Recovering the Virtues of Market Education With King’s Way Classical Academy Homeschool Curriculum
Summary: When King’s Way capped its annual tuition at $1,000 per student this year, it became one of the first Christian online schools to seriously compete on price with so-called, "free" public education.
At King’s Way government schools are not an option for Christian Children…it would be like the children of Israel conquering the promised land, then enrolling their children in ’Canaanite U.’
“Discipling the Nations One Student At A Time” is the somewhat quixotic motto displayed on the King’s Way Classical Academy home page. Unique among online schools, this has been the King’s Way watchword since its founding in 2000 as the world’s first online, classical Christian academy.
That motto of course is a takeoff from Jesus’ Great Commission recorded in Matthew 28:19,20 -- "Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations,
1. baptizing them…and,
2. teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded…"
Many Christians limit the Great Commission to preaching the gospel, but King’s Way instructors insist that “teaching them to observe all things” is much more comprehensive. Moreover, the Greek word “ethnos,” is better translated “cultures” than “nations.” “Cultures” is more comprehensive than mere “nations,” which carries the exclusive political connotation.
King’s Way finds its educational mission bound up in the second part of the Great Commission, “teaching them…all…I have commanded.” For that reason the school is uncompromising in its opposition to the public school system. At King’s Way government schools are not an option for Christian children. According to school founder Dennis Oliver Woods, it would be like the children of Israel conquering the promised land, then enrolling their children in “Canaanite U.”
There are worldview test scores to support that accusation. The Nehemiah Institute, for example, has done worldview testing among Christian students in public schools, Christian schools and homeschools for almost 25 years. The results are sobering among both online schools and community schools. Worldview scores have dropped almost every year, not only for Christian children in pubic schools, but also for those in Christian schools, including online schools.
The only groups with consistently high Biblical worldview scores are classical Christian schools, and other small home school groups, including the Principle Approach homeschool curriculum. But, all of these together are less than 5 percent of the total.
For that reason King’s Way has capped its tuition at the $1,000 per student per year ceiling to be on a par with the government schools. Woods estimates that is roughly equivalent to the “free” government schools, when you factor in all the required fees, fundraisers and functions. Other online schools find it hard to compete with this homeschool curriculum.
Woods was challenged early on by a book called “Market Education -- The Unknown History” by Andrew J. Coulson. The book compares private and public education throughout history, starting with ancient Sparta and Athens.
Spartan education was state-funded, with children removed from parents for the military purposes of the city-state. In stark contrast was the flowering of culture, literature, architecture, and debate in Athens where students were free to enroll in private schools -- School of Plato, School of Aristotle, etc. Even in a pagan environment the results of unleashing human creativity from the shackles of tyranny were remarkable.
Woods noted that as American education has followed increasingly the Spartan model, the culture of death it spawns is everywhere evident. We see military adventurism abroad and an alarming buildup of heavy weaponry and ammunition by local governments at home. We see military training manuals that name Christians as terrorists, and of course abortion-on-demand.
But how are low-income students to be educated if not by the state? Coulson offered several alternatives, but he wrote before the internet. Specifically he wrote before the plethora of online schools and in particular the King’s Way Classical Academy homeschool curriculum.
The Academy offers traditional homeschool curriculum like math and science in addition to courses generally unique to classical education. These include logic, Latin, rhetoric, debate, and the classics. The recent addition of some 70 elective courses allows high school students to graduate with a minor in a career field such as marketing, languages, graphic arts, etc.
Tuition at King’s Way is about half that of other Christian online schools. The school targets not only the home school market, but Christian public school students. “About 80% of Christian students attend public school,” Woods observed, “They deserve a high quality, private alternative that doesn’t require a 2nd mortgage on their home to pay for.” The King’s Way homeschool curriculum includes a free e-course on “How To Give Your Child A Classical Christian Education At Home” available at https://kingsway.leadpages.co/optinecoursekw/
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- Contact Information
- Dennis Oliver Woods
- King’s Way Classical Academy
- (1) 503-658-0385
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