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Saint Joseph Academy


A TK-12 Traditional Catholic School

Scire, Amare, et Servire Deo


Classical Education

Classical Education

The Grammar Stage (grades K-5- the Elementary School):
The child focuses on memorizing the "facts" and rules of a subject. These would include vocabulary, spelling, multiplication tables, historical dates, etc. Memorization is the key at this stage of learning as the memory is the most powerful intellectual capacity of the child. The children are not only able to memorize vast amounts of information, they thoroughly enjoy doing so when it is presented in a fun, interesting manner. The fundamentals of all skills and subjects are sine qua non of all subsequent thought. Students are unable to acquire "higher level thinking" without first building these solid foundations of grammar, reading, writing, speaking, and math basics.
*Note: This is NOT the stage of development that complex math concepts requiring critical thinking skills beyond the child's natural cognitive skill development should be introduced or required. Common Core math's goal is precisely to introduce these advanced concepts at this stage. This has resulted in much frustration and failure to succeed by the majority of students exposed to this progressive method of education. In the process these students miss out on learning the basic building blocks of math that are meant to form the firm foundation for future complex math skills they will learn when cognitively ready in middle and high school.  
The Logic Stage (grades 6-8- the Middle School):
At this stage of development the child develops an understanding of the facts and the rules of the subjects. The students explores the relations between facts, for example the causes of historical events or the higher level critical thinking skills of mathematics, and masters the rules of logical reasoning. This is the stage where students naturally develop argumentation. We teach them to argue well using reason and logic as their foundation. This cognitive stage is where students really learn how things relate to each other and to the past.  
 
The Rhetoric Stage (grades 9-12- the High School):
This is the stage of development where students develop a means to communicate the understanding of the facts and the rules. The Rhetoric stage focuses on excellence in both written and spoken expression that is articulate and persuasive. It is the capstone of a classic Classical Christian education.  
 
Our academically rigorous, Christ centered curriculum is structured to reflect these 3 stages of the Trivium and thereby cultivate a rational and disciplined mind. We strive to integrate a Catholic world view into all subjects in a way that works with a child's natural development and helps every child reach their God given potential. The Classical Education model teaches children to read, think, understand, analyze and draw conclusions with a proven method of instruction and curriculum from Kindergarten to 12th grade.
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