What is Classical Education?

Classical education is all the rage right now! You probably know someone who uses it, and may be wondering what it is all about.

Classical education prides itself on the return to fundamentals. A way that learning used to be, that effectively trains children to become lifelong learners. Classical Education claims to provide every student with the opportunity to learn. This learning begins with the skills of repetition and memorization.

Classical education uses a systematic approach to training a child’s mind based on three stages of learning. These stages are intended to parallel the child’s natural development, and is referred to as the “trivium” which is Latin for “the three ways”. These three stages are:

Grammar:  Kindergarten through elementary grades. Focus in on memorization and facts throughout different subjects.

Logic:  Middle school, grades (7th-8th) children learn to argue logically and think critically.

Rhetoric: High school, emphasis is on debate/speech, communication in writing and thinking independently. Classical education also studies History chronologically and in four divisions beginning with the Ancient Time period.

BC 5000 to 400 AD
Medieval/Early Renaissance 400-1600 AD
Late Renaissance/Early Modern 1600-1850 AD
Modern Times

These stages are filled with solid literature or classical books, the learning of classical languages such as Latin and Greek, and a strong emphasis on history. Math, Science and Bible are essential subjects as well.

As with any education method, there are many pros and cons. The cons are that the curriculum in itself can require a great amount of research, and monitoring a child’s progress through the different stages. Children who are not history fans, may not like the curriculum, and it is overall very teacher intensive.

Pros are that resources abound, and it is well ordered and well rounded. It would be great for a child who loves history and who is a bright learner. It promotes study of the classics at a young age and tends to produce well-rounded, highly educated children who do well in higher learning.

For more information on classical education check out these resources:

Well Trained Mind

Classical Conversations

Misty Bailey is a wife to Roger and a homeschool mom to three beautiful blessings. She resides with her family in Southern Ohio. She loves helping new homeschoolers and has a free Homeschool 101 eBook for those getting started. She shares her struggles with time management, becoming unglued and finding joy in the everyday moments on her blog Joy in the Journey.