Friday, September 11, 2009

The Daniel Academy

Our lives have changed this year in a significant way. For the first time in 19 years we've joined forces with some other like-minded families and have launched a Family Partnership Private School. I have been referring to The Daniel Academy as a University Model School, but I like the Family Partnership (FPPS) label better; it's more descriptive and gives a better sense of what we are about. It's been good. Intense, fun, exhausting, challenging and a blessing. We hit a good groove this week with the schedule, we have some amazingly gifted teachers, parents that are invested, kids eager to learn - a winning combo.
The core of the program is the Daniel Track, components of which are sprinkled throughout each day of the program, drive 1/2 of Wednesday's schedule and direct parents as they lead their families throughout the week at home. Three days a week we join together for worship and intercession as well as for 1/2 hour of meditative prayer. I have been awed by the talent of our Pastor's wife, Kristen Hickey, Kristen Hickey – prayer this week. She is a gifted teacher. Seriously. Gifted. I've met a few of those in my life, my father in law, Viking Man, Sr. Damien in high school; they are a rare and precious breed. She's in there. Patient and creative and fun and funny. She is leading the kids during the meditative prayer, as well as teaching history (we are doing Ancients this year). She is Object Lesson Queen Bee.
1/2 Days on Wednesdays is the "Daniel Track." During that time we are reading a devotional; first up is The Little Pilgrim's Progress. It's a younger kids version of Pilgrim's Progress and actually very engaging. Feche-Boy and I read out-loud for an hour this week and kids didn't want us to stop! They were busy coloring a 7 Days of Creation booklet and totally engaged in the story and totally immersed in color marker heaven. Reading aloud is great learning on so many different levels and it was probably the most focused hour we had from everybody all week long. We are also doing, what I thought would be, a short lesson on manners. We started with Introductions. Too funny, but the kids thought this was too much fun. We spent way more time on this than I thought we would, but they were fascinated by practicing and play-acting the formal, and correct way, of getting introduced. And, of course, we are doing an at least bi-weekly Bible Study using Memoria Press' Christian Studies, book 1 -the Pentateuch. As I've mentioned before, it's excellent.
During the week, the families commit to praying together 2-4 hours per week (depending on how old their kids are).
We are starting a Parenting Class in 2 weeks as an important component of TDA titled, "Creating a Beautiful Family Culture" because education is about so much more than just academics; it's about culture and religion and relationships and ties and themes and seasons, and we will go over deliberate parenting, stewarding our children's spiritual lives, the Cycle of Discipline. the importance of family prayers and parental blessings and so much more. Dr. Viking Man is going to take the first several classes. This is the stuff that he breathes. It will rock.
Already some of the kids prayers have blown me away and it is so sweet to see them in the morning, being led by our talented worship leaders Megan and Ellie, with hands raised as they sing "Oh Lord we Lift Up Our Hands." There is nothing sweeter than to see children of all ages, really engaged in something bigger than themselves, innocent and trusting, and eager.
The vision is that this is a long-lasting, life changing, hot house of training for the next generation. That they emerge ready for the Call, equipped, encouraged and eager to Serve the One True Living God.
We've launched. Now the task will be to stay pointed True North.

1 comment:

argsmommy said...

The Daniel Academy sounds wonderful! I love that you have all made such a commitment to prayer.