Christian Classical Education Defined
The Connection School’s mission is to provide a Christian community committed to discipling children to love God with all of their hearts, souls, and minds and to love others as themselves. (Matthew 22:37-40)
To support this mission TCS implements a Christian classical educational philosophy. TCS views the Christian classical educational tradition as a holistic formative education that aligns with the nature of the child. It is a Christ centered and integrated approach to learning and is truly an education for our time.
We align with the CiRCE Institute's definition of Christian and classical education together as “the cultivation of wisdom and virtue by nourishing the soul on truth, goodness, and beauty by means of the seven liberal arts and the four sciences so that, in Christ, the student is enabled to better know, glorify, and enjoy God.”
*For further information we encourage you to visit the CiRCE website and specifically the following link: https://www.circeinstitute.org/resources-what-classical-education/definitions-terms
The Liberal Arts Tradition Explained
In The Liberal Arts Tradition, Kevin Clark and Ravi Scott Jain summarize our Christian Classical philosophy well when they write:
“Christian classical education cultivates the virtue of the student in body, heart, and mind, while nurturing a love for wisdom under the Lordship of Christ.” (p.4)
“We propose this model for a truly integrated Christian classical Education-where the intellectual tools of the seven liberal arts are formed within the context of a Christian life and moral imagination that is governed by a thoroughly Christian philosophy and theology-as at once a faithful summary of the Christian classical educational tradition and a compelling model for schools in the Christian classical Renewal” (p. 3).
The seven liberal arts are the “seeds of learning”. Tradition holds that these arts “were not merely subjects to be mastered, but sure and certain ways of forming in the soul the intellectual virtue necessary for acquiring true wisdom. (p. 1) They consist of the trivium-the language arts of grammar, logic, and rhetoric and the quadrivium, the mathematical arts of arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music. The seven liberal arts together with the sciences are the foundations of our curriculum.
TCS views the trivium of the seven liberal arts with a “top down” approach rather than a stage of child development or a stage of another art in the quadrivium. The “top down” approach begins the foundations of the language arts in kindergarten and continues to build through the senior year. As Robert Littlejohn and Charles Evans write in Wisdom and Eloquence: “The tools of learning are the skills that are learned during one’s study of all the liberal arts and sciences.” Such skills are “purposefully and systematically taught from ‘end to beginning’.” This foundational and vertical alignment starts with the goals for the graduate and builds the foundations to accomplish these goals down through the grades to kindergarten.
The Liberal Arts & Sciences Defined for Our Current Time
As Provided in Wisdom & Eloquence by Littlejohn & Evans
The Trivium (The Language Arts)
- Reading, writing, spelling, and vocabulary
- English grammar
- History (historic literature)
- Foreign & classical language
- Computer navigation
- Persuasive speech
- Theatrical performance
- Thesis writing & defense
The Quadrivium (The Mathematical Arts)
- Elementary math through Algebra
- Computer Science
- Plane geometry
- Solid geometry
- The visual arts (painting, sculpting, architecture
(expanded to the natural sciences)
- Sport (gymnasia)
The "True Science"
Book List for Further Understanding Christian Classical Education
- Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping America (New Edition) by Andrew Kern & Dr. Gene Edward Veith, Jr.
- The Liberal Arts Tradition: A Philosophy of Christian Classical Education by Kevin Clark and Ravi Scott Jain
- Wisdom and Eloquence by Robert LittleJohn & Charles T. Evans
- The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers
- Norms and Nobility: A Treatise on Education by David V. Hicks
- The Consequences of Ideas by R.C. Sproul
- Poetic Knowledge by James Taylor
- On Christian Doctrine by St. Augustine
- A Charlotte Mason Companion: Personal Reflections on The Gentle Art of Learning by Karen Andeola
- Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp