Religious Students Earn Better Grades

A bit more than a week ago, I spoke at an education event focused on those who were considering homeschooling. One of the talks I gave focused on why you should educate your children from a Christian worldview. Afterward, a woman came up to me and asked if I had seen the studies that show that being religious improves a student’s academic performance. I told her I had not, and later on, she graciously sent me some examples. I was amazed that I had not seen this research before, because it conclusively demonstrates that more religious adolescents are simply better students than those who are less religious.

For example, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth performed in 1997 collected a “…nationally representative sample of 8,984 men and women born during the years 1980 through 1984.” It collected “…extensive information on respondents’ labor market behavior and educational experiences.” Analysis of those data indicated that the more frequently a student attended religious services, the better his or her GPA:

While these data are a bit old, a review article published just last year surveyed 42 studies that have been published from 1990 to 2020. They all show that the more religious a student is, the better his or her academic achievement.

Now, of course, correlation doesn’t mean causation, so it is possible that religion doesn’t directly affect academic achievement. However, the first conclusion drawn by the review article is:

First, research has advanced from correlational studies to methodologically rigorous designs suggesting religion can play a causal role in academic success.

One of the more interesting of those “methodologically rigorous” studies compared children in the same family. It found that even within a given family, the more religious siblings had higher grade point averages than the less religious siblings. It also found (in agreement with other studies not focused on siblings) that the more religious siblings completed more years of education than the less religious ones. Thus, even with the same parents and family structure, religious adolescents are better students.

Why does being religious produce better grades? One study suggests that going to religious services broadens the students’ social network, giving them better access to adults other than their parents, peers who also share similar views, and extracurricular activities that are education focused. Others suggest that religion encourages students to be cooperative and conscientious, and such traits are positively correlated with academic achievement.

While those reasons might help explain the well-known fact that religious students have higher academic achievement, I think I can offer at least a couple of other suggestions. As a Christian, I have been taught that God gave me certain gifts, and it is my duty to Him to develop those gifts as much as possible. Most of my motivation for doing well in college and getting my Ph.D. was because I knew God had given me gifts in science and teaching, and it would be an affront to Him had I not concentrated on honing those gifts to the best of my ability. While not everyone has God-given gifts in academic subjects, it is clear that a good education (especially through high school) helps you develop any gift better.

However, there is another reason. It was given by the father of the Scientific Method, Roger Bacon, nearly 800 years ago. He wrote:

For the grace of faith illuminates greatly, as also do divine inspirations, not only in things spiritual, but in things corporeal and in the sciences of philosophy
(The Opus Majus of Roger Bacon, Robert Belle Burke (trans.), Russel & Russell, Inc. 1962, p. 585)

Faith illuminates all areas of life, including academics.

So, in addition to the reasons I gave in my talk about why you should educate from a Christian worldview, I must add this:

A Christian Worldview Produces Greater Academic Success.

Should Your Homeschool Graduate Go to College?

A portion of the Brooklyn College campus (click for credit)

I just got back from the Texas Homeschool Convention, which took place in Round Rock, Texas. I gave three talks and spent a lot of time speaking with homeschooling parents and homeschooled students. I always enjoy my time at conventions like this one, and I am sorry to say that I am done with my convention appearances this year. However, I am already scheduled to speak at all Great Homeschool Conventions next year, as well as the ICHE conference in Bourbonnais, Illinois.

During one of my talks, I got a question that I was happy to answer at the time, but I thought I would also answer it here. As near as I can remember, the question went like this:

With all the anti-Christian sentiment that exists on college campuses, should we even send our children to college? If so, should it be only to Christian schools?

Let me start by saying that while the mood on many college campuses (including several that call themselves “Christian”) is definitely anti-Christian, it doesn’t really affect the students that much, at least not in terms of their commitment to their faith. As I have discussed previously (here and here) studies show that those who go to college are more likely to retain their faith than those who do not. Thus, if you are worried about your child “losing faith” in college, that is the exception, not the rule.

Now having said that, let me also say that there are way, way, way too many students attending college these days. As someone who has been teaching at the university level for more than 30 years, I can assure you that MOST students should not go to college, because they don’t need it. In my opinion, there are two reasons a student should go to college:

1. The student is just a natural scholar and loves to learn.

2. The student has a career path planned that requires a college degree.

If a student doesn’t meet one of those two criteria, the student is mostly likely wasting his or her time, along with a few buckets of money. Most students would benefit more from going to a trade school or joining the workforce. Some of them might eventually go to college, after their real-world experience ends up giving them one of the two criteria listed above.

