Saturday, April 6, 2013

Parents First

C.S. Lewis says the following in "Learning in War Time:"
Human life has always been lived on the edge of a precipice. Human culture has
always had to exist under the shadow of something infinitely more important than
itself. If men had postponed the search for knowledge and beauty until they were
secure, the search would never have begun. ... 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.
This essay, which is found in the book The Weight of Glory, is one of the most inspiring discussions on why Christians ought to pursue the intellectual life that I have ever read. What does it mean to love the Lord with our whole mind?

The answer to this should excite both children and parents to pursue education. In homeschooling, it seems to me, our first order of priority should be for the parents to begin a pursuit of learning. To discover the important things we missed in our so-called education, and then we will know what we are leading our children into. They will follow, if they see the excitement that comes from stretching the mind. But if, by our actions and lifestyle, we prove that the knowledge we say they need and must rigorously pursue, is not important for our own minds, then what are we communicating?

I look forward to discussing with you the methods and forms of organization that we create, and how they relate to our philosophy of education. What is it that we are ultimately seeking in "classical homeschools?" Is it just entrance into a great college? I know that most will say "no," yet the primary focus on transcripts seems to say something different. I hear so many say that they want to train their children well, so that they can be influential in the top echelons of culture. But how will that happen, if we sacrifice a thoughtful study for a harried attempt at impressing secular college admission people with an impressive list of activities and courses? Why do we break free of the secular system's parameters for elementary education only to succumb to them for high school?

To seek knowledge for truth's sake, rather than for success in the world, requires a lifestyle of learning.


  1. I've had a portion of that Lewis quote on the sidebar of my blog for a couple of years now to help me remember that favorable conditions never come, so I have to work toward achieving my goals now! I look forward to reading here and found you today because I saw that Cindy Rollins liked your FB link to your recent post. :)

  2. Hi, it's nice to 'meet' you, Heather. I love Cindy Rollins! So amazing that you have been loving the same C.S. Lewis quote. Wow!