FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The Classical school model is something that has largely been replaced in America.
The current model of K-12 has replaced it almost everywhere in America.
But one church in Fort Wayne will be home to a school that is trying to reinstall the model.
“If you think about our founding fathers when they wrote the constitution, they all had a classical education, and it’s very different than what you might think,” said Linda Pearson, head of school for Classical Roots Christian School.
What’s largely different is that there aren’t grade levels, but a three-level system.
The first is Grammar, then Logic and finally Rhetoric.
- The Grammar Stage (K-6) is focused on the accumulation of knowledge. Children at this developmental stage are particularly strong at memorizing facts. With this in mind, attention is given to the accumulation of knowledge and facts around a wide range of subjects and topics. The questions of who, what, where, and when are emphasized during the Grammar stage, and memorization is an important part of their learning.
- The Logic Stage (7-8) is a fun time for engaging students in their understanding. An important focus during the Logic stage is helping students learn to reason well by developing critical thinking skills. Learning to recognize sound arguments and ideas and detect incorrect and false ideas is a key goal. Questions emphasized during the Logic stage are how and why.
- The Rhetoric Stage (9-12) is focused on wisdom. Classical education culminates in this very exciting stage of learning. Utilizing their knowledge and understanding, students grow in their ability to persuade convincingly and clearly through speaking and writing. Also important in the Rhetoric stage is the development of leadership skills and opportunities for leadership engagement.
But outside of the Classical model, the school will also feature religious education as well.
“We’re not just going to educate children, we’re going to ride alongside them. Have the Bible be a co-book with everything else we’re doing,” Pearson said. “Teaching students how to live a life of virtue, how to please Christ.”
The students will have required chapel on Monday morning, where a new virtue will be focused on each week, such as responsibility or patience.
The system also varies in where students will learn, splitting time between home and school.
“We will have students on campus two days a week for direct instruction, and then the other three days (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) they will not be on their laptops, but be doing activities at home.”
Learning goals will be set each week, and the curriculum given so that the students can be taught by parents at home.
Spending that time at home and learning from parents is something Pearson said is critical to their model and attractive for parents who want to spend time with their children.
“The days are long, but the years are short. Before you know it your children are gone,” Pearson said.
Classical Roots Christian School will start in August at Headwaters Church.
The schools will start with kindergarten through fourth grade but officials hope to expand up to sixth grade next year and high school not long after.
If you want to learn more information about the school or are interested in enrolling, you can on the Classical Roots Christian School website.