I’ve got less than two weeks until our little kindergarten begins for the year (Miriam is preschool age, and we call it preschool for her because they both like to differentiate between their ages lately, but I like the Waldorf and Montessori idea of “kindergarten” being ages 3-6, so in my planning it’s all one and the same, with James just doing a little extra skill-based work).
I’ve thought for years about whether we’d give our homeschool a name. I think it’s a nice way to identify yourselves and take ownership of a learning community at home. There are many saints that I consider patrons of our education – St. Bede (a true Renaissance man), St. Sergius of Radonezh (who was taught to read by God himself), the Three Holy Hierarchs (Ss. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom, for their great wisdom and the use of their classical educations in the service of God), St. Katherine of Alexandria (also classically educated, and used her gift of rhetoric to convert the philosophers to Christ).
But I don’t really want to name our homeschool St. [name] Academy. I thought of our most basic goal in educating our children – to order their affections towards truth, beauty, and goodness, which of course guides them toward the source of all truth, beauty, and goodness. I thought of using the Greek word for one of these, such as Aletheia (truth) Academy, but you can’t really elevate one of these virtues above the other. Holy Wisdom, or Agia Sophia, is what we are ultimately trying to guide our children toward, but that’s our parish school’s name and it seemed silly to steal it 🙂 And, you know, we have a baby named Sophia.
Naming our homeschool has become too much of a commitment, and I was stymied with too many ideas, so I decided to dedicate just our kindergarten, just this year, to Someone. And for our little ones, my most basic goal is to help lead them to the Good Shepherd, whose love will ultimately guide them in all good things. And so for this year, we are the Kindergarten of the Good Shepherd.