Happiness Now or Later? Classical Christian Schools Offer Both!

July 7, 2020

As a father, I want my kids to be happy. But sometimes I have to make hard choices for the long term good of my daughters that may sacrifice their short-term happiness.

A lot of those choices have to do with delayed gratification, putting off current fun for future (hopefully larger) benefit later. Those decisions can be difficult - not only for my kids but also for me as a parent - because I love to see my girls being happy now. That’s not always the best, and not the point of wise parenting.

Most of the data concerning The Good Soil Report has to do with the long-term benefits of Classical Christian education. As a dad, if I had to choose between long-term benefits and short-term ones, I hope I would choose those that are longest lasting—even eternal.


But wouldn’t it be great if you could have both? Happiness now and long-term benefits for the future?

Some might be worried that Classical Christian schools prepare students really effectively for calling, college, and career and that they seem to prepare them well spiritually, but do they accomplish this through the joyless rigor of something like an academic version of boot camp?

The Good Soil Report had one additional bonus index that answers this question. As a dad, I am so thankful for this because it matches what I see in my own daughters. They have received the education that the data in the report reveals, but they have not had to give up the joy, the deep relationships, and the fun that we all hope high school contains for our students.

(If you missed the earlier blog posts in this series about the Good Soil Report, a comprehensive study of alumni from various types of schools that show distinctive results from Classical Christian schools, click here to read the previous articles.)

Now, let's examine how Classical Christian alumni view their school experience in hindsight.

Here is the index on High School Experience:

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This points to the fact that students looked back on their total experience in high school at Classical Christians schools as very positive. But it is even more telling when you get down to the granular level and look at a few of the specific questions answered by graduates in this area.

What made you love your school?

The teachers? Relationships with other students? The feeling that the work you are doing is meaningful and important?

In all of these areas, ACCS schools shine.

Teachers are one of the most important reasons students love or hate their experience in high school. In ACCS schools, students overwhelmingly agree that their teacher cared for them.

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As an administrator and as a father, this data point is so powerful for me. I want to surround my daughters with men and women that give the real examples of mature adults who model the Christian life by caring for the students under their care. (Currently, I have two daughters who have graduated from Veritas. In both cases, one of their teachers helped them to discern God’s calling on their lives and discover what they chose for their major in college.)

Teachers are only part of the equation; relationships with other students play a crucial role in making high school a time of joy and fulfillment. In this data point we once again see that students in ACCS schools, more than any other option, said that the students in their school got along.

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Finally, to have an enjoyable experience, students must believe that they are doing meaningful work—that they are actually getting the education that the school promised, an education that they value. On this score, ACCS graduates also give overhwhelmingly strong feedback asserting that they believe that they got a great education at their ACCS school.

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We pursue happiness. If we are wise, we pursue great happiness over the long-term. Often, however, the best context to make long-term positive decisions is one that is full of joy, productivity, and strong relationships today. We need those joys today and we need them in the long run. That is why the data about today and the future in The Good Soil Report is so encouraging.

Are you hoping for a school that will not only prepare your child well for the world ahead, but that they will also truly enjoy? One that provides a rich and rigorous education experience leading to a full life in Christ? We welcome you to see the Veritas difference, and why Classical Christian Education is the vibrant, dynamic, effective type of education you're looking for!


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Tyler Fischer

Head of School

Tyler Fischer

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