Please note: Sage Oak Charter School is neither advertising nor advocating these resources, their links, suggested materials, opinions, or beliefs. Keep in mind that restrictions apply to what materials may be purchased with public funds. Your TF can provide you with further clarification of which resources are acceptable for instructional funds purchasing.
The classical approach is a history-based, idea-oriented educational model that engages students with the great minds of the past through literature, essays, and philosophy. Advocates of this language-intensive philosophy believe the key to educating students is to provide them with intellectual resources that will help them learn to teach themselves.
Advocates of the classical philosophy believe that children move through certain developmental learning stages. The learning strengths of each of those stages are considered carefully when deciding what is appropriate at the various levels in order to help students learn more effectively.
The three level process for educating students using the classical approach is called the trivium. The three levels include the grammar, dialectic/formal logic, and the rhetoric stages.
- Grammar stage (elementary grade level) - At this stage, children display a natural ability to memorize and absorb large amounts of information. The emphasis at this level is on filling the students' minds with facts and on developing and refining their skills of memorization, observation, and listening.
- Dialectic / Formal Logic stage (middle school level) - At this stage, children begin to demonstrate independent and abstract thinking. Teaching at this level, takes advantage of the students' natural tendencies to argue and question. Students are trained to support their ideas with facts, draw logical conclusions, and recognize flaws in arguments.
- Rhetoric stage (high school level) - At this stage children become more concerned with how they are perceived by other people. Knowledge and skills acquired from the prior stages are applied and built upon. Students are trained to write and speak with clarity, eloquence, and persuasiveness in order to present their ideas and express themselves effectively.
Approved Vendors that Carry Classical Education Curriculum
- Pandia Press
- Peace Hill Press
- Classical Academic Press
- Saxon Publishers
- The Classical Historian
- Elemental Science
Specific Curriculum that Aligns with Classical Education
- Singapore Math
- Math in Focus
- Saxon Math
- Story of the World
- Elemental Science
- Well Ordered Language
- IEW Writing Curriculums
- Ready Readers
- Writing with Ease
- First Language Lessons
Not all resources listed are approved vendors but are for reference only. Please check with your TF to verify if the resource is an approved vendor.
Please note that some of these websites offer secular and religious content. The school can support you in the purchase of secular materials only. Not all resources listed are approved vendors but are for reference only. Please check with your TF to verify if the resource is an approved vendor.
- The Well Trained Mind
- Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America
- Classical Education and the Homeschool
Please note that some of these resources offer secular and religious content. The school can support you in the purchase of secular materials only.
Key Elements for Choosing Classical Education
This philosophy is a tried and true philosophy that has worked for many years. It helps to instill a love of learning in the student while teaching them how to learn. There is also an emphasis on public speaking and fine arts, so this was a draw to keep the arts alive.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Classical Education
There is a large amount of reading, whether independent or read aloud. There is also a focus on memorization, as well as grammar and writing. Latin is also a key component. If language arts is not an area that you wish to focus on heavily, then you might want to consider another philosophy.
History is also the backbone of this philosophy and rotates on a four-year cycle (some program modify this a bit). Therefore, if your child is starting in K or 1st grade, they would study the same time period three different times at a deeper level each time.
There is also an element of public speaking and focusing on the fine arts (music, art, theater).
A key element is to connect all areas of study together….history, science, grammar, writing, literature. This can require some additional work for parents, as not many packaged curriculum do this for you. Using history and the time period is a great backbone to implementing this philosophy. The literature, writing, and grammar sentences can all pertain to that time period. The science can be based on interests or a four-year course of study.
Day to Day Notes
These elements would be included in the day-to-day teaching using this method.
- History-based literature for independent reading and family read alouds
- Music and poetry studies
- Memorization and narration of history and science facts
- Timeline and map work pertaining to history
- Focus on grammar and writing
- Using Socratic Method for discussions
- Latin curriculum and studies
- Structured math curriculum