Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Alan's Presentation and His Liberal Education

Upon looking at the scope and sequence of any classical curriculum, one often feels an overwhelming sense of awe for anyone who could accomplish all that’s being proposed, as well as a sinking feeling concerning one’s own likelihood of being counted in that number. I propose that "checking off all the boxes" is the wrong way to look at a liberal arts education and the right way has more to do with helping our children to more fully realize their potential as human persons--as image-bearers of God.

My 11-year-old son, Alan, has Down’s syndrome. Ever since his open heart surgery when he was six-months-old, he has been exceptionally healthy. He started walking when he was 4. Early on, he learned a little bit of sign language to help communicate but quickly abandoned it when he decided to use words instead. The language he speaks is a rough approximation of English, but he has certainly created his own dialect. Fortunately for us he is a good teacher and most of the household understands “Alanese.”