So…let’s suppose your child meets one of those two criteria. He or she should go to college, but should it be a Christian college or a secular college? That depends on the student. Some students (myself included) experience an enormous amount of spiritual growth at secular colleges, mostly because we thrive when our faith is challenged. There are others, however, who will grow more at Christian colleges.

This is where you, as a homeschooling parent, have a distinct advantage. You know your children much better than most parents. Thus, you are in a perfect position to help them in choosing their college environment. Ask yourself how your student will react to having his or her faith challenged pretty much on a daily basis. That will tell you what kind of college your child should attend.

Also, please note that you cannot believe a college is Christian simply because it says it is. Over the years, I have experienced many “Christian” schools promoting decidedly anti-Christian ideologies. Thus, if you think your college-bound child will thrive best at a Christian college, you should make it a point to visit the campus, ask the officials hard questions about social and theological matters, and have your child ask some current students about their evaluation of the Christian nature of the school.

I will end with this piece of advice, which is probably the most important: Regardless of the type of college you choose for your college-bound student, make sure he or she is an active part of an ON-CAMPUS Christian fellowship group (like Intervarsity, Navigators, Cru, etc.). This doesn’t replace church, but it is vital for your child to have access to likeminded brothers and sisters who have experienced “that professor” or “that situation” and can help your child deal with it. In my opinion, being an active part of an on-campus fellowship group is significantly more important to your student’s spiritual life than whether the college is Christian or secular.

My 2022 Commencement Address to Homeschool Graduates

The 2022 Statewide Homeschool Graduation Ceremony

This past weekend, I gave a commencement address to graduating homeschooled students at the 2022 Statewide Home School Graduation hosted by the Indiana Foundation For Home Schooling. It was a wonderful, meaningful ceremony, and I want to thank the Indiana Foundation For Home Schooling for inviting me. If you are interested in what I had to say to our nation’s hope for the future, you can find a reasonable approximation of my speech below:

Continue reading “My 2022 Commencement Address to Homeschool Graduates”

Another Reason Homeschooling Is Best for Most Students

Over the years, I have compiled a lot of information regarding why homeschooling is the best mode of education for most students. Homeschooled students learn more than their publicly- and privately-schooled peers. Homeschool graduates make the best university students. Homeschooled students are better socialized than their peers. Homeschool graduates are more accepting of people who are different from them. Homeschooled students eat better and sleep better than their peers. However, there is another (very obvious) reason home education is the best option for most students, but I have failed to write about it. I will correct that oversight now.

Let me begin by telling you a little story about something that happened in one of my online high-school physics courses this year. Most of the students in the class are juniors or seniors in high school, since they must have basic trigonometry before they can take the course. Well, before class time officially started one day, a student was talking about his recent experience in a debate tournament. While he was talking, something like this happened in the chat box, where students can type their thoughts so they don’t interrupt the speaker:

Student A: I love debate. I have been doing it since junior high.

Student B: I love it, too.

Student C: I wanted to do it, but you have to be 12.

Student A: Wait….what?

Student B: huh?

Student D: ?????????!!!!?????

Student E: You aren’t 12 yet?

Of course, I knew that student C was several years younger than the vast majority of students who take physics, but she had mastered the necessary math, so I accepted her in my chemistry course the year before and in my physics course this year. She has earned A’s each semester and has been an active participant in class.

I have another student who took chemistry with me last year and is currently taking physics. She recently sent me her graduation announcement. In it, she shared that she will be graduating from high school and getting her associates degree this month. She uses her artistic talents and the knowledge she gained while getting her associates degree to produce original Mugs, Craft Supplies, Ornaments, and Hoodies.

Finally, many years ago I met a high school student while I was speaking at a series of homeschool events. She had a broad range of knowledge from biology to history to the arts, and I really enjoyed my conversations with her. Later on, I received a handwritten letter from her in the mail, but the letter looked like it had been written by someone who was just learning to write. Some of the letters were backwards, and many of the words were horribly misspelled.

