A classical education stems from a time-tested educational tradition. Formulated within the Greco-Roman civilization, and proven for nearly two millennia, it is the most effective means of forming intelligent, thoughtful, well rounded young men and women. A survey of the greatest scientists, politicians, rhetoricians, generals and even saints would quickly confirm the strengths incumbent to this philosophy of education.
This framework embraces several stages of development through which a child’s mind passes. Each stage has a corresponding emphasis and manner of instruction to reap its greatest benefit.
Grammar Stage (K-4): The first stage is commonly known as the Grammar stage. From these early years of new knowledge, experiences, and exposure to unfamiliar disciplines all subsequent learning rests. The untrained imagination and memory, are broadened and filled enabling the ripening intellect to have abundant materials for complex thought in later years of study. Children’s memories are ingrained with foundational concepts in reading, grammar, Latin, history, and arithmetic. Their imaginations are filled with tales ranging from the sun-baked sands of ancient Egypt to the courts of Chinese emperors. This training is invaluable to the development and success in future stages.
Logic Stage (5-8): During this stage students’ emerging intellect rapidly develops its powers. Instruction focuses on rigorously training the intellect to discern what makes an argument valid or invalid, what are the deeper significances to historical events and writings, and how can simple arithmetic be combined with complex thought to develop greater levels of mathematical understanding. Careful attention is given to maintaining the intellect within its subservient role to the faculty of the soul, so it aids in the purification and illumination of the soul rather than becoming a hindrance.
Rhetoric Stage (9-12): This is the final stage through which our students pass. Within this stage the intellect grows in depth and capability. Additional focus on communication skills supplements this development. Students are trained in the art of written and oral communication so their increasingly insightful cognitions can be shared with others effectively. Students are taught to tie together the total of memorized mental labor with new cognitions in order to apply their mind to various daily challenges — whether it be for apologetics, life decisions, or college course work. These skills prove to be important as these young adults enter the world and begin the God-given labors which are set before them.