What is a Classical Education?
Classical education is about equipping children for the future with what has been proven successful in the past. The classical approach focuses on the time-honored “tools of learning,” a phrase coined by 20thcentury Oxford author Dorothy Sayers. The roots of classical learning can be traced back to the Greeks, just before the time of Christ. The classical emphasis is built on a three-fold approach called the trivium. The three foundational academic categories are grammar, logic, and rhetoric.The trivium corresponds to the three basic stages of developing child. By following the path of development that children naturally take, classical education teaches “with the grain” and equips students to master the art of learning. Classical Christian education can be summed up this way: the trivium provides the framework of learning, Scripture and classical curriculum furnish the core content, and Biblical truth is the fixed point of reference.
Christ’s Legacy Academy purposes to bring glory to the Lord Jesus Christ by assisting parents in the Christian education and discipleship of their children. We view the school as an extension of the Christian home that should strive to demonstrate an integrated biblical worldview in all aspects of life. Faculty and staff are viewed as role models in portraying the character of Jesus Christ and living out His Great Commission.
With this in mind, Christ’s Legacy Academy seeks to achieve the following objectives:
- Encourage every child in the development of his/her relationship with God the Father through Jesus Christ.
- Equip students in all forms of educational development to discover and fulfill God’s purpose for their lives.
- Teach all subjects as parts of an integrated whole, with the realization that God is the Source of all truth.
- Encourage students to develop a love for life long learning by utilizing classical teaching methodology in all subjects.
- Minister to families in the community to glorify the name of our Lord.
- Provide an orderly atmosphere conducive to attaining these objectives.
Latin is an important language to learn for many reasons, but especially because it helps to increase linguistic skills and understanding, and it teaches students a method of learning that will help them with any subject they want to study.
Contrary to popular thought, Latin is not really a dead language; it is just hidden well in other languages that go by different names. Over 80% of the English language comes from Latin and Greek roots. Over 70% of English is derived from strictly Latin roots. English vocabulary tests reveal that students who study Latin score higher than students of other foreign languages. When a student studies Latin first, any language he or she chooses to study next will be much easier, especially if is one of the Romance languages (Spanish, French, Romanian, Italian, and Portuguese) because they derive as much as 90% of their vocabulary from Latin.
Another important reason to learn Latin is that it helps you to understand the culture of the western world better. Language is the circulatory system of a culture. If you want to really understand a culture, you have to learn its language. Without a mastery of the language of a culture, you will never understand completely how it thinks or how it works. A proper study of Latin includes elements of Roman culture, law, poetry, literature, and history. If we want to comprehend our own culture, we must understand where we have come from. The Latin language dominated Western culture for well over 1,000 years. All scholarly writing was done in Latin regardless of the author’s native tongue.
Thus, the reasons we teach Latin at Christ’s Legacy Academy are many. It may not be a spoken language anymore, but that certainly does not mean that it is not useful. It not only teaches students a higher level of linguistic competency, but it also trains the mind in the skills that are needed for systematic learning of any subject. This fact, more than any other, makes Latin one of the most valuable learning experiences a student can have.