There are three basic developmental stages that students go through from childhood to maturity. Classical Education seeks to match the way children naturally learn with the way we educate them. This method of education is called the Trivium (Latin for “the three ways”) and is the first part of the so-called Seven Liberal Arts.
At each stage of the Trivium, the student’s natural inclination to pursue knowledge is celebrated and guided in appropriate and highly effective ways.This methodology is not new, but is one that has enjoyed a long existence, only beginning to disappear with the advent of novel approaches to education in the late 19th century.
The goal of the Trivium is not primarily to educate students in what to think, but in how to think – thoroughly, maturely, and biblically – toward a Christian moral end.
The Trivium includes three stages:
During the Grammar stage (essentially K-5), students learn the fundamentals of disciplines (parts of speech, multiplication tables, famous battles, state capitals, etc.) in order to build a framework of knowledge on which later information can be hung. Questions of who, what, where, and when are the focus.
The Logic/Dialectic stage (essentially the junior high years) brings the fundamentals of disciplines into ordered relationships. The goal is to equip students with the thinking skills necessary to recognize sound arguments and ideas and to detect and correct fallacious ones. This stage addresses the questions of how and why.
The function of the Rhetoric stage (the high school years) is to produce students who can use language, both written and spoken, to express their thoughts eloquently and persuasively.
It’s easy to think about your student’s education in terms of the here and now—the daily patterns of homework and friendships, athletics and fine arts, essays and science labs. But what about ten, twenty, or even fifty years from now?
Thinking in terms of “today” is just barely scratching the surface of an education at The Academy of Classical Christian Studies. Seeking to shape a child’s affections means transforming an entire way of life, partnering with parents in a way that will bear fruit for decades to come.
Does Classical Christian Education work, you might ask? Will this investment really have the impact everyone says it will? These questions are not just critical, but measurable, and since 2007, the Cardus Education Survey has sought to find out. Surveying young adults in their 20s through early 40s—those who have already graduated from college and are making decisions about how to live their lives—the survey looks to see how K-12 schooling impacts the rest of a student’s life. After taking into account numerous demographic factors, this survey seeks to “isolate” the impact that K-12 educational choices have on the rest of life. Specifically, it compares students with a public-school education to those who attended protestant, catholic, or nonsectarian private schools, or who were homeschooled, and how these students feel and act as young adults. For the first time ever, the Cardus Education Survey has also explored how a classical Christian education shapes students for the future.
The results are astounding and unequivocal.
Young adults who attended classical Christian schools stand head and shoulders above their peers who attended other schools, even other private schools.
Consider: classical Christian school graduates are the least likely to report that life often lacks clear goals or a sense of direction, or that they feel helpless in dealing with life problems. They are also the least likely to be divorced or to have an unmarried partner. The survey even seeks to understand how education impacts civic engagement in the years to come and found that classical Christian schools form graduates who are the most likely to believe they can impact their communities and that they spend nearly twice as much time volunteering as their peers.
Graduates of classical Christian schools were also by far the most likely to report enjoying their high school and that they were “perfectly or very well” prepared for college. This is a powerful combination: classical Christian schools are enjoyable in the present while providing necessary preparation for the future.
The results are clear.
A classical Christian education, like the one provided by The Academy, makes a difference in your child’s future, not just for today, but for a lifetime.