What is Classical Education?
Classical education has its roots in the teaching methods of the ancient Greeks. It was the primary educational model of the Western world until the twentieth century. Each subject area is taught through the classical threesome, or “trivium,” that corresponds to children’s developmental levels at each stage. “Grammar” (preschool/elementary school age) is focused on basic knowledge, acquisition, and structure not only of language but also any field of study. “Logic” (middle school age) is the analysis of cause and effect relationships in an area of study. “Rhetoric” (high school and beyond) is persuasive and creative communication of knowledge, skill, and ideas. These areas of the trivium not only correspond to grade levels, but can be incorporated into every level of learning. In addition, since we are a Christian school, the Bible is taught to the children as fundamental truth through which we understand all subjects.
“[Classical education] emphasizes the goal of giving our children the educational tools to both learn and think for themselves”
-Gregg Strawbridge, Classical and Christian Education
How does this impact the way we teach?
Children in the grammar stage of learning memorize and respond to new knowledge easily. They retain a repertoire of essential knowledge and skills for future use. For students in our classical primary school, one can expect the following:
- Creative, yet structured and sequential teaching within the grade level and between grade levels
- 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.
- Drills that incorporates singing, movement, and recitation
- Learning through singing, drama, and second language
- Multi-sensory exploration
- Bible instruction that builds faith and knowledge
- Integration of all subject matter