I thought it was a joke, so I began writing a snarky letter back to her. Then something (probably the Lord) told me to ask her mother about it, so I emailed her mother. Her mother said that the letter was normal for her. It turns out that this young lady has many learning challenges. In fact, in homeschool, she took three years to get through first grade. Nevertheless, if I had not seen her handwriting, I would have never known, because she was clearly articulate and well-educated. She is now the Creative Director and Designer for a software firm that develops apps.

What do these three students have in common? Because they were homeschooled, their education was tailored to them so it would meet their needs. The young physics student would have been terribly bored in a typical school setting, because she is clearly advanced when it comes to math and science. Her homeschool experience allowed her to learn much more than she could have in most schools. The student earning her associates degree while in high school was able to take many post-high-school classes before graduating, because she could tailor her schedule and be flexible with the high school classes she took. As a result, she could use her talents to start a business in what will probably end up being her chosen field. The student with learning challenges had her education tailored so that her challenges did not keep her from developing her strengths.

Of all the benefits homeschooling brings, a tailored education might be the most important one. There is no such thing as an effective “one size fits all” education, even though that’s what the vast majority of schools offer. Homeschooling allows students to learn at their own pace in a way that meets their specific needs. That way, they can make the most of their education.

Discovering Design with Earth Science is Finally Available!

Because of difficulties surrounding supply chains, employment, etc., it took a lot longer than expected, but Discovering Design with Earth Science is finally here! I have to take a moment to praise my publisher, who truly went above and beyond what most publishers would do in this situation. The facility that usually does the printing told my publisher that they couldn’t get the books done in time to get them out to those who are starting school in August. As a result, my publisher ended up contacting several printers and found one that would do a “short run” (printing a smaller number of books) to meet the needs of those who were counting on the book being available in August. Short runs cost more money per book, so my publisher is sacrificing income in order to make the books available to those who need them. Not many publishers would do that, and I want to commend Berean Builders for its commitment to customer service!

The course covers earth science at the late junior high/early high school level. In practical terms, it could be used for either 8th or 9th grade, depending on the student. It covers the basic structure of the earth, geology, fossils, physical oceanography, weather, and space. Like all my courses, it has laboratory exercises built right into the book. Some of the exercises use household items, but there are several that require a kit which has a digital mass scale, some chemistry supplies, and specific samples of sediments, rocks, minerals, and fossils.

As I have tried to do in the past, I strive to present both sides when it comes to the age of the earth. Throughout the first nine chapters of the book, students will learn the data that lead many scientists to conclude that the earth is billions of years old, but they will also learn the data that lead some scientists to believe the earth is thousands of years old. I do not tell the students what I believe, but they can probably figure it out if they want to. Nevertheless, here is how I end the ninth chapter:

“Before I end this chapter, however, I need to make you aware of one very important fact. As a knowledgeable scientist, I could have focused on just the evidence favoring uniformitarianism and against the YEC (young-earth creationist) view. As a result, I could have easily convinced you that science clearly demonstrates that the earth is billions of years old and the uniformitarian view of the geosphere is correct. I could also have focused on the evidence for catastrophism and against uniformitarianism, and I could have easily convinced you that science clearly demonstrates the earth is only thousands of years old, and the YEC view of the geosphere is correct.

Unfortunately, this is something every student experiences. Because your teachers and the authors of your textbooks know a lot more than you do, they can easily convince you of pretty much anything they want. Being a good scientist requires that you respectfully read and listen, but also investigate the issue for yourself. This is probably the most important thing to learn from this chapter. In fact, it is probably the most important thing to learn from all your education:

Regardless of how convincing teachers or textbooks are, do not form an opinion until you have looked at all sides of an issue. Otherwise, you might end up being fooled.”

My Review of Exploring Creation With Earth Science

Cover of the book being reviewed, emphasizing the new author.
Normally, the only new titles I review from my former publisher are those that I originally wrote or had an important hand in developing. So far, I have reviewed six of them (here, here, here, here, here, and here). However, I feel compelled to review this new title, for two main reasons. First, I have just finished writing a middle school/high school earth science course, and some people might wonder if this elementary course will prepare students for my upper-level course. The answer is, “No.” Second, the author is different from all the other books in the publisher’s “Exploring Creation With…” elementary series, and readers need to be aware of that, because it makes this book very different from the others in the series. If you liked the previous books (authored by Jeannie Fulbright), you probably won’t like this new book.

