Facebook Pixel

May 21, 2021

A New Kind of Christian School in Lynchburg

We are receiving lots of interest in our new Lynchburg Campus.  Families are invited to visit https://www.oakhillk12.com/lynchburg-campus.  For a tour or more information contact us at 703-796-6887 or at office@oakhillk12.com   

Northern Virginia is where my wife, Sheila, and I were born.  We love the area.  My oldest son, Adam, is moving this fall to Herndon to work at our school.  Oak Hill Christian School is a help and ministry to many families in the Herndon area and we often receive letters of thanks for what we are doing.  At the same time, it is on our hearts to run a school in a city where others are members of a CRE church or another vibrant faithful congregation.  Without this, a school is limited in what it can do.

I see a need in places like Lynchburg for something new.  Deuteronomy 6 clearly gives families the responsibility to train their children.  But, in doing this a division of labor can be crucial especially in the high school years.  Every homeschooler I know is looking for help of some kind. 

Our vision for our Lynchburg branch:

  • 3 days on campus, Labor Day to Memorial Day.  A 180-days on campus school is anachronistic, and doesn’t fit our philosophy anyway.
  • Classical.  In high school this means training diligent, capable and independent thinkers.  Our high schoolers aren’t just listening to lectures, they are giving the presentations.   
  • Christian.  Mature reasoning includes logic and thinking for oneself, but it also necessarily includes using the correct starting assumptions, those found in the word of God.   While many schools nominally accept the word of God, they deny it because they don’t believe that words even mean what they say.  (And the evening and the morning were the first day, means something was created in one day.  It doesn’t mean God acted in a period of time that fits man’s latest ideas.)
  • Economical.  We focus on teaching.  We focus on helping covenant children who are already motivated and disciplined at home.   We focus on academics, not operating clubs and sports.  Groups of our students will participate together on sports teams already established in the community.    
  •  Resilient, homeschool friendly.  We won’t be swayed by whatever restrictions come after covid.  God is in charge and he has appointed parents.  We are determined to protect our children and especially to focus on training them so that one day they can win the battle of ideas. 

This new model is an important endeavor and we pray that it will combine the best of both worlds - the intimacy of homeschooling with the structure of a formal classroom - all in a classical Christian setting.  The Wall Street Journal reported a couple years ago that homeschooling was growing 7 times as fast as public and private school enrollment.  The model of turning children over to a school where they log hours in a building is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.  There is more understanding than ever that work can be done from more than one place and that results can be achieved in multiple ways. 

“Homeschooling” is coming to include almost everything under the sun as parents are going this route for diverse reasons.  It is my observation that homeschoolers are looking for co-ops, tutors, curriculum, basically help with teaching their children.  I don’t think the future will be merely schools and homeschools.  The future for many families will be a new model, something in between school and homeschool.  

This idea can take off, and it needs to be promoted by our people.  We may not win political battles today, but schools are a place where ideas are advanced.  And, if we win the battle of ideas, if we spread the gospel, we will see the day when we win in every area. 

If you are a Christian family in Lynchburg, contact us today!

Robert Thoburn

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

May 15, 2021

A Second Generation of Classical Christian Educators


Oak Hill Christian School, High School in Herndon & Lynchburg.  Oak Hill is offering a new classical and Christian high school program -- Tues/Wed/Thurs on campus.  Students have full time schoolwork but complete lessons 2 days a week with a parent or on their own.  Classes meet in Herndon, Virginia and Lynchburg, Virginia.

In a sea of new educational options, Oak Hill offers something unique:  a second generation of classical educators.  Since Doug Wilson’s 1991 Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, more and more Christian parents have sought classical school and classical homeschool options.  But, not having been classically educated themselves, it’s been hard for parents and teachers!  Many of us didn’t know how to teach this way.  As a teacher, I can say we hadn’t all studied Latin or read great books with Christian discernment on this level.   

 So, many classical Christian schools aren’t too classical.  Dig down and in spite of stated aims and good intentions, you may find even older students regurgitating material rather than students being trained to be mature independent thinkers. 

