“We often succeed in teaching our pupils ‘subjects,’ we fail lamentably on the whole in teaching them how to think.”
- Dorothy Sayers
Why do we do what we do? Because our goal is to develop students who love the Lord and are equipped to do His work in all fields and all facets of life.
The world we live in is dynamic, not static. Ironically, the best way to prepare students for an ever-changing world is by following an ancient philosophy of education. Classical education believes that by teaching students the grammar or foundation of all subjects, guiding them how to think about those subjects (like logicians, mathematicians, scientists, artists, authors...), and coaching them on how to articulate themselves well orally and in writing, students will develop the fortitude and tools to handle the complexity of life.
Please take a look at the results of a study completed by the Association of Classical Christian Schools. It shows that classically educated students outperform their public, traditional Christian, and homeschooled peers on all worldly and godly measures.
What is Classical Education?
“Like a fine old steam engine train, the Trivium is the engine, the classical content of the great works are the fuels and the tracks are the truths of God’s Word.”
Classical Christian education is a time-tested educational philosophy which affirms a biblical worldview, incorporates methods based on our understanding of student development, cultivates virtue, orients student reasoning through the Trivium, and interacts with the historical Great Books.
Classical education emphasizes the seeking after of truth, goodness, and beauty and the study of the liberal arts and the great books. The classical approach focuses on teaching students how to learn and how to think.
The classical philosophy of education was followed to produce countless great leaders, inventors, scientists, writers, philosophers, theologians, physicians, lawyers, artists, and musicians over the centuries.
What makes classical education so effective? It is the philosphy's approach to what, how, and when students are taught. Regardless of their learning style, children learn in three stages (grammar, logic/dialectic, and rhetoric), known as the trivium. In the grammar stage (K–6), students are naturally adept at memorizing facts, so it is the proper time to teach them the foundational truths (who, what, where, when) of each subject through chanting and singing. In the logic stage (grades 7–8), students are naturally more argumentative and begin to question...everything. They want to know the “why” of something—the logic behind it. During this stage, students learn formal logic and critical thinking, and how to argue winsomely. The rhetoric stage (grades 9–12) is naturally when students become independent thinkers and communicators. They study and practice critical writing and classical rhetoric, the art of persuasive speaking and effective writing.
It is this approach to teaching students based on their developmental stage that makes this approach so effective.
If you'd like to learn more about classical education, we highly recommend Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Douglas Wilson and An Introduction to Classical Education by Christopher Perrin.