What is classical education?

There are at least two common understandings of the word “classical.” One use of the term “classical” simply means “the best,” not necessarily implying age. For example, a movie critic may dub a film a “classic” even though it was recently released. Another use of the word “classical” is to refer to the literature and art of the past, particularly from the age of the Greek and Roman empires.

Our vision of a classical education is essentially the former meaning, though this vision is in harmony with the latter. Often that which is truly best is that which has stood the test of time. This does not mean a blind preference for things ancient over things modern. Rather it means a commitment to examine works from across the ages and determine which ones are most worthy of our children’s attention. This commitment does, however, lead one to include more ancient authors than one would read in a contemporary public classroom. It really means using time-tested ways and method to teach students ensuring they are best equipped for a life of learning.

A classical education is one in which students are taught not simply what to think but rather how to think, so that they have the ability to learn for themselves. They are equipped with the basic tools of accumulating data, sorting that data, and presenting what they have learned. The content of a classical education is shaped by the flow of the culture and history from creation to the present. Subjects include world history, literature, logic, and languages, as well as science and the arts. Students are firmly rooted in the foundations of math and reading. The method of classical instruction is the Trivium.

What is the Trivium?
The Trivium is a course of study developed in the Middle Ages. Each academic subject consists of its grammar (accumulation of facts), logic (the study of ordered relationships between these facts), and rhetoric (presentation of this information). These elements correspond to three stages of child development.

  • Young children love accumulating and memorizing facts. This early age corresponds to the grammar stage.
  • When children are around junior high age, they begin to challenge ideas they have previously taken for granted. In keeping with this development, children are taught to argue using formal logic.
  • During the high school years, children learn to present their knowledge through well-written papers, rigorously conducted experiments, tightly constructed arguments, effective debate, and persuasive oral presentations.

What is a genuine Christian education?
A Christian education is not the same as sending your child to Bible school all day. Instead it simply means that your children will not be taught the concepts of all academics, learn science, the history of the world, and every other subject in an environment void of God. Instead God is recognized as the true Creator of all of life. In this way the children learn that there is a God who cares for them, is the author of all of life and has a plan for their own lives. A Christian education also means that our staff must be good examples to your students. Legacy Academy requires all teachers to commit to living a morally upright life that is a strong model for your student. It also means that basic time tested principles and manners are a key part of the learning environment at Legacy Academy. Kindness, honesty, obedience, respect for elders, patience, bravery, justice, and mercy along with other such tenants are the basic foundational principles we work to instill in our students.