Hickory Christian Academy exists to support Christian families in preparing their children to reach their maximum academic potential while equipping them to love the Lord, walk in His ways, and obey His commands according to Scripture. PHILOSOPHY ON EDUCATION AND CURRICULUM Our primary means by which we will accomplish our mission of "Equipping children today to become God's leaders tomorrow" is the Classical Christian methodology as defined by Dorothy Sayers in her essay, "TheLost Tools of Learning," and expounded upon in Doug Wilson's book, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning. In addition, we intend to use the teaching methodology listed in The Seven Laws of Teaching, by John Milton Gregory. Simultaneously, we will accomplish our Mission Statement by combining rigorous academics with Godly standards of conduct and compassion. This can primarily be accomplished through dedicated Christian parents who entrust the education of their children to teachers who are devoted to prayer, and passionate about instilling Christ-centered knowledge into the next generation. In Sayer's essay, she states, "Isit not the great defect of our education today that although we often succeed in teaching our pupils "subjects," we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think? They learn everything, except the art of learning. " Learning is far more than memorizing facts. A true education should include the people (real or literary); not just their names and birth dates, but their ideas, passions, emotions, accomplishments, and shortcomings. It should involve constructive arguments and debates, with an opportunity to express one's opinions in light of the facts. Science class should be a hands-on experience of the incredible universe in which God has placed us, while math should involve critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are increasingly absent in today's educational world of teaching the test. Education is a gift from our Creator that He expects us to use in our quest to know Him, and His plan for humanity, more intimately. Learning should be seen as a privilege, but far too often, school is nothing short of drudgery for the average student. Many times, this can be explained through the fact that we do not understand the needs of those we teach. In Gregory's book, he says, "It is as needful that the teacher shall clearly understand the child as it is that the child shall understand the teacher. " God has placed in each child an innate desire to learn. But that child's nature usually rejects education that is contrary to his human makeup. Gregory adds, "The mind cannot refuse to heed that which appeals with power to the senses. Whatever is novel and curious, beautiful, grand, or sublime in mass or motion; whatever is brilliant, strange, or charming in color or combination - the eye fastens and feeds upon these, and the mind comes at its bidding to enjoy and protract the feast."