Oct 1, 2014

The Foundation of Faith in Education

by: Mrs. Beckstead

At American Heritage Academy, we believe education is not just intellectual. Our mission is to educate your child’s heart, mind, and spirit.

We have all heard the proverb, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” The heart is most commonly associated with feelings. However in this adage, the association of the heart is one’s thinking.

In truth, as a man thinketh in his heart signifies how he will behave in the very depths of his soul.

Faith, Patriotism, and Leadership, are the three fundamental values taught at American Heritage Academy. They help to strengthen, edify and support each other. This balanced approach to education allows the scholar to learn from the heart as well as the mind, leading to a greater spiritual understanding of the material being studied.

Our mission statement declares:  American Heritage Academy exists for the purpose of providing a principle-based education that develops the mind and heart. Scholars will increase in faith, develop a love, understanding and appreciation for America and its Founding Fathers, make education a life-long pursuit and develop Christian character for a life of service and leadership.

In order to further understand the true definition of education, we must turn to the Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary of the English Language:

EDUCA’TION, noun [Latin educatio.] The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations. To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians who neglect these duties.

In the words of  Noah Webster, America’s first founding scholar, anything less of a religious education and an education founded on correct principles that builds divine character falls short of an ideal education. It is easy to see how AHA is different from a traditional public school or public charter schools with their strict prohibition of discussing Christian principles.

Likewise in our first president, George Washington’s, Farewell Address, he pleads as one would with a friend that religion is key to political prosperity and humans happiness:

“I shall carry your support with me to my grave, as a strong incitement to unceasing vows that heaven may continue to you the choicest tokens of its beneficence; that your union and brotherly affection may be perpetual; that the free Constitution, which is the work of your hands, may be sacredly maintained; that its administration in every department may be stamped with wisdom and virtue..

Here perhaps, I ought to stop. but a solicitude for your welfare, which cannot end with my life, and the apprehension of danger, natural to that solicitude, urge me, on an occasion like the present, to offer to your solemn contemplation, and to recommend to your frequent review, some sentiments which are the result of much reflection, of no inconsiderable observation, and which appear to me all important to the permanency of your felicity as a people…

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars…

Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.” 

George Washington is fervently pleading with us in his last public words his deep seated belief that political prosperity and religion go hand in hand. He clearly states religious principle must be part of education as an indispensable and foundational support. He further claims true patriotism can only be found in an education that includes religion and that we should not subvert this great pillar.

That is why at American Heritage Academy we feel strongly about our three foundational pillars of faith, patriotism, and leadership.  In our auditorium, we have these three representative pillars equally spaced as foundational and integral supports. If we were to remove one, the other two would cease to stand. They all support one another. and make it possible for the other pillars to be truly effective.

Furthermore to gain a greater understanding of what education ought to be, we must read the words of Samuel Adams, our first patriot and the Father of the American Revolution,

“Let divines and philosophers, statesmen and patriots, unite their endeavors to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of men with the importance of educating their little boys and girls, of inculcating in the mind of youth the fear and love of the Diety and universal philanthropy, and, in the subordination to these great principles, the love of their country, of instructing them in the art of self government, without which they never can act a wise part in the government of societies, great or small; in short of leading them in the study and practice of the exalted virtues of the Christian system.” 

In the words of these Founding Fathers, we too believe at American Heritage Academy that an education which does not teach spiritual principles along with secular facts does not qualify as a quality education. It is therefore our desire at AHA to restore education to what our Founding Fathers intended for America. We must again, as in the founding period of our nation, reunite education with Holy Writ. Our Founding Fathers firmly believed that religious principles are foundational to a child’s education and necessary for the ultimate success of our country. What a blessing it is to teach in the best possible way at American Heritage Academy and provide an education rooted in Christian principles!



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