A few families in our local community have started a Wisdom’s Way, to learn Grammar of Grace together. Before I go any further, let me make it clear that it is not necessary to join a Wisdom’s Way to use Grammar of Grace! If we didn’t have other families joining us, we would still joyfully do this Christian classical thing on our own, like we used to. But we have found it helpful to do it with other families, because we can encourage each other so much—so this page of the website is devoted to helping WW homeschool groups. If you have one in your area, and would like for us to list it here, contact us and we’ll let you know how your local school can be added. For more information about starting a Wisdom’s Way, read on!
What if you could have the benefits of a Classical School education, without the downsides of sending your children out of the home, into a classroom setting, every day? That’s the vision behind Wisdom’s Way.
At Wisdom’s Way, we prioritize the biblical command (Deut. 6:4-9) that fathers and mothers are to “rehearse [God’s words] continually unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou tarriest in thine house, and as thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” We believe that—no matter what method parents follow—the best education is the home education.
Still, many a Christian parent who got a modern education dreams of giving his children a better education than what he experienced. This has led to the rise of Christian classical schools, where people attempt to revive the old (Christian) classical method, which culminated in the Reformation and early America. Some argue that a homeschooling parent by himself cannot offer his children as good an education as a classical school can; after all, it’s physically impossible for one parent to learn many subjects as well as several different teachers could, working together in a classical school.
Yet the normal method presented in the Bible, in which parents lovingly train their own children, must not be lightly tossed aside! Even if parents have limited educational resources themselves, they must not feel pressured to turn their children over to “experts” for daily instruction, because of imagined educational “requirements”. God entrusted our children to us, and commanded us to be with them, training them, day in and day out; we can trust that He’s equipped us to give them the daily training that they need.
So Wisdom’s Way is designed to help parents, not take over their children’s education for them. For Christian parents wanting to give their children the sort of education that flourished in the post-Reformation era, Wisdom’s Way provides the materials, training, and community to help these parents give their children the Noah Webster-style education they want their children to have. Wisdom’s Way seeks to offer the rigors of a Classical School education, through a classical curriculum and weekly meetings, with the bulk of the day-to-day instruction carried out in the home, under mother or father, for a true homeschool setting. It meets only one day a week, and parents remain the primary teachers of their children; yet unlike a typical homeschool co-op, we complete a full classical school curriculum.
But here is the other fundamental difference between Wisdom’s Way and a typical Christian classical school: We do not believe the key to a classical education is studying the writings and works of pagans and apostates. Rather, our conviction is that the primary subject children should study and master is the Bible, followed by language, character, and history—featuring heroes who lived their lives for the glory of God.
Instead of Aristotle, we believe children should read Augustine. Instead of Napoleon, we believe children should be taught about Martin Luther. Instead of Shakepeare, Mark Twain, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, we read John Bunyan, Johann Wyss, and especially the Bible.
That is not to say that our children will not learn names like Aristotle and Napoleon, but when we present writings or history subjects to our young children, we create a deep imprint on their minds about what is important. And at Wisdom’s Way, we reject the humanist value judgments that place Aristotle and his vain philosophies (Col. 2:8) above a Christian like Augustine who devoted his life to protecting the true faith from heretical teachings, and whose writings have shaped Christian thought for 1,600 years! Or that place self-indulgent men like Napoleon, Julius Caesar, or Alexander the Great—who spent their lives enslaving innocent people for their own glory—above Christians like Martin Luther, John Knox, or William Carey—who preferred to be killed rather than deny the plain truth of scripture, and whose legacy is thousands of souls entered into the kingdom of Heaven for eternity.
Wisdom’s Way provides support and resources for Christian homeschooling parents, to teach them the old, Noah Webster-style education methods that have been lost in our time.
We teach parents how to do classical school at home, and one of the ways we do that is with hands-on training: Once a week, we meet, and tutors teach the students that day’s classical homeschool material, so parents can see these things put into practice, so parents and students have accountability with their work at home to keep them on track, and so students and parents can ask tutors any questions they may have.
In a typical homeschool co-op, parents band together to help each other study a few subjects. Often, subjects are offered that homeschool moms feel like they can’t teach very well on their own. But the overall idea is that each class is optional; it’s like a buffet where families can pick and choose the offerings that best fit their different homeschool plans.
Wisdom’s Way is unapologetically not a co-op.
The material each Wisdom’s Way homeschooling family is following is a full classical school curriculum. Parents cannot add it to some other homeschool curriculum they’re following (at least, not if they ever want to sleep again!). The daily coursework is a full load. Admittedly, it’s a very light load for children ages 5–9 (as it should be). At that age, WW calls for around 2 1/2 hours of memory lessons and mother’s read-aloud time, plus phonics; other subjects are tackled more informally, as part of a lifestyle of learning. But once children enter the Later Knowledge (or formal grammar) stage, they add about 4 hours a day of additional schoolwork to the memory work and read-aloud time, for a complete grammar school-style curriculum.
But I have no idea how to give my children a Noah Webster-style classical education. That’s why we started Wisdom’s Way—and why I wrote Grammar of Grace—to help you do this thing!
The main difference between Wisdom’s Way and a homeschool co-op is commitment. We don’t ever show up and say, “Oops, we didn’t feel like doing any of the assignments this past week.” If you were paying to send your children to the Christian private school in your town, would you ever do something lame like that? We don’t miss class, and then say, “Hey, we were so busy this week; we just thought we needed to stay home today.” How long could you get away with that before your local classical school expelled your sweet babes?
It’s only one day a week, but we treat it like serious classical school. We help each other do it. We encourage each other; we provide accountability; we study classical education and learn how to teach this together. And our children are getting an old-style American classical education!
If you’d like more thoughts about starting a Wisdom’s Way in your area, peruse our local Wisdom’s Way Info Packet. This brochure explains how we schedule our school day, what subjects we teach, and what the expectations are for our classes. And reach out to us if you are trying to start a Wisdom’s Way, and are looking for more details beyond these basics.