As a father and an educator, one of my goals is to fill the heart and head of my children and students with stories that are True. Not true as in “they actually happened” (though those stories are necessary too), but True as in “they reflect the beauty and faithfulness of God.” This is why the bookshelves in our home and at school are bursting with stories–the Narnian tales, The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Arthurian tales, The Penderwicks and, most recently, The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson.
Simply put, The Wingfeather Saga is one of the best series I’ve ever read. The first book, On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, introduces the reader to the Igiby family: Podo, the grandfather; Nia, the mother; Janner, the eldest son; Tink, the middle son; and Leeli, the youngest daughter who walks with a crutch.
N.B. This article is by Craig Dunham and was originally published on the Scholar’s Blog.
Those who would argue that education is the solution to life’s problems do not adequately understand life’s problems. As Blaise Pascal once said, “The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing. Let us then strive to think well.”
Unfortunately, we in America don’t think well (if at all) when it comes to morals and virtues; we tend to talk more of choices and values. We become more known for our pragmatic and utilitarian practices than anything else, particularly when one considers how easily parents are willing to force their 18-year-old children to declare majors, rack up credentials, and hop through the hoops of so-called higher education.
Note: This article was written by Sam Koenen and originally posted at PetraAcademy.com.
One evening this summer, I sat on my front porch and began a short volume of poetry by Wendell Berry. The first poem was only three lines long, but its powerful image forced me to stop reading and to think about its implications.
Though this poem consists of a single image, it contains many wise lessons that all of us—teachers, students, and parents—can seek to apply as the new school year approaches.
Suppose we did our work
like the snow, quietly, quietly,
leaving nothing out.
The poem’s single metaphor is an exhortation for us to work as the snow works. By contemplating what it means for snow to “work”, we can draw four lessons from Berry’s exhortation.