How is it different?



Classical Christian education is modeled upon the most proven form of education ever developed. The classical method was conceived in Greece and Rome. By the 16th century, classical education was used throughout the Western world. This educational system produced the greatest philosophers, leaders, and scientists in the Western world from the time of the Greeks until the late 19th century. Paul to Aristotle to Socrates to America’s founding fathers received this educational training. The effectiveness of this educational system resulted in the outstanding advances in mathematics, science, philosophy, architecture, art, and literature that were accomplished between the 10th and 19th centuries.


Unfortunately, it took modern educators only 50 years to destroy this educational system. Modern education focuses on teaching subjects with progressive teaching methods. Classical education focuses on teaching students HOW to learn and giving them the tools of learning in preparation to tackle any new environment with great success. More than ever, thinking, articulate individuals who are able to think logically, acquire new skills rapidly and implement ideas independently are in high demand regardless of the field. Classical Christian education has a history of producing these types of students.


Why is classical Christian education so effective? The model is based on the Trivium, a series of three phases of learning. In the Grammar stage (grades K-5), students are excellent at memorizing. During the Grammar stage students exercise their minds by learning the grammar of English and Latin or other languages, the grammar or rules of mathematics, of history, and of science. The Dialectic or Logic stage (grades 6-8), takes a very different focus from modern education. “Having learned from grammar how to talk,” writes C.S. Lewis describing the Trivium, “we must learn from Dialectic how to talk sense, to argue, to prove and disprove.” (“Seven Liberal Arts” 188). Again in this stage, the classical student uses a variety of subjects on which to practice the Dialectic art of logic, disputation and discursive reason. Rhetoric, the final stage (grades 9-12) of the Trivium, teaches the student rhetoric, the art of speaking, communicating and writing effectively over all subjects from math to theology to music to visual arts. Therefore, one of the most compelling arguments in defense of the Trivium is that it corresponds to the natural patterns of child development.


The pedagogy, or method of teaching used in the various stages of the Trivium, by necessity, is diverse. Children are themselves unique individuals that learn in different ways and at different paces. Especially in the Grammar stage, the use of many ways to memorize or learn the facts include chants, songs, drills, lectures, readings, dictation, tests, charts, flash cards, and a wealth of additional multi-sensory options. It is in the Dialectic and Rhetoric stages that pedagogies shift drastically from “traditional” modern education. Socratic Dialogue is introduced, appropriately, in the Dialectic stage and carried through the Rhetoric stage. Although it is not the only pedagogy used in either stage, it is the least familiar to those educated in “traditional” American classrooms. Taking its name from Socrates, the tutor of Plato, Socratic Dialogue consists in asking the student questions to lead him to an apprehension of truth. The dialogue is intended to serve as a forum for analyzing “the way things are,” namely, reality, and for refining critical thinking to get a hold of truth—a concept almost entirely lost on our contemporary society. The Medieval scholars found, as have contemporary classical educators, that a line of thoughtful questions was one of the most effective ways to get at the reality they sought. 


Download our curriculum overviews for each class.


To learn more about Classical Christian Education:


Books

Increasing Academic Achievement with the Trivium of Classical Education by Randall Hart, Ph.D. 

The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers

The Abolition of Man by C.S. Lewis

Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning by Douglas Wilson

The Case for Classical Christian Education by Douglas Wilson

Classical Education and the Homeschool by Douglas Wilson, Wes Callihan, and Doug Jones

The Seven Laws of Teaching by John Gregory

Repairing the Ruins edited by Douglas Wilson

Classical Education by Gene Edward Veith, Jr. and Andrew Kern


Articles [click each title] 

Benefits of Latin

The Trivium in Biblical Perspective

Grammar Stage

Dialectic Stage

Rhetoric Stage

faith

Faith is an integral part of the CCS mission and experience. As with all elements of our curriculum, we seek to give students the tools to explore and better understand how God has made them and the world around us. We believe the guiding principles of Christianity help us to be compassionate, thoughtful, discerning members of society.


