This month, on the ChristianWriters.com blog chain, we are discussing the rather broad subject of “school”. School is something we all experienced at one point in our life, so we’ve all got something to say about it.
In February this year, I experienced the momentous milestone of taking my five-year-old daughter to her first day of school. The thing that made this a particularly interesting experience is that I was taking her to the same school that I went to. It was astounding to be back, but no longer as a student – now as a parent. I wanted to send Chloe to the Launceston Christian School because this school had a very positive influence on my life. I wanted my daughter to have that same advantage. LCS is not your typical private school that only caters to the rich. Christian schools generally try to keep their fees as low as possible, while still offering a good education to their students. Even so, it is a sacrifice out of our often tight budget, but a sacrifice that my wife and I are happy to make.
Some argue that it is better for Christian students to go into state schools where they can share the gospel with this generation. There are many wonderful Christian students and teachers in state schools and I honour them greatly. We need people who are “in the world but not of the world”, but for myself personally, I know that I didn’t have the strength of faith at that age to be an effective witness in that kind of situation. Also, it should never be assumed that all students are saved just because they attend a Christian school.
It is special to me to know that Chloe is learning about the love of God alongside all the other academic subjects. Now, as this first year is rapidly approaching its end, (third term starts in a week), I can look back at how far Chloe has come. She can now write her own name, she can count, she knows most of her letters, she has developed a love of dramatic play, and she has better social skills than I do. The most special memory however, is one particular morning. I’d taken the day off work because I was sick, but I still needed to drive Chloe to school. On the way she said “Daddy, I’ll pray for you at school today.” It was a very sweet moment and it lead to a discussion about prayer. “Daddy, do you pray?” “Daddy, when you pray, do you talk to Jesus?” That’s what a Christian school is all about – partnership between school and parents.
So how does this all relate to my writing? Well I loved to write stories in primary school. As far back as I can remember I enjoyed it. Sadly I didn’t do a great deal of creative writing in high school, but in grade 10, for a special negotiated study, I wrote a “mini-novel”. It was somewhere between a short story and a novella. In grade 12 I studied a subject called ‘Writer’s Workshop” which was very helpful in my growth as a writer.
We may leave school behind when we become adults, but we never really leave learning behind. Just this last week I was in Brisbane participating in a five day course in Sharepoint Development. I remember this ‘learning thing’ begin much easier when I was younger. My wife would say I have less neuroplasticity now that I’m getting older – which just goes to show that she’s also still learning as she studies a Bachelor of Nursing.
Love it or hate it, School is an important part of all our lives.
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