Life Abundant: Good Soil Produces Grads With Gratitude, Grit, & Goals

June 30, 2020

As parents, we want happy kids who grow up to be responsible adults, with full lives characterized by thriving and joy that comes from a deeply rooted relationship with the Lord.

That is what I desire for my four daughters, and I am betting it's what you want for your kids, too. And that’s why this is such an exciting post about the Good Soil data.

(Remember, if you have not read the other blogs in this series, they are available here. We also have a guide to understanding the data here.)


Some of the most fun times that I have each year occur when I meet with the alumni of my school. They are growing older. Some of them hold positions of authority (which is strange because they still seem like kids to me!). When we meet, usually in a restaurant, I am blown away by the content of their conversations and the interesting things they are doing.

That brings us to the index called Life Outlook in the Good Soil Report. Here is the graph:

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This graph illustrates life outcomes that point to thriving (a.k.a., responsible, joyful adulthood). What we see is that feedback from alumni of Classical Christian schools is strikingly different than all other options.

Twenty-four percent of ACCS grads were above the median. That is significantly higher than the two other options whose alumni were above the median: homeschool (8% above) and evangelical school alumni (4% above). All others were below the median.

We can see why this is so important when we dig into the questions that went into this index.

Meaningful friendships

It begins with friendship. Deep friendships and good relationships strengthen us and help make our lives joyful.. Classical Christian alumni have the skills and motivation to build deep, meaningful friendships. An astounding 89% of the graduates of Classical Christian schools reported more close friends than the median.

The second table points to another interesting fact: ACCS alumni get together with those friends more often.

Tools to make it through tough times

Friendship, however, is just one part of the overall thriving seen in the lives of Classical Christian alumni. They also exhibit the kind of strength needed to get through the tough times in life.

These questions and responses point toward something often referred to as “grit,” or the ability and wherewithal to endure during challenging times—the likes of which all of us will face.

The first sign of this again points to the flourishing faith to which many of these students testify. In chart 2.3 below, we see that more of them have faith to trust in God during times of suffering—knowing that even their pain can be part of His plan and part of their growth.

The next chart, 2.4, points to the fact that Classical Christian alumni are purposeful, moving in a clear direction. The chart indicates how graduates reacted to the statement, “Life Often Lacks Clear Goals or a Sense of Direction.” In this instance, thriving produces a low number, which is just what we see for students who graduated from a Classical Christian school. This ACCS response is a little more than half as much as that of the next closest group (ACCS at 18% and Evangelical Schools are at 30%). Interestingly, the other three groups are all at the top hovering between 42% and 37%.

This response points toward lives of direction and purpose instead of lives of listlessness and emptiness.

A heart of thankfulness

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Finally, I saved my favorite data point in this section of the report for last. It is on thankfulness. A life full of thankfulness is one that is indeed thriving. It is a life that might be considered blessed by the one living it. Seventy-nine percent of ACCS graduates strongly agree with the statement: “I Have So Much in Life to be Thankful For.” That was significantly higher than any other group.

We want our children to be happy. We want them to have lives surrounded by close friends and strong relationships. We hope for them to be prepared to weather life’s tragedies without giving way to despair. We want them to be people who see the things for which they can be thankful in life.

As a father who has sent four daughters to a Classical Christian school, I am so excited that this data points toward what I believe I am seeing in the lives of my girls. It gives me hope for the future and makes me thankful for the present blessing that they have.

If you want your child to thrive as they move into adulthood, I would challenge you to think through this data and consider visiting a Classical Christian school to see if what you see there matches up to what this data is signaling and to find, perhaps, a place that can help you raise your son or daughter to be a thriving, thankful adult.

We welcome you to visit Veritas and see first hand what a profound impact this unique type of school can have on your child's life. Click below to schedule a tour and talk with our administration!


About our Guests

Tyler Fischer

Head of School

Tyler Fischer

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