We gather each Wednesday morning for a chapel service in the Christ Church Sanctuary. Students are introduced to the prayers, practices, and songs of worship by Father Bill and Vicki Boyd. This is a meaningful time for students and teachers alike.


We recognize and celebrate that all are on a journey of faith and belief. We teach the stories and values of Scripture because we believe they are beneficial for children from all faith backgrounds. All families and students are welcomed at CCS, regardless of their beliefs.


fine arts


Some of the greatest thinkers throughout history have emphasized the importance of the arts as a fundamental building block of education. Today, we see the arts being limited and removed from schools in an effort to cut costs and focus on standardized testing. At the same time, we see a world more in need of creative solutions than ever before.

We believe the arts are not only an important way for children to discover their creative voice, but a primary way to better understand the world around them. Whether your child will be a musician, a contractor, or a physician, the arts will help equip them for the challenges ahead.

Art

In addition to visual arts within the classroom, we offer classes two days each week where students explore drawing, painting, collage, print-making, mixed-media, sculpture, fiber, and clay. The art curriculum is aligned so that students build on the knowledge and skills learned in previous years in order to reach their artistic potential.  Students also study artistic periods, famous artists, their styles and specific artistic works completed by each artist. 

Music

Music making is a regular part of every day at CCS, from singing within the classroom, chapel, special performances, and music class. We combine the singing of folk songs, hymns, and newly composed songs to develop a joy of singing and a deeper understanding of melody, rhythm, harmony, and form. In addition to performances at the Christmas Program, Grandparent’s Day, and the End of School Program, private lessons and Honor Choir are also available.

Drama

The reading of plays is a regular part of the curriculum at CCS. However, specific grade level dramatic performances throughout the year as well as a major musical theatrical performance at either the Christmas or the End of School Program are highlights for parents, teachers, and students alike.



language arts

The Language Arts at Christ Church School are organized according to the guidelines of the Classical Trivium at the Grammar and Logic stages. Students learn how the English language is derived from Latin and Greek roots, and apply that knowledge as they spell and define words from a rich and varied vocabulary. Grammar is the basis of our understanding of the meaning and usage that words have in sentences, paragraphs, and longer pieces of writing. Students are involved in the analysis of grammar, as well as in its usage as they learn to write meaningful sentences, paragraphs, and stories. Poetry is studied at all levels.


The younger children in Pre-K, Young Learners, and Junior Kindergarten, become familiar with the written word in the use of Big Books, and Read Aloud books used in conjunction with their curricula, Happily Ever After and Texas Journeys. The students in Kindergarten, First, and Second Grades use Superkids and the books that accompany this series.


In Second Grade, chapter books are introduced, and are read together as a class. From this grade on, throughout each of the older grades at CCS, books are chosen to read, study, and discuss that are considered the classics and modern classics of American and Western Literature: Little House in the Big Woods (2nd grade); The Chronicles of Narnia (3rd grade); The Hobbit and Old Yeller (4th grade); Johnny Tremain and The Secret Garden (5th grade); Carry on Mr. Bowditch and Across 5 Aprils (6th grade); Lone Star and Lord of the Flies (7th grade) and Will's War and To Kill a Mockingbird (8th Grade). These titles are only a sampling of the rich variety of classics and award-winning books read by our students in grades two through six. These novel studies coordinate with the history being studied at each grade level, reinforce the grammar and writing taught, and allow for deeper research, projects, and presentations by the students.


Math

Mathematics is an integral part of the classical school, with its own grammar, approach to problem solving, and its own “alphabet.” Students learn the basics about numbers and how to count by ones, by tens, and by fives when they are early learners at CCS. They learn about the concepts of adding and subtracting without actually doing the computations.


In Pre-Kindergarten through first grade, they are taught mathematics in a more systematic way, using the Saxon Math program. This is a spiral approach to learning in which review of older concepts and teaching of new concepts are spun together like a spiral on a daily basis. Our students are taught in an accelerated format, using the textbook that is actually a grade level ahead of the grade they are in. This is one of the strengths of a spiraled approach—students will continue to review the basics in each lesson, even as they learn more complex and challenging uses of those basic foundational characteristics of numbers and how they function. Solving word problems is a main focus throughout the grades, and supplemental texts and activities are used to help students become confident in their ability to use the math skills they have learned.