Why do I say that? Let’s start with the way it is written. Fulbright has a knack for explaining science to elementary students without “talking down” to them. In my opinion, that’s not the case with this book. The tone comes off as condescending from time to time. More importantly, Fulbright is passionate about young-earth creationism and includes “Creation Confirmation” sections in her books. These sections highlight how the material being discussed confirms the young-earth creationist view. This book studiously avoids any direct mention of the age of the earth or even the method of creation. Students who use this course will not learn anything about the creation/evolution debate or the age of the earth debate.

Worse yet, while the author doesn’t discuss the age of the earth directly, there are several statements she makes that support an ancient earth. When discussing soil, for example, the author states:

How long does it take to make soil? That depends on where you start. If we start with really big rocks and wait for them to break down through the weathering process we studied, it can take thousands of years until they become the particles we know as sand, silt, and clay.

First, this statement is utterly false. Soil is formed incredibly rapidly during catastrophic floods and other high-erosion events. Second, it implies that sedimentary rocks take longer to form than the young-earth timescale, since the breaking down of rocks through the weathering process is just the first step in making sedimentary rocks. If that takes thousands of years, there is no time left for sedimentary rocks to form.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am not saying it’s bad that the book allows for an ancient earth. I don’t have a problem with that, even though I disagree. The problem is that the rest of the series is unabashedly young-earth, so I would assume that parents will expect this new book to be young-earth, and it is definitely not.

Also, there is not a single mention of the worldwide Flood in the entire course. I can’t imagine Fulbright ignoring such an important topic in the study of geology. After all, if you are a young-earther, the Flood is what shaped most of the geological structures we see today. If you are not a young-earther, you need to explain why you think the Flood didn’t do that. Instead, this book ignores the Flood entirely. It also pretty much ignores fossils! There are two sentences about fossils in this entire earth science book!

Another way this book differs from the others in the series is that it is not a “living book.” Fulbright strove to make her books deep and rich, and she tried to teach science by telling a story. By contrast, this is like an Usborne book. It is full of pictures, random facts, and terms that are often not explained or explained many pages after they are first discussed. In addition, it barely scratches the surface of nearly everything it covers.

There are also many scientific errors in the book. Based on a Wikipedia article, the author says that water is naturally blue, when it can be defined as, “A tasteless odorless colorless liquid with the chemical formula H2O.” She says that pressure isn’t a real force (it is), but then discusses the Coriolis force as if it is a real force (it isn’t). She also says:

The Sun actually provides us too much energy, so the earth has to get rid of some energy or it will overheat. Getting rid of extra heat is something important our atmosphere does.

Of course, the truth is that the atmosphere retains energy through the greenhouse effect in order to make the planet habitable. That is the opposite of what the book says.

If you are interested, this PDF lists the details of the 11 things that show this book is different from the others in the series, the 5 statements that implicitly support an old earth, the 18 serious scientific errors, and the 17 minor scientific errors that I found. It also lists 4 things that I simply do not understand.

Discovering Design With Earth Science

My latest book has been sent to the printer, and it should be ready in June. To learn more about it, you can go to my publisher’s website. In addition to the course description, you can click on “Product Resources” to get the table of contents, the entire first chapter, a list of the experiment supplies, an overview of the experiments, and a scope and sequence for the course. You can also get on the waiting list so that you are notified as soon as it is ready.

I have already posted a couple of excerpts from the book, but I thought I would give you one more. This comes from the introduction:

You have lived on the earth all your life, but you probably don’t know very much about it. As a child, you probably enjoyed digging in the dirt. But what is dirt? How is it different from rocks? How are rocks different from fossils and gems, which are usually found in rocks? You have sometimes enjoyed the weather and sometimes complained about it. But what makes the different kinds of weather you have experienced? You generally get up after the sun rises, and you have probably gazed at the stars after the sun has set. But what makes the sun rise and set? What are the stars? You will find the answers to these questions through a study of earth science, which is what I will cover in this book.

The earth is a marvel of design and complexity, because God made it. Psalm 24:1 tells us, “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, The world, and those who dwell in it.” Psalm 111:2 also tells us, “Great are the works of the Lord; They are studied by all who delight in them.” I am sure that there have been times you have been delighted by the earth. I know that every time I sit on a beach or scuba dive in the ocean, I am delighted. The same thing happens when I gaze at a beautiful mountain or see constellations of stars in the night sky. Because I have been so delighted by the earth, I want to study it. I hope that this course makes you take even more delight in this planet that you call home, and I hope that it encourages you to continue studying the earth, even once you are finished with this book.

