Whitefield Academy Blog
Last year, my wife and I started a rowing team at Whitefield. One of the neat things about coaching rowing at a classical school is that I can point to a rowing race in one of the most important texts of classical literature: the Aeneid. In one of the oldest references to athletic competition, the funeral games of Anchises include rowing, boxing, archery, and horsemanship. Aeneas held these games to honor his father who had died in the Trojan War. Unlike Aeneas, I do not schedule our regattas using the obituary section of the newspaper, but I think there’s something to learn about the fact that when the Greeks wanted to honor their fallen heroes, they immediately turned to fiercely competing with one another in contests of strength and skill.
At Whitefield Academy, our cultural trips are a hugely important part of our education. The United States is home to some of the world’s greatest cities, filled with museums, theatre, music, and architecture. These experiences are very shaping for our students, opening their eyes to new places and giving them a chance to exercise a little bit of freedom.
It’s Trips Week! To the layman, that means that all of our students from 7th grade to 12th grade leave school for a week on either a mission trip or a cultural trip. Traditionally, our 7th, 9th, and 11th graders serve at Show-Me Christian Youth Home, Sagrada Scholarship Bible Camp, and Bermuda, and our 8th, 10th, and 12th graders visit Chicago, New York, and a place of the seniors’ choice.
We live in a culture of self. Scroll through social media and you’ll quickly see memes encouraging you to “Never let the light dim from within!” or “Always wear an invisible crown!” The message of our culture is that we should be self-reliant and find self-defined happiness through self-expression and self-made success. As in 2 Timothy 3:2, we have become lovers of ourselves.
Raise your hands – how many of you can relate to this:
Sometime, long ago, you sat in a classroom, head in hand. The lesson is boring you. You’re confused. You’re frustrated. You raise your hand, not to seek clarification, but to express defiance:
“Mrs. So-and-So, why do we have to learn this?”
In our increasingly irreligious society, many holidays have developed two tracks. When selecting Christmas cards last year, my wife remarked that the website had a choice between “Christmas” and “Religious Christmas,” as if these were two different holidays celebrated on the same day. Christians have also seen this dual attitude applied to Easter. It may seem at first glance that many of our Easter traditions are completely secularized, following after the “non-religious” version of the holiday, but actually many “secular” traditions have Christian origins. By learning about these origins, Christians can reclaim traditions whose meanings have been de-sacralized.
No matter your denomination or how you take communion, as Christians we can all agree that deciding to take communion is a big deal. It’s been the most recent for us in the series of “Big Decisions You Have to Make as a Parent.”
In the past few decades, we’ve seen a revolution in the way most students are educated in this and many other countries. Countless hardware and software products have been produced with the promise that they will help schools better achieve their mission of educating students. Often these methods and applications carry the label “STEM” for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Those anxious that the humanities are being left behind have coined “STEAM,” where arts are shoehorned into the mix.
Whitefield Academy BlogRecently, I saw a conversation play out on social media between two of my real-life friends: A mom reviewed her elementary school child’s report card. The lowest grade, to her dismay, was in Art. “How could that be?” Her child was very creative...
Every year at Whitefield Academy, students in the junior class write homilies and present them to the entire upper school. Read below junior Mary Grace Wilson’s homily from this week, drawing on the example of Jonah and remembering when she too ran from the Lord as a middle schooler worrying about transferring schools.