Fortis Academy is a classical Christian University Model® school. All of these elements are crucial to our identity and academic instruction. They each have incredible value, are deeply interconnected and have a cost to implement that is worth the investment. The university model gives parents more time with their children while providing a high quality academic education on campus. A classical education gives students to tools of learning and develops high performing, thinking citizens. A Christian education develops a biblical worldview and Christian virtue in our students. It is important that we keep these values before us, because true education requires vision to reach our destination and takes a lot of work.
I personally have experienced the challenge of our vision this year as well as the joy of success. My daughter is finding her education more rigorous this year, which exposed hidden insecurities that would never have come to light in a different school environment. I did not want to try to get her to do work that she was not motivated to do (although sometimes this is necessary), so I began thinking about ways to help her to see the value of our education so that she is motivated to succeed. Then, as the work was challenging, I discovered that she did not believe she could do it. Again, I had to go and think about how to overcome this insecurity in a way that would give her the confidence to learn. From this I realized the incredible opportunity we have to disciple our sons and daughters at Fortis Academy, because the source of success each time was the application of biblical truths. First, I had to show her what it looks like to be created in the image of God and how our education helps her to be creative and empowers her to learn whatever she desires. From the very same truth of being created in the image of God I showed her how she has the capabilities to learn and to succeed. It is true that it is more difficult for some people than others, but it is beautiful when such people succeed because they not only master a skill, they develop a new depth of Christian virtue.
These experiences in homeschooling required me to prove my conviction that our children have an incredible ability to learn when they are motivated and have confidence. A student who believes that they unintelligent or does not see the value of learning will never reach their full potential. Closely related to this is self-esteem: if they do not see the value or significance of their life, it will be hard to motivate them. I suggest that a strong sense of identity and self-worth is critical for students to succeed both in school and in life. As a Christians, our identity and worth is grounded in our conviction that God created man in His image, and our worth is settled by the cost that was paid for us when Jesus died on the cross. Being able to apply these truths through an education at Fortis is something that I am very grateful for. Even more than that, I am grateful to be a part of a community that shares this same vision and commitment to Christ and our children. Yes, it can be a lot of work, but it is worth it.