Clapham Christian Classical School

Clapham Journal

School-Family Partnership Series: Encouraging Lifelong Learning

We end our series with an offering from this year’s Class One teacher, Jenna Thompson.

Rightly Ordered Love

As an experienced mother and teacher, what do you consider the most foundational matters of education and formation in the grade school years that will later bear fruit as children enter their teens and beyond? And what are some ways that Clapham parents can more intentionally foster these foundational pieces at home?

Because the purpose (telos) of education is (or ought to be) the formation of the soul rightly ordered in its loves, the most foundational principles of education need to be instruction that is deeply rooted in the things of God and His Word. Who is God? Who are we? How does God see us? How do we know? What does our identity as image bearers mean for our everyday life? How has that image been marred and what did Christ do about it? In light of that, how should we then live?

"I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God;"

The beauty of these big truths sinks readily and deeply into the hearts and minds of even the youngest child. They relish the specialness of their “personhood” in a way that often becomes lost or jaded as we age. With this backdrop, their relationships to each other, the world around them, and the ideas they are presented with come into focus. With the help of the Holy Spirit, they can grow in wisdom, grace, and knowledge from the early years and beyond as they grow in maturity. 

The importance of laying this foundation early cannot be overstated. The confusion in our society over basic truths requires parents, grandparents, teachers, and all Christians to commit more fully and firmly to the clarity and reality of God’s Truth. We do not have the luxury of living in an age where there is room for nuances. (Has there ever really been such an age?)  Now is a time for bold faith, bold confession, and bold love! We who know we are so dearly Loved are the best equipped to love our neighbors and point them to Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.

Equipped for Every Good Work

"Surround yourselves and your children with the BEST of what has been created..."

Beginning this formation and exhortation in the earliest years equips our young people with confidence and courage in their identity as they approach their middle years and young adulthood. This can feel like an insurmountable task as we battle the cultural forces around us.  But it is the one we are called to. And He who calls, fully equips! There has never been a time in history that has not faced its giants! Don’t be afraid! Parents can intentionally foster this at home by immersing themselves in family rituals (liturgies, if you will) that instill a love of God’s Word and celebrate the courage of the saints who have gone before us. It is also important to carefully and intentionally cultivate the ideas and images that children are exposed to. Surround yourselves and your children with the BEST of what has been created and expressed throughout time. There is a deluge of mediocrity around us! Let us cultivate a taste for that which lasts; now and in eternity! Philippians 4:8 is a wonderful verse to apply as a family as you consider what to think about, consume, and discuss each day. It is not always an easy standard to live by in our overly saturated age, but it is one worth aspiring to

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

Mrs. Thompson was born and raised in northern WI before she migrated to MN for college. She met and married her husband, David, a widower with two young children, there and they were blessed with 4 additional daughters.  David’s ministry took them throughout WI and MN before leading them to San Antonio and Lombard. Their current relocation will return them to Mankato after a 24-year hiatus.

In addition to home educating her 6 children, Mrs. Thompson has worked as a caterer, personal chef, event coordinator, campus coordinator and curriculum writer for Great Hearts Academies, and, most delightfully, as Class One teacher at Clapham School.

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