Classical Christian Education Model

What is Classical Christian Education?

To clearly explain the classical Christian model of education, we must define both classical and Christian Education.

Classical education has inspired great thinkers beginning with the Golden Age of Greece and the Roman Empire.  It influenced great kings and reformers of the Middle Ages and philosophers and artists of the Renaissance.  It galvanized the Pilgrims and our Founding Fathers in their determination to build a new government.  Today, we see the influence of classical education in every academic discipline including science, politics, mathematics, art and astronomy. 

What is classical education?  It is the process of helping students become great thinkers.

Classical education at Geneva refers to the content and the methodology of instruction. Geneva’s curriculum is classical in content, as distinguished by the integrated study of Scripture, Latin, logic, literature, philosophy and rhetoric in addition to history, mathematics, science and physical education. The school is classical in methodology, as distinguished by it’s embracing the Trivium – a three-pronged approach to the grammar, logic and rhetoric of each subject.
 

The Grammar Stage


Children from kindergarten (4 and 5 year olds) to 5th grade are adept at memorizing large amounts of information.  The youngest in this group can recite a book by heart while the older among them can rattle off whole parts of their favorite movie verbatim.  The Grammar stage makes great use of this natural ability to give children a firm foundation of facts in math, phonograms, natural history, geography, science, etc.

 

 The Logic or Dialectic Stage

As a child matures from 6th through 8th grade, he/she becomes naturally adept at argument.  (Which is why pre and early teens begin to question authority.)  In the Dialectic Stage children learn the ins and outs of formal logic.  Logic enables them to assimilate the facts they learned in the Grammar Stage into a more thorough and cohesive understanding of their subjects and to arrange their thoughts in a rational and meaningful way.

 

 

The Rhetoric Stage

Students have now honed their Socratic skills of asking questions and questioning answers, enabling them to engage the dominant ideas of past and present cultures.

The goal of classical Christian education is not just to graduate students with high GPA’s, who attend the best colleges and universities, or even pull down high-paying jobs. The crowning jewel of classical Christian education is raising individuals who impact their generation and generations to come with the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom found in the Gospel of Christ.

Why Latin?

The classically educated student begins to study Latin in the third grade.  We know the study of Latin increases students’ vocabulary and gives them mastery over the English language as well as a foundation for other languages.  However, its benefits are also seen in math and science because it trains the mind in logic, detail and problem solving.
 

Not Just Another Christian School

Deuteronomy 6 instructs us to use the Bible as a grid to teach our children all about life.  A classical Christian school does not simply add Bible courses and Bible memorization to the students’ day.  It views all subjects through the lens of Scripture.  The Reformed faith uniquely challenges the faithful to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  (2 Corinthians 10:5)  In this way, students can address and impact their culture.  As Paul appealed to Athenians based on what he knew of their poets and gods, so classical Christian education will prepare students to address the people and issues of their times.

Jesus said that loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind is the first and greatest commandment (Matthew 22:37-38).  Classical Christian education is a time-proven way to accomplish this.