Editor’s Note: On the blog this week, we are featuring the top essay in the Torrey Academy course, Faith of Our Fathers, written by Abby Borne. In this essay, Abby explores the presence of knightly vows in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, exposing them as verbal promises and declarations of truth deeply tied to a Knight’s honor and integrity. She clearly researches and argues for the danger that comes in making vows, as the refusal to stay true to one’s word may result in civil and social death, and highlights the connection to Christ’s words of warning around vow-making for Christians. We’re proud of our accomplished Torrey Academy scholars, like Abby, and we’re grateful for the opportunity to share the fine work they produce with you. Enroll your student in a Torrey Academy course today.
Vow of Death: The Importance of the Knightly Vow in The Canterbury Tales
by Abby Borne
“A promise is a comfort for a fool.” — Traditional Proverb
The modern attitude on vows is relatively relaxed. Some cynics are justifiably skeptical about the worth of promises due to the lack of importance placed on them. Promises are often only kept when the breaking of an oath poses a threat. Elementary school best friends make “pinky promises” between each other, couples make wedding vows, and written contracts keep people bound to their word, with legal and financial consequences for those who do not keep it. Medieval oaths, however, were taken more seriously. Vows are seen throughout The Canterbury Tales, whether between a husband and wife, a lover and the magician who will help him, or two knights and cousins who swear brotherhood to each other. The free giving of vows is portrayed as honorable, but often these promises are broken or put in danger. In no case is the breaking of a vow so dishonorable and tragic as in the breaking of a knight’s oath, as knightly chivalry includes a focus on the keeping of vows. The breaking of such a vow would even result in a loss of a knight’s identity. Although knightly vows are often seen as a way to obtain honor and show integrity, they can lead to dishonor because if the giver of the vow breaks their vow, this leads to a loss of identity and a form of civil and social death. Through an investigation of medieval and chivalric society and a closer look at two specific examples of knightly oaths, this paper seeks to explore honor, integrity, and the reason Christ exhorted his church to be careful in its vow-making—a lesson which is applicable even today.
The perennial question — posed to anyone who ever whispered the idea of homeschooling out loud — is, you guessed it, “What about their social life?” But, as many homeschoolers will tell you, there’s little cause for concern when it comes to socializing the home educated.
As founder of the National Home Education Research Institute, Brian Ray, told PBS, “Research shows that in terms of self-concept, self-esteem and the ability to get along in groups, homeschoolers do just as well as their public school peers.”
If your students are not at school from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. — with 3 hours of homework afterwards — it’s often the case that they’ll have more time for socialization. Read more
Each year, Biola Youth Academics sponsors a scholarship for incoming Biola University freshmen through an essay contest. This year, we awarded Samantha Salanga with the first place, $2000 scholarship prize.
Samantha is a part of BYA’s Yorba Linda campus, is enrolled in Torrey Academy and is a member of the BYA PSP. In the fall, she will begin her journey at Biola University, majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders and will become a member of Torrey Honors Institute. Congratulations, Samantha! Biola Youth Academics is honored to play a brief role in your scholastic accomplishments. Read her essay below! Read more
Native American cultural demonstration at Mission San Juan Capistrano.
If you are staying home this spring break, you might be searching for things to do with your kids and teens that would be fun and even encourage some learning! Here are 10 fun and enriching activities you can try this spring break.
In the past 20 years at Biola Youth Academics, we often get asked, “Does it matter what homeschool curriculum I use?”
Curriculum does matter. And, there’s a lot of it to choose from. Curriculum can be Christian or secular, biased or well-balanced in its presentation, classical, or cutting-edge. How does one family find the right curriculum for each of their kids—with all their God-given talents, interests, strengths and individualities?
Christian parents often ask, “Does my entire curriculum need to come from a Christian publisher?” At BYA, we think not. Frankly speaking, not all textbooks are created equal. While there are some fantastic Christian resources out there, there are others that have been tested and found wanting.
At Biola Youth Academics, we partner with expert educators and homeschool veterans to curate engaging, Christ-centered curriculum for all of our K–12 programs. In the course curriculum for our homeschool programs, we sometimes use Christian curriculum, sometimes supplement Christian curriculum with non faith-based sources and other times opt for a stand-out, seminal textbook and find other ways to integrate our faith and values.
In the 75th anniversary of Wycliffe’s ministry in Bible translation, I found myself absorbed in reading their history over the holidays. Obstacles, such as cross-cultural and linguistic challenges, kidnapping, and martyrdom wove throughout Wycliffe’s history.
I was particularly struck by the story of Chet Bitterman. When Chet was considering missions work, he told his wife, “I’ve only got seventy-five years on this earth at best. I want to use them to give someone the Bible.” So in obedience to their calling, this young couple joined Wycliffe (p. 103). Chet and his wife, Brenda, prepared for missions work and were to work with the Carijona people. As they prepared to move to this village in Colombia, they were at the Summer Institute of Linguistics in Colombia.
Our Homeschool Alumnus, Joshua Johnson graduated high school in 2015. Before that, he enrolled in Torrey Academy, where he took several online courses. As a senior, Joshua was a recipient of the 2015 Biola Youth Scholarship for writing an essay on how BYA impacted his spiritual growth in high school through reading the works of C.S. Lewis in Torrey Academy.
BYA caught up with Joshua to hear where he’s been since graduating, and how his experience helped him flourish in life after high school. Read more
“The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained
will be like their teacher.” -Luke 6:40
Teaching students with special needs presents unique challenges, as well as opportunities to practice empathy, and refine our teaching—and allow the Lord to refine us. Dr. Eastman’s lecture models perspective taking, challenges presumptions, and gives practical tips on engaging and understanding students with special needs.
A homeschool dad and father of six (5 boys and 1 girl), Dr. Eastman invites his high school aged son to share from his perspective as a student with special needs.
Please enjoy Dr. Eastman’s presentation, offered by Biola University’s School of Education, and Open.Biola. Consider watching with a pen and paper nearby, and follow along with the in-lecture activities. Watch below. Read more
Part One of A Parent’s Guide to Raising Psychologically Healthy Children
Have you ever considered the impact you have on your child’s psychological development? Do you sometimes wonder if you are truly equipped to take on this responsibility? Allow Dr. Alvarez-Gray to share her input on A Parent’s Guide to Raising Psychologically Healthy Children. Read more
The Vandewalles have been homeschooling their six children since 1999 and are about to graduate their third student. Until last year, most of their homeschooling was done at home without the benefit of outside classes; like so many families, they were busy with activities and the daily demands of life. Academically, they tended to focus more on their high school students in order to prepare them for college.
Robyn Vandewalle shares, “A couple of years ago, we realized that our younger students, now entering middle school, had skated by with less academic attention than would be ideal. Read more