After a long winter, I know we’re all welcoming spring… I even heard the songs of tree frogs by my house last night! As I think about the changing of the seasons I also like to think about things that should remain constant in any season. Of course, growing in our relationship with Christ is one constant that we can never neglect. A second one that I’ve been thinking about lately is how to help our kids become lifelong learners.
One of the best ways we can help our children in these areas is, of course, to set a great example for them. Whether it is our youngest preschooler watching us get caught up in a great book, or our oldest teen talking with us about what we’re learning from Scripture, our children need to see these values lived out in us. To help you as busy parents, I’d like to offer you some suggestions that come from my current reading/learning list, all of which reflect our values of faith and learning:
Did you know that there is a major national news magazine that covers current events from a Biblical worldview? World Magazine arrives in the mail at our house every two weeks, and when it does, a small-scale skirmish inevitably breaks out over who gets to read it first. From the political cartoons and quick movie and music reviews, to the more in-depth news coverage, my whole family enjoys getting up to speed via World. You can get more information at www.worldmag.com.
Published and delivered monthly by Hillsdale College (“the conservative Harvard”), Imprimis is a free newsletter that covers a wide range of topics from a conservative perspective. Though it’s not overtly Christian, I’ve come to trust and value Imprimis as a great source for information and analysis about varied issues that impact our civilization. It is a manageable read (with only one article per issue) and never fails to stretch me to think about things that don’t normally come up in everyday conversation. You can subscribe, for free, at https://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/.
The ScrewTape Letters Radio Theater
One of my favorite C.S. Lewis works is The Screwtape Letters, which is a collection of letters from a senior demon to a lesser-ranking demon, ostensibly “found” by C.S. Lewis and published for the benefit of Christians. Focus on the Family has produced a fully dramatized version, (dubbed, the audio drama the devil doesn’t want you to hear) which is available on CD. I listen to it at least once a year while driving, and each time I’m filled with fresh perspective and courage for the spiritual battle that’s being fought for our families, our school, our churches, and for us as individuals. You can check it out at http://www.screwtape.com/.
The AXIS Newsletter
I don’t know about you, but I have a hard time keeping up with contemporary teen culture. It seems like everyday there’s some new app or teen trend to be concerned about, and I often feel like I’m always a few steps behind. Thankfully, there is a Christian ministry focused on teens and contemporary culture, and they produce a regular e-newsletter for parents and school and church leaders. It is always a quick read, and I always learn something new by reading it. You can find a link to subscribe to the AXIS newsletter on the very bottom of their website homepage, at https://axis.org/.
The Fabric of Faithfulness
Since I’m extolling the virtues of reading/learning, I should at least give you one good book recommendation, right? I just read The Fabric of Faithfulness by Steve Garber in which he reports on his research into an important question: “How can we help our children to have a faith in God that sticks, and that actually impacts how they live?” To find the answer to this question, Garber interviewed dozens of strong Christian adults who grew up as Christians, to find out what contributed to their long-term faith. What he found was that adults who truly embraced and internalized their childhood faith in Christ, had three things in common: 1) They purposefully developed a cohesive Biblical worldview; 2) They had relationships with mentors who genuinely live out that worldview; and 3) They lived life in community with others (peers and mentors) who were seeking to live out that worldview. It’s really simple, but in the press of soccer games, music lessons, and movie nights, we can easily forget to emphasize the basic building blocks for a life of long-term faith. The Fabric of Faithfulness will help you as parents to make wise decisions about how you support your children’s spiritual growth, and as an added bonus, will help you to understand more of the heart of SCS, and why we do what we do. To order, visit http://amzn.com/0830833196
I hope you’ll find some of these resources helpful. My prayer is for wisdom and joy for all of us in the SCS school family, as we train up our children to grow in Christ and become lifelong learners — all for His glory.
Happy Spring, and happy learning!