Updated: Apr 29, 2019
Choosing a school for your child feels like one of the weightiest decisions you can make as a parent. Public vs. private, different educational philosophies, location, cost, and on! Last summer we found ourselves facing this decision for the first time, as the parents of a soon-to-be pre-Kindergartener.
My husband was homeschooled until college and I went to private parochial schools. For our own kids we wanted an academically rigorous school, like mine had been, but also a spiritually robust one that incorporates a Christian worldview in every aspect of learning, which the schools I attended did not do.
We are only about six months into our first school year, and my son is “only” in pre-Kindergarten (which actually feels like quite an achievement to me!), but I am happy that we chose Classical Christian education. I have watched our four-year-old grow in mind, body, and spirit.
Here is a brief rundown of a few reasons why I appreciate Classical Christian education so far. (My focus is on what we have experienced in pre-K; there is much to be said about Classical Christian education more broadly, and I recommend reading this post from the Association of Classical Christian Schools as a launching point in your research: https://classicalchristian.org/what-is-cce/.)
1. The focus on God’s Truth. This is hands-down the number one reason I wanted my children to go to a Classical Christian school. In my schools, religion class was a separate subject and faith was not incorporated into anything else. I attended chapel twice a week, but I did not take much more away from it than “good morals.” On the contrary, my son learns, even at age 4, about God through all subjects, and that all knowledge points to God. For example, he is currently studying God’s creation and learning about how trees grow. He looks forward to playing a shark in an upcoming festival celebrating all things bright and beautiful.
2. The focus on virtue. Every week my son’s class focuses on a different virtue, such as forgiveness, kindness, or honesty. We get to talk about that virtue at home, identifying ways that he can practice that virtue, and we get to pray to God asking Him to help my son grow in that virtue. It’s also a good reminder for me of where I need to improve!
3. The focus on the joy of learning. The point of a Classical Christian school is not just to learn facts and acquire a particular skill set that will ultimately get the student into the best college. Instead, there is an emphasis on cultivating a love of learning, a joy in delighting in the knowledge that God has revealed to us. I already see that at the pre-K level. My son is encouraged to tell stories, to create his own works of art (his favorite part of learning, to be sure), and to look closely at leaves and acorns as he explores our backyard. Learning goes beyond facts and figures.
4. The focus on community. There is something special for me about sending my child to school with likeminded teachers, administrators, and families who love the Lord. My son is young and impressionable. He has much opportunity to be exposed to the brokenness of the world, but I appreciate that at school he is exposed to Godly influences. Likewise, I value the opportunities for parents to connect and to serve the school community together.
If we still lived in San Francisco, there is no question that we would enroll our children at Donum Dei Classical Academy. I know that every school is different, but I am confident that we would find these same positive qualities at Donum Dei, and would find sending our children there richly rewarding.
There is still time to explore whether Donum Dei may be a good fit for your family! Please click here to view open Information Sessions in April.
To read more about Classical Christian Education, download our e-book, A Christian Parent's Guide to Choosing a School in San Francisco, below.