Classical education, has a track record that cannot be touched by any other type of education. Classical instruction has educated scholars for nearly 2000 years. Most of our country’s Founding Fathers were educated classically.
Leman Academy of Excellence is part of a growing movement to recapture classical education. There are now hundreds of classical schools in the U.S., and scholars graduating from them are moving on to college more than prepared for their studies and experiences. More importantly, classically trained young adults are equipped with intellectual tools that other educational methodologies neglect to develop.
Classical education has been the dominant type of education in the Western world since the time of ancient Greece and Rome.
A Classical Education Stimulates the Mind
A classical education takes a back-to-the-basics approach to curriculum. Scholars immerse themselves in basic subjects such as History, Science, Math, and English while also studying Logic, and Rhetoric.
A Classical Education Enhances Analytical Skills
A classical education is based on reason. It is the liberal arts curriculum required to be a literate and informed citizen. Classical education encourages the search for truth in all its complexities and mysteries. Scholars learn to recognize how areas of knowledge relate to one another and use this as the basis for critical thought.
What is the Classical Method of Teaching?
Methodology in classical schools, including Leman Academy of Excellence, is modeled after Dorothy Sayers’ ideas in “The Lost Tools of Learning.” Sayers identified three learning stages in children and suggested the classical trivium provided an appropriate teaching style for each stage. The trivium is the historical pedagogy of the church and other ancient cultures. It is a method that has been well investigated from many angles and stood the test of time.
The trivium stages are Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric. Also described as the three types of learning: knowledge, understanding, and wisdom, which correspond with the trivium.
The first part of the trivium, Grammar, is implemented in grades K-6. Children are developmentally equipped to memorize quickly, easily, and joyfully during this period, so the focus is on teaching scholars the grammar of a subject – its structure, rules, and vocabulary. For instance, they learn times tables in math class, names of rivers in geography, and verb endings in Latin. They do this by rote memorization, chanting, and singing. It may seem monotonous to an adult, but children at this age enjoy it.
Grammar in Pre-K
There is a subset of the Grammar stage for pre-K through 2nd grade (Early Grammar). At this stage rote learning is balanced with a greater emphasis on developing the habit of attention, hands-on exploration, and active learning through movement and song.
Math in Pre-K
Children in our Pre-K program will work with Saxon math Kindergarten text books. Our K-8 program is accelerated and scholars are studying Saxon at one grade level higher than the grade they are enrolled. The Pre-K scholars studying Kinder math will help them prepare for our accelerated program.
In the next stage, called Logic, the facts memorized in the Grammar stage are linked together to become understood. This corresponds to the middle school or junior high years. Scholars at this age are not content with the “what” of a subject, but now turn their thoughts to the “why,” the reasons, causes, and rationale behind the “what.” This can manifest itself as questioning, debating, or arguing. The object then is to use that natural mindset to train them into scholars who can reason and argue rightly. This is done not so they can grasp power by besting others in argument, but rather so they can correctly assess new ideas when they are encountered, accepting or rejecting them.
Finally, during the high school years when children become young adults and seek to express themselves, the classical method moves to the Rhetoric stage. Scholars learn to synthesize information from many sources in order to discern truth, form opinions, and articulate positions. There is a formal rhetoric class, but moreover, every course emphasizes public speaking, writing, and presentation. The goal is to take the scholars beyond knowing truth to sharing it.
What is the Core Curriculum of Leman Academy?
Leman Academy’s classical educational program has a strong curricular focus on the academic foundations of history, grammar, and mathematics:
Subject areas (science, literature, art and music) of our classical educational program are linked to history studies and taught around the time period under study in history.
English Language Arts
Includes Shurley English, Journeys, Sitton Spelling along with rich literature selections. We will provide 80 minutes of daily instruction in grades K-6, 60 minutes in 7th grade.
Will be taught at an accelerated level. Kindergarten, for example, will begin with Saxon Math 1. We will provide 45 minutes in Kindergarten and 60 minutes of daily instruction in grades 1-7.
What Other Subjects are Offered Besides the Core Curriculum?
We have included in our educational program a comprehensive and rich curriculum that looks to educate the whole child by offering Art, Music, and Physical Education (P.E.).
Why is Latin Mandatory?
Latin study is a defining feature of a Classical education because it is the foundational operating language for western civilization. At Leman Academy, we begin Latin education in the third grade. A proper understanding of western culture cannot be achieved without knowledge of the culture’s chief language. Other pragmatic benefits are also gained by Latin study. As roughly fifty percent of English words are derived from Latin, its study has the added benefit of increasing scholars’ English comprehension (as evidenced in higher verbal scores on standardized tests). Also, Latin scholars are able to learn other Romance languages more quickly, as up to eighty percent of those vocabularies come from Latin.