The educational method used at Covenant Christian School is based upon the ideas of English author, philosopher and educator Charlotte Mason (1842-1923), who founded a teacher training college in Ambleside, England, inspired the creation of the Parents’ National Education Union, and shaped the work of education in hundreds of primary and secondary schools worldwide. Her ideas are set forth extensively in a six volume collection of her writings, and can be summarized as follows: “Children are born Persons” and “Education is an Atmosphere, a Discipline and a Life.”
Children as Persons
At Covenant Christian School, no child is viewed as an “incomplete and undeveloped” being; like so much clay in the hands of a system, to be molded by various manipulative techniques. Rather, all children are viewed as persons, created in the image of God with a vast potential. Students are not classified according to strengths or weaknesses, but all participate in a broad, rigorous curriculum. All children calculate, solve, attend, explore, ponder, recite, paint, and sing. All children are held to a high standard in relationship to self, others, ideas, and work. All children are expected to have their ignorance informed and their weakness strengthened, but also to surprise and amaze with the wonder of their God-given potential.
Education as an Atmosphere
Released from the burden of competing for ranks, grades, or prizes, our students are free to learn for the pleasure of learning. Our teachers maintain a classroom atmosphere that is both inspiring and rigorous. Students encounter real life and great ideas in a natural manner. They observe, explore, understand, and respond. They experience the guiding hand of a teacher that is both loving and firm, allowing the natural consequences of their actions to be experienced, be they enjoyable or somewhat unpleasant.
Education as a Discipline
Rather than placing primary emphasis upon performance on the next exam, at Covenant Christian School, teachers focus on the kind of student a child is becoming. Does he give focused attention to the task at hand? Does she put forth consistent effort? Is he thorough? Does she show proper respect to authority? Does he relate well to his peers? In cultivating the habits proper to learning, our teachers equip students to master all areas of study to the fullness of their God-given potential. In cultivating the habits proper to mature living, our teachers equip students to live full and satisfying lives, rich in devotion to God, service to others, and continuing personal growth.
Education as a Life
Education properly understood is not merely the assimilation of data and technique; it is the mind feeding on ideas given expression in God’s creation, great art, beautiful music, and “living books.” Real learning occurs when students engage with novelists, poets, philosophers, scientists, mathematicians, artists, musicians, historians, and explorers; when they wonder, ask why and how.
If the idea of a high quality, discipleship education appeals to you, please give us a call! We would be happy to schedule a personalized education consultation with our Head of School.
Covenant Christian School
Character. Creativity. Community.