Classically Based Curriculum

Kingswood Academy offers a rigorous classically based education rooted in the Catholic faith. We focus on educating the whole person. We teach each child the value of respect, responsibility, reverence, and independence. We provide a safe and encouraging environment where children can share, explore, question, and develop a love for learning.

Classically Based Education:

  • Teaches a student how to think and reason critically
  • Provides a substantive base of knowledge, resulting in a well-rounded, culturally literate individual
  • Uses history from ancients to moderns as its organizing theme
  • Emphasizes learning through written and spoken words instead of through images (pictures and videos)
  • Requires the mind to work harder because of the language based format

The classical method of education has its roots in ancient Greece and Rome and was used throughout the Western world by the 16th century. It remained the norm until at least 1850. The reason for its widespread use: It works. Many of the world’s great authors, statesmen, scientists, and politicians were classically educated.

For the last 50 years, conventional education has experimented with a variety of methods, retaining some while abandoning others as attitudes toward education shift. Much of modern education is so eclectic that the student has little opportunity to make connections between past events and the flood of current information.

In the 1940s, Dorothy Sayers advocated a return to classical education and to teaching students how to think, instead of teaching to the latest fad. Classical education is a return to a system proven for more than 1,000 years. Classical education follows a three-part pattern known as the Triviumthe mind first must be supplied with facts; then given the logical tools for organizing those facts; and finally equipped to express conclusions. Students throughout all grade levels benefit from each method of teaching. Classical education works because it focuses on the way children learn best at each stage of life, then builds on the foundation of previous stages. New students, however, can be successfully integrated at any grade.

As the name suggests, there are 3 stages to the Trivium:

– Grammar (Elementary) Stage: In the Grammar Stage, students enjoy memorizing songs, rhymes, and jingles. This is important because in many schools, students don’t memorize anything anymore. Children learn the factual foundations of each subject and learn rules of phonics, spelling, and grammar. Children hear stories in history and literature; they memorize math facts and descriptions of plants and animals.

– Dialect/Logic (Middle School) Stage: In the Dialectic/Logic Stage, teachers channel students’ natural desire to argue through the formal study of logic. Students are interested in cause and effect, relationships between different fields of knowledge, and the way facts fit together in a logical framework. Students analyze, evaluate, and critique information. Students, for example, discover why the War of 1812 was fought instead of simply reading the history. The logic of science requires that children learn the scientific method. They learn persuasive writing and guided critical analysis. 

– Rhetoric (High School) Stage: In a high school with a classical education, one finds the Rhetoric Stage, where students have acquired knowledge and the skills necessary to arrange facts into arguments. They develop the skills needed to communicate those arguments to others through writing and speech. Students research important themes and present those concepts in papers and speeches. They discuss world events and explore career options.

Classically based curriculum teaches a student how to think and reason critically. It provides a substantive base of knowledge resulting in a well-rounded, culturally literate individual who uses history from ancients to moderns as its organizing theme. A classically based education emphasizes learning through written and spoken words instead of through images (pictures and videos). It requires the mind to work harder because of its language based learning. Classically based education challenges the mind and heart in ways that prepare children to become lifelong learners.

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