Visit any of our Artios locations, and you will quickly notice a culture, a community that is reflective of an internal culture that is carefully nurtured within each of our programs. We believe that unique and very special culture and community happens at each location because of an emphasis on the following principles and ideas.
A Biblical View of the Child
“Every child is made in the image of God, fallen by nature but by God’s grace destined for immortality, gifted for a special purpose in God’s providence, and of infinite individual value.” (1) This principle upholds and emphasizes the sanctity and dignity of each child as uniquely designed by God. Each instructor in every program at Artios strives to guide each student to the fullest expression of his individuality in Christ as well as celebrating each child’s uniqueness. “As Christian educators we must take on the divine view of children that places them above the expected norms of society and draws forth their highest potential.”(2) One only has to look at the example of Jesus in Scripture to see God’s eternal attitude and love for the individual child.
“Aesthetic education is essentially educating tastes and sensibilities, and is mandatory to the education of the whole child. To neglect the fine arts in education is to admit ignorance and vulgarity. For every one pupil who needs to be guarded from a weak excess of sensibility there are three who need to awaken from the slumber of cold vulgarity. The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles but to irrigate deserts. The right defense against false sentiments is to inculcate just sentiments. By starving the sensibility of our pupils we only make them easier prey to the propagandist when he comes. For famished nature will be avenged and a hard heart is no infallible protection against a soft head.”(3)
Artios Academies offers fine arts that demonstrates and explains God’s creativity and character through the abilities that he has given various individuals. The scope and sequence of the curriculum of Artios Academy of Arts and History is designed as a four-year study matching the historical time periods studied in literature and history. Clothed in this four-year rotation are the age-appropriate skills found in the National Arts Standards for the subject areas of theater, music, and visual art. The artistic and worldview standard starts each year by studying the God Himself and His Creation and then moving into the time-period-related Artists and appropriate skills from the National Arts Standards.
By exposing the child to the “qualities of God and the pathway of Christ through His Story in art, he will be receiving “a rich feast that cultivates talent, imparts a Christian worldview, develops skills, and influences tastes for what is excellent.”4
In our Artios Conservatory program, God’s view of the arts and a Christian worldview of the arts is studied in depth, and students are encouraged to develop their God-given talents in a way that expresses excellence as a reflection of God’s character. Students are allowed and encouraged to specialize their time and efforts in the arts-related areas in which God has gifted them.
In our Preparatory program, each subject begins with a Biblical foundation. It is not enough to just insert Scripture into each subject. Instead, God’s word speaks to each subject and must be viewed as the foundation upon which that subject is built. Our curriculum and approach uses the Biblical principles as “leading ideas” upon which to study each subject.
God’s Principle of Individuality
Everything that God created has a distinct purpose for existence. When expressed toward our children, this principle focuses on unique individuality of God’s character and how that is demonstrated in the life of individuals. “This is a principle that transformed a nation and continues to confound the world by enabling every individual to achieve his God-given potential.”5 This principle is also foundational to the idea of personal responsibility and accountability in our lives, our choices, and our activities.
Environment of Biblical Excellence
It is our desire that a personal relationship with Jesus Christ permeates the teaching and environment within Artios Academies. We strive to hold to the standard found in Philippians 4:8 by maintaining standards in speech, vocabulary, music, and visual representation that is true, just, noble, pure, and of good report. By this emphasis, we hope to inspire the quality of work and work ethic. An emphasis on the fine and performing arts enriches an atmosphere of excellence. The arts are taught and viewed as a gift from God to be used to give back to God the glory due His name and to bless others around us.
Education…a Biblical Definition
Education was defined by Noah Webster in 1828 as: “bringing up, as of a child; instruction; formation of manners.
True education includes a sequence of instruction and discipline, which is intended to raise understanding, “correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future station. 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 who neglect these duties.”6 By reasoning through Biblical principles, we hope to lay a foundation that will address the whole child.
The Living Textbook Model
Scripture gives us the ultimate example of a Living Textbook. Christ was the perfect Living Textbook both to his disciples and is the perfect example to us today. When we realize that we as parents and teachers also serve as living textbooks to our children and to our students, our ideas and goals of parenting and teaching are radically transformed. Karen Andreola refers to a parent’s role as one of inspiring their children. The word inspire is defined by Webster’s 1828 Dictionary as to breathe. We as Living Textbooks have the opportunity and responsibility to “breathe into” our children and into our students.
Christ’s life is a perfect example of inspiring those around him. He was the perfect picture of his message. In order to become inspirational and in order to become Living Textbooks, we as teachers and parents must renew and refresh our own education. If we don’t take the time to prepare a lesson with Biblical reasoning, we cannot be equipped with wisdom and revelation to impart to our students. Spending time with Biblical principles is to spend time with the Author of every subject. “To give a child living books, those that are alive with moral purpose and relativity, is wonderfully enriching and far superior to the textbook mentality, more so for the parent/teacher to become a living book, as was Christ to his disciples, that we would also inspire a lifelong love for learning.”7
True education involves the whole child including the heart. “True Christian education appeals to the heart and spirit by inspiring the heart, consecrating the individual to Christ, cultivating “the new man,” and instructing in the knowledge of salvation. Secular education methods treat education as an external experience, stimulating, motivating, and indoctrinating the child through education.”8
Artios seeks to inspire our students by guiding them to reason in all areas of study in light of the truth of Scripture. Key events as well as the life, “character and contributions of key individuals are studied and recorded in terms of internal and external character qualities. If a student only receives the facts of a subject but has no applications to the heart and soul of the student, the information becomes lifeless and boring. If character and conscience is not learned, information becomes lost and forgotten.”9 Artios Academies has designed their curriculum, trained their teachers, and made as an important part of their mission the goal of affecting the student’s own character by reasoning from God’s Word. Academics and the arts should not be a separate experience; rather they should serve to meet the needs of the entire person — heart, mind, soul, and strength.
Scripture talks about Jesus growing in wisdom and stature with both God and man. Wisdom is much more than simply knowing random information. Growing in wisdom is the principle embodied in the third step of the Artios Academies mission statement: Educating, Equipping and Elevating. Wisdom is more than simply informing to educate. It’s more than just giving students academic tools and equipping them mentally. It’s elevating discernment into our student’s lives so that they can be effective salt and light in every area of their lives. It is educating the heart, soul AND mind of our children — the children in our homes AND the children in our classrooms. This is a foundational principle behind the Artios Academies philosophy of education.
Field Study Tours
This enriching method, of encouraging the student’s interest and love of the subject, is an experience that celebrates and culminates a particular unit, or topic of study . . . is far more than a traditional ‘field trip.” Field trips should be designed for student participation, and students are taught about what they will see and experience before they tour. Their experiences from the trips are related and recorded in various genres in the “records.”
Special Celebration Days
“Creating memorials in learning is a Biblical concept. God instructed his people to build an altar or celebrate a specific move of His divine Hand in their deliverance with a feast day, lest they forget His wondrous works and fall back into sin and national decay. Special Days are days of celebrating and memorializing learning!”10 They flow from any subject or art form. Celebrations provide opportunities for dressing in costumes, participating in related activities, and eating unique foods.