"We become just by the practice of just actions, self-controlled by exercising self-control, and courageous by performing acts of courage." - Aristotle
Over the summer I watched some of our students run laps, lift weights and do push-ups and thought the same thing that I’ve thought a thousand times, “I wish I had this kind of education when I was a kid.” Coach Garza was gracious enough to invite me to join their workout, so a few weeks ago I donned a PE shirt and shorts and joined the upper school for their workout. It was a great experience. If you haven’t had the opportunity to see the training our students are getting, let me encourage you to come and watch as our students become stronger athletes week by week. As 1 Timothy 4:8 explains, “Bodily training is of some value.” There is a benefit to developing habits that strengthen the bodies we have been given to steward. There is value to running one more lap after you think you’ve reached your max.
Physical training is an important component of a classical education. Though many consider physical education to be little more than organized recess, we believe that physical education is critical to a child’s development. The neuropathways that are formed as information travels through the nerve cells of the brain when children learn to run, jump, kick, skip, and throw properly are as critical to our students’ academic growth as learning to read. As two classical educators explain in their work, The Liberal Arts Tradition, “The body and the soul are united in such a way that failure to cultivate the capacities inherent in either is failure to cultivate the whole person.” If we only train our students’ minds, they won’t be fully educated. God has made our students, body and soul, so we must educate them well, body and soul. As we teach them how to imitate movement and persevere in their bodies, their souls will learn as well and, hopefully virtue will be formed not just in thought but in action.
Our youngest students in grades Kindergarten through second have three PE classes per week to help their bodies and minds develop effectively as they begin their school experience. So often children in these grades struggle to learn to read and write well because their bodies are stuck behind a desk or table all day. As our students mature physically, they begin to need less physical instruction in how to move and combine movements to participate in challenging and exhilarating workouts and games. Therefore, starting in third grade, our students have two classes per week.Our goal for our students is not that they all be star athletes. Our goal is that they would be virtuous. And this will be accomplished as we challenge them with acts of the body and the soul.
Posted on Wed, October 19, 2016
by Leslie Collins filed under