What is Trinitas doing in response to COVID-19?

CCE Corner – Being Prayerfully Intentional

May 28th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

We could end our discussion of what we’ve learned from helping to start a classical Christian school with ten lessons. Ten is probably more than enough. But, as we mentioned last time, we have a bonus lesson that goes back to what impressed us about classical education in the first place. We’ve left the first part of the lesson blank on purpose. It’s for you to fill in later.

Lesson 11. ___________________: being prayerfully intentional

When we started looking for a school for our first born, we were struck by the intentionality of the classical school we visited. The teachers and administrators and parents we spoke with articulated a clear vision of the education they planned and hoped for their students. They described a curriculum that was not a patch-work approach to meeting state standards, but one where each subject was clearly laid out across the grade levels and even interconnected with the other subjects with the goal of leading students to embrace all that is true and good and beautiful. They told us about their vision for the characters and souls of the children. The students themselves displayed the fruits of this education—rising to challenges, even seeking out challenges, and delighting in those things God delights in. What struck us most was that classical education not only taught about human nature’s telos (our goal or purpose), it was itself directed toward a telos. This highly intentional approach to education was a refreshing change from what we had seen elsewhere.

So, our Lesson 11 has a blank for you to fill in a lesson(s) for your own family. The phrase following the colon, “being prayerfully intentional” is designed to guide you. You know your family best. Don’t just fall into things. If Covid-19 has had one positive effect, it’s that it has shaken us up a bit and hopefully made us stop and think for a while. Perhaps we’ve been living in unintentional ways, having fallen into schedules and habits that are not actually helping us flourish as individuals or as a family. Now is the time to talk about what’s working and what could go more smoothly. What things can you celebrate? What things need to be addressed? What habits broken? What habits formed?

Use your imagination to put yourself in another’s shoes and to come up with creative ways for your family and each of its members to thrive. It may help to think about five categories; what things can you do that are good for your: mind, body, soul, heart, and character? What things have you done daily or weekly to challenge your mind (e.g., reading a good book, practicing an instrument, learning a new game)? What things have you done for your body (e.g., exercising, sleeping enough, eating good food)? What have you done to learn more about and grow closer to God (e.g., family or individual prayer, Scripture memorization, worship)? What have you done to form your desires or loves well (watching good movies, listening to good music, eating together and playing games as a family)? What have you done to serve others (e.g., doing chores, helping a neighbor or friend)? In order to flourish as God intends, we need to pay attention to each of these categories, not just the ones we find easier to fill. We are designed to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Surround all of these efforts with prayer. As difficult as it is to break old patterns and establish new ones, and as fragile as our good patterns are, we serve a God who is wise beyond measure and who promises to give us wisdom if we ask. As we enter a somewhat strange summer and anticipate a relatively uncertain fall, let us seek his wisdom for all our decisions big and small.

CCE Corner – Finding Joy in Christian Classical Community

May 22nd, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

When we introduced our CCE Corner earlier this year, we began by sharing some lessons we have learned through starting a Christian classical school. We had made our way through lesson 9, when all our attention was abruptly turned in another direction by the COVID-19 pandemic. Quarantine may seem a strange time for a lesson about friendship, but perhaps it provides a good opportunity to step back and think about our relationships.

Lesson 10. Make Hallelujah friends: finding joy in Christian classical community

Our previous CCE Corner about the joy of worship was titled, “We Were Made for This.” We could use that title again. After God created Adam, he said it was not good for man to be alone. He created Eve from Adam’s side to be his friend. In a dialogue on Spiritual Friendship, the medieval monk, Aelred of Rievaulx, observes, “How beautiful it is that the second human being was taken from the side of the first, so that nature might teach that human beings are equal and, as it were, collateral, and that there is in human affairs neither a superior nor an inferior, a characteristic of true friendship. Hence, nature from the very beginning implanted the desire for friendship and charity in the heart of man, a desire which an inner sense of affection soon increased with a taste of sweetness.” In other words, we were made for friendship.

