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Humility is Needed to Cultivate Virtue

Humility is Needed to Cultivate Virtue

How can Christian schools, home schools, churches and parents cultivate virtue among their young students, parishioners, sons and daughters?

This question is surfacing more and more in the classical education world these days, but really has been present among Evangelicals for decades. Parents, church leaders and educators see our youth exiting the Church at alarming rates during college and falling into lifestyles which mimic their secular peers. They wonder desperately what, if anything, can be done to stem this tide?

In reaction, they teach the Christian worldview. They come up with elaborate church marketing plans or youth group events, when really, the solution is much simpler—and cost-effective:

We must remember who we are and who we are not.

We are God’s children, adopted into his household by the blood of Jesus which purchased us from the slavery of our sin.

We are not decent people earning our way to heaven.

Consciously living by this truth as adult role models will rub off on our youth. Instead of pressuring our children to act virtuously, we must teach them by example, and maybe a little overtly, that being a Christian really means living in repentance and utter dependence on Christ for our holiness.

Jesus was obedient for us. He did the saving work on the cross—the atoning, suffering, dying and rising work—for us. Yes, we die and rise again with Him through our baptisms, but that is not our work. He was the one who was obedient to God’s law to save us from our just punishment.

We try to obey the law out of gratefulness for that great work of Christ, not out of need to be justified.

So let’s ease up a bit. God’s commandments take on a different tone when spoken to the saved. As redeemed people, we hear his commands and must remember that Christ fulfilled these laws on our behalf.

Our children need to know what to do when they fail: repent and be forgiven, resting in the complete holiness of Christ, which God the Father sees when He looks at us.

So, how should we rightly cultivate virtue among our youth? I believe the best way to do this is by reading the Word, hearing how we’ve sinned against God, repenting and believing in Christ’s saving work for us, and doing it all over again. In other words, we need not hammer Christian worldview classes. Instead we should live lives of humility, focused on Christ and not ourselves. Yes, our students need to learn theology and apologetics, but I believe having real life models of humble faith will do more to cultivate virtue in our children than any coursework ever could.

Rhiannon Kutzer

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Nice to meet you!

I’m Rhiannon.

You can call me Rhi for short (as in “rejoice”). I’m a fiercely independent homeschooling mom of five, a Navy wife of 13 years, and a creator of various things: articles, a semi-regular newsletter, quilts, furniture, and the occasional knitted scarf. This is the site where I write about our homeschool journey and news and happenings in the homeschool world. more about me.

Rhiannon

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Need a shot in the arm for your homeschool? Get Thrive Together, a monthly email that brings you:

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--and great quotes that will refresh your homeschool mama mind.

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  • Morning Time Details! E. (12), S. (almost 8), and L. (6). Our Morning Time morphs as the kids grow and change. It usually includes a combination of memory work and reading aloud. We try to cover a WHOLE LOT of things: Shakespeare, Bible, poetry, catechism, hymns, timeline, art study, composer study, and Ambleside selections for nature study, tales, and church history. This term I’m adding Plutarch.
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The hard part is figuring out where I want to aim, with the 5-year gap between E. and S., and then L. being a newbie to full-on school. Having moved twice in 2019, I nixed MT and just focused on individual work. That came with costs. Shakespeare, Plutarch, art study, and composer study suffered. Memory work barely happened at all. I was BUSY. We missed out on discussing things together. Now that we’re settled, it’s time to restart MT.
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This term I’ve decided to aim Shakespeare and Plutarch at the oldest, while the girls listen in and do handwriting/drawing/fine motor. I won’t ask them for much narration. Our reading schedule for these is AMBITIOUS. Maybe crazy. Then we’ll do all the memory & read aloud stuff that suits everyone. These lessons are SHORT. Then E. will go do his individual work while I read aloud w/ just the girls.
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Also, “Morning Time” is a misnomer, considering we break it up throughout the day. It should really be called Morning/Lunch/Nap Time. I need a new name. Circle Time? Except we don’t sit in a circle. Together school? Except we’re together doing school all day. I don’t think English has the word I’m looking for. Maybe Tertulia or Salon?
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Our actual coursework is: the Scottish Play, Plutarch is Alexander the Great’s life, our artist is Gustave Courbet, composer is Paganini, Bible memory is Psalm 46, Hymn is Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me, read alouds will rotate from Burgess Bird Book, Trial and Triumph, Blue Fairy Book, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Vanderbeekers, & picture books. Timeline is from Classical Conversations. Poems are Charge of the Light Brigade, Winter Night by Teasdale, and The Land of Nod.
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Whew! It’s gonna be a fun term! What do you guys do for Morning Time?
  • #homeschool #family #weekend projects. Oldest got through a CPR course, curtains are hung, first batch ever of hard apple cider is bottled (a big learning experience!), and Morning Time for the next term is planned. 👊🏻 Time to call Dominos so these people can get fed 😂
  • Oh Halloween. That day when I pull costumes out of thin air at T-minus one hour ‘till trick-or-treating. Then one kid melts down in the middle of the fun, and is carried screaming to the car, with me hoping all the while that no one thinks I’m abducting a child. And, my favorite non-PC thought: one kid suggests we should have dressed as hobos, since we’re going around asking people to give us free candy. Phoned it in this year, Kutzers. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️ #gladitsover For the record, we had a soccer player, an archer, Spider Girl, a princess, a tiny farmer, a witchy mom (Is that even a costume or just a Thursday?), and Bat Dad.
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#homeschool #charlottemasonirl #homecookedmeals #livingbooks
  • A husband out to sea. A solo drive to and from MT. A freak snowstorm in September. Unpacking, appointments, and homeschooling, cooking and cleaning, laundry and loneliness without my better half and my biggest helper. All so that a grandson can learn from and adventure with his grandpa. I call it a RAGING SUCCESS.💛🥰 #family #navywifelife #homeschool #worldschool #bravewriterlifestyle
  • #pcs day 5 = #HOME (hallelujah!) 😊 and delicious homemade chili from the amazing @mythirdacrelife It was a long 3000 miles, but everyone made it here alive, if a little less sane than when we drove out of CT. #navyfamily #navywife #roadschooling #homeschool

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