Friday, September 5, 2014
A lot of people are asking about Aidan's school and trying to understand why he's got a uniform on one day and is at the dinning room table the next. That's a great question, and to be honest, it has been hard for us to figure out as well. We have a great public school across the street from us, which we were really excited to send Aidan to. But as the summer approached, we just didn't feel right about. So, we started asking a lot of questions to friends about the schools their kids went to.
That's when we stumbled onto Fortis Academy. We'd heard of it, but the only thing we knew about it was that it was a private school with a weird schedule that taught kids Latin. Ok, honestly, first impression was, "That's kinda lame."
But, the more we talked to families who sent their munchkins to Fortis, the more curious we became. It seemed like siblings had these fantastic relationships, kids enjoyed their parents, and learning wasn't something that happened "out there." Instead, it happened everywhere. All these things were appealing.
Technically speaking, Fortis is a Classically based, University Model School. Translation: Aidan will be in Grammar School through 5th grade. Then he would enter Logic School in 6th-8th grades. Finally, it would be time for Rhetoric School. That's the Classical part. he goes to school all day on Monday and Wednesday. While at school he works his tail off. On those days he leaves school with a metric ton of homework assigned by his really awesome teacher. On Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday he works his tail off at home to be ready for the next in class day. There's the University Model. What he learns is just like any other school: reading, spelling, math, history, science, etc. As he gets older he'll pick up some different stuff- like Latin. Turns out, they teach Latin because roughly 80% of our language is built on Latin. And Spanish and French are more than 90% built on Latin. So if he knows Latin he has a working knowledge of 3 languages- pretty cool, huh? And for the record, if they didn't have a good reason for Latin, there was no way Cliff was going to go along with Fortis as an option.
The hardest thing for us was that in our journey toward Kindergarden, we found some lights out options for public school, traditional private school, and classical school. We could see each of our kids thriving in any environment. What really sold us on Fortis is that fact that our kids are just getting old enough to all have relationships with each other. Education aside, it was almost troubling to think of breaking up our little chaotic bundle of joy to send Aidan to school just as things were getting so fun.
Fortis is the place that allows us to be in the middle of the learning experience with Aidan. It offers an education that is fantastic, it creates space in our lives to enjoy our family. It promotes an environment where faith, truth, knowledge, beauty, and relationship collide in fa antastic package. For us, this became the best of several great options.
Our personal mission is to raise kids that are greater than we are in every aspect of their lives. We want them to be smart, successful, independent, well-adjusted, etc. However, we'd trade these things in a heart beat to raise kids that had allowed their whole self to be wrecked and rebuilt by Christ. You don't have to attend a Classical University Model school to accomplish this- we know many families who have succeeded in this. But, we know ourselves, and we know that we need a lot of help to set our kids up for the chance to walk that path of genuine belief.
Bottom line, Fortis has been one of the most challenging things we've taken on as a family (neither Cliff, nor I have ever seen ourselves teaching our kids how to do math…yikes)! With our first month down, though, it looks like it may have been one of the greatest decisions we've made.