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Classical Education What is it?

The Foundation: The Trivium

Young children (grades K-6) are uniquely able to absorb and memorize new information. They even enjoy making up playground songs or chants of their own. If memory isn’t developed at this phase, it is lost, but modern education largely neglects it. Our students are given a foundation which will last them a lifetime.
Early adolescents (grades 7-8) enjoy arguments, as they develop the ability to connect facts and draw conclusions. This is the dialectic or logic phase, and most modern educators overlook it. Classical education teaches formal logic and reasoning (otherwise learned only in college), training the student in the science of accurate thinking.
Rhetoric—An Essential Skill
In high school, students becomes self-conscious about fashion, vocabulary, mannerisms, and other forms of self-expression. This is the rhetoric phase, and here the students are taught to develop their speaking and writing abilities, learning to relate to their audience, and express themselves with clarity and persuasion.

Inspired to Learn

Beyond the foundation of the trivium, the classical method Inspires Learning. Because it complements the phases of human development, it naturally appeals to students. Classical education engages the mind and the heart, producing a well-formed individual equipped for thinking andable to engage the world around them.


Finally, Integration between subjects presented with a Christian worldview ties the world together. Math, science, philosophy, and history are interwoven in a way that relates all subjects to the whole. As students Integrate subjects, scriptural truth is integrated as well. Classicism provides this perspective unlike any other form of education.

The Lost Content If it works, don't fix it.

Great Minds
Great Minds begin by reading great books. Modern educators see the prior minds of history as approximations to our present enlightened society, as such being outdated and irrelevant. To classical educators great minds stand on their own merits, speak to timeless issues, and are always relevant.
Literature brings the great ideas of history alive. Students who read great literature write better because they have history’s best teachers. Great books let you think and feel the brilliance of history’s most influential people.
Philosophy asks the age-old foundational questions about man, God, and nature. Classical Christian education sets students on a firm foundation for understanding and integrating all of life.
Theology: Scripture provides us with everything we need to know about God. Theology organizes it. Students who know their theology have a better grasp of the Bible. Classical educators call theology the “Queen of the Sciences.”
Art: People’s beliefs about the world are reflected in their art. By studying music, theater; and the fine arts in their historical context, we come to know the views that produced them.
Science & Math
Science & Math: From Archimedes to Newton, from Galileo to Pascal, the golden era of science belongs to the classical worldview. One difference between a classical and a liberal-arts education is our emphasis on science and math. Students at classical schools perform well in these subjects.
Logic & Rhetoric are not only methods, they are also subjects, systematized and formalized by Aristotle. We study these to learn the science of thinking and the art of verbal and written communication.
Scripture is not only a subject—it is also a lens. It provides perspective, enlightening every subject as we use the light of Scripture to help us understand every subject in every way. This difference is evident in every classical and Christian classroom.

The Power of Latin SATs & standardized testing.

According to those who administer the SAT, students who take 2 years of Latin score on average 152 points higher on their SATs.

  • Latin
  • French
  • German
  • Spanish
  • All

Source: The College Board, as cited by the National Committee for Latin and Greek.

Why is Latin such a valuable academic tool?


Latin is a powerful vocabulary builder. Over half of English comes from Latin, because often five or ten English words may stem from a single Latin root. By learning Latin, students are capable of grasping many English words that they’ve never heard.


English is a compound of other languages and therefore has many exceptions—its structure is hard to follow. Latin’s syntax and grammar can be considered an excellent “ideal” language, and its lessons equip the student to better write in English.


Training in Latin also gives the student the foundation for learning other languages like French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Romanian. Perhaps 80% of each of these languages derives from Latin.


Professional careers like Law and Medicine, which require precision in language, have Latin as their base for technical terms and names. Students of Latin are readily prepared for these professions.

Myths Three common misconceptions.

Classical education was fine back then, but we need modern education in a modern world.

Fact: Classical education teaches students facts, provides them with logical tools to use those facts, and perfects the student’s ability to relate those facts to others. This fundamental skill-set is more valuable today than it has ever been. The process of teaching students to think extends far beyond filling their heads with knowledge. Modern education, to varying degrees, has succeeded in teaching facts and some skills. Classical education helps students draw original, creative, and accurate conclusions from facts and then formulate those conclusions into logical and persuasive arguments.

Modern subjects based in science and technology are taught in classical schools, through classical methods. Parents who are exposed to classical education recognize that its “back to the basics” approach contrasts with the distractions of modern education. Is the classical method applicable in a modern, technological age? The technology we have today was invented, in large part, by the classically educated.

Classical education teaches children the timeless skills of thinking; reasoning, logic, and expression. Our subject matter is as up-to-date as that found in other schools. We simply add a depth and dimension through this time-tested method.

Classical education is unnecessarily difficult.

Fact: Children enjoy learning. They are wired for it. Assuming that a child will not be able to succeed in a challenging environment is tempting, but simply untrue.

A common assumption is that a demanding curriculum results in unhappy children. As adults, learning new things can be uncomfortable. However, children are fascinated by what they learn. The excitement of children learning Latin grows as they become able to describe the world in a language that most adults do not understand. The right and complex texture of classical literature is amplified by youth. Science and the history of Western Civilization come alive for those who hunger to know about their world. For the unconvinced, a visit to our school is sure to demonstrate that our students love to learn. The classical method encourages a stimulating and enjoyable learning environment for students.

Classical education is too extreme.

Fact: Classical education teaches “with the grain”—complementing their developmental phase with the appropriate teaching method. Parents are rightfully skeptical of anything that differs boldly from the norm. However, classical education was the norm 100 years ago because it worked.

Conventional education has taken an experimental approach to educating our children over the past four decades. Many different methods have been tried and later scrapped when they failed. This constant state of change in education creates an environment where anything “traditional” seems extreme. Classical education provides a basic structure upon which we can build effective, successful students. We are not advocating an experiment. Rather, we are seeking a return to a system proven for over 1,000 years.