Well, there’s no clear answer to this, but gradually, and over time, we see that this has come to be. We largely put academic and spiritual learning in two separate boxes. Rarely are academics viewed as tools to deepen faith and develop character. And rarely is faith viewed as a vital part of academics.
In the early 19th century, Noah Webster, who has been called the Father of American Christian education, asserted, “To give children a good education in manners, arts and science, is important; to give them a religious education is indispensable; and an immense responsibility rests on parents and guardians….” Notice, it wasn’t an education in religion that he called for—rather, a religious education.
In 1876 the Brigham Young Academy was founded as a pre-college institution with a mission to teach even the alphabet and mathematical tables with the influence of the Spirit—and although this idea is attractive to most LDS families, few homes today have resources that bridge the academic and the spiritual. In 1968, the Academy closed. One year later, a group of faculty and parents of the Academy, including a few BYU professors who desired to perpetuate this mission and philosophy for their children, founded American Heritage School (AHS).
This past August, AHS released the first of a six-part series of resources to help LDS families make strong academic connections to their faith. Although this resource was initially created to serve the growing LDS homeschool community throughout the world, we recognize its application in any LDS home. And in many ways, we all “home” school.
The Family School curriculum serves parents in helping educate not only the minds of their children, but also the heart, conscience, character, and spirit. Regardless of the venue—Public, Private, Charter, Online, Home—The Family School will strengthen academic understanding and deepen faith—an indispensable education.