What grades do you plan to offer?

Our goal is to establish a complete Kindergarten to 12th grade college preparatory program.  We began with K and 1st in 2008-2009 and have added a a grade each year. We will have Kindergarten through 12th grades in 2019-2020.

Where will you find the people to teach according to the classical model and vision?

This is perhaps one of the biggest challenges facing classical educators. There are very few colleges of education that train teachers to work in such an academically rigorous setting. That being said, there are many good Christians that have the necessary gifts and are willing to learn how to teach using the classical approach. In short, we hope to recruit the very best people from wherever they may be found and train them. We will be looking for people that love the Lord Jesus Christ with a vibrant living faith, have the proven ability to teach and serve children, and have a passion for the subject matter they will be responsible to teach. We are trying to recover a standard of education that most of us have not experienced. We will make teacher training a very high priority.

Where does athletics fit into Classical and Christian education?

We are committed to “developing the whole man for his proper end” as Dabney defined education. Physical training is a crucial element in CCE. If we hope to see our children grow up and serve God vigorously, it is incumbent upon us to be sure our children are able. If we want our children to be able to bring the Gospel to remote parts of the earth, we had better develop their bodies for the rigors of missionary life. With that in mind, physical education must be a part of our mission. Additionally, while we reject the idolatrous priority of some athletic programs, we whole heartedly embrace the many benefits provided to young people engaged in sport. The discipline, teamwork, perseverance, victories and disappointments are all excellent character building lessons associated with athletic competition. Practically speaking, providence will dictate the specific sports offered and at what level of competition. To start, the school is committed to providing regular P.E. classes and physical activity with a vision towards a robust athletic program.

Where does music fit into Classical and Christian education?

Music is vital to healthy spiritual living. If we are commanded to sing (and we are) we ought to teach our children to do it and to do it well. We plan to engage in regular instruction in music; both choral and instrumental as providence allows.

Where does art fit into Classical and Christian education?

Our God is the Creator. We want to grow to be more like Him and train our children to be like Him. Part of our image bearing characteristic is the ability to create. And like our heavenly Father who created beautifully, we ought to learn to create with skill and beauty. Exposure to and instruction in the fine arts must be a significant part of the educational process. Our goal is to apply the Trivium to the instruction of visual arts in a variety of media.

How would you accommodate students that join the school at a higher level and have not enjoyed the benefits of a grammar education?

This is a problem that any academically rigorous school must face. Each situation must be addressed individually, but in short the school will aid the parent as best it can to get children up to speed. Because education is incremental and builds upon itself, the task of catching up often simply means working harder and investing more time.

How will the school deal with learning disabilities?

Many classical schools have reported that students who otherwise may have been labeled as having some sort of learning disability have managed to thrive in a classical setting. The idea is that with the methods employed in the Trivium, many of the characteristics associated with learning difficulties are negated. Severe learning disabilities will probably not be served in the initial years of operation because of financial constraints.

Why place an emphasis on Western culture in a Christian school?

The material that will make up our curriculum will focus on the canon of “Great Books” and seek to understand the ideas that have shaped our present culture. Providentially, Christianity was born and raised in a world saturated by the classical mind. Palestine had been Hellenized for generations and it was under the rule of Rome. The New Testament was written in Greek and its doctrines were worked out as it spread westward. Paul was able to quote Greek poets and Augustine defended the faith using classical rhetoric. Virtually all of the early church fathers wrote in Latin or Greek. The predominant expression of Christianity then grew throughout Medieval Europe and the Reformation. Whether one believes that the purest form of Christianity is expressed in Reformation doctrine or some other form, it is impossible to deny the connection between Western culture and Christianity. It is therefore incumbent on Christians, especially American Christians, to know well this heritage. We argue that it is impossible to study the history of the Western world without Christianity, and conversely it is very shortsighted to think we can know church history without a general understanding of the history of Western civilizations. Of course, the greatest book associated with Western culture is the Bible itself. No other book has so shaped the Western World. In God’s providence He has ordained that the gospel would have its most success and influence in the West. Therefore, knowledge of our own heritage is worth knowing and sharing with the next generation. Consequently, the classical education proposed is a distinctly Christian one and emphasizes that we DO need to know about a bunch of dead white men.. especially if their names are Augustine, Calvin, or Edwards. And like those men, students ought to be familiar with Homer, Virgil, Cicero, and Aristotle. Additionally, children need to read the thoughts of American founders like Adams, Jefferson, and Madison. They need to read what those men read and wrestle with the thoughts that shaped their thoughts.

