17 March 2009

Our Style of Education

Our family follows the classical education model. I use the book, The Well-Trained Mind as the base for our curriculum. I try to stir in a little Charlotte Mason because it seems to be the essence of childhood, but its not my autopilot kind of style. The basic premise of classical education is the breakdown of education into three sections which each build on each other. First is the Grammar stage, generally 1st-4th grades, in which a child's curiosity is encouraged by just stuffing them full of images and facts. The next stage is the Logic stage, generally 5th- 8th grades, where a youth begins to find the answers to the how and why of what they learned in the Grammar stage. Last is the Rhetoric stage, in which 9th -12th graders learn how to coherently express what they have learned. In many schools of thought all learning follows history as its base and the other subjects work around it. In addition, a student goes over the same material three times in his education (cycling through the material once in each stage).
In our school, it looks like this:
In grades 1, 5, and 9 we study ancient history (5000BC-AD 400) and for science, Biology (what they knew in ancient times: the body, botany, animal kingdom). In grades 2, 6, and 10 we study Medieval history (400-1600) and Earth Science and Astronomy (then- emerging studies). Later in 3rd, 7th, and 11th grades its on to the Age of Exploration (1600-1850), and Chemistry. Last in each four-year cycle (gr 4, 8,12) is Early Modern/ Modern History (1850- Present) and the study of Physics and Computer Science. Our reading follows the course of history also, and we read works that were written in each time period. Of course, worked in there is writing, maps, math, Bible, Spanish, etc.

Whew! Are you coming back tomorrow?

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