The headmaster of my wife’s school, Bryan Smith, is interviewed by Kevin Allen on The Illumined Heart. If you are at all interested in education, or simply how to raise a child, it will be half-hour well spent. I’ve spent a lot of my life in Christian education circles, and listening to Bryan is a breath of fresh air. He is not interested in selling a product, indoctrinating children, or in reliving some bye-gone era. He is interested in the “things that endure”, which are consequently the things that are most relevant. (Sorry Bryan, but it’s the truth).
It seems that at least half of “classical schools” out there are strange places run by people who received anything but a classical education. Consequently, “classical” appears as a mystical panacea that parents hope will initiate children into what they consider a traditional conservative life, and shield them from Myspace and dancing. Often it seems that parents (and the board) are more excited about uniforms that the reading list, and the school takes an eerily preeminent place in the families life. In other words, the “life” of the classical school is confused for the Christian life. These schools tend to have bizzare theological statements that are simultaneously vauge and exactingly specific, and which none of the Christian writers they have on the reading list would respect, let alone agree with. These parents, though misguided, are sincere and devoted to their children’s well being. What these parents need, is a Bryan.
My personal experience with Bryan is that he is intelligent, kind, and looks like a young Colonel Sanders. He’s very gifted with children of all ages, and consequently, you should listen to what he has to say.