One of the things that parents often look for in a school is a community in which they and their children can engage. A community in which parents know each other, know each other's children and are known by those children can be of enormous benefit. Too often we deny our children the freedom that older generations took for granted because we are unsure about their safety or supervision. How many of us remember summer days in which we had what seemed to be a whole world available to us. I remember my sister and I had a whole block of our street and we could romp through any of the yards. My parents were comfortable with this because they knew the other parents in the neighborhood and they shared many of the same values. Even if our parents could not see us, they were pretty sure that somebody else could. The gang of neighborhood kids was never far from watchful, loving eyes.
Nowadays that type of neighborhood is sadly unavailable to many children because the cohesion of neighborhood communities has steadily broken down. Fortunately, the Christian school community can provide a helpful replacement that is in some ways even better. By bringing together a group of parents who share values about faith, family and childrearing we can again open up to our children the rich blessing of a group of childhood friends. This community will form an important boundary within which a child can play, learn and grow.
Therefore, one of the things that we will emphasize at RiverTree School will be the community we form together. Because many childhood friendships will likely grow out of this community, it is important that the parents share a few, important common values. Thus, we can be reassured that even when our children are out of our sight loving eyes are still watching over them.
I'll post later about what we mean by common values.