Academics

The Classical Approach

“An education which includes the Arts does help to form a well-rounded individual; however, there are much more compelling reasons to teach art, music, drama, creative writing, etc. Understanding Art, philosophy and how Art reflects philosophy will enable a greater comprehension of present-day life and culture as well as the past. Understanding the criteria for evaluating the elements which comprise good Art will access realms of God-given creativity for study and appreciation. Teaching a child the needed skills to create in a specific medium will afford the opportunity to reflect God’s creativity. These higher aims have a greater value than merely offering a vague enrichment.”

– Excerpt taken from “The Place of the Arts in Classical Education” by Gregory Wilbur

A classical education will give our children the beginning of the education every educated person in Western Civilization once received, a classical or liberal arts education. The idea is to educate the students so that they develops all the powers of their souls, and their minds are formed, strengthened, and developed.  The end of this educational process is wisdom. Man desires by nature to know, and that means we want to have not only the facts, but the reasons for the facts. We want to think about the most noble things, the most interesting in themselves.

Therefore, the goal of education is to teach children how to think; to help them learn the art of learning. If children learn how to learn, they will be to master any subject.  Thinking can be done well or badly, but one can be taught to do it well. In large measure, the role of the teacher of grade and high school children is this: teaching children to think well. It begins in wonder and aims at wisdom.

The tools of learning, through which children learn the art of learning, are acquired by concentrating, at each stage of intellectual formation, on the areas of development that are appropriate to that stage in the child’s intellectual and spiritual development.  Further, all we do will be faithful to the doctrine and teaching of the Catholic Church, which shall enlighten and inform all the areas of the curriculum.

“Creating the ability to think is our goal in a classical curriculum; we want our children to acquire the art of learning.
It is not the number of facts they are acquainted with that measure the educational success, but what they are able to do with the facts:
Whether they are able to make distinctions, to follow an argument, to make reasonable deductions from the facts, and finally, to have the right judgment about the way things are.”

— Laura Berquist (Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum)