What is Classical Education?

Classical education is an intense course of learning that seeks to endow students with the ability to master any subject. Through an integrated and focused curriculum, this method supplies children with the tools necessary for higher academic achievement. One of the primary emphases of classical education is the development of language. Studies in phonics, Latin, and English grammar are critical to establishing the child’s vocabulary and reading skills. Language is the medium whereby thought is transmitted. By perfecting language proficiency, this course of study increases the child’s capacity to comprehend new material.

Classical education, however, does not limit its focus to language. On the contrary, the curriculum is both diverse and comprehensive. Our approach is practical but also historical.

During the Greco-Roman era, citizens are instructed in the seven liberal arts, which focus upon the development of language and knowledge of culture. Their schooling prepares them for future civic duties as well as for positions in local government. Some of history’s greatest thinkers such as Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle are products of this society.

In the Middle Ages, the seven liberal arts are further divided into two stages. The first, known as the trivium, comprises the disciplines of grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Grammar teaches pupils the basics of language – vocabulary, rules, and syntax. Following this phase, they are then able to advance to the more complex forms of thinking and expression, which are encouraged in the logic and rhetoric phases. This classical education in the years that follow the Middle Ages produces such influential theologians as Luther and such notable scientists as Copernicus and Galileo as well as the Renaissance masters.

The second level of a liberal arts education is the quadrivium. As the name suggests, the quadrivium consists of four parts: astronomy, music, arithmetic, and geometry. Once students are proficient in these arts, they possess the academic maturity necessary to study for one of the three primary professions of that time: law, medicine, or theology.

Today, classical education continues to provide students with an accessible and impressive foundation of knowledge. By engaging pupils in a “conversation” with the past, classical education familiarizes them with the developments and culture of Western Civilization. Through this process, they become well-versed in works of literature, music, and art. Furthermore, their specialized language skills enable them to become proficient in just about any other subject. They more easily and quickly assimilate the vocabulary and grammar of foreign languages and comprehend the terminology used in the sciences.

In a day when many are searching for the newest educational trend, classical education endures as a time-tested method for teaching children. Through the centuries, it has proven to be both cross-cultural and timeless.