Teaching students to learn and problem solve independently
What is Classical Education?
Classical Education capitalizes on students’ natural intellectual abilities, strengths, and interests as well as the power of language to train students into active, lifelong learners. All learning is interrelated within this systematic curriculum.
- The early years (Grades K-4) are the building blocks upon which all other learning is based – their minds are busy absorbing information. This information ranges from poetry, stories, new vocabulary, math facts, historical people and dates, descriptions of plants and rocks, composers, major works of art, etc.
All of this data compiled prepares them for further study when the focus becomes analysis (“Why?”) and the way things fit together (Grades 5-8).
- Finally, students use everything previously learned to write and speak in clear, forceful, and elegant language (Grades 9-12).
This is what you will hear called the “Trivium” – the Grammar (fact absorption), Logic (analysis), and, finally, Rhetoric (expression) stages.
These stages can be compared to Knowledge (words, information, instruction), Understanding (discerning, judgment), and Wisdom (arrangement, articulation, and application of knowledge and understanding) within scripture.
Ultimately, the goal of classical education is to train and provide skills necessary for students to be able to tackle an unknown and conquer it – to learn and problem solve independently.
What does a Classical curriculum look like in the classroom?
In the early grades, students are obviously excited about learning new and interesting facts. Although they have a short attention span, they are imaginative and creative. Use of songs, stories, projects, games and incorporation of the five senses helps students memorize and assimilate language. They like to talk about and relate their own personal experiences to what they learn, explaining concepts after they have worked to figure them out.
The curriculum, at these early grades, then, plays to these student characteristics. There is guided discovery with lots of hands-on work where students explore and find things. Studentsalso use recitation, memorization, drills, games, and research to incorporate knowledge, with final projects often being collections, displays, models, dramas, field trips, and oral and written presentations.
What about Foreign Language?
An exposure to Spanish may begin as early as Kindergarten, with a structured curriculum in 1st-3rd grades.
In 4th grade, students will begin the study of Latin. Why?
- It helps students better understand the English language, vocabulary and grammar.
- It trains students’ minds to think analytically and use their powers of observation.
- Learning the language facilitates an understanding of history.
- Latin encourages a better understanding of classical literature.
- Latin is still used for technical terms.
- Latin is foundational to the learning of the Romance languages.
How does Classical Education incorporate Christ-Centered Education?
Classical is the methodology while Christ-centered provides the God-ward direction and focus. Christ-centered is the key and subordinates all else at the school. It not only wraps what we do in the name of Jesus Christ but also places Him at the center of every school activity.