Below is an open letter written to current Torrey Academy families. It addresses, for one particular audience, some aspects of a much broader issue: if education should be more than memorization and regurgitation, then what’s it for and what do we do when it gets difficult?
Dear Torrey Academy community,
As the first quarter of our school year was coming to a close over the past few weeks, I was able to check in with many of you at our campuses and over the phone to hear how the year has been so far. I write now partially to address some of the concerns I’ve heard from you and partially to write out some thoughts on what we’re doing here at Torrey Academy that seem fitting as we get closer to Advent.
Torrey Academy is about the business of going after the Good, the True, and the Beautiful — and of giving students the tools to become mature disciples, thinkers, and lovers along the way. Because we are an academic program, it is truth-seeking that comes to the fore in the way we spend our time. We do this, as Dr. Sanders mentioned at our Orientation this year, by being “Socratic (we ask questions), active (we make the students do most of the talking), and formative (rather than just informative).”
Check out the LEGO Space Hollywood event this weekend!
Explore the world of The LEGO® Movie 2: The Second Part ahead of its February 8th release! We welcome visitors of all ages to become immersed in the world of Emmet and Lucy as they fight back against General Mayhem and her destructive ways! This 6,000-square foot, fully enclosed, one-of-a-kind space will feature numerous interactive elements from the film and fun authentically themed photo ops. We will see you in the Systar System!
Watching our students develop, we know that learning happens even outside of time spent in textbooks and worksheets. Even while they play, learning occurs. One of the joys of homeschooling is seeing our students grow, learn, and love doing it.
If you’re like many homeschool families, you might have a bin or two of LEGO pieces lying around. Have you considered how you might leverage the little bricks to stoke learning and creativity? Read more
Editor’s note: Today’s post is from Catherine Hood, Torrey Academy Director. Here, she applies Bloom’s Taxonomy of Educational Objectives to help illuminate how you can teach the same material to multiple grades at home. Find this helpful? Pass the post along!
How do I juggle teaching multiple subjects to my second grader, fourth grader, and seventh grader, all at the same time? This is one of the most common questions among homeschool parents. But there are ways of helping all your children learn while still keeping your sanity! Read more
Editor’s Note: Classical Education is at the core of Torrey Academy’s pedagogy and a rising trend for homeschool families and charter schools across the United States. But what is it? In this blog, Torrey Academy director, Catherine Hood, examines the history and philosophy of Classical Education at each stage of learning.
“How will I use this information?”
This has become an all-too common question asked by students today. I certainly asked it often, much to the frustration of my high school teachers. This expectation that education must be “useful” is a relatively new development in Western civilization. Particularly now, in this age of rising college tuition and cost of living, parents and students alike are single-minded in their educational priorities. Students must get the best grades and test scores, so they can go to the best colleges, so they can get the best jobs, so they can make enough money to live a comfortable life. While these pursuits aren’t necessarily wrong, is this really the fullness of the way God created us to live? Read more
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
Editor’s Note: Enjoy this week’s blog by Luciano Cid, Assistant Professor of Biola University’s School of Education, as he explains the connection between the role of prayer and self-regulation in a child’s development.
Recently, while I was teaching Sunday school to a group of four and five year old children, I experienced an amazing psycho-spiritual event. You see, although the children who normally make up my Sunday school class tend to be extremely well behaved and respectful, this particular day, for some reason, a great majority of them were acting a bit unruly. Read more
Editor’s Note: Today’s blog post, “The Bible in Your History Curriculum – The Bible’s Influence on Earth-Shattering Events,” is offered by Biola University‘s Assistant Professor of Apologetics and internationally-known speaker, Sean McDowell. Consider how incorporating his insights might help you teach the Bible in your history curriculum at home. We’re grateful to Dr. McDowell for allowing us to repost this article from his blog, SeanMcDowell.org.
Dr. Martin Luther King giving his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington in Washington, D.C., on 28 August 1963. WikiCommons.
In the recent update to my father’s classic book Evidence that Demands a Verdict, we begin with a chapter on the uniqueness of the Bible. Unquestionably, in comparison to every book ever written, the Bible stands out as unique in a number of areas including authorship, literary genres, translation, geographical production, circulation, survival, and impact. The Bible truly stands in a category of its own.
And yet I was recently reading a new book (which is part of a larger series of books being released this fall as part of the opening of the Museum of the Bible in Washington D.C.) about the Bible’s influence on key historical events. The book is called 99 Earth-Shattering Events Linked to the Bible, and its fascinating!
Make room for creativity in your homeschooling curriculum
At the end of each academic year, I would always ask my students, “What were your favorite assignments and projects this year?” In all my years of teaching, I never heard a student respond that his or her favorite assignment was a textbook assignment or worksheet. Rather, students always selected memorable projects like: Read more
Is it possible to educate our children in such a way that we are homeschooling in the Spirit? I always stand amazed at the work of the Holy Spirit each time I read the book of Acts. For example, today I read Acts 8 and was reminded of how in verse 29 the Spirit says to Philip “Go up and join this chariot.” Philip follows the lead of the Holy Spirit and guides the eunuch in his understanding of Isaiah and “preached Jesus to him” (verse 35). The eunuch believes in Jesus and asks to be baptized.
A similar event happened to my friend, Sue, this week. Sue was walking the trails of Fullerton and she passed by a truck with two workers, she felt a nudge from the Spirit to go back and share with the workers. She turned around, walked back, and struck up a conversation with one of the men. Read more