Why Classical Christian Education?

At St. Abraham’s, we strive to build character alongside academics.

As parents considering the foundational years for the growth of our children, choosing the right kind of education is of paramount importance. Classical Christian schools are using the philosophy and methodology of a form of education that has a long history of success. It is a wonderful melding of the kind of discovery and challenge typical of education from hundreds of years ago when classical education was the only education. Education was, and should still be, viewed as “liberating” or a path to “freedom” for those who were given the gift of an education as opposed to hard labor in fields every day.

Today we can take the same approach for our children: challenging scholarly efforts based on the developmental stages, combined with seeking God and glorifying Him in all subjects of learning. The resurgence and recovering of this tradition has been described as “rediscovering the lost tools of learning.”

Some of the centuries-old classical tenants are “Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.” When we think of a typical school and a typical classroom, these are not the first words that come to mind. At St. Abraham’s, we strive to build character alongside academics. In every subject we seek the Truth that God has revealed in His Word, we seek the goodness and righteousness that He has established as a result of His Truth, and we find His beauty displayed in His children, in nature, and in the knowledge He brings us.

What about St. Abraham’s?

St. Abraham’s, along with most classical Christian schools in the nation, believes that students are capable of aiming and working towards a high standard academically. Many schools today set the bar low and teach directly to tests, hoping for high scores. St. Abraham’s sees education as much more than passing tests and cramming for facts that will disappear in the memory in a short amount of time. Classical Christian schools desire to not only challenge students to reach for a higher level of success every day in the classroom, but to actually love learning. We want our children to be equipped with tools to be lifelong learners. We want their hearts to be strengthened by God and their minds to be enlightened by Him. We see every stage of education as an opportunity to challenge them to grow as a whole person.

Because we believe that God is our Creator, everything we learn directs us back to Him. He is in fact teaching us every day, surrounding us with knowledge if we will see it. We make sure that through a classical and Christian education, that Christ is glorified in every subject. The Christian worldview is not just relegated to “Bible class” or “chapel time” but is integrated on a daily basis throughout the day by every teacher.

St. Abraham’s is a member of the ACCS: the Association of Classical Christian Schools. You can find out more about CCE schools on the ACCS website www.accsedu.org.

The ACCS describes Classical Christian school graduates as, “familiar with reading, writing, Latin, logic, math, science, rhetoric, and the fine arts resulting in gracious, knowledgeable, and thoughtful men and women.”

The Trivium

The Trivium, education divided into three stages, consists of Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric.

It was Dorothy Sayers who first connected the established values of the Trivium to the stages of child development during school years. The Grammar stage coordinates with elementary school, the Logic stage, also known as the Didactic stage, coordinates with middle school, and the Rhetoric stage coordinates with high school.

Here is a very short overview. We encourage any family who is seriously considering enrolling students in St. Abraham’s to read the article by Dorothy Sayers in the link above.

Grammar stage (grades K through 5) – soaking in a broad base of knowledge, enjoying chants, songs, memorization, learning the foundations in all subjects
Logic stage (grades 6-8) – growing in understanding, asking the harder questions of “why” and “how,” searching out the connections in all subjects
Rhetoric stage (grades 9-12) – bearing fruit in wisdom, maturing through a firm grasp of all subjects, able to clearly and poignantly communicate about what they learn

Why Latin?

I can see why my student would succeed in this culture by learning Spanish or maybe even French, but why Latin?

Much has been written on this topic in classical school circles, but we have chosen our two favorite essays here. Please take a few moments to read why we take Latin seriously.

Why Latin? by Karen Moore (pdf)
Top 10 Reasons for Studying Latin by Cheryl Lowe

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