The term “Achilles’ Heel” comes from the ancient story of the great Greek warrior, Achilles, and his mother, Thetis. Concerned for his well being, she took him to the protective waters of the River Styx and dipped the child into the river holding onto him by one heel. He would be immune to wounds everywhere the water touched him. His one point of vulnerability was his heel. He fought many battles unharmed until he was struck in the heel by an arrow and died soon afterward.
“Achilles’ Heel” has come to describe a point of weakness despite overall strength, a tragic weakness which can lead to one’s downfall.
In classical and Christian education, our Achilles’ Heel is the lack of excellent education we as parents and teachers have received. We passed each successive grade in school, but can we therefore claim to be educated? Dr. George Grant, a pillar in the classical and Christian education community, looked back on his education and made this proclamation, “We have been robbed!”
Modern schools abandoned the Trivium, the classical methodology of teaching. So-called experts persuaded modern parents and teachers to lower expectations of what children are capable of learning. As a result, we aided and abetted the robbery of our students’ inheritance, the type of education God meant for children to receive. We must come alongside our children to recover what God has called them to do. Our children also have an occupation, a vocation to be students. This is what they dress for each morning. This is why they work diligently to memorize history chants, Bible verses and catechisms. This is where they are trained in the tools of their trade as student explorers of the world God holds in the palm of His hand. Classical and Christian teachers and parents are restoring the firm foundation on which to build a house, a foundation that will not shift underneath their children as they grow.
Three times a year, GCCA parents serve their children by learning what it means to be educated classically and biblically. October 9th is the first Parent Academy of this school year. As they gather for the third year of Academy meetings, they will soon share with you what they are learning about how to raise up children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We ceaselessly pray that a new day is coming in which those of us with our Achilles’ heels will hand it all over to future generations who have been completely immersed in the springs of Living Water!
Bruce Williams is the Headmaster of Grace Classical Christian Academy in Granbury, Texas.