To accomplish our six goals for our graduates, we map our curriculum into 11 concentrations. These areas are present beginning in K through to the end of grade 12. This listing will help you connect our curriculum highlights with the reasons that we teach.
(The far left column ties to our graduate goals.)
|5 &6||Bible & Western Literacy||
Have you ever seen a reference to Milton in the movies and missed the point? Have you smiled blankly when someone cites a portion of well-known poetry as though you should know it? An educated person has a broad repertoire of famous works with which he or she is at least familiar. The Bible is the foremost of these, and is given the most time in our curriculum. Other examples include poems from Elliott, Longfellow, Shakespeare, and Tennyson, novels by Dickens, Chaucer, or Shelley, and philosophers like Socrates, Hume, or Kierkegaard.
Is everyone born with a developed appreciation for the truly beautiful? Classical education helps students develop an appreciation for great art. This requires exposure to masterpieces of painting, sculpture, drawing, architecture, and other visual works. It also requires exposure to excellent music. We work through hymns, classical music, dance, and master painters, and study what makes great art great.
|Science||Science is a highly-regarded part of our curriculum. We interrelate science to God’s order and magnitude. In younger grades, we emphasize observation and discovery. In the 6th grade and above, we emphasize the scientific method. From taxonomy down to the order level, the periodic chart, and detailed understandings of animals and insects, our grammar school children know their science. Hands-on science lab is a regular feature of our grammar school. For example, 3rd graders dissect frogs. In the upper school, physics and chemistry are emphasized as the core sciences.|
|4||Arithmetic||Saxon math provides an excellent basis for both higher math and logic within our system. Our students advance more quickly than many other schools as we strive to keep kids interested by keeping them challenged.|
|Art Practicum||A well-educated person is competent in many areas with a variety of skills. We continue to expand our efforts to develop the aesthetic of students through a serious pursuit of the arts. Whether it’s painting, mosaics, pottery, heraldry, calligraphy, orchestra, chime choir, or physical education, we seek to develop every student’s artistic ability.|
|Logic & Math||“Why don’t they teach logic at these schools?” C.S. Lewis, from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe Practicing the mind in logic prepares students for the development of wisdom. Unfortunately, logic is all but forgotten in modern schools. We use it as the base foundation for our rhetoric program. Higher math factors in the same way. We teach math as it is applied to real life. Application is the key to understanding math.|
|3||Integrated Language||“High thoughts must have high language.” AristophanesLatin and Greek form the basis for Western culture and language. When studied together with English, students are better spellers, have larger vocabularies, and have a more thorough understanding of grammar. The student’s grasp of language affects his very depth of thought as he uses precision in his vocabulary to better understand God and His world. Careful attention to grammar makes the student better at discerning subtle meaning.|
|The Art of Rhetoric||Rhetoric has become a negative word in modern culture. But the art of speaking and writing well to persuade others has not been eclipsed. From science to industry to the classroom, those who succeed must communicate. From speech meets in our grammar school to formal rhetoric in our high school, no other system emphasizes the importance of speech and writing as much as classical Christian education.|
|2||History||The value you place on history is dictated by your worldview. To the progressive modernist, history is an interesting study in how we got to our present, enlightened state. By contrast, to the classicist history is the laboratory of the human condition. We study it because it shows the formulation of ideas and the consequences of those ideas– a core value for wisdom. We cycle through the world’s history three times, each with a different purpose. By the final cycle, we expect students to intuitively see the ideas that play their way out in the laboratory of the world.|
|The Great Conversation||No part of our curriculum plays a more vital role than the great conversation. This conversation uses the great books to formulate and evaluate the ideas that shape our culture. In the 1950’s, Mortimer Adler and over 40 scholars formalized this study in an attempt to preserve how students had learned for two millennia. As the modern educator gradually eliminated the practice of seeking Truth in great literature, these scholars recognized the loss. The practice of investigating, arguing, and grasping the deep concepts of the best thinkers in history plays a vital role in practicing the mind and developing wisdom. Students may not remember the books they read, but the development of their minds is inescapable. We use the Bible as the greatest book to place a worldview lens over all that we study. In grades 7-9, we begin the conversation. However, students in grades 10-12 thrive on the Socratic discussions of our high-school classroom.|
|1||Character and Virtue||We study scripture as the primary moral authority, practice students in manners, hold students to a “heart” standard rather than a “rule following” standard, and use story to instill a desire for the right and a disdain for the wrong. In short, we want our students to “Love the Good.””Stories, unlike courses in ‘moral reasoning,’ give children some specific reference points.” William BennettJesus understood this and His parables survive to this day as the primary tool for teaching morality. More than any other tool, we use the classic Western stories of honesty, compassion, courage, and perseverance to develop a love of the good in children. Throughout our school, you will hear repeated the stories that strengthen the resolve of children to become servants of God in every area of their life.|