Is the Ordinary Extraordinary?
By Angie Copetillo
We are so glad to see the children’s smiling faces return this week. I don’t know about you, but as thrilled as I am for the freedom of summer every June, I am just as thrilled for the routine of school life every August. I know that the discomfort of new routines now will soon give way to the comfort of the known and ordinary. And smiling kid faces sure do add a spark during that transition.
But the freedom and flexibility of summer was fantastic as well. In particular, this summer provided ample opportunity for professional development for our faculty and staff. We kicked off the end of May by finishing our year-long focus on the habits of Charlotte Mason with an excellent video series by Dr. Bill St. Cyr, a gifted educator, counselor, teacher trainer, and conference speaker. Ideas such as “Be a friendly ally” and create an atmosphere where “It is good to be me here with you” are still resonating.
Then, in June, with helpful gifts from the Patriot Club and the Patriot Parent Organization (PPO), we were able to send more faculty than ever to the Society of Classical Learning Conference in Dallas, Texas. Featured speakers James K.A. Smith, Rod Dreher, and David Kinnamon powerfully delivered ideas on this year’s theme, The Good Life. We all left not only knowing more about how to teach, but also having grown in understanding of the significance of our work. The speakers’ books include: You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit, The Benedict Option: A Strategy for Christians In A Post-Christian Nation; Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You’re Irrelevant and Extreme.
Last, but certainly not least, Habersham friend, author, and speaker, Dr. Charles Evans, led two full days and evenings on developing universal learning goals. Evans is author of the book, Wisdom and Eloquence, a foundational work on modern classical education and a work we highly recommend for everyone, especially new families. These universal learning goals are nothing new. In fact, they seem fairly obvious. But once again, the comfort of the ordinary spoke volumes. To truly teach well, we don’t need the latest glitter and glam or projects and posters. But we do need active thinking, effective communicating, integrated understanding, and disciplined self-governing. I invite you to read more about our learning goals (add hyperlink to learning goals on family updates) so you too can partner with us in investing in these ideas at home.
As we embark on a new year, may God gives us eyes to relish the ordinary. The consistency of routine. The beauty of family dinner. The active mind. The development of strong habits. The joy of community. The work of relationship. The simplicity of quiet.
The ordinary is extraordinary.