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What only a parent can tell you about Christian education

I’m at a cross-country carnival today. Roadrunner (my daughter) is running 2km. A small number of steps for this child, but a giant amount of steps for her mum. I don’t run – unless there is a cockroach, and then I could qualify for the Olympics. Roadrunner tells me that during her race she kept focusing on having a growth mindset – something ‘the Dream Team’ have been teaching her. The Dream Team are her two class teachers this year, aptly named because, well, if the shoe fits! I asked Roadrunner what it means to have a growth mindset? She spoke of perseverance and not giving up, but she also told me about Philippians 4:6-7. “Do you know this one, Mum?” she asks, and then produces these incredible verses:

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“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

I am thankful for these moments where they are reminded to cast their cares on the Lord; for moments of learning what it means to bring their worries to the Lord in prayer; for moments, every day, where they are reminded of the glorious message of the Gospel.

“I do know that one,” I tell her. And she smiles and tells me how her legs were hurting and how she wanted to give up, but that she kept bringing her worries to God and He helped her to keep going. I stopped and thanked God for the Dream Team who have given this wonderful tool a purpose under the Lordship of Jesus.

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I’m at Infants (K-2) assembly this morning and the singing is being led by Maria Von Trapp. Obviously not the Julie Andrews kind, though it wouldn’t be surprising to see this teacher leading a troupe of matching-curtained-garbed children through the playground singing a perfectly harmonised version of Doe-a-deer on her guitar. I digress. Quick, back to the abbey…I mean assembly. Maria tells the children that there won’t be words on the screen for this first song. We don’t find out the name of the song either; only that it is a favourite. She starts with two chords and whilst I have no idea what the song is, it quickly becomes apparent that I’m the only one. Because at just the right moment, 120 sweet voices start singing. And as they start singing they look at one another with big eyes and wider smiles because they agree with Maria – it is one of their favourite things. And this is what their joyful voices sang:

Kindergarten students reading from the Big Picture Story Bible at Covenant Christian School Caroline Kilby-Covenant Christian School

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you, He will sustain you.

And He will never never never let the righteous fall, let the righteous fall, no.

Towards the end of the song, I notice that my friend is also struggling with her allergies. It feels a little silly to be crying in assembly, but we had just been reminded of something so important – to cast our cares on the Lord for He will sustain us.

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These are just some of the everyday stories of my life, but they are actually the threads that God is using to weave His story in the lives of my children. Covenant has been such a significant part of that, and I am so thankful that my kids are at Covenant for these early years of school. I am thankful for these moments where they are reminded to cast their cares on the Lord; for moments of learning what it means to bring their worries to the Lord in prayer; for moments, every day, where they are reminded of the glorious message of the Gospel. And as God weaves His story into their lives, the incredible thing is that He uses what they are learning to teach me too, and I guess that shouldn’t come as a surprise really; after all Jesus reminds us that “from the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise” (Matt 21:16).

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