The School of Abraham exists to encourage individual scholarship through an innovative study program which fosters spiritual and moral development in an environment of academic rigor, and also to help parents more effectively teach their children the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our motto is: “Accountability, Exactness, and Honor.”
The School of Abraham has been founded that our children may be instructed more perfectly in all things that pertain unto the Kingdom of God. We teach theory, principle, doctrine, and the law of the gospel, that our children may be prepared in all things when the Lord shall send them again to magnify the calling whereunto he has called them, and the mission with which he has commissioned them. (adapted from D&C 88:78, 80)
The School of Abraham encourages individual scholarship through an innovative study program which fosters spiritual and moral development in an environment of academic rigor, and also to help parents more effectively teach their children the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
By design, the School of Abraham is flexible, in order to meet the varied needs of the homeschooling family. Each family chooses their preferred curriculum resources and methods of academic homeschooling. We support the family by providing unique educational resources for religious education, centered upon the School of Abraham Educational Model.
We are dedicated to the greatest and most eternal pursuit of all: raising our children, a covenant generation, to develop their minds and talents in righteousness and faith.
In a February, 1999 letter, the First Presidency wrote: “We call upon parents to devote their best efforts to the teaching and rearing of their children in gospel principles which will keep them close to the Church. The home is the basis of a righteous life, and no other instrumentality can take its place or fulfill its essential functions in carrying forward this God-given responsibility. We counsel parents and children to give highest priority to family prayer, family home evening, gospel study and instruction, and wholesome family activities. However worthy and appropriate other demands or activities may be, they must not be permitted to displace the divinely-appointed duties that only parents and families can adequately perform. As we strengthen families, we will strengthen the entire Church.”
At the School of Abraham, we take as integral to our mission statement the word of the Lord as recorded in the book of Isaiah: “… And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children”. (Isaiah 54:13)
Sometimes we have a visual image of all of us homeschoolers camping at night along our journey. A campfire is burning against the cold and dark, we are huddled under warm blankets across our shoulders, and we are calling to each other to come closer to the fire. The wind is blowing. We gather closer to ward off the chill.
The purpose of the School of Abraham is to edify and support one another in our pilgrimage. The fire is warm, and the companionship is vital, and ” joy comes in the morning.” Incumbent upon us all is the sweet responsibility to carry forth, to nurture, to develop and share the strength and power of education from a Restoration viewpoint.
This is our destiny and our quest–to be true to the trust the Father has placed in us. “Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118).
~~The Friendly Folks at School of Abraham~~
Some Thoughts on “LDS Classical Home Schooling”
In reading the various classical resources, I’ve noticed the variations on a theme which exist within the classical paradigm. You probably have noticed them, too. I have been trying to crystallize what it is that defines LDS classical education, and how we can best incorporate our priorities of character training and doctrinal instruction. What are the most important works of the restoration (an LDS “Great Books” list) which we should include in our educational curriculum? What are the greatest works of the past upon which we first build?
There is a scripture in the Book of Mormon that I have thought about often. I’d like to share that with you, along with my personal interpretation of it, and how it can apply to classical education. (2 Nephi 6:3-7):
“Nevertheless, I speak unto you again; for I am desirous for the welfare of your souls. Yea, mine anxiety is great for you; and ye yourselves know that it ever has been. For I have exhorted you with all diligence; and I have taught you the words of my father; and I have spoken unto you concerning all things which are written, from the creation of the world. And now, behold, I would speak unto you concerning things which are, and which are to come; and I speak unto you for your sakes, that ye may learn and glorify the name of your God. And now, the words which I shall read are they which Isaiah spake concerning all the house of Israel; wherefore, they may be likened unto you, for ye are of the house of Israel.”
And now, these are the words:
“Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people; and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. And kings shall by thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers; they shall bow down to thee with their faces towards the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet,; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord; for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me.”
The way I have interpreted this scripture over the years is that the phrase “they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders. And kings shall by thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers” refers, at least in part, to the vast explosion of scientific and technological knowledge that has come about since the restoration of the gospel. Most of the inventions of our modern day have not been developed by members of the church (telephones, airplanes, computers, television, automobiles, dishwashers –you name it, and most of these inventions have come from outside the church. We have been, so to speak, carried on their shoulders and the work of the Lord has been blessed to go forward and spread throughout the world. Where would the prophet and apostles be without airplanes? Where would genealogy be without computers? Where would modern mothers be without dishwashers and washing machines? Where would missionary work be without modern transportation of all sorts? Without the means of communication that we have today, General Conference would be limited to speaking from a tower and writing down the words. Surely we are blessed by these innovations.
Now, to the subject of classical education. I once saw a quote attributed to Einstein at a NASA exposition. It read: “Newton, forgive me.” The great physicist Sir Isaac Newton was born 360 years ago, and during his lifetime he transformed the understanding of the universe and the forces that govern it. He attributed much of his remarkable success to work done by others. Late in his life he was asked how he was able to accomplish such great things. He replied: “If I have been able to see further than others, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.”
LDS Classical home school education, I would venture to say, is fairly new on the scene of collective knowledge. We don’t have to recreate the wheel, because others have gone before us, and we can stand on their shoulders/be carried upon their shoulders (choose your metaphor). Thus, many have created their subsets of homeschooling, each unique and different, that made it possible for LDS Classical homeschoolers to progress and be aided in our educational pursuits.
Now where do we go? How do we take what they have given us and make of it an LDS Classical worldview, recognizable as distinct and different? There is no “one” right answer, but we have been given the charge by the Lord to seek out of the best books words of wisdom. Certainly some of these books will be those which have been (or will be written) by faithful members of the church. Which are these seminal works to which we should refer and incorporate into our “LDS Great Books” lists?
Another scripture for thought: “The Lord God hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season unto thee, O house of Israel.” (2 Nephi 7:4) This is what we seek to offer our children.
~~ Marjorie Meyer ~~