The Classical Parent


CCE Corner – Managing Fear, Frustration, and Failure

March 5th, 2020

You’ve heard of the 3 R’s of education (Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic). What about the three F’s? In this CCEC, we talk about Fear, Frustration, and Failure.

Lesson 9. Keep calm and choose well: managing fear, frustration, and failure.

When I asked my children what advice they might give students and parents in their first year of classical school, one of them said, “Tell them things like lit and comp will be really hard for the first year.”

There will very likely be times when you hear something like: “The other kids know so much more!” “I don’t know what the teacher wants!” “I can’t do this!” “I’m gonna fail.”

Over the years, we’ve learned that it’s the parent’s job in these situations to calm everyone down. Yourself first. It’s like they tell you on an airplane: “Put on your own oxygen mask, before tending to your child.” You may be thinking, “I don’t know what the teacher wants either!” But, don’t let your child see your stress. Calmly try to calm him or her down.

We have a few ideas to share: Read the rest of this entry »

CCE Corner – Managing Your Stuff and Your Time

February 20th, 2020

In this CCE Corner, we return to the lessons we’ve learned about thriving in a classical Christian school. In this lesson, we move from the philosophical to the practical with some age-old advice.

Lesson 8. A place for everything and everything in its place; a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heaves: managing your stuff and your time.

Our CCE Corner lessons have been about habits that help students succeed not only in school, but also in life. Lesson 8 is largely about teaching children how to show up at the right place, on time, and well-prepared. Trinitas gives parents tips at the beginning of the school year about managing stuff and time. They include the following. Read the rest of this entry »

CCE Corner – Finding Wholesomeness at the Movies

February 6th, 2020

In this CCEC, we’re taking a break from the lessons learned about thriving in a Christian classical school to reflect on the vision we have for Trinitas. Sometimes we run across words that so perfectly capture what we’re thinking that we have to share them in their entirety. That’s the case with the following quotation from a review of the recent film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. (If you haven’t seen the movie, you should.) When we read what Joy Clarkson wrote about this classic story in The Forma Review, we thought, “That’s just what we’re trying to do at Trinitas!”

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CCE Corner – Listening to Those Who Know More

January 22nd, 2020

In our last CCE Corner, we talked about how looking for the good helps students thrive. In this lesson, we talk about looking for the good in authority.

Lesson 7. Respect authority: listening to those who know more

The writer of Hebrews instructs us to, “Obey those who rule over [lead] you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” (Hebrews 13:17)

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CCE Corner – Looking for the Good

January 9th, 2020

In Lesson 5, we talked about letting go of perfectionism so your child and you can thrive in a classical school. In this lesson, we look at how what we say (or don’t say) can help us to do this. It’s a brief lesson; but, “even though it’s simple, it’s not easy.”

Lesson 6. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all: looking for the good

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CCE Corner – Letting Go of Perfection

December 12th, 2019

Lesson 5. Don’t let the best be the enemy of the good: letting go of perfection

Sometimes our desire for the best education for our children can be problematic. In his essay, “Learning in War-Time”, C.S. Lewis says something we appreciated especially during the early years of Trinitas: “The only people who achieve much are those who want knowledge so badly that they seek it while the conditions are still unfavourable. Favourable conditions never come.”

“Unfavourable” certainly described some of the conditions of our first year. As it turned out, our school moved three times that year. Someone suggested we change our tagline to something more trendy: “Trinitas—a school without walls.” In those early years, we also had a fair amount of teacher turnover for part-time positions – always in August.

Those were pretty significant imperfections. There were plenty of others, but our families were committed to making this wonderful thing work. Sometimes it is easier to persevere when things outside your control happen. But, what about those things that seem to be in your control? What about when, for example, you see imperfections and you feel like you could be doing things better yourself? Or, you think the grass must be greener on the other side of that other school’s fence. You’ve invested time and money and you’re used to doing or having things your own way. First, look for the good (we’ll have more to say about that in Lesson 6). Second, remember to be humble, charitable, and patient. All good things take time.

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CCE Corner – BaseCamp Live Podcast

November 21st, 2019

We all want our children to have an active faith, but did you know that only 10% of young adults report having such a faith?

Listen to this recent podcast from BaseCamp Live to learn how to help your child (and you) cultivate and keep a vibrant and resilient faith by being part of something good, true, and beautiful that is bigger than you. It addresses important factors like access to secular culture, alienation, and rejection of authority.

CCE Corner – Committing to Something Bigger Than Yourself

November 7th, 2019

Lesson 4. Be all-in: committing to something bigger than yourself.

In the 2013 Oxford University Press book, Families and Faith, the authors examine how religion is passed down from one generation to the next (or isn’t). If you’re curious, the groups which do the best job of passing on their faith share these characteristics:
1. High standards, combined with warmth
2. Strong inter-generational relationships
3. Parents who are “all-in”

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CCE Corner – Consider a Tech Sabbath

October 31st, 2019

Have you had a chance to read the latest CCEC lesson? There is much to ponder, but if we could highlight one idea or recommendation, it would be the “tech sabbath”. Have you considered building a tech-free time into your week, or even every day (e.g., when the family is all together in the evening)? When we intentionally release the things to which we may be holding too tightly (or which feel like they are holding us!), it gives us time and space to be fully present with one another and to “be still and know” the Lord.

CCE Corner – Controlling Technology (So It Doesn’t Control You)

October 29th, 2019

In the last CCE Corner, we talked about the need for a strong and wise imagination and the importance of feeding our souls with what is true and good and beautiful. For Lesson 3, we turn our attention to technology, a topic none of us can ignore as we think about educational and spiritual growth.

Lesson 3. The medium is the message: controlling technology (so it doesn’t control you)

When we started Trinitas in 2006, Facebook was only three years old. Twitter was launched that same summer. And can you believe the first iPhone had not yet been introduced? Times have changed. Dramatically. And quickly. We could devote this entire year of CCEC posts to the pros and cons of modern technology, but let us simply say this: Do not underestimate the adverse effect it can have on your children’s imagination and their education (not to mention their emotional health).

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