Why Do Creationists Use the Bible for Science?

Matthew Fontaine Maury, who was inspired by the Bible to map ocean currents.
This blog has been more quiet than usual, because I am trying to put the finishing touches on my new book, Discovering Design with Earth Science. As soon as that job is complete, you will be able to see preview materials at my publisher’s website. I decided to pause for a moment, however, because I was recently asked the following question by a frustrated atheist:

Why would you even think of using the Bible for science? It isn’t a scientific book!

It turns out that Discovering Design with Earth Science has two answers to that question. I shared them with him, and I thought I would share them with you as well. In the book, I present both sides of the age-of-the-earth issue in as unbiased a way as possible. I start with the uniformitarian view, which requires a very old earth. I then present the young-earth creationist view. The first answer to the atheist’s question is found at the beginning of that discussion:

Suppose you are examining the ruins of an ancient city and want to learn as much as you can about when it was built, how it was built, and how it fell into ruin. You see some of the remains of buildings, streets, walls, etc., but nothing has been preserved intact. You can learn a lot by investigating the ruins, but your conclusions will be based on your interpretation of what you see. Now suppose you found out that there was a book written shortly after the city was built, and it discusses the politics of the city for several centuries. While the focus of the book is on the government, it does cover many aspects of how and when the city was built.

Would you completely ignore the book and just examine the ruins, relying on your own interpretation to determine the city’s history? Of course not! If you wanted to learn the truth about the city’s history, you would read the book and let it help you interpret the ruins that you are investigating. This is how young-earth-creationists (YECs) study the geological record. They believe they have a book (the Bible) that comes from the Creator Himself. While the book focuses on more important things like salvation, morality, and our duties to God, it does discuss the creation of the universe, the earth, the organisms that lived on earth, etc. Since YECs consider the Bible to be an accurate source of history, they use it as a guide to studying the “ruins” of the geological column and fossil record. There’s a lot more to the history of the earth than what is in the Bible, but at least the Bible gives YECs a starting point to help their interpretation of the geological record.

The second answer to the atheist’s question comes from my discussion of the surface currents found in the ocean. While others had mapped some of those currents (Ben Franklin, for example, mapped the Gulf Stream), the man most responsible for mapping the ocean’s surface currents was Matthew Fontaine Maury, who is pictured above. He was inspired to search for the “paths of the seas” that are mentioned in Psalm 8:8, and after an exhaustive research effort, he ended up producing a detailed map of those currents. This revolutionized ocean travel, so he became quite famous in his time. He ended up writing a very important text on oceanography (what they called “physical geography” back then): The Physical Geography of the Sea. In that book, he references the Bible several times. In my earth science book, I tell the students all of this and then I add:

Many scientists didn’t like that and tried to discourage him from connecting the Bible to science. In a speech given at the founding of The University of the South, he gave those scientists a stern rebuke:

I have been blamed by men of science, both in this country and in England, for quoting the Bible in confirmation of the doctrines of physical geography. The Bible, they say, was not written for scientific purposes, and is therefore of no authority in matters of science. I beg pardon! The Bible is authority for everything it touches.
(Diana Fontaine Corbin, A Life of Matthew Fontaine Maury, Samson, Lowe, et. al., 1888, p. 192)

Young-earth creationists like me really believe that. The Bible is an authority when it comes to all the important things of life: salvation, morality, our duties to God, etc. However, because it was written by the Creator Himself, we believe it is an authority in whatever it mentions, including science.

Reflections on a Life That Didn’t Go According to Plan

Click for credit

Over the past two weekends, I attended two homeschooling conventions. They were both Great Homeschool Conventions, and after a year of doing no live conventions at all, I was overjoyed to be back in the saddle. I was also thrilled to see so many families refusing to live in fear and gathering together as a community. I had a lot of wonderful conversations with homeschooling veterans, new homeschooling parents, homeschool students, and homeschool graduates. While many people told me things that were deeply meaningful, there was one event that stands out in my mind, and I must share it.

A homeschooling mother stopped by my publisher’s booth and gave me a manila envelope. It contained a very nice card from her, and a report on some original research her high-school-age daughter had done under the supervision of a professor at a local college. It involved the interaction of bacteria and fungi with certain antibiotics and fungicides. The experiments produced some novel results, and it might end up being published in the scientific literature. The title page of the paper contained this handwritten note from the student:

Dr. Wile, I took what you taught me, and I ran with it. Thank you.

