At Trinity, we also aim high scholastically, as high or higher than any school in this state, but we are not trying to do that on the backs of our students with greater "rigor.” Rather, we are using a classical method and philosophy that works with the grain of a child, the way God has made them to learn and mature. Now, it might seem like an audacious claim-- to know just how God designed children to learn. But, the classical method stakes its claim on thousands of years of human experience. That is thousands of years of discerning and refining how students best acquire the knowledge, skills, habits, and attitudes that will lead them into maturity and success. The evidence of the classical method’s effectiveness from just the past few hundreds of years in this country’s history is very compelling.
So, what does this classical method look like?
* The Preschool student who begins practicing phonograms, such that when he has learned all 87 phonograms and the 29 rules in the Elementary School, he will have achieved a level of mastery of the English language and be able to read and spell with greater ease.
* The 2nd grade student who freely rehearses her song of the fifty states, and is proud to show it off when she's got it down.
* The 6th grade student who adorns his study of history with the memorization and presentation of
a great 20th century speech, mimicking a master of rhetoric and rehearsing his own poise in front of an audience.
* The 8th grade student who learns formal logic and then gains confidence employing knowledge, logic, and virtue as she debates topics in class and at state competitions.
* The 10th grade student who reads the Oresteia or the Iliad and then engages Socratically around a conference table.
* The senior who finds a 20-minute, memorized, public thesis presentation achievable and looks forward to defending her premise in front of a panel of judges from the community.
* The student that comes to expect and even ask for connections between the history taught and the literature he is reading.
* The student who doesn't question the utility of Latin, but senses how it sharpens her mind, teaches the science of grammar, and expands her vocabulary. (Incidentally, rigor mortis is a Latin term literally translated as “stiffness in death.”)
* The student who sings, creates works of art, and trains his body in the pool and on the field, every week. He struggles to do all these well, but knows they can be learned with practice and are all integral parts to his education.
Of course, I may not be describing your child. Classical education does not land on everyone the same way at every point; it never has. And, it is not without significant work and some struggle at times. But, our goal will always be what is best for the student’s growth into maturity, and we will not sacrifice them on the altar of greater rigor and school pretense. That said, it's amazing to see how the classical method, on the whole, enables our students to do so much and go so far... willingly, even joyfully.