This is the first (and perhaps the last) in a series taken from my notes from workshops held by Dr. John Mark Reynolds. I attended a local HS conference last weekend. The guest speaker was Dr. John Mark Reynolds of the Torrey Honors Institute and the Torrey Star Academy at BIOLA. I left home Friday night not knowing what to expect and really thinking that perhaps the time away from my family was a waste. I arrived back home that night praising God for paving the way for me to attend. You see, Dr. Reynolds was not there to sell a curriculum or tells us how to home school our children. He did not tell us what magical arrangement of course work we need to teach in order for our children to become “Super-Kids”. He did tell us that we, Chrisitian homeschooling moms, are the last great hope of saving the West. We are the ones at the forefront of a revolution that is taking place. We are the ones shaping the next generation of leaders that will guide our country back to greatness or at least away from the abyssmal pit of “slavery to the state”. Now please rememeber that All this was said with the assumption that christianity is true and that as believers we acknowledge Christ’s headship is ALL things. We can do nothing without Christ. The second assumption made was that the goal of education is to produce Ladies and Gentleman. Classical education needs to create a whole soul not a particular outcome, i.e. brilliant intellectuals. Our goal should be to produce People of Character as opposed to the goal of the “state school” system: to produce workers. What follows are my notes/thoughts on his presentation. In order to produce these people of character we need to understand the “New Slavery” that is rampant in our culture. The current form of education in America does not produce leaders. The current form of education in America is an education of subordination. That is, children are not taught to think analogically. To be a leader one MUST think analogically. One must be able to make connections between like things…one must be able to link one thing/thought/idea to another so as to see how close it is to but not the same as the original. We are not teaching our children to do this…the removal of analogies from the SAT’s is proof…our youth can not think! Our youth also suffer from an apathy derived from amusement which further leads to the inability to think. When everything is received quickly, without any effort or wait, we tend to move toward that which is easy, i.e. painless. It is much easier to watch the movie version of Jane Eyre than to read the 500 or so pages of Ms.Bronte’s work. It is much easier to sit around a computer playing games than to get up and out to play a real game. This apathy is readily evident in the trend away from marriage and toward “hooking -up”. It is much easier to align yourself with person after person than commit to someone for your lifetime. There is pain in marriage. It is not an easy road to follow. Giving oneself up for the sake of another is never easy(and doing so in a strong, Christian marriage is no exception). But the pain felt in marriage is a MEANINGFUL (emphasis mine) pain; it prepares us for paradise. Pain and failure (both of which one will experience in any marriage) make us fit for our time eternal. It is by moving through the pain and failure that we become stronger. As we move to the other side of our pain/failure, i.e. trials and tribulations, we grow in our faith. We become more Christ-like (my thoughts). However, we have been taught to avoid all meaningful pain. Our society has a pervasive mind-set that if you don’t like something just exchange it for something better/newer/ more beautiful, etc.. If it casues you pain cast it away, quickly. Where do our youth see this? No place more clearly than in the throw away marriage so prevalent in our culture. We as Christians need to show our children the joy and blessings that are recieved when one works through the pain/trials inherent in marriage…this working through produces perserverance (my words), and this in turn will help produceperson of character that is Ladies and Gentlemen (see Romans 5:3-4). We must teach our children to think well not so they are smart but so they are whole beings. So they can glorify God and enjoy Him forever. So they can be called Good and Faithful Servants by the One who came to serve us all.