Our Approach

 

Marrying Academic Rigor with Joyful Creativity

Our curriculum and our teaching methods are designed to guide students along a journey both joyful and demanding. We believe that what students learn matters and is not merely incidental to the acquisition of a set of skills.

Through their own expertise and passion, our teachers inspire our students to seek what is beautiful in all its dimensions. We undertake this wonderful endeavor in light-filled classrooms on a bucolic, three-acre campus that foster the warm, personal community most conducive to learning.

At the Classical Academy, we believe that children are never too young to learn great things. From kindergarten onward, our students explore the finest of literature and poetry in English, French, and, starting in fourth grade, in Latin; come to appreciate the depth and beauty of mathematics; and experience encounters with great historical heroes, scientific discoveries, religious disputes, and military enterprises. In the arts, our students acquire proficiency playing piano and/or violin; gain a solid understanding of musical theory; are introduced to the history of Western art and music; and acquire mastery of the fundamentals of drawing and painting.

We cover so much ground because we know that our students are capable of it. We guide them on a journey both demanding and joyful, where intellectual rigor and academic thoroughness go hand-in-hand with creativity and the joy of learning. The first years of school coincide with a period in a child’s life when his mind is the most supple and receptive to learning: the younger the child, the more easily, happily, and lastingly does his memory master and retain poetry and prose, rules and theorems; the more eagerly and sensitively does he respond to encounters with inspiring historical and literary heroes; and the more fruitfully does he form intelligent, wholesome thoughts and impressions. Our methods of teaching and learning are geared towards ensuring that everything the children encounter in their studies remains fresh and vivid in their hearts and minds for years to come as they mature into intelligent, compassionate leaders in all branches of modern society. Immersed in the classical canon and appreciative of where, how, and why this canon originated, our students are empowered to step into the future not to adapt to its anticipated demands but to shape and determine its course.

Our Teaching Model

Our curriculum is conceived as a series of interconnected adventures in space and time which open the student’s eyes to the artistic, linguistic, mathematical, political, geographical, and scientific roots of the twenty-first century world1. This curricular principle underlies our unique teaching model—a high school-format academic program on the elementary school level. Every academic subject is taught by a specialist, with up to eight different specialist teachers interacting with the class in the course of a day. The various subjects are thus led by teachers accomplished in their respective fields and possessing the presence and zeal to inspire their charges.

At the same time, homeroom teachers are present throughout the day to provide the children with consistent, nurturing presence. Homeroom teachers play an important role in identifying and working with students who may not have fully grasped a concept as well as in helping children develop vital social skills by focusing on such concepts as team work, good sportsmanship, and classroom ethics.

1Hence the themes of compass and journey in our logo. The words Iter Deo Et Musis Sacrum (“A Journey Sacred to God and to the Muses”) are an adaptation of the 1669 inscription on the walls of the Tübingen Stift, a school boasting Kepler, Hegel, and Hölderlin among its alumni.