WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF EDUCATION?
How you answer this question has vast consequences. Is the end goal simply to ensure your child attends the college of his choice? If so, many private schools, some Christian and some not, produce graduates who are academically prepared to enter college. What then is the difference between these schools and classical Christian schools like TSCS? Twelve Stones, recognizing that students are created in the very image of God, seeks to cultivate wisdom and inspire students to align their own desires to God’s will and purpose. As image-bearers of God, students are to be trained to know and love the true, the good, and the beautiful, culminating in a virtuous life. Students educated in this tradition reason, think logically, and examine arguments. They communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
As with any important endeavor, a solid foundation is crucial. Therefore, the first and most fundamental element is Christian commitment. Proverbs 1:7 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” and Proverbs 9:10 states, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” Since wisdom and knowledge begin with the fear of the Lord, a student’s education must begin with the study of God’s Word and the imitation of Jesus Christ, the embodiment of that Word. At Twelve Stones, students learn to observe all events: past, present, and future through a Biblical worldview.
Classical education, rooted in the ancient world of Greece and Rome, has been the primary educational method used throughout Western Civilization. Augustine, John Calvin, George Washington, John Wesley, G.K. Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis are just a few of the classically educated men who have greatly influenced culture. Classical education focuses on the liberal arts, those arts that make men fully human as well as fit for freedom. These arts include the humanities, timeless works of history, literature, and poetry as well as the arts of the trivium and quadrivium. The goal of classical education is a life of wisdom and virtue, a goal perfectly realized only in the life of Jesus Christ. Therefore, the best classical education is a Christian one. According to Patch Blakely, Executive Director of the Association of Classical Christian Schools, “While there is cause to rejoice when Christian parents recognize the benefits of a classical education, it is not sufficient unless that classical education incorporates the Lord Jesus Christ as pre-eminent in all subjects.”
Twelve Stones Classical School’s collaborative approach to education, founded in the conviction that parents have the primary responsibility for their children’s education, creates a true parent-teacher partnership. A TSCS education requires a level of parental involvement second only to full-time homeschooling. All of the material is taught initially in the classroom by highly qualified instructors. Students then complete work on their at-home days with the supervision and support of their parents. Parents are able to reinforce the concepts, extend and enrich the content being studied, and make sure each student is fully prepared each day. This fulfills the charge given in Deuteronomy 6 to instruct children, “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”
If you would like to know more about Classical Christian education, you may
enjoy the following resources:
An Introduction to Classical Education by Christopher
Perrin of Classical Academic Press
The Lost Tools of Learning - An essay by Dorothy Sayers
Top Ten Reasons for Studying Latin - by Cheryl Lowe
Association of Classical Christian Schools