“The sole true end of education is simply this: to teach men how to learn for themselves.” -Dorothy Sayers
When considering the educational experience of our students, we begin with the end in mind. Our Christian classical education is designed to educate the whole child, cultivating wisdom and virtue by emphasizing truth, beauty and goodness in the teaching process. Our instruction methods are carefully chosen and consist of time-honored educational practices, allowing us to create a well-rounded academic foundation for each student.
Classical education has its roots in the teaching methods of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and served as the primary educational model of the western world until the twentieth century. This model is infused with the seven arts of learning, otherwise known as the liberal arts. A key component is the trivium or “three paths” of Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric. In the Grammar stage (preschool/elementary school age) students acquire the basic knowledge and structure of language. During the Logic stage (middle school age) students learn the art of thinking while studying cause and effect relationships. The Rhetoric stage (high school age) builds upon the Grammar and Logic stages of learning by instilling the art of communication through persuasive expression of knowledge, skill and ideas. Each subject area is taught by methods best suited to the developmental stages of the student and finds its ultimate power in teaching ALL subjects from the perspective of the Christian worldview. Additionally, these stages of the trivium not only correspond to grade levels, but also can be incorporated into every level of learning. Throughout their educational journey, students discover that every subject they study is anchored in God’s truth.
How does this impact the way we teach?
In the grammar stage of the trivium students respond to new information and memorize easily. In this stage they retain a repertoire of essential knowledge and skills for future use. For students in our preschool and classical elementary school, you can expect the following:
- Creative, yet structured and sequential teaching
- Integration of all subject matter
- Enjoyment of literature, music and art from many time periods and genres
- Reading lessons based on quality or classic children’s literature
- Thorough memorization of phonics, math facts, English rules, history, etc.
- Teaching methods that incorporate singing, movement and recitation
- Learning through singing, drama, and second language
- Multi-sensory exploration
- Bible instruction that builds faith and knowledge