Week of 2/22/20
Can you get all A's, and still flunk life?
If you were at the State of the School event this week you heard about the incredible benefits of a Classical Christian Education--benefits that reach far beyond academics and into what is termed "life outcomes." Research has proven that choosing a Classical Christian Education can have an incredible impact on career choice and contentment, church involvement and leadership, marriage and friendships, along with many other aspects of life. Data confirm that this type of education does indeed help develop mature young adults who are equipped to defend their faith.
When we have found something good, such as a restaurant or a book, we are eager to share it with others. They are good friends who willingly share about a great school when they have found it. Still, putting "classical christian education" in a nutshell can be difficult. Read four elevator pitches that describe classical education in 100 words or less!
Find out what three of our Class Eighth students have learned during their journey in Classical Christian education by listening to our latest podcast.
Week of 2/1/2020
If your child has a smart phone what is the most important thing to teach them?
We are routinely reminded of sad stories where youth have misused the capabilities of their smartphones to their own destruction or that of a friend, classmate, neighbor, or acquaintance. What is often the nagging question is who is to blame in these heartbreaking situations where children’s lives are altered. In his Wall Street Journal article Dr. Sax boldly states who is to blame; the parents are. Sax calls parents into their role as parents; “If you buy a smartphone for your child, and your child is victimized by messages received on that phone, or uses the phone to bully another child, the person most responsible for that behavior is you, the parent.” He does not stop at blaming, he also provides insight and instruction for how parents can help navigate this complex world with their kids.
If you missed hearing Dr. Sax present at Wilberforce listen to his talk here where he answer the question what is the single factor that research shows influences health, wealth, and happiness.
Week of 12/28/19
Has the persuit to the perfect college application ruined leisure?
As students turn passions and leisure activities into resume and college application line items, have we lost the art of pursuing beauty, rest, and exploration for what it intrinsically provides? New York Times writer wonders, will kids still do what they like when it won't help them get into college?
Christmas break is a good time to consider summer activities for our children. These activities can help our children grow in their faith, and can be life changing. In fact, our Head of School, Howe Whitman came to faith in Christ at a summer camp through church when he was 13.
We have compiled a list of meaningful summer camps and missions opportunities that we are familiar with. Please share with us any others that you know of that we can add to the list.
Week of 12/7/19
Can Humane Letters or the dinner table save civility?
At Wilberforce we value the ability to civilly disagree; to debate and discuss ideas . In our Humane Letters course students learn to articulate and defend their opinions as well as listen to opposing ideas respectfully. Ms Cohen, a dean and English professor at Drexel University, recently wrote an article in The Wall Street Journal defending the seminar course, “The seminar is fundamental to the education of resilient, thinking citizens.” Ms. Cohen describes the classroom experience students have daily at Wilberforce and why it is important.
As education trends move towards the test prep and cram culture read why we at Wilberforce are committed to the seminar course which creates an “intellectual intimacy that improves our judgment, makes us more humane, and models encounters that spill from the classroom into life.”
Another distinctive of Wilberforce is our Charlotte Mason influence. Listen to Admissions Director, Kerry Wilson, share about Who Charlotte Mason is in this episode of “Consider This”. To read more about Charlotte Mason look into the new book by Karen Glass, The Vital Harmony.
Week of 11/16/19
Video Games-Can you really be addicted?
An in-depth article came out recently in the New York Times Magazine entitled, "Can you really be addicted to video games?" The article is worth reading. One finding: game developers have employed increasingly sophisticated techniques to make their games "as unquittable as possible," including strategies such as intermittent reinforcement, punishing players for leaving, and so on.
There is another resource on video games that is worthwhile: Dr. Leonard Sax's book Boys Adrift and his New York Times article “But Mom, Video Games are my Job!”
Dr. Sax is an MIT-trained family psychologist with over 30 years of clinical family practice and a lot of wisdom. He outlines 3 specific issues: content, time, and activities displaced.
Week of 11/9/19
What can we do to build resilient Christians who will lead?
What does it take to equip mature Christians able to stand firm even when that means standing alone?
As parents, pastors, teachers, we desire our children’s faith to be strong and sustained, to inform their decisions, and to equip them to lead. In what ways can we help to build this resilient faith and prepare our students and children to defend their faith when facing a chaotic culture, or an opposing world view?
Two events in recent news cause us to wrestle with these questions, Attorney General Bill Barr’s recent speech at Notre Dame, and a new book, Faith for Exiles, based on research by the Barna group.
Week of 5/25/19
Have commencement speeches become tools to exclude ideas via censorship rather than to enlighten and inspire?
Commencement speeches all over the country are getting press for the ideas promoted, rallied, and implored by their speakers. We are eager to hear from our own Commencement speaker this year, Professor John Rose from Duke University.
This Harvard professor of great books has been disinvited from speaking at the Concordia College commencement. He has a theory as to why
The Theory Behind My Disinvitation
Week of 5/11/19:
How do we find leisure when work is our religion?
Summer is just around the corner. Warmer weather gives the impression of longer days and lighter schedules; but a new religion is encroaching on this romantic idea. For the poor and middle class work is still a necessity but for the college educated elite, work is becoming a religion, promising identity, transcendence, and community, but failing to deliver. How do we pursue truth, beauty and goodness in our rest as well as our work?
Workism is Making Americans Miserable
If work is only fulfilling when it is our passion...how do we choose our careers? Is finding your passion good advice or does it prevent a growth mindset?
Find your Passion is Terrible Advice
Many of us have wonderful summer camp memories we long for our children to also have. This summer develop new passions, pursue leisure, delight in rest, and worship what is truly worthy.
Click is the link below to find family retreats and student camps for your summer leisure.
Week of 5/4/19:
A Mother's Perspective...
Mother’s Day is next weekend. This time of year around the world we are all contemplating mothers; our own, present and passed, and the impressions of motherhood. Emotions of all kinds swirl around this time of year and controversial events surface, such as Focus on the Family’s Alive from New York. This week’s news sift shares perspectives and opinions from mothers on topics near to their hearts, because they impact their children. Consider This provides you with ideas to ponder, reflect, and consider...
A Message to Mayor Pete from Latina Mama “Don’t Force Your Sexual Ideology on Me and My Children”
Uplanned, the movie, gave an inside perspective of a Planned Parenthood employee here Lila Rose, President of Live Action, shares her opinion of the RHA as legalizing infanticide
Week of 4/20/19:
Have our schools committed civilization suicide...how do we recover?
The goal of The Wilberforce News Sift is to provide you and your family with food for thought, fodder for dinner table conversation, possibly an opinion to think critically about. This week we send articles that reflect on why we teach the books we teach at Wilberforce, and why they are essential. Do our students know the culture, the civilization, the values they are inheriting, and what commitments this heritage calls them to? As we saw last week in The Fiddler on the Roof, Tevye lamented over and boasted in his “traditions”, do our students know theirs?
How a Generation Lost its Common Culture by Patrick Deneen
Recovering from Cultural Dementia by Anthony Esolen
Week of 4/5/19:
Do you want happy, healthy, successful kids, or do you want them to be mature?
What do most parents desire for their children is it to be happy, to look good, to be successful; or should it be maturity? If we are pursuing the equipping of mature young adults how do we get there as parents and educators? The recent college admissions scandal highlighted trends in parenting that are pervasive and detrimental. We have sifted the news and found two articles which reflect on these trends, and comment on how we as parents and educators can respond differently to help build mature young adults who will do hard things even when they do not want to.