School’s Out, Education Isn’t

Written by Marlin Detweiler

Our school year routinely ends the Friday before Memorial Day. This year was no exception. School is out.


This year was a little different. We had a respite as no one from our family graduated this year, although the next two years should produce a graduate per year. We all noted that the typical hurrah accompanying the end of a year wasn’t there—it was more like just another day. I’m not sure why this was so. Maybe because May was so busy we never stopped to think that summer was almost here. Regardless it was somewhat uneventful.


I remember as a young boy, upon having finished a school year, asking my father when we got vacation from church. Just like church we must realize education doesn’t stop. Now that summer is upon us we must all realize something—school’s out, education isn’t. What I mean is this: we may not have math class or history class, but we must recognize that the command of Scripture is to always be about the business of educating and discipling our children. There are considerable limitations in this regard for those of you who are school teachers. However, there are none for homeschool families.


Parents should realize that a great deal of learning happens outside the routine of homeschooling. Laurie, my wife, has some great ideas below in how to plan successful experiences while taking time away from the formal aspect of education. Our family’s routines are changing as our children age.


Teachers, please don’t fall prey to the out-of-sight is out-of-mind mentality. At Veritas Academy we’ve had teachers who have had tea parties with the girls of next year’s class during the summer. Many write notes to their rising students. All this to say, establishing a bond before  the school year starts can pay great dividends in the aroma of the class and the learning that transpires therein.


We don’t see as many museums as we once did. Not that we’ve lost interest, but that we are more engaged in active participation than passive participation more typical of the museum environment. This is a normal progression. I would always prefer to be a player than a scorekeeper. I certainly don’t object to my boys following suit.


We make extraordinary effort to give our children as many experiences as we can. Whether it’s New York and Broadway, golf at St. Andrew’s or fishing for Mangrove Snapper in the Florida Keys, we want them to experience and enjoy God’s creation. We believe this is better enabling them to fulfill the command to take dominion of God’s creation, to be comfortable in a variety of settings and to live righteously with whatever their hand finds to do.