Have you ever heard the term Classical teaching style and wondered what it is? It is just one of several different teaching methods and is popular with many homeschool families. So today, let’s get familiar with this approach to help you determine if this, or part of it, is the one for you!
The classical model has been around since the Middle Ages – so it works!
One of the main differences in this educational approach is that you teach history chronologically alongside other subjects that parallel with that historical period. So kids get to learn in a manner that helps them to understand the connections between school subjects such as science inventions and architectural developments.
And there is a steady stream of cross-curricula attention within different subjects. For instance, in Memoria Press for handwriting practice children will copy historical documents, math and science terms, and even artwork.
The classical teaching style follows structured teaching and learning.
Just follow the curriculum! Typically your curriculum, such as Classical Conversations, will lay out all three Trivium stages for each time-period. So you can teach your whole family the same subject on each of their learning levels at the same time. As your children grow up into the next learning stage, you will reintroduce that same period at their advanced level to meet their maturity.
So your kindergartener will study each chronological historical period in three different cycles over the years. This gives them more in-depth understanding and knowledge by the time they graduate high school. It also enables your different kids to be learning about the same subject at the same time with interesting details and experiences that challenge and meet them on each of their grade levels!
Our kids really enjoyed learning together and in chronological order the years we used the classical method! And I know many homeschoolers who only educate using this approach very successfully too!
Using the Trivium
Another big difference with the classical approach is that you teach according to a three-part process of training the mind called the Trivium. This is based on the philosophy that kids learn best when taught based on childhood developmental stages.
You’ve heard the saying that timing is everything!
The first stage is the “concrete learning” Grammar stage. This is during the elementary school ages. The focus is on learning the three r’s – reading, writing, and arithmetic.
Children also learn the basics of how to learn through observation, listening, and memorization skills.
The second stage is called “critical learning” Logic/Dialectic and occurs in the middle school years. During this season students learn to investigate and reason. How to think analytically. And how to communicate and support their ideas with facts through informal and formal discussions and debates.
There will be essay writing, a study of theology, and more original languages including Latin and maybe Greek and/or Hebrew.
The third stage is the “abstract learning” Rhetoric and occurs during high school. Students experience more independent self-learning and deeper discussions with intellectual understanding. And they practice persuasive speaking and effective writing with knowledge and authority.
The Classical Approach teaches…
- Students how to think for themselves
- And practice virtuous behavior
- To express themselves appropriately & accurately
- Learn logic & the ability to reason
- Becoming effective communicators with solid arguments for their beliefs
- Love to learn – even as adults
A Classical methodology, for example Classical Academic Press, is a liberal-arts-based approach that uses real, living books instead of information-only textbooks. This means that the material is written in a conversational, narrative form to engage the emotions making it memorable and exciting.
Kids will read and study original classic literature, documents, first-hand reports, and global conversations too.
Another unique aspect of classical teaching is the forums or communities.
Families meet in a local co-op type of formal classroom usually 1-2 times a week for classes together. Here students and parents/teachers receive group education and support alongside their peers!
The methodology you teach your kids with will determine your homeschool atmosphere, schedule, and your children’s overall education.
No matter how you teach your kids, if they are learning, you are succeeding!
Classical is just one of several teaching styles. Do your research. Talk with others. Ask questions. And give it a try if you think if fits you best!
So what are your thoughts on the Classical Teaching Method?
Enjoy your #HomeschoolLife!