bethben wrote:Our biggest thing is that we think it will help our children learn to write and speak more clearly. We want them to be able to do this in order to give a good witness for Godly principles in our country. We feel like they need to be excellent in how they communicate to our post-Christian country and we want to give them the tools to do this. We feel like Latin will help them achieve these goals. If they want to pursue Spanish later on, the learning curve will be greatly reduced also.
Posted: Thu May 15, 2008 11:54 am
I’ll wanted to get a bit reflective because of something you mentioned. There is always a balance point. Is Latin really going to be the right tool for the job to "communicate to our post-Christian country"? It is a good question to examine.
If you have time for both service and more academics, that’s ok. You don’t want to overload your schedule to the point where you say “We’re too busy and can’t let God use us to be the hands and feet of Jesus today to serve our neighbors today.” So, make sure that as you add *any* subject that balance point is there. There is nothing wrong with learning Latin at the right time.
I absolutely agree with you that it is important to teach our children to reach the world for Christ and that quality skills in communication are a must for that. I hear your heart in this matter, Beth. I’m right there with you.
When dealing with all of it, it will be important to be able to debate and discuss in a logical fashion. There are plenty of resources and methods for teaching those skills
But, there is another side of it away from the academics.
In order to be effective communicators for Christ, we also need to teach how to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
You have time to learn a bit more about my family??? My husband comes from a family of debaters and intellects. We’re talking about a family that likes to talk and debate and discuss the latest ideas. They’ll talk all night about the intellectual side of the Bible, Christianity, faith, hypocrites in the church, etc.
My husband spent 12 years working in a university and was considered quite the accomplished writer and speaker. He used to give scientific workshops and seminars across the country and internationally. Clearly, strong communication is important to him. But when this quiet one (me) speaks up about what we are DOING – the tone changes.
I simply tell them what we do to serve Jesus and whose lives are changing. My 12 y.o daughter will show them pictures of things she has crocheted and cross stitched and helped people around the world through different Christian groups.
It was not these razzle and dazzle debates that change the tone. It was our dedication to serving God that mattered and gave my husband more to talk about with his brothers and parents. What really made the difference was Service, not speeches. Speeches are important, but being the hands and feet of Jesus speaks louder and more precisely than any rebuttal or debate can.
When they could see God working in our lives and see us living for Him, they couldn’t argue it. In John’s extended family all of his brothers and parents do “service projects” to better serve mankind and enrich their resumes. It’s not the same. I am able to talk for a brief time about what God did when I was serving. I can share how God changes lives for eternity.
Even my mother in law is starting to notice. She preaches new age seminars for a living. She is a community activist. Even she sees Jesus in our lives and in our children’s lives. She sees faith and action. My MIL told me that she can just see the difference between those who serve with faith purpose and Higher Callings compared to those who just make their world a nicer place because it a nice thing to do. She lives a life of doing nice things and talking about philosophies in a post Christian society.
Make sure it is balanced and long term in focus. If all of those communication skills can be taught with materials that are high quality academics that are time efficient and still leave you time to become a family of eternal purpose, maybe it is ok to just use those materials written in English.
I urge you to listen to David Hazell’s talk about What Should Christians in the 21st Century Teach Their Children. I think you'll enjoy it a lot since you like classical education. Blessings and much love,