Painted Logo of Sundial

Sundial Classical Farmstead (SCF) is a Michigan Nonprofit Corporation organized in 2022 with a directorship governance model according to Michigan's Nonprofit Corporation Act 162 of 1982. It was organized to provide community education programs in Common Arts and Trades and supplemental instruction for homeschooling families through a Classical Liberal Arts Program.

Motto

Schola Natura

In essence this means “restful learning in the natural world.” We believe students learn better when they are given the time and space to be comfortable, curious, and actively engaged.

Mission

To form virtuous people: savoring beauty, cultivating gifts, pursuing knowledge, loving wisdom and truth, and practicing hospitality.

SCF aims to form virtuous children and adults by savoring beauty in nature and the fine arts, cultivating gifts taught through the common arts, pursuing knowledge via the Great Conversation, loving wisdom and truth found in Scripture and Great Literature, and practicing hospitality in community with our neighbors.

The Sundial

One of our foundational goals was to connect children to the natural world to improve their health and well-being. We wanted our students to spend so much time outside every day that living a seasonal life would feel natural to them. These thoughts about understanding time via nature led us to the image of a sundial. Later, as we chose curricula that focused on observation and reasoning, the idea of using scientific thinking to create a sundial further resonated with this image for our school. Finally, because a sundial is intended to make an abstract concept available to everyone, it fits our second foundational goal, which is to create a farmstead that is accessible to everyone, including those with cognitive, sensory, physical, and learning disabilities.

Vision

Sundial Classical Farmstead (SCF) is a religious program. The Latin word legare means “to bind”. It is where the word ‘ligament’ comes from; the connotation is to connect or join. The prefix re- means to do again; adding it to legare creates the word religare, which now can be understood to mean “to bind fast” or “to bind together again” and will eventually become the word ‘religion’ in modern English. Interestingly, adding the prefix neg- to legare creates the Latin word neglegere which means “to make light of, disregard, be indifferent to, not heed”. It is where we get the term ‘negligent’. In this sense, religion means the opposite of neglect. In the context of our farmstead, it means we are a community that is bound together in its commitment to caring for and educating children in virtue with a holistic approach to form the character of the whole person: body, mind and soul.

Like culture, religion is a complex and nuanced phenomenon deeply integrated with human life and we believe that the Christian religion can help heal both the modern disconnect between soul and body and the division of the soul itself, wherein modern schooling focuses solely on the education of the mind while neglecting the cultivation of the heart and the will. And for this reason, we consider Christianity a vital element to the teaching of virtue that we thoughtfully weave, both in quality and measure, into the fabric of daily academic and spiritual life. We do this in a manner that is sensitive to both our Christian and non-Christian/non-religious families. For more information, refer to FAQ Questions 6-8.

For Christian families who want to supplement the instruction and formation their children receive at home or church, SCF will offer optional Christian Studies classes where students will go deeper into the riches of the Christian Scriptures, Theology, Spirituality, and Tradition. For more information, refer to FAQ Questions 9 and 10.

Statement of Faith & Ethics

Sundial Classical Farmstead (SCF) is rooted in the Western Tradition, arising out of Greco-Roman culture and the "Abrahamic" religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) of the Ancient Near East. And it is founded on the historic and universal Christian faith as described in the Nicene Creed, which serves as a faithful summary of Christianity accepted by Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians, and of the necessity of Christian unity and love in the bond of peace as expressed in the letter to the Ephesians chapter 4 verses 1-6.

Confession of religious belief and complete agreement with SCF's ethical principles are not necessarily required for enrollment or employment at Sundial Classical Farmstead. However, it is expected that all students and staff understand that (a) SCF programs will involve exposure to historical and classical Christian and non-Christian content, and (b) SCF's Code of Conduct is written to be consistent with historic Christian ethics.

Philosophy of Neutrality

Sundial Classical Farmstead intentionally maintains a position of neutrality on all religious, social, and political issues beyond the founding principles as articulated in the Mission, Vision, and Statement of Faith & Ethics. It will not engage in activism even on issues it agrees with. As an institution it does not endorse or condemn any religious actions, social movements, or political candidates. This philosophy is codified in a Neutrality Policy which all parents and staff must sign.

Nondiscrimination Policy: Sundial Classical Farmstead does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, or sex in the administration of its admissions, scholarships, hiring or other organization-directed policies.

Mission: To form virtuous people: savoring beauty, cultivating gifts, pursuing knowledge, loving wisdom and truth, and practicing hospitality.