Students lined the hallway. Parents waited at the mouth of the aisle. Our Headmaster stood in his best. To the right of his knee stood a little groom wearing a tuxedo with the letter Q pinned to the fold of his coat; he was awaiting his bride. The violin pierced the hum of the crowd and one by one the rest of the kindergarten class walked down the hall. First the flower girl, then the bashful bridesmaids and the giggling groomsmen, and finally came the bride. Her face was sweet and elegant, as if she were imagining what her real wedding would be like one day. Tied to her white bouquet was the letter U. Vows were exchanged, and finally the wedding ended with a resounding “kw”! Yes, it was our annual Q and U wedding.
This Cornerstone Academy tradition, started by former kindergarten teacher Hope Walker, is an excellent window into what we try to accomplish through classical education. This is an education where students are not simply told what to learn, but where they celebrate it, experience it, and integrate it with life.
1. To celebrate learning
Learning is not meant to be a passive experience where kids are simply told what to do and remember. The Q and U wedding shows kindergarteners that learning is a privilege, not simply a requirement. While every lesson cannot be turned into a party, it sets a tone for the children that learning can and should be celebrated.
2. To experience learning
The Q and U wedding allows the students to actively experience an idea using all five senses. The kids are not simply told that U always follows Q; they become Q and U, and take a familiar concept like marriage and use it as a lasting reminder of the forever union of these two letters.
3. To integrate learning
Traditionally our kindergarteners bring a “wedding gift” to the Q and U wedding. The gifts that would normally be for the bride and groom are instead given to a charity. Through this, students begin to understand that learning is not simply meant to be self-serving, but it should be shared, used to give back to the community. We especially emphasize that what we learn should always be used to glorify God.
In conclusion, marriage at five is not too young, but just the right time to celebrate, experience, and integrate learning!