Grace. Faith. Learning for Life. No culture or era ever gets it all right, but these...these are words that transcend time and place, words that rightly order the chaos. Indeed, when children are immersed in them for the better part of their childhoods, these are words capable of setting our students free from the tyranny of the self and the temporality of alternative “truths”––capable, even, of turning the world right-side up again.
As I interact with prospective school families, one of the questions I am always asked is, “How do RCLS students do in high school?” Until now, we’ve only had such anecdotes and stories to share. But now, after a recent survey of parents of RCLS’s 2018 graduates, we have some numbers to support the stories. And, truly, the numbers are astounding.
Knowing what we know now about Jon Dicke, a 2011 8th-grade graduate of RCLS, it’s no wonder his earliest memory of RCLS is the school’s annual invitational basketball tournament. Now, since he is an Exercise Science/pre-medicine student and football player at Southwest Minnesota State University, it is clear that this one-time Bobcat has always been drawn to the thrill of sports. Indeed, basketball is not just his first RCLS memory, but makes up many of the graduate’s “greatest memories” from his first school, where he obtained the immeasurable value of foundation, friendship, and fortitude.
Two years ago, one RCLS 5th grader was a very different little girl than she is today. As her mom tells the story, she notes that the change she has seen in her daughter since her move to RCLS "is nothing short of amazing. It truly is amazing what caring teachers and peers will do to a child’s self-esteem.” Relationships and the care and kindness that characterize them offer a “dimension” of academic achievement that is so often overlooked and undervalued. One girl's story shows us just how valuable this dimension is to a child––inside and outside the classroom.
Screen time - how much is too much?
Since there is no clear-cut answer to such a question and since today's children are at a "disadvantage" if they don't have experience with new technologies, a more appropriate question might be "how can we make screen time a positive, productive experience for our students?" School counselor Aaron Bakke offers tips and tools for doing just that.
Our ultimate goal for our children determines the choices we make for them and guides how we help them learn to make decisions. As a parent, consider what "end" you have in mind for your child(ren). What's the one thing you'd want them to have if everything else were stripped away?
Wonderfully, Advent gives us the opportunity to "begin with the end in mind" every day and in every area of life. It is a time to consider and to teach the ultimate framework of life––of all reality.