God’s Word is living and active, and Biblical truth is considered in every class, not just in Bible class. What does math teach us about God and his incredible sense of order? How does the complexity and beauty of the natural world reveal the creativity of God? How do we see God’s hand in history? How is Sydney Carton’s sacrifice in A Tale of Two Cities a picture of Christ’s redemption? How can we honor God through our use of technology and still maintain real relationships with others in the midst of a culture that is becoming increasingly isolated through the overuse of technology? These are just some of the questions we explore in our classes.
Arborbrook Christian Academy is influenced by the educational philosophy of Charlotte Mason. Charlotte Mason was an innovative British educator of the late 1800′s. Her philosophy serves as an underlying current for academics at Arborbrook.
The centerpieces of Charlotte Mason pedagogy are short lessons, living books, narration, nature study and studies of art and musical pieces. There is a rich diversity of materials shared with the students who are all viewed as full persons who engage with ideas rather than being viewed as “empty receptacles needing to be filled.” Mason likened this to an “abundant feast” and believed that students crave a variety of rich literature and resources that nourish the mind and soul.
These strategies provide for the younger student a love of learning, attention to detail, pleasure in language, and respect for the world. But what of the older student? How might Miss Mason’s legacy benefit the high school student? Engagement with original source material and living books inspires students, sparks their curiosity, and helps create lifelong learners. The process of discovery can be more challenging, but it is also more satisfying to the learner as each student makes personal connections with what they are learning.
Arborbrook seeks to provide rich and varied experiences—the best writing of the best writers, no materials that are predigested, less teacher talk and more original thought, and out-of-class opportunities for learning to serve and function well in the world. Facilitated by teachers who love God and are passionate about the subject matter they present, the course work meets the student in a living relationship. As part of her educational creed, Miss Mason held that “all subjects, all advance in knowledge and wisdom, are under the direction of the Holy Spirit.” A primary goal for her older students was the goal of humility: that they would be so focused “upon our Master, our duty, our sphere of service, that we shall have no moment left in which to think of ourselves at all . . .” The high school at Arborbrook aims to send out students who have been transformed in this very way.