It’s All In Our Name – Artios.
When you think of the word Artios, you think of it as a noun. And in the context of your family’s potential involvement with Artios Academies, that is true. But the word artios, as we find it used in Scripture, is an adjective and is found only once in the Bible in II Timothy 3:16 and 17. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be fully prepared [artios] for every good work. The word artios describes the goal each of us should have for our children — that they are fully prepared to be all that God has for them to be.
As you prayerfully considering partnering with Artios (the noun), it is important to understand the three main areas in which the Artios program focuses on helping your child become “artios” or fully prepared.
Art – as it relates to worldview and worth
Heart – as it relates to who your child is, the way they are wired, and what is contained in their heart
Smart – as it relates to true wisdom and the Word of God
When discussing art, let’s begin with a focus on art as it relates to someone’s worldview. Worldview can be defined as “what we believe about the most important issues of life.”
Your child is surrounded by the influence of the arts each and every day. That influence is seen in the music they listen to actively or subconsciously, the visual media they see, the books they read, or the films and productions that they view. You would have to lock your child up for them not to be influenced in some way by the arts. Because of their strong presence in today’s world, the arts play a crucial role in shaping a child’s worldview. This can be a good thing or a bad thing.
Without a Biblical worldview of the arts, the arts become distorted. With a Biblical worldview of the arts, the arts are seen as a canvas that God uses to vividly illustrate Truth and help illuminate the hearts of men.
Arts also relate to worth — self-worth — what we perceive and believe about ourselves. The arts can play a crucial role in affirming a child’s worth. This is not social pandering to self-esteem. Instead, it is the realization and acceptance that the arts help children relate to God’s creative nature. The arts help to develop true inner-security by compelling every child to illustrate, in some way, the very story God has been authoring since Genesis 1. Equipping a child to know who they are in Christ and their place in God’s story is a vital and important step on the path to becoming “artios.”
Our hearts are wired for narrative and story. This is what makes the arts so appealing. Understanding God’s story and our role in it are two of the most important and orienting aspects of education. It’s where we begin to realize that it’s not all about us. It’s where we realize that both who we are and what we do affect those around us.
Another area of focus within Artios is the heart. The heart is God’s priority. The Old Testament idea and use of the word heart suggests that the heart is more than merely a mechanical function of our anatomy. The heart is the wellspring of what is inside of us. Scripture says, …”out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh” (Matthew 12:34b), and the Bible says to protect the heart because it is the wellspring of life.
Ruth Beechick, one of the most solid and Biblically sound resources for home educators, talks about the many uses of the word heart in her book, Heart and Mind. The word heart occurs over 900 times in Scripture, and God designed the heart to be the seat of our emotions, our affections, our imaginations, our deep desires, and our faith. Thus, equipping the heart of a child using God’s Word is crucial. That’s why we call it educating the whole-heart of a child. The arts aren’t studied just by artsy and talented kids, and academics aren’t just studied by those that love academia. Through the lens of Scripture, they are both studied by all students at Artios because they are both vehicles to educating the heart of a child.
Artios is much more than “just an arts school.” Artios is a “smart” school, equipping students to reason, relate, discern, discuss, and express. “Fully prepared” includes having the wisdom to think critically and participate creatively in the world.
We believe that being “smart” means more than just finishing a curriculum or scoring well on a test, or receiving amazing college scholarships, all of which we have had students do, but we believe truly being “smart” involves wisdom.
A.W. Tozer says, “Wisdom is the power to see and the inclination to choose the best and highest goal together with the surest means of obtaining it.” By that very definition, wisdom can’t be man-based or man-centered. Rather, true wisdom, as stated in Scripture begins with “the fear of the Lord” — knowing God. Based on that, we must take every opportunity to turn the hearts of our students to God’s Word. God’s Word becomes the foundation of instruction and the method of instruction within Artios.
The Word of God is the inerrant, infallible, instruction manual for life. Within its pages are found the guiding principles and leading ideas for our thoughts and actions. Wisdom, truly being “smart,” is impossible without a commitment to God’s word.
So, how does Artios take these principles and put them into practice. Later in this book, we will go into the application of these principles in greater details in a discussion of our core values. But for now, let’s get a general grasp on how these principles are applied throughout Artios.
Applications to “Art”
When we think of art, we think of creativity, and creativity comes from THE CREATOR, the one that made something out of nothing. Ex nihilo. Next, we think of our children, who being created in God’s image have God-given creativity that needs to challenged, developed and expressed.
It is our responsibility as parents and our responsibility as teachers within Artios to provide a place for them to explore and choose a canvas to express that creativity based on their spiritual gifts and talents. That can be found in the arts or in academics. We must guide them to find their canvas, a canvas that can be used to create, express and worship.
Applications to “Heart”
Based on God’s definition of wisdom and education, we at Artios approach education as a means to equip students to compare and contrast all ideas and art forms as Truth or something that stands opposed to Truth. This knowledge frees students to reason, relate, discern, discuss, and express the Truth of Scripture; and, in the process, it is shaping their character, building their confidence, and sharpening their conscience. In that moment true learning begins.
Applications to “Smart”
During the past 20 years of home educating our family, the importance of bringing God’s Word into every area of our children’s lives in a real and practical way became more and more important as we studied to approach education from a Biblical worldview. God created the world and His story to be all interconnected, and students learn best when following that same formula. Life is interconnected. God designed our brains to learn best in integrative and associational way.
Based on a Biblical view of education, we began to approach education by asking how can we best “fully prepare” our sons for “every good work.” This meant approaching each one as an individual and it took a tremendous amount of time gathering, collecting, developing, and integrating materials that would work together as a whole for our children.
This is where Artios, the noun, comes in. Whether you are participating in the Academy of Arts and History, Conservatory, the Preparatory program or the complete package, the curriculum of Artios has been developed and is designed to work at home and in the classroom to help fully prepare your children.
The core values, principles and leading ideas that we have been discussing throughout this chapter are fleshed out in the Artios Academies curriculum used in the Academy of Arts and History, Artios Conservatory, Artios Preparatory. In addition, the Artios Home Companion Series offers a complete history, literature, grammar, and composition curriculum that perfectly integrates with our Academy and Conservatory programs or can stand alone for those not located near an Artios location.
But it is not just important what your child is learning; it is just as important to consider how your child is learning, from whom they are learning, and the context in which they learn.
An important aspect of creativity is the concept of community, and you can visit any one of our six artios academies in five states, and you will find a very special sense of community. Creativity and learning happen best in community, whether that be within the home or in a group tutorial setting. Parents and families need community as well. We all need community with like-minded parents seeking the same goal of rearing students who are “artios,” fully-prepared.
But what about all those places where there isn’t a campus community. Small groups, known as “cohorts” can join together to apply an artios philosophy and curriculum to learning in a setting that works for smaller groups of students.
When beginning home schooling and when beginning the ministry of Artios, John and I started with the end in mind, and we asked ourselves different questions because simply asking, “What is everyone else doing?” or “How much will it cost”” were the wrong “leading questions.”
The question truly is “What does ‘fully-prepared’ look like for my child?” It is our hope and prayer that through the contents of this book, you will be led to Scripture and to your knees in prayer to seek the answer to that question for your family and for your children.
Art. Heart. Smart.