Why am I starting a school?
What would prompt me to throw this much energy and time into something that I am, quite frankly, not qualified to do? I have no training in classical education, and I am one of the most skeptical Christians around. But I’m also a father, and it is amazing what you are driven to do when a heap of responsibility is thrown onto your head.
So, to answer “Why am I starting a school?”, I had to ask myself, “What do I really want for my kids?” If I’m ultimately responsible for their education, which I do believe, then what do I want my kids to learn through their education?
What do I want for my kids?
I want what is best for them, like any good parent. But I don’t just want to give them all of the things they want, or the material things that I think they should have. What I want is for them to be able to make good decisions for themselves. I want to give them the tools and training they need to clearly see the outcomes of their decisions and to live intentionally. I think about the relationship I want with them, because I really do want a relationship with them. I want to be able to have deep, meaningful conversations with them about how they see the world. I want them to be able to communicate their thoughts clearly and logically. I want them to be courageous, and to speak the Truth when it needs to be said. I want them to know who they are, to live with conviction and make decisions based on the character and virtue they have built and practiced. I want them to be leaders, not that they need to run a company or anything, but natural leaders. When you meet people who are secure in who they are, who live their lives with purpose, and who are constantly living out their strengths, you can’t help but want to spend time around them. You feel like you are better because of who they are. That’s what I want for my kids.
And I want them to be warriors.
At Summit, we are warriors. What do we think about when we think of warriors? Sure, we think of fighting in battle. But when we move past that, we see that warriors are trained and disciplined for a purpose, so that when the enemy approaches, they can defend and protect their nation, their culture, their beliefs, and their way of life.
What are we protecting? What are we fighting for?
Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life”, which I don’t think I really understand. But I think we are fighting for a way of life. The Way. I have a hard time admitting that we have a “culture” or some long-built dynasty that we are fighting for, but our community, and our beliefs are more of a way of life than I’d ever really admitted. And we have Truth that has been written in the Scriptures. This is Truth that really is a better way to live. It has such depth and provides a great framework for how to make better decisions. How to live wisely. The life. I believe that there is evil out there, that it is coming at us, trying to take everything away… including our lives. My life and the life of my kids. I want them to be prepared to protect their life and the lives of others, the Truth, and the way of life that Jesus has enabled.
I know that is a lot to want.
But I’m their dad. And like it or not, it is MY responsibility to do whatever I can to make sure they are ready. And I’m still figuring my stuff out, but I have learned a few things. I’ve struggled with ideas about God and have found a better way to live, mostly by making a lot of mistakes. I could just give them the Bible and say, “Here’s everything you need to know,” but I think I can do better than that. I have to try to pass on some of the things I’ve learned through my mistakes, and hopefully they won’t have to make the same ones.
Here’s what I know.
In this world that is constantly trying to distract us and take our attention off of what really matters, it is really difficult to prioritize time so that we are building up the most important parts of our lives. At some point, life is going to get real, and things are going to fall apart. When that happens, will we have, will our kids have, the strong foundation to stand on? When stuff happens, what will they hold on to, to hope in? Where will their identity be? I want them to know who they are, at their core. I want them to know they are children of God. That God created them on purpose and with a purpose. That He loves them. That He enjoys them in their unique personality, traits, strengths and perspectives. That He wants what is best for them. If they know who they are, if they have their identity, to their core, confidently defined, they might have a chance of not only surviving this life, but living within the freedom that comes from knowing your purpose. The freedom that is only possible when we have that healthy view of ourselves and others. We are built for relationships. I want a relationship with my kids, and I want my kids to change the world through their relationships.
Ok, so why am I starting a school?
Because I need help. I cannot provide all of that to my kids on my own. The core of Summit Classical Academy is in it’s partnering with parents and creating community. I need a school that speaks Truth into my kids every day. And I need a community around me to be there when I fail. To pick up my greatest treasure, my greatest responsibility, and train my kids when I am not available, able, or capable.