Why Latin?

Richard A. LaFleur, in the essay, “The Practical Benefits of Studying Latin” writes:

One of the most PRACTICAL benefits of studying Latin for high-schoolers is boosting verbal skills and scores on tests like the SAT; students with two or more years of Latin typically score 140-160 points higher on the SAT than their Latin-less peers. Numerous studies have demonstrated a significant positive correlation between studying Latin and improved scores on a variety of tests and even with college GPA and performance in college English classes.

On purely utilitarian motives we ought to be inclined to study Latin. The following is a table (from www.bolchazy.com) illustrating the advantage Latin students have over their peers on the SAT:

All Students
505 505 505 506 504 507 508 508
627 632 636 633 637 638 642 643
617 623 621 625 622 626 627 637
583 590 589 583 581 575 575 573
634 636 623 628 629 628 630 620

1998-2005 Taken from Table 6 in College-Bound Seniors. A Profile of SAT Program Test Takers.

Our goal is to teach students how to learn and to think. Historically, what one subject characterized elementary education prior to the last century? If you read any educational history you’ll recognize the term “Latin Grammar School.” Before we ask why we should teach Latin, perhaps we should ask why was LATIN part of the education of every literate English speaking person up until the 20th century. Why were elementary schools called Latin Schools.  Did they know something we don’t? Listen to Dorothy Sayers:

I will say at once, quite firmly, that the best grounding for education is the Latin grammar. I say this, not because Latin is traditional and medieval, but simply because even a rudimentary knowledge of Latin cuts down the labor and pains of learning almost any other subject by at least 50%. It is the key to the vocabulary and structure of all the Romance languages and to the structure of all the Teutonic languages, as well as to the technical vocabulary of all the sciences to the literature of the entire Mediterranean civilization, together with all its historical documents.

Here are the benefits of LATIN in general

  • Latin opens up new worlds of literature. Latin was the lingua franca of literature in the western world for over 1600 years. Many great scholars, such as Augustine of Hippo and John Calvin, wrote in Latin, not to mention the great body of Enlightenment scientific works. Learning to read Latin opens up the original works to understanding and enjoyment.
  • Learning Latin teaches language learning. Language acquisition is an art and skill that can be acquired. By teaching and learning Latin as a language, children learn the discipline and techniques necessary to acquire other languages in the future.

Here are the benefits of LATIN as we learn how to LEARN

  • Latin builds vocabulary. Over 50 percent of English words (and 90% of words of multiple syllables) are derived from Latin and therefore knowing a few Latin word cuts down on the effort required to learn new vocabulary. For example, the word for SUN is SOL. Knowing that fact children can quickly see the connection in the words solar, solarium, and solstice. In addition, knowing Latin helps understand different shades of meaning and synonyms.
  • Knowledge of Latin improves spelling. Because many English words still carry remnants of their Latin roots in their spelling, it helps that we know DOUBT came from DUBITO, or that DISCIPLINE came from DISCIPULA (student). In each case the silent letter that students may tend to drop in the English is pronounced in the Latin.
  • Familiarity with Latin assists in the appreciation of good literature: Students will appreciate classic books in English because so many of the books of enduring value include Latin quotes, phrases, and classical allusions.
  • Latin aids in cultural awareness. American ideas were not dreamed up out of nowhere in 1776. They have their roots in the medieval and classical world. Students that know the language of that world better appreciate our own heritage. Latin helps students appreciate and connect to our own history (and frankly, it ought to humble the American student as he sees the smallness of our own society compared to the grand scope of Western history). In addition, it helps students appreciate all those Latin mottos and slogans.
  • Latin promotes the discipline of the mind: Learning Latin grammar takes a great deal of careful study and precision. This mental practice is profitable in every field.

So LATIN is one of the best ways to teach students how to think and learn. A classical education teaches Latin as the foundation for language learning itself, for development of thinking skills, and for connecting modern children to the scholars of the past. Latin is for all children and shows significant advantages to those that grapple with the subject.