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Veritas Philosophy | 4 Minutes

Is Veritas Just a Bunch of Busy Work?

Laurie Detweiler Written by Laurie Detweiler
Is Veritas Just a Bunch of Busy Work?

New families to Veritas Press are often overwhelmed by the amount of work. And I understand why. Much of the curriculum being offered elsewhere is based on standards of only getting done what is absolutely “necessary” and then checking it off the list. Just look at any of the main-line publishers, and you will see the phrase “meets Common Core standards” nearly every time. It’s why our education system is in the deplorable shape that it is. We no longer find the joy in learning that we should. We are simply looking at it as a means to an end. And we’re not even sure what the end is, as long as it’s not too hard.

One must have a clear sense of understanding of the purpose and the objectives of education. Of course, there must be standards to reach a goal, but the road to getting there is very different depending on your goals. For example, one of the reasons I get so excited to go to church every Sunday is the goal of our church: to see lives changed by Christ. Everything that the church does revolves around this goal. The same is true of standards at Veritas Press. Our goal is to change the culture for Christ one young heart and mind at a time. We believe that a child put through the rigors of classical Christian education will be the best-prepared adult for doing this.

Compare that to Common Core. From the official site of Common Core, we read:

The Common Core is a set of high-quality academic standards in mathematics and English language arts/literacy (ELA). These learning goals outline what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade. The standards were created to ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life, regardless of where they live. Forty-four states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have voluntarily adopted and are moving forward with the Common Core.

As you can see, turning education into a checklist becomes very easy. And not just any checklist but one that has no regard for individuals. At Veritas, we have standards, and we even have grade-by-grade goals. But we realize that if education becomes a checklist, it will not change lives.

Someone recently posted this on the Veritas Press Facebook page, "My 11-year-old stood in a dance class and explained rather bluntly why it isn't funny to laugh and joke about Hitler. She explained who Hitler was and why he is "evil.'" She didn't spare any details.

This is exciting. It’s an expression of what changing lives for Christ looks like. But what is it about this education that is so very different from the outcome-based education of our society today?

To understand this, we need to take a quick look back in time. Our current school system, as we know it, was set up in the late 1800s/early 1900s to meet the needs of our changing industrial economy. Our public school system was supplying the factories with their workers. Our school systems developed during this time, becoming like the assembly lines for which they were supplying the workers. They became so similar that they had bells blow to sound the end of a class period just like the sound for shift changes in a factory. It was during this time that children began to be sorted by age and placed into a particular grade. They were treated like a mass to be passed through a factory as if they were being assembled on the factory assembly line, and any individuality was gone. In fact, being an individual was not something that was looked on with favor. Students were to fit into a particular mold.

So, what does this have to do with parents asking about the amount of work in the Veritas Curriculum?

  • We are not looking for a checklist to just ensure that a student gets a minimum set of particulars every day. Instead, we are looking to expand their horizons and expose them to great ideas.
  • We want them to think God’s thoughts after Him, to be able to engage the culture in which they live winsomely, and to see God’s Kingdom flourish. We are looking for them to become life-long learners, gleaning from those who have gone before them.
  • We want them to learn from our heavenly Father. This, of course, includes learning from the great ideas of Western Civilization.
  • We want them to wonder about God’s creation, to be creative, and to aspire to change the culture for Christ, whatever their vocation may be.

    And all of this takes time. It’s not a checklist. Each child is different. Education is not meant to be purchased at a drive-through as if it’s a Happy Meal. Rather, it’s more like eating a five-course meal at a fine restaurant, where you savor each morsel that enters your mouth.

Our hope for our children and yours is that they never lose their curiosity, waking up every day excited to learn whatever comes their way. And that they enjoy the hard work of preparing for a life filled with adventure and God-given purpose.