Education is always about formation.
For the last century or so, American education has been dominated by the goal of training students to become workers who support U.S. democracy. Many believe the best life our children can aspire to is one of personal, financial, and political independence; therefore, parents place a high value on these ideals. As a result, modern education has become a process which forms children to desire and accomplish these goals. The methods of modern education treat students simply as receptacles for filling with unconnected, prefabricated bits of information tailored for the sole purpose of meeting standardized testing requirements.
Classical Christian education follows a much older, more reliable path of formation that most highly values wisdom and virtue. It is about training students to become something, namely, lovers of God who are awakened and attuned to His beauty, goodness, and truth. A school that does not purposefully seek to form its students in this way will, intentionally or unintentionally, form them to become intellectually narrow and morally indifferent. In other words, removing God from our schools does not remove religious bias; formation in school is not optional. For more information on this topic, we invite you to listen to the audio series below:
"The Myth of a Neutral Education", by RC Sproul
Academic excellence is more than just making good grades.In keeping with the biblical goal to do all things heartily, as to the Lord (Colossians 3:23), Grace Academy encourages excellence in all areas, especially academics. As students progress from kindergarten through 12th grade, they grow not only in knowledge but also in the habits, dispositions, and skills of lifelong learners that will enable them to be successful in their future endeavors.
In the tradition of many great classical schools, Grace is organized into three academic stages called THE TRIVIUM. This organization of stages reflects the structure of our school itself. The Grammar School includes grades K-5, the Logic School grades 6–8, and the Rhetoric School grades 9–12. Although the language arts are highlighted somewhat by the names of these stages, make no mistake, the sciences, the mathematical arts, as well as the fine and performing arts, join them to form the fabric of a Grace Academy education.
The Trivium is a time tested approach that takes advantage of the students’ natural tendencies at each stage of development and provides them with the necessary tools for learning—a wealth of information (grammar), the ability to think and reason (logic) and the ability to communicate winsomely and effectively (rhetoric).
At the Grammar Stage, young children are naturally inquisitive and are both willing and able to memorize and recite a large amount of material. This is when we help our students absorb tremendous amounts of information with historical and biblical time lines as well as master language with Latin, the Swiss Army Knife of languages - once you know Latin, learning many other languages becomes much easier.
6th - 8th
During the middle school years, the Logic stage, children begin to think independently, question the world around them, and often develop a propensity for argument. Using their natural bend towards questioning, we teach students to think and analyze critically and to argue well by arranging facts into organized statements. Practice in making written and oral arguments across all subjects helps to hone these skills.
9th - 12th
During the Rhetoric stage, students learn to clearly express themselves and defend their understanding of the truth by communicating winsomely and effectively. In this final stage of education, students bring the knowledge they gained in the Grammar and Logic stages and apply it in solving difficult problems, becoming self-aware, and expressing their thoughts and understanding of concepts through both oral and written assignments.
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From Kindergarten through 12th grade, children spend close to 16,000 hours in a classroom. Those hours matter because there is no insignificant moment in forming a child's worldview.
We encourage families to think about how they want to fill those hours.
- Andy Cantwell,
Head of School
Head of Upper School
The purpose of education is formation. It is about training students to become something, namely, lovers of God who are awakened and attuned to His beauty, goodness, and truth.