Read the rest of this entry »

CCE Corner – We Were Made for This

May 19th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

Later today, we will have the joy of “coming together” to sing and pray and hear God’s word in an all-school Zoom chapel. “Zoom chapel.” How many of us knew what those words meant just two months ago? They would have sounded very strange back then, but not any longer. One obvious reason for their new familiarity is that Zoom has very quickly become part of our daily lives. The second reason is that this technology is enabling us to do something we have always done, something we were made to do: worship our Lord together.

Read the rest of this entry »

Thank You, Reader’s Theater Readers!

May 18th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

We would like to thank Gabriel F., Ellie G., Jonathan M., Justin M., Ivana R., Vency R., Ayanna S., and Lily T. for their delightful presentation of “Tiggers Don’t Climb Trees” on Friday, May 15. Those who attended would certainly agree that our first Zoom Reader’s Theater performance was a success! Thank you to all the students who made puppets at home to join in the storytelling fun!

The Power of Sharing Stories

May 14th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

Stories have always been an important part of what we do at Trinitas, from our work in the classroom, to our extracurricular activities, to our community events. Speech Meet, Thoughtful Reader, Reader’s Theater, reading buddies, Shakespeare field trips, Latin plays, Fine Arts Night. We are storytellers and story-sharers at Trinitas!

Stories teach us. They entertain us. They move us. They connect us. We need that connection now more than ever. While the staff continues to develop more virtual community events so that we can continue sharing stories, we encourage you to keep telling stories at home by reading books with each other, acting out plays, or writing your own stories. Grab a notebook or journal to record humorous observations (Have there always been SO many dogs in the neighborhood?) or perhaps deeper reflections (Have you been on a walk and noticed the beauty of God’s good creation in a whole new way?). These are good “stories” too that you can share with a friend through Zoom, email, or even a good old-fashioned phone call!

Our teachers miss reading to their students, but they have found a great way to keep sharing stories with them. Watch your classroom newsletter each week for a virtue story video link!

Still Learning and Growing Together

May 5th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

Dear Friends of Trinitas,

We hope this finds you and your loved ones well as we continue this time of separation.

You may be wondering, “How does a school that has marketed itself as ‘free from digital distractions’ move to distance learning?” Here are answers from two of our 8th graders:

Read the rest of this entry »

Praying for Workers

May 5th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

Our prayer team continues to lift up health care workers, first responders, grocery and pharmacy employees, and other essential workers who on the front lines of this public health crisis. You are invited to share the name of friends or family members through the form in the all-school newsletters or by emailing Mrs. Poortenga.

All-School Chapel on Friday, May 8

May 5th, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

If you asked our students about their favorite part of the school day, you would likely hear many of them answer, “Morning Prayer”. Indeed, what better was is there to live together as a community than by starting our day with prayer, Scripture, and song? We have all missed that time, but we are happy to tell you that there will be a special all-school chapel on Friday, May 8, at noon. Our 8th graders will help lead us, and Mr. Marth will present an introduction to the virtue for May, courage. An invitation will be sent the day before. We hope to see you there!

Notae Latinae (Latin Notes) – Roman Election Results

May 3rd, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

We know you have all been eagerly awaiting the results of our Roman election this week. It was a landslide victory for all the 8th grade candidates – again. (One wonders how this happens every year!) We thank everyone who attended the speeches on Tuesday and the 3rd-8th Latin students for casting their votes this week.

Official results of Trinitas Classical School’s 2020 Roman Election:
Consul – Natalie
Praetor – Noah
Censor – Abby
Aedile – Robyn
Quaestor – Frankie
Tribune – Maraika
Dictator – Gabriel

Roman Election Speeches – Tuesday, May 5

May 1st, 2020 by Becca Tellinghuisen

Consul? Quaestor? Aedile? Please join us for another “Latin at Lunchtime (at Home)” gathering to learn about these and other political offices from ancient Roman times. The 8th grade Cambridge Green students will be presenting their speeches – in Latin and English! The other Latin students will be able to vote later in the week. These annual elections are always fun, even though they don’t hold much of a surprise. We know who will win. (Right, 8th graders?) Watch for an email invitation.