by Sara Breetzke, TCA Head of School
In the fall, Trinity Classical Academy will open its doors to support families in providing a classical, Christian, education for their children. During these months before school begins, I’d like to invite you to engage in three summertime activities that will prepare your family to learn and grow together this fall.
If you don’t yet have children enrolled in TCA, these tips will give you an idea of what it means to be part of a classical, Christian, collaborative community – you may even find that this is the kind of place you’d like to educate your kids.
1. Read Aloud with Your Child
“When we read to a child we’re sending a pleasure message to the child’s brain … conditioning the child to associate books with print and pleasure.” – Jim Trelease, The Read Aloud Handbook
A classical education has its foundation in the written word. This summer, prepare your child for this academic environment through abundant exposure to text.
Specifically, I want to challenge you to read aloud with your child over the next few months. In his book The Read Aloud Handbook, Jim Trelease explains that as pleasure centered beings, humans move toward the things we enjoy and away from the things that seem painful, tedious, threatening, or meaningless. Therefore, Trelease claims that parents should be a living advertisement for the joy found in the printed word.
As a parent, you’re shaping what your children love every day, and reading aloud is one way to encourage them toward a lifelong love of words. Intrigued?
Read more in Jim Trelease’s book The Read-Aloud Handbook.
- If you’re wondering how best to read aloud to your squirmy toddler or your independent fourth grader, visit http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/30-read-aloud-DOs.pdf or http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/12-read-aloud-DONTs.pdf for specific dos and don’ts on reading aloud.
- Find suggestions for good read-aloud books by following the links under the heading “Treasury of Read-Aloud Titles” at the bottom of this page: http://www.trelease-on-reading.com/rah-contents.html.
2. Cultivate Your Identity as a Learner
“Parents who like to discover and understand new ideas model a lifetime of learning for their children. Be encouraged to think of the things you like to do and then find ways to include your children more often. Think about how you learn and why you love the things you love. Share your passions with your family.” – Leigh Bortins, The Core
One of our convictions at TCA is that God has equipped parents to educate their children. Deuteronomy 6 encourages parents to faithfully teach their children in the ways of God, and that includes teaching the beauty of God’s creation in history, science, math, and language.
So let’s resolve to be adults who see learning as a natural part of family time, vacation, play, and work. Let’s be adults who have our eyes open to explore God’s world so that we delight in learning and sharing those discoveries with our kids.
Wondering how to make this a practical reality for your family?
- Make a detour on your family vacation to visit a historical site.
- Go on nature walks around the neighborhood. Research the flowers, trees, and birds that you and your children observe.
- Help your child find some nonfiction picture books at the library and read them together. I often forget how much I can learn from a well-written children’s book.
“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” – Martin Luther
It is my hope that the families of Trinity Classical Academy would enter into the school year with a prayerful spirit, realizing our dependence on God for the success of our children and of the school. It is a blessing to have time this summer to plan for the school year ahead, but even more importantly, I hope that you will make time this summer to pray.
Therefore, I want to encourage you to consistently commit time this summer to pray for God to bless Trinity Classical Academy. Here are a few ideas for that time:
- Pray God would “establish the work of our hands” (Psalm 90). People make plans, but God determines the outcome. This summer, as parents, faculty, and board members prepare for the school year, please pray that God would bless our efforts and guide our decisions.
- Pray that God would use TCA to partner with parents in shaping students into humble, wise, and gracious learners who love Jesus.
- Pray that God would continue to allow Christ-centered education in Omaha to flourish, and that institutions like TCA would change the conversation about education in Omaha. Thirty years from now, might we praise God that leaders from schools like TCA are wisely leading our city for his glory and our good.