To know God and to make Him known.

The Dividends of a Challenge Education

Well here we are, six or seven weeks into this academic year. For most of us the dust is settling: we are growing accustomed to getting up and out of the house on Classical Conversations day, we are remembering what we like in our packed lunches, and everyone in the family knows where to go when we get to community day. However, in our community, I can tell the “old timers” from the “first timers” among our Challenge parents fairly easily.

The “first timers” hurry wild-eyed into the Challenge room, latching on to the tutor as she sets up for the day. “How are we supposed to get it all done? Does anybody finish all the work every week? Should my student already know some of this? You know we never did Challenge before, right?!” They are looking for enlightenment. They are looking for answers. They are looking for understanding. They are looking for a hug. Some are looking for hope for the future. Some are looking for a reason to quit! I want to offer a few insights that should provide hope and a reason to STAY!!

A Challenge education gives a student more than proficiency with a battery of subjects; this education equips our students for life by providing them with the skills of learning and leading. These skills represent the “ultimate result” of all the years of Challenge; they are not just a one-time-lump-sum payout offered at the conclusion of Challenge IV. Instead, they are the ongoing dividend payments that will continue to provide a robust return on investment. I offer twenty-one skills a Challenge education teaches a student:

1. to accurately assess his work load
2. to formulate plans for getting the work done
3. to devise a system to learn anything
4. to manage his time
5. to persevere
6. to write, and write, and write
7. to think clearly about a subject
8. to make a sound argument
9. to take presentations in stride
10. to appreciate great art, music, and ideas
11. to make connections
12. to research ideas
13. to give good feedback
14. to receive constructive criticism
15. to juggle
16. to triage
17. to appreciate hard jobs
18 .to appreciate rest
19. to play hard
20. to engage in good conversation
21. to love the Lord and all He has made

These benefits are not reaped all at once, or in even strides, or without regression. They are not always apparent, not always appreciated, and not always attained easily. Like many objects of beauty, they are almost always viewed more clearly from a distance than from proximity. Wait for it.....wait for it!

CATEGORIES: Homeschooling Life

Leave a Comment