What is Classical Education?
Classical Christian Education takes advantage of natural inclinations of children at different stages of their development to maximize learning.
When young children find it easy and fun to memorize and enjoy choral recitations and chants, they are given opportunities to memorize all types of facts in math, geography, English, Bible, and Latin. These facts are the “grammar” or building blocks inherent in every subject.
Once they become teenagers, students like to contradict their elders, they sometimes are guilty of back talk, they enjoy pointing out other’s mistakes, and they like to propose and discuss difficult problems that have no easy solution. These students are ripe for instruction and training in formal logic.
If all goes well, in their later high school years students begin to show signs of creativity. The students, anxious to achieve independence and longing to express themselves, are taught to communicate eloquently and persuasively through instruction in rhetoric.
It was Dorothy Sayers who proposed this marriage of the three stages of the Trivium (grammar, logic, rhetoric) to the three stages of childhood development (roughly elementary, junior high, and high school). Through careful and thoughtful planning with a specific focus on curriculum and instruction, classical educators“cut with the grain” and help students develop skills that once mastered equip the children to learn for themselves.
Understanding that Classical school is a new term for many people we have assembled a recommended reading list that we believe will be helpful in learning about the Classical method and it's benefits.
In addition to the books below we also recommend Dorothy Sayers article The Lost Tools of Learning.