Archive for christian schools

Apr
12

Sheriff Kerss Visits Regents

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Regents Academy was very glad to welcome Nacogdoches County Sheriff Thomas Kerss to campus on April 11.

Sheriff Kerss made a presentation to the 9th grade government class and was joined by the 6th graders as well. Sheriff Kerss explained where the office of sheriff came from, what his job entails, and what the sheriff’s office’s responsibilities are.

We appreciate Sheriff Kerss’s generosity and service in coming to visit our students.

Categories : school life
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We use the word “Christian” a lot. But what does the word really mean when we apply it to education? And to Classical education no less. My answer is that Christian education is Christ-centered education, both in content and method. I have discussed Christian content. But what about method? What about how we go about educating?

Once again I quote my good friend Justin Hughes as he briefly answers that question.

An important part of any education in a public setting is order.  A teacher cannot teach if students are lighting fires in the wastebasket, talking over the teacher, and stealing answers from each other on tests.  That’s why education students learn classroom management in college.

But a Christian educator is concerned with much more than managing a classroom.  If our concern is educating the whole person, we desire not just to teach minds, but we want to shepherd hearts.  Discipleship must be the driving force of a teacher’s interactions with his students.  It is important that a student remains quiet while others are speaking so that he can hear him, but it is more important that he learns to love his neighbor as himself.  If he does love his neighbor, he will want to hear what his neighbor has to say.

As Moses spoke God’s Word to Israel, he commanded them to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.  And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart” (Deut. 6:5-6).  God’s instruction for his people was not merely that they offer him external obedience.  He wanted their love.  His commands that they not make carved images and not use His name in vain were not the essence of his desire for his people.  Behind those laws for their behavior was His desire for their heart.  He wanted them to love Him with every part of their being, and He wanted His words to inhabit their hearts.  If we are to follow our God and disciple as He does, we are to aim our instructions at the hearts of our pupils.  Jesus taught in His Sermon on the Mount that sins like murder and adultery begin in the heart.  He taught that the man who hates has already murdered and the man who lusts has already committed adultery.  He taught that true obedience to God is obedience from the heart.

To be like Jesus, our discipleship of our students must be like His.  We can’t simply make laws for our classroom and enforce them with an iron fist.  Like Jesus, we must teach our students to obey from the heart.  We must teach them to love the Law of the Lord.  We must disciple them with grace and love.  We must disciple them like Jesus.

Categories : christian education
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In a previous post I offered a few thoughts on what it means that education at Regents Academy is a “Classical” education. Now I offer a few thoughts on how Classical Christian education is “Christian” education.

To say that the education being offered at Regents is “Christian” is to say that the word Christian is more than a label. It is to say that this education is Christ-centered. Christ is at the center, both in terms of content and method. Content means pedagogy – the actual curriculum and how that curriculum is taught. And method involves how we go about doing education in an atmosphere of discipleship, in a uniquely Christian culture.

Christ-centered content and Christ-centered method.

First, Christ-centered content. My good friend Justin Hughes did us all a great service a couple of years back by discussing Christ-centered content for us. Here is what he wrote.

As we essay to pass on to our posterity the knowledge and skills they need not just to survive but to carry on the great task of culture-building that we have inherited from our progenitors, isn’t it true that we are simply communicating the truth about the world?  Aren’t we just telling them what we know about what has happened and what happens in the world?  Consider a course in science.  The purpose is for students to learn how one part of the created order maintains existence and interacts with other parts of nature.  In art we teach them the effect of placing one value alongside another or when one color is added to its complement.  Everything students learn can be summed up in this:  something that occurred, is occurring, or will occur in the world.

Christians have special knowledge about this world.  We know the One who created all the things that make up this world, who ordered all of their interactions, and who sustains their existence by the power of His Word.  “For by [the Son] all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.  All things were created through Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16).  If there is anything that exists, whether visible or invisible, He created it.  In this passage Paul drives home his point by pronouncing that even thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers are the work of God’s creative hand.  His point is that if these abstractions like dominions and powers are God’s creation, then certainly all the tangible world belongs to him by virtue of creation as well.  In order to truly know the world in which we live, we must know the One by whom it was created—Jesus Christ.

Paul goes on to pray for the Colossians that they may attain understanding “of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (2:2).  Of course wisdom and knowledge are found in Christ if He is the Creator of all things.  Who knows better a work of art than the artist Himself?  The form of the creation originated in the mind of God and the substance of creation proceeded from the Word of God.  So to know creation, we must see it as an expression of its prime Cause.  We would be foolish to suppose that an autonomous search for wisdom apart from Him would be anything short of futile.  This humble posture must be our starting place in education.  We must acknowledge that if we know anything, and if we are able to pass any knowledge on to our students, not only did the thing that we know originate in God, but our very ability to conceptualize is from God.  To deny God in education would be to deny ourselves not only the substance of what we know and teach but also to deny ourselves and our students the actual ability to know.

Categories : christian education
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Jun
30

Welcome, Dayna Stanaland

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It is our pleasure to welcome a new first grade teacher to Regents Academy.

We are very thankful for Mrs. Deborah Kirby’s years of faithful service to the school, and now we are very thankful for Mrs. Dayna Stanaland’s joining the faculty.

Dayna is no stranger to Regents Academy. Her daughters Hayli and Madison will enter kindergarten and 2nd grade next year, and Lilly will enter the KPrep class. Dayna is known around the school not only as a gracious and kind Christian lady but also as an involved mom and a willing substitute teacher. Dayna and her husband Michael call Nacogdoches home and have done so for many years. A graduate of SFA, Dayna previously taught at Central Heights and is glad to be serving as a teacher at Regents Academy.