Apparently, she had used my book, Discovering Design with Chemistry, and was inspired to pursue a career in biochemistry, so she started taking college classes while still in high school. There, she met a professor who was happy to encourage her, and that’s how she ended up being able to do the experiments that are discussed in the report. She ended up coming by my publisher’s booth. We got to talk for a while, and I could see her eyes light up when she discussed what she had done. She clearly has a passion for scientific research, and it really made my day!

Since the time this enthusiastic young lady left my publisher’s booth, I have been waxing a bit nostalgic (being sappy is what my daughter would call it), thinking about all of the students who have told me about their scientific accomplishments. One student discovered a new virus. Another developed a new way of producing heavy elements. Another has published more than 40 articles in the scientific literature and is a leader in the field of prenatal imaging. I could go on and on.

What’s my point? Well, when I went to university, my plan was to do exactly what these incredible individuals are doing. I was going to get my Ph.D. in chemistry and become a world-class scientist. While I accomplished the first goal, the second never materialized. I got my Ph.D., became a professor, got grants to do research, and did research that lead to many publications in the peer-reviewed literature of nuclear chemistry. Had I continued, I would have gotten my shot at becoming a world-class scientist. But then something happened. I met my first homeschool graduate.

He was a student in my general chemistry course, and he was head-and-shoulders above his classmates. When I learned that he was homeschooled, I was shocked. I had no idea how a mother without any training (his mother hadn’t even gone to college) could produce a superstar science student. As time went on, I met more outstanding students who were homeschool graduates, so I investigated this “odd phenomenon” on my own. I found that my experiences were indicative of the norm: homeschool graduates are (on average) the best university students. As a result, I started working with homeschooling parents, and eventually, I started writing homeschooling curriculum for them.

Somewhere along the line, I realized that I loved writing curriculum more than university teaching and scientific research, so I eventually left the university and did some consulting work in order to spend more time writing. After my curriculum became popular enough, I stopped consulting and became a full-time writer. I did that for several years, but now I have found a way to balance teaching and writing, so I now teach both high school and university students while still producing new homeschooling curriculum.

While I truly love what I am doing, I sometimes wonder about the choices I made. Once I went to university, I had a solid plan. What would have happened had I followed that plan? Would I have made some great scientific breakthrough? Probably not. While I have made some modest scientific discoveries with the help of others (such as radial energy scaling in heavy-ion collisions and an explanation for an odd chemical phenomenon), I don’t think I have the talent that is required to do great scientific research.

After this past weekend, I have come to realize that I have a tangible reason for being glad my life didn’t go according to plan. Had I followed my plan, I would have probably been a mediocre scientist. Because I followed the opportunities the Lord placed in front of me, however, I have helped inspire some truly incredible people to become scientists. I am certain that they will eventually produce more scientific advancements than I ever could have.

I guess what I am saying is that if the Lord puts opportunities in your path that require you to change or abandon the plans you have made, you should take those opportunities. His plans are better than yours!

1 Corinthians 13 for Homeschoolers

I just finished reviewing an excellent book on home education.  I will discuss it more when it gets published.  The author quoted this piece, which I had never read before.  As far as I can tell, no one knows who originally crafted it, but I agree with it wholeheartedly!

1 Corinthians 13 for Homeschoolers

If I teach my children how to multiply, divide, and diagram a sentence, but fail to show them love, I have taught them nothing.

If I take them on numerous field trips, to swim practice, and flute lessons, and if I involve them in every church activity, but fail to give them love, I will profit nothing.

And if I scrub my house relentlessly, run countless errands, and serve three nutritious meals every day but fail to be an example of love, I have done nothing.

Love is patient with misspelled words and is kind to young interrupters. Love does not envy the high SAT scores of other homeschool families.
Love does not claim to have better teaching methods than anyone else, is not rude to the fourth telephone caller during a science lesson, does not seek perfectly behaved geniuses, does not turn into a drill sergeant, thinks no evil about friends’ educational choices.

Love bears all my children’s challenges, believes all my children are God’s precious gifts, hopes all my children establish permanent relationships with Christ, and endures all things…

Where there are college degrees, they will fail; where there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we teach in part. But when the trials of life come to our children, the history, math, and science will be done away, and faith, hope, and love will remain.

But the greatest of these is love.