According to the Greek, paideia is a word which encapsulates the entirety of one’s educational input, learning system, and cultural influence. It is a word which has no direct, concise English equivalent. Did you know that it is this very word which Paul uses in Ephesians 6:4 when he instructs fathers to bring their children up in the nurture, admonition, discipline, instruction, training, chastening… of the Lord?
|| Proverbs 1:7 || The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction. || Proverbs 9:10 || The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight.||
According to Encyclopedia Britannica
, “In the early Christian era the Greek paideia,
in Latin, served as a model for Christian institutions of higher learning… which offered theology as the culminating science of their curricula.” To reinforce this, we can see Merriam-Webster
defining paideia as the “training of the physical and mental faculties in such a way as to produce a broad enlightened mature outlook harmoniously combined with maximum cultural development,” while the Oxford Living Dictionary
succinctly describes it as “a system of broad cultural education” & “the culture of a society.”
With that as your underpin, who wouldn’t want to pursue an education for themselves or the students in their care that proclaims paideia as its goal. What could be more full and complete? What could better feed the curiosity and muse of each individual? What could better prepare children for a well-rounded adulthood than an ethos of maturity, enlightenment, higher education, broad culturization, and training of the entire person from physical to mental to spiritual?
regional vision? Inland vs. Pacific?
While there seem to be lots of options for conferences, seminars, and fellowship in cities over on the coast, Spokane is sadly lacking beauty in these things. Especially when it comes to bridging gaps and real building of sweet community without boundaries: there may be a Classical Conversations event or a Charlotte Mason event… but nothing to break down those barriers and soften our edges toward one another on the broader adventure of simply home educating our kids in the nurture & admonition of the Lord. We are often left to cowboy up and hearken back to our pioneer roots of simply fending for ourselves.
We tend to be very individualistic in this part of the country, it seems, as we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and roll up our sleeves to get the work done on our own. But at our core, as image-bearers of a Triune God who by His very nature declares to us that community, communion, & fellowship are good, we see our own need for community, camaraderie, and fellowship especially when it comes to educating our kids and fattening their souls. Paideia Northwest has a vision to make a change for the better, and one of the main ways we endeavor to bring forth change is to host an annual conference on the east side of the Cascades.
Our hope is to focus on resources that God has planted & grown right around us in our own region, to draw from speakers and vendors, communities and companies, been-there-done-that families and tried-and-true locations with roots right here in the Great Northwest. Pacific, Inland, all of it.
We have been given much, and when we open our mouths wide, we trust that the Lord will continue to fill us. (Psalm 81:10) May we see what good things and great people are right around us, and mature in the paideia God has given us right here.