Textbooks Over Screen Time

What constitutes a healthy and balanced amount of screen time? The use of technology in education is a hot topic. Logos Academy offers a Christ centered, Classical education that cultivates students to be humans who possess intelligence plus character. Are we giving careful thought to the ways technology shapes and forms us as human beings?

READ MORE: Textbooks More Beneficial than Screens for Student Learning

Classical Education Can Transform Urban Communities

Guest Blogger – Nancy Snyder, K-12 Student Support Services Coordinator

A beautiful little girl, only seven years old, sat in my office weeping. A beloved family friend had just been killed. One more young man gunned down in our city. One more family with a bullet hole in their family picture. One more neighborhood in mourning. One more city rent by violence. One more little girl weeping.

After we talked and prayed, I asked this child if she knew why Logos was founded. Through her tears, she said, “So people would respect each other, instead of…“ Her voice trailed off.

At our Christ-centered school, one of the things our Vibrant Learning Community practices is respect for each person made in the image of God. In partnership with the Holy Spirit, teachers and students labor to work out problems in ways that make and maintain peace. Even a second grader can see this is what our city needs.

Because our second grade curriculum opens with ancient Egypt, even before this death caused her tears, my young friend understood the contrast between the land of the living lit by the eastern sky and the city of the dead spilling into the underworld. She understood the difference between Narmer, who united Upper and Lower Egypt to rule a great country, and Abraham, who waited for God to provide a better country (Hebrews 11:16). She saw Christ as a better treasure than the glittering gold of King Tutankhamen. A class discussion, about the God who prepares a home for His people, in contrast with the Egyptian practice of stockpiling possessions for life after death, provided the framework and foundation for our hard but healing discussion of her grief.

Soon, my young friend was ready to return to class, where she is now studying ancient Greece. This little girl and her classmates are learning that God is a better poet than Homer, and he is making each of them His poiéma (Ephesians 2:10). She is seeing that Christ is better than Greek military heroes because He has conquered our greatest enemies: sin, Satan, and death. Through our classical curriculum, children of our city are being shaped to love a different kind of courage. Not an angry bravado that shoots down, but a hope-filled bravery that loves.

Soon, as they study ancient Rome together, these second graders will learn that God is building a city far greater than Rome—a truly eternal city (Hebrews 11:10). Fueled by that hope, may these children spread the shalom of God in our city.

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Drawings by the student to her friendphoto1 (2)

Is Love Simply a Bonus?

Aaron Anderson, CEO/Head of School welcomes a student at the beginning of the school day.

Aaron Anderson, CEO/Head of School welcomes a student at the beginning of the school day.

There is one non-negotiable component so critical to a child’s growth and well being that we must name it explicitly instead of assuming its presence and practice. That component is love.

Love is vital to delivering a well-rounded education because love is foundational to the holistic development of healthy human beings. The famed American psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed that, after the very basic physiological and safety needs have been satisfactorily met for humans, the need for love emerges as a powerful shaping force. When love is withheld from a human, it is disastrous to his or her development. Maslow wrote, “In our society the thwarting of these needs (i.e. love) is the most commonly found core in cases of maladjustment and more severe psychopathology.” [1] Humans that are not loved are set on a trajectory toward personal brokenness that will inevitably spill over into community brokenness: violence, exasperated public health issues, unsafe neighborhoods, risky behavior, substance abuses, and a generational continuation of the lengthy list already noted.

In my less than two years of leadership at Logos Academy, my eyes have been opened to the complexity of urban education and the vital role love plays in our school culture. Logos Academy is a small urban, Christ-centered school in York, PA, that serves a student population of 250. Our student population is both ethnically and socioeconomically diverse. Our admissions policies do not discriminate on the faith or financial ability of families. Approximately 70% of our students live in, or dangerously near, the poverty line. Statistically, we know this means our very own students might be exposed on a daily basis to the harsh realities that negatively impact the healthy functioning of their brains and hearts.

As a school community, we are very aware that Logos Academy is much more than an academic institution. In partnership with parents, extended families, and religious communities, we are in the business of human formation. Therefore, we believe that a high quality education must be built on the foundation of love. Schools that fail to nurture a culture of love will fail to deliver meaningful, lasting success for urban students. At first glance, this thesis may not appear to be controversial, particularly insightful, or innovative. Yet, I am developing a growing awareness that educators and those that drive public policy and innovation too easily overlook the critical importance of love in education, especially in urban communities.

A cursory read of modern educational websites, papers, and journals is revealing. A great deal of emphasis is placed on common core, academic standards, test scores, the incorporation of STEM technology, and experimentation with mass customized learning. Debates are focused on the effectiveness of charter schools versus public schools, whether parents should be given vouchers to send their kids to private schools, the role of teacher unions, the crisis in funding teacher pensions, and whether control of public schools is best accomplished at a federal or local level. These important emphases and debates make a crowded space for educators to ponder and meditate on the vital importance of love in education.

Besides, what educator would dispute the idea that love is an important part of a good education? One author summarized the sentiment well, saying, “I don’t know of any school employee who doesn’t love children. This heartfelt emotion is not a government standard or requirement for work at a school district. It is simply a bonus to students and parents that most educators bring to school every day.” [2]

Yes, I agree, love in the classroom should be a given. But is that a safe assumption? At Logos Academy, the practice of love is foundational to our school culture. Our mission statement is explicit in our belief that “Logos Academy…is grounded in the love of Christ.” We don’t assume that our faculty and staff love kids; we expect it from them and hold ourselves to a high standard. Love is not a nice bonus to a high quality academic program. Love is the foundation.

[1] Maslow, A. H. A Theory of Human Motivation. Mansfield Centre: Martino, 2013. Print.

[2] Labor of Love, by Dave Arnold. Accessed on 2/22/2016 at

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