The leader in classical and Christian education for years has been New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho.  NSA does not advertise itself as a college with a water park and a lazy river.  Their recent ad says “In fact, we can't really promise you a lazy anything.”  I have had 5 children attend New Saint Andrews, and I can tell you they were changed by the experience.  NSA produces graduates who are avid and efficient readers and capable writers and thinkers.  They are young men and women who know how to think like Christians. 

Freshman year alone, students read 15,000 pages.  They participate in weekly student-led discussions.  With only 7 students and one professor, these recitations leave no opportunity for a student to arrive unprepared.  Every freshman gives a weekly speech at declamation. 

Now, even at Oak Hill we have new teachers who have received this thorough classical Christian education!  Three of my sons and my daughter-in-law have teamed up to teach with an experienced school principal who is also a student from NSA’s first graduating class, Mike Harkin.  Together they are ready to give students a high school version of the same kind of education they received.  Two of my sons who are teaching and my daughter-in-law have NSA degrees.  Another son and daughter of mine are also helping with teaching or admin work while they complete the last year of their NSA work. 

We won’t be asking high schoolers to read 15,000 pages, but we will prepare them to think like Christians and equip them so they are ready for a rigorous college experience. 

Our new high school is economical and homeschool friendly.  This new model is an important endeavor and we pray that it will combine the best of both worlds - the intimacy of homeschooling with the structure of a formal classroom - all in a classical Christian setting.  Contact us for a tour or to attend an open house where you can meet our teachers and learn what a blessing they can be to your children. 

--Robert Thoburn

 

 

 


 

 


Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF

May 14, 2021

A Second Generation of Classical Christian Educators

 Oak Hill Christian School  --  High School in Herndon & Lynchburg

Join our open house tomorrow, 6 p.m. at Lynchburg Campus

      a
     

Oak Hill Christian School is offering a new classical and Christian high school program – Tues/Wed/Thurs on campus.  Students have full time schoolwork but complete lessons 2 days a week with a parent or on their own.  Classes meet in Herndon, Virginia and Lynchburg, Virginia. 

In a sea of new educational options, Oak Hill offers something unique:  a second generation of classical educators.  Since Doug Wilson’s 1991 Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, more and more Christian parents have sought classical school and classical homeschool options.  But, not having been classically educated themselves, it’s been hard for parents and teachers!  Many of us didn’t know how to teach this way.  As a teacher, I can say we hadn’t all studied Latin or read great books with Christian discernment on this level. 

So many classical Christian schools aren’t too classical.  Dig down and in spite of stated aims and good intentions, you may find even older students regurgitating material rather than students being trained to be mature independent thinkers. 

The leader in classical and Christian education for years has been New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho.  NSA does not advertise itself as a college with a water park and a lazy river.  Their recent ad says “In fact, we can't really promise you a lazy anything.”  I have had 5 children attend New Saint Andrews, and I can tell you they were changed by the experience.  NSA produces graduates who are avid and efficient readers and capable writers and thinkers.  They are young men and women who know how to think like Christians. 

Freshman year alone, students read 15,000 pages.  They participate in weekly student-led discussions.  With only 7 students and one professor, these recitations leave no opportunity for a student to arrive unprepared.  Every freshman gives a weekly speech at declamation. 

Now, even at Oak Hill we have new teachers who have received this thorough classical Christian education!  Three of my sons and my daughter-in-law have teamed up to teach with a student from NSA’s first graduating class, Mike Harkin.  Together they are ready to give students a high school version of the same kind of education they received.  Two of my sons who are teaching and my daughter-in-law have NSA degrees.  Another son and daughter of mine are also helping with teaching or admin work while they complete the last year of their NSA work. 

We won’t be asking high schoolers to read 15,000 pages, but we will prepare them to think like Christians and equip them so they are ready for a rigorous college experience. 

Our new high school is economical and homeschool friendly.  Our students participate together in i-9 or other community sports teams.  This new model is an important endeavor and we pray that it will combine the best of both worlds - the intimacy of homeschooling with the structure of a formal classroom - all in a classical Christian setting.  Contact us for a tour or to attend an open house where you can meet our teachers and learn what a blessing they can be to your children. 

--Robert Thoburn

Print Friendly Version of this pagePrint Get a PDF version of this webpagePDF