We believe that a classical, Christian education provides good soil for students to grow into mature followers of Jesus Christ. In this series of posts we will highlight various ways that a Covenant education prepares students to live faithful and fruitful lives.
Covenant seeks to instill within our students a love for reading God’s Word that lasts long after they graduate. We asked our third grade teacher, Mrs. Dawn Swartz, to tell us how she cultivates a love of reading directly out of the Bible in her class and how she sees it develop within her students. Read her response below!
Covenant students in kindergarten through second grade are busy “learning to read” – learning to decode letters and sounds and to develop fluency and increase comprehension as they read. A third grader makes the shift to “reading to learn,” and though they have far to go in mastering vocabulary and content, their focus of reading time can be spent cultivating a love of learning. A whole world is open to the reader – there are questions to be answered, new ideas to explore, stories to be enjoyed, and God’s inspired Word to be read and studied so that truth can be known.
At Covenant, third graders develop an excitement for reading the weekly Bible story directly from the pages of Scripture. Most of them quickly acknowledge that reading stories of Israel’s Judges – Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, and Samson – directly from the Bible is their favorite part of Bible class. Why do we need to know that Ehud was a “left-handed man” (Judges 3:15)? How did God use Jael, a “skin of milk” and a tent peg to rescue his people (Judges 4:19,21)? What role do a wheat harvest and foxes play in the conflict between Samson and the Philistines (Judges 15:1-8)?
As our third graders find answers to these questions, our greatest desire is that they will develop a personal love for reading God’s Word. A gracious God and Savior chose to reveal himself to us through the written word, and our greatest desire as Covenant educators is to develop readers who will treasure the truths of Scripture and come to a personal relationship with a Savior who gave us the gift of written language.
The University of Notre Dame, in conjunction with the Cardus Education Survey, conducted a study focused on school outcomes. We are encouraged by this recent data released by the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS) that shows how alumni from schools like Covenant spend time reading Scripture.