My name is Lindsey King, and this is my husband, Brad. All four of our children attend Gloria Deo Academy. We have twin sons in eighth grade, a daughter in fourth grade, and our baby girl started Kindergarten this year.
Wendy asked if we would share our personal testimony about why this school and our personal support of it is so important to us. After I clarified several times that she hadn’t thought of anyone better to speak to you this evening, I started thinking about our educational journey with our children.
GDA started out as a compromise between my promptings to fully homeschool and the simultaneous feelings of panic at the overwhelming responsibility of such an endeavor. We had heard about GDA from some friends at church and thought, “We’ll give this a try.” Eight years later, we stand before you as believers in the classical model, the university schedule, Christian education, and Gloria Deo Academy. What we didn’t anticipate eight years ago was the incredible blessing this school and the GDA community would be to our family.
In honor of this great blessing, we thought we’d give you our top five reasons why this school is so important to our family:
Number 5:The schedule: One of the great draws to GDA is the flexibility it offers our family. We’ve traveled to see different parts of the country, our kids can tag along with my husband as he runs our business, they can ride bikes, they can take field trips, we can explore local attractions, and, most importantly, we can grow together as a family.
Number 4:The responsibility and time management our children have learned from an incredibly early age. Giving children the ability to budget their time has allowed them to see that some hard work and preparation allows for afternoons at the park, time playing outside, fishing trips, and creating imaginary worlds in their bedrooms. Do they always remember everything on their grid? No. Do they often need gentle reminders about remaining focused on their work at hand? Of course. But, by and large, kids at GDA learn how to be responsible and what it takes to accomplish tasks.
Number 3: The curriculum. The mission statement of GDA is no lie. It is rigorous. This is painfully clear to me as I try to re-learn geometry proofs and covalent bonding with our eighth graders, write papers with our fourth grader, and guide our Kindergartener to become a confident reader. Does this rigor bring tears and frustration sometimes? Of course. Our home days have literally never looked like a Pinterest picture. BUT, as Mrs. Davis is now famous for saying, we were all created to do hard things. Appropriately challenging our children shows them that they can approach difficult tasks with hard work and determination and that they can climb these mountains. How important this will be as they enter the work force, get married, parent their own children, and navigate society as a whole. Things that are worth doing are rarely easy. Hard means it’s worth it. We’ve witnessed the building of this confidence as our kids conquer hard tasks.
Number 2:The teachers and administration. This is a building full of intelligent and highly educated adults who could do any number of things with their time. They choose to spend it educating our children, praying over our children and helping them to become who God created them to be. Our teachers and administrators put their all into the classroom to teach our kids what they need to know and how to train their brains to be able to think critically. More importantly, they love our children. These people care just as much or more about the souls of our kids as they do about their standardized test scores.
Number 1:Time. We are in the middle of a capital campaign. It is no coincidence that the theme of this campaign is “All in His Time.” An older woman in a Bible Study I attend mentioned just last week that money and time are alike in that they are both finite. Each of them will run out at some point. The difference is that we know how much money we have. We do NOT know how much time we have. That has been evident in our school recently. We do not know when the Lord will welcome us into eternity. I believe one of the greatest gifts that GDA gives us parents is the gift of time. Those two or three days at home with our kids require us to be there for them. We might have laundry to do. We might have our own jobs to attend do. There is no doubt that our to do lists are long and never-ending. But this model of schooling forces us to sometimes stop and model the proper form for a cursive R, help interpret a passage of reading, or re-learn how to diagram those covalent bonds I mentioned earlier. You might be a super hands-on parent, or you might be one who lets your kids take charge of their own work. Whichever way the Lord has molded your family, there is something special about just being there. There is something wonderful and unique about sitting shoulder to shoulder or making dinner or doing computer work and being available when your child is having a meltdown and needs a hug; or when your daughter asks questions about what it means when someone says (insert phrase here), or when your teenagers just want to talk. Quality time is important, but there is so much value in the quantity of it as well.
Our pastor preached on joy this week, and he based his sermon on Philippians 2, verses 14-16. As we read that together, I thought it reflected what we all pray for our children.
“Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.”
Schools can never replace you as your child’s parents. Gloria Deo Academy not only understands that, but also offers a unique partnership with us to guide and mold our children into leaders with strong character who will make an impact in this world. They help us guide our children into who God created them to be. What better investment could be made than to support our school in doing just that.