The first grade students will undoubtedly have a joyful and enriching adventure next year in Mrs. Stanaland’s class as they grow in the knowledge of God and His world.

Welcome, Dayna!

Categories : hellos and goodbyes
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Jun
24

Sparking Wonder

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Blogger Jessica Hagy makes sense of the world by reducing thoughts to simple graphs on index cards. I don’t see any indication that Jessica is a Christian, but with this card she shows that she understands at least a bit about education in the Triune God’s universe.

What do we do in Christian education? We ask enduring questions that fuel wonder and spark desire for wisdom and understanding. An unboring life, indeed.

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Jun
21

Thank You, God, for the New Playground

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What a wonderful gift the Lord has given us — a new playground for our grammar school children to enjoy. Thanks also to all our volunteers who worked in the hot sun to spread mulch.

Here you can see the project from unloading to completion. The last picture is of the smaller playground piece for the KPrep and Kindergarten students.

Categories : school life
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Jun
12

Parenting 101, part seven

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Another principle for being a good school parent: Read up and understand classical and Christian education.

This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s not. Classical education is quite new to most of us, and most of us did not receive a Christian education ourselves. We want great things for our children, but we can’t achieve those great things apart from embodying the principles of classical and Christian education ourselves, in our own homes. Education goes on 24/7, not just when we drop off the children at the stone building on the hill.

So read up on classical and Christian education. Grasp it, know its history, its philosophy, its methods, its soul. Then, most importantly, live it out. It’s great to know, but it’s better to do. And living out the disposition and spirit of classical and Christian education is most important of all.

Where to start? Here is a list of books to lay your hands on and read. If you would rather listen to a lecture, check with the school office about borrowing a CD of a classical Christian educator’s speech or lesson. We have tons of them.

1.    Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Douglas Wilson.
This book, based on Mr. Wilson’s successful venture with Logos School in Moscow, Idaho, has been the pioneering guide to the renewed interest in classical Christian education.

2.    Repairing the Ruins: The Classical and Christian Challenge to Modern Education by the staff of Logos School in Moscow, Idaho.
This collection of practical essays gives insights into applying the classical model to the curriculum and administration of a school.  The authors have all worked in the Logos School which has been the model for many classical Christian schools.

3.    The Christian Philosophy of Education Explained by Stephen Perks.
This text clearly defines Christian education. It is not to be academically inferior, culturally retreatist, or modeled after the humanistic schools.  This book shows how Christian education should be explained.

4.   “The Lost Tools of Learning” by Dorothy Sayers.
English scholar, mystery novelist, and Christian thinker Dorothy Sayers wrote this insightful, idealistic essay many years ago.  It outlines the model used in classical Christian education called the Trivium, and it explains how the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages naturally fit the mental growth of children and the mastery of a field of knowledge.  She had no idea or expectation that her essay would have such a tremendous influence in the latter part of the twentieth century.  But “ideas have consequences.”

5.    The Case for Classical Christian Education by Douglas Wilson.
Doug Wilson says that education must deal with basic questions of life — questions that require religious answers. Building on his previous book, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, Mr. Wilson encourages parents and educators to turn to Christian classical education.

6. The Seven Laws of Teaching by John Milton Gregory.
First published in 1884, this presentation of the laws of teaching is a timeless guide to the basic principles of good teaching.

7. The Outrageous Idea of Academic Faithfulness by Donald Opitz and Derek Melleby.
This book provides excellent guidance and counsel for those preparing for one of the most difficult transitions of life — that of leaving high school and entering college. Helpful for students and parents alike.

8. Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman.
Though Mr. Postman is now deceased, his work lives on, encouraging 21st century people who are immersed in digital media to re-think the power of the printed word and resist the ever-present temptation to be amused to death by the trivial and banal influences of television and electronic media.

9. Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp
More than a handbook on parenting, this book is a guide for parents to apply biblical truth to childrearing. The principles in this book are also an excellent guide for the discipleship and discipline of students while at school.

Jun
10

Val and Sal Speeches 2010

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Congratulations again!

The valedictorian of the Regents graduating class of 2010 is Parker Andrews. The salutatorian is David Henry. Both young men graduated magna cum laude, with many honors and accomplishments, and both are preparing to continue their education, having achieved a number of significant academic scholarships.

We are very proud of these two students, who achieved top honors in their class. Below are their speeches from this year’s graduation ceremony.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOTVYb92_LM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MHBUjzuEvj4

The Regents Academy commencement exercises on May 28, 2010, looked backward to thank God for His abundant blessings in the lives of our five graduates and their families. The ceremony also looked forward to what God has in store for Parker, Brad, Olya, David, and Hannah. Through their education at Regents Academy, these students have been uniquely prepared to be lifelong learners and to pursue whatever vocational avenue God opens up.

Below is the video of speaker Lance Vermillion’s graduation speech. Mr. Vermillion is the former assistant administrator at Regents and currently the elementary principal and assistant headmaster at Veritas Academy in Texarkana. His speech is a profound and witty tribute to classical Christian education and a meaningful challenge to the graduates. The video is in two parts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FoXRJX1tgw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMj5zvVnUn0

Jun
08

A Soaring Eagle

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Congratulations to Mrs. MaryAnn Bentley, who received the Regents Academy Soaring Eagle Award on May 27, 2010. Pictured below are board member Michael Kunk, Mrs. Bentley, and new headmaster David Bryant. We love you, Mrs. Bentley.

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