teaching them to navigate the river of knowledge themselves. Fourth, the imagination of students must be awakened, their curiosity piqued, and the opportunity to explore these areas of interest and curiosity should be regularly encouraged. Finally, I proposed that faithfully educating students in the classical Christian school must include an emphasis on joy, whereby students learn that despite the struggles of life, we can live with joy in light of the hope of the coming Kingdom promised by the King.
In The Weight of Glory, Lewis provides some advice that serves as a fitting conclusion to this discussion on how to faithfully educate at a classical Christian school. “The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable. Favourable conditions never come.” As classical Christian educators, we may often find ourselves overwhelmed, unqualified, or otherwise not up to the task of this rigorous form of education, for it is indeed difficult. But the same trials facing us are facing our students as well; there is too much to read, too much to learn, and sometimes simply too much to do, and we admittedly are never quite prepared enough for the task. But Lewis reminds us that none us are fully equipped. In fact, he writes that “if men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were secure, the search would never have begun.” Therefore, let us bless the kingdom as Schmemann says, which is “to declare it to be the goal, the end of all our desires and interests, of our whole life, the supreme and ultimate value of all that exists. To bless is to accept in love, and to move toward what is loved and accepted.” Let us move toward formation as Kingdom People, learning from the past as we hopefully and joyfully trudge on toward the future Kingdom, letting our imagination run wild as we seek after the good, the true, and the beautiful, knowing that one day we will find it perfectly in our King.
Lewis, The Weight of Glory, 60.
Schmemann, For the Life of the World, 29.