The math curriculum for Grades 2 through 4 transitions to Everday Mathematics which provides the student a more rigorous program to learn new concepts and to review their old as well. We continue the accelerated format where students are taught using the math textbook that is actually a grade level ahead of their current grade. The Everyday Math curriculum expects higher levels of accomplishment at every grade level incorporating features that help make mathematics accessible to all students. A variety of math strategies are taught to help students solve word problems.


In the fifth and sixth grades, Mathworks Curriculum Math Explorations Parts 1 and 2 is the new more rigorous math curriculum selected for the beginning Logic Stage students at CCS. This approach allows students to apply problem solving strategies to real world situations using inductive, abductive, and deductive reasoning. 


Seventh grade students will study Pre-Algebra and continue to apply problem solving strategies to real world situations using inductive, abductive, and deductive reasoning to build on the knowledge and skills from previous grades. This approach will prepare them for eighth grade Algebra and the rigorous math curriculum of high school.


social studies

Because of our emphasis on primary sources and experiences over more passive, secondary ones, the study of social studies is based on immersing students in the history, literature, and culture of the people and places they are studying. 


For instance, instead of simply reading about the life the ancient Greeks, students reenact plays, share an authentic meal, and use ancient techniques in the arts to better understand the contributions of ancient Greece. Several of the reading assignments are drawn from the culture being studied as well. This integration across subjects gives a more complete picture of the cultures being explored.


Don't be surprised to find classrooms filled with objects and images from the social studies lessons. We believe this immersion in the cultures promotes deeper understanding and more meaningful awareness of the world around us.


science

We believe science is a crucial and engaging way for students to explore and understand our natural world. At CCS, this experience begins with our Young Learners and progresses through every grade level.


Classical Education emphasizes the use of primary sources and experiences over more passive, secondary ones. As a result, the study of science involves extensive hands-on, interactive experiments and projects. 


Instead of reading about the life cycles of hatchling birds and tadpoles, students incubate and care for these animals within the classroom. This immersion in the “real life” of the sciences promotes a deeper understanding and more meaningful awareness of the world around us.

latin and spanish


Some of the greatest thinkers throughout history have emphasized the importance of the arts as a fundamental building block of education. Today, we see the arts being limited and removed from schools in an effort to cut costs and focus on standardized testing. At the same time, we see a world more in need of creative solutions than ever before.

We believe the arts are not only an important way for children to discover their creative voice, but a primary way to better understand the world around them. Whether your child will be a musician, a contractor, or a physician, the arts will help equip them for the challenges ahead.




Mission/Service Projects

We at CCS see the world as our classroom, so, in a sense, there is no such thing as learning outside of the classroom. Our emphasis on experiential learning and hands-on lessons takes us well beyond the walls of the classroom each day. Whether we are at the Cultural Activities Center, Cameron Park Zoo, Ft. Hood, or wherever, our students see the world around them as a place to explore and learn. Our hope is that this perspective helps create lifelong learners.


As people who seek to live as Christ taught us, we know that caring for our community and environment are fundamental to life. These are just a few of the ways we care for our community at CCS each year.


November Food Drive

In celebration of Thanksgiving, students collect canned goods and non-perishable food for a local food bank.


Operation Christmas Child

For many years the families of CCS have donated shoeboxes filled with gifts for needy children. Click here for more information on Operation Christmas Child.


Recycling

Throughout the year, students, teachers, and parents participate in a recycling program as part of the curriculum of protecting God's creation.


Earth Day Celebration

Students, teachers, and families come together for a celebration of the commitment CCS has made to the environment. Temple Mayor, Danny Dunn will be on hand to present the students a citation for their efforts. 


Arbor Day

CCS Students and teachers plant and bless a tree in honor of Arbor Day.


Love Bags for Nursing Homes

CCS students and volunteers from the church celebrate Valentines Day by decorating and filling bags of goodies for residents of area nursing homes.