The Classical Method
The Classical Method refers to the style of education and also the content of the studies.
The Classical Method emphasizes the basics including mathematics, history, the sciences, and language studies including a study of Latin and classic literature. An awareness of and appreciation for the heritage of western civilization is developed.
Latin is introduced at an early age so students will appreciate its value for English vocabulary and grammar, as a basis for foreign languages, and for training in detailed systematic study.
The Classical Method of study is organized according to the “Trivium,” the three-phase approach to education that capitalizes on developmental characteristics of students as they mature.
The Grammar stage (K-4th grade) emphasizes the acquisition of basic facts in each subject. Young students enjoy absorbing information through songs, recitation, repetitious activities, and educational games.
The Logic stage (grades 5-8) focuses on organizing facts learned in the Grammar stage while helping students address the question, “Why?” A formal study of logic gives focus to the naturally argumentative nature of students in this stage. Other tools of learning include debates, as well as research and persuasive writing projects.
The Rhetoric stage (grades 9-12) refines the students’ ability to persuasively express the grammar and logic of a subject through written and oral presentations, as well as debate
The educational approach of Agathos Classical School recognizes that an excellent education never takes place in a moral or philosophical vacuum. We believe it is founded upon a disciplined, eager attention to learning; that this discipline originates both internally and externally and rests upon the development of the student’s moral character; and that this moral character can only be developed through a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Recognizing these principles, and in support of a parents’ God-given responsibility for educating their children, Agathos Classical School seeks to:
Provide a clear and consistent model of Christian life through its staff and Board members. (Matthew 22: 37-40)
Encourage and assist every student in the development of a relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Teach all subjects from a biblical world and life view as parts of an integrated whole with the Scripture at the center. (II Timothy 3:16-17)
Provide students with a rigorous, classical education, in which grammar (the fundamental facts or particulars of each subject), logic (understanding of the ordered relationship of these particulars), and rhetoric (the effective and persuasive expression in speech and writing of the ideas within a subject) are emphasized in all subject areas. We believe this parallels, in essence, the Scriptural call to knowledge, understanding (discernment), and wisdom. (Proverbs 2:6; Exodus 35:31; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 15:2)
Encourage all students to develop wisdom, discernment, and a love for learning. Children will be taught how to learn and how to express what they have learned; how to think rather than simply what to think.
Teach our students to recognize the truth, goodness, beauty, and interrelatedness of all of God’s creation. (Genesis 1:31; Exodus 34:6; Philippians 4:8)
Partner with parents in fulfilling the biblical command to educate their children, believing the school to be an extension of instruction that begins and is rooted in the Christian home. The primary responsibility for education of the child rests on the parents and as such, parents will be expected to “teach them diligently” in subject studies, character development, spiritual maturity, and all areas of biblically based child development. (Ephesians 6:4; Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
Provide an orderly, disciplined, and safe atmosphere conducive to attaining these goals
Resources and Links
- The Lost Tools of Learning, Dorothy Sayers
- Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, Douglas Wilson
- Ideas Have Consequences, Richard Weaver
- On Secular Education, R. L. Dabney
- Of Education, John Milton
- On Christian Doctrine, Augustine
- The Seven Laws of Teaching, John Gregory
- Education, Christianity and the State, J. Gresham Machen
- Why Johnny Can’t Read, Rudolph Flesch
- The Abolition of Man, C. S. Lewis
- Repairing the Ruins, edited by Douglas Wilson
- The Case for Classical Christian Education, Douglas Wilson
- Association of Classical and Christian Schools
- The Lost Tools of Learning, Dorothy Sayers (full text)
- Classical Schools- Back to Better Education by Charles Colson
- Stone Soup Presentation:
- The Educator’s Call to Biblical Faithfulness
- “Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain” Psalm 127:1a
- “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” Matthew 6:33
- “For the Lord giveth wisdom; out of His mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.” Proverbs 2:6
- “The end then of learning is to repair the ruins of our first parents by regaining to know God aright and out of that knowledge to love Him, to imitate Him, to be like Him” — John Milton