“The hard, precipitous path of classical education ideally led not to knowledge alone, but to the cultivation of mind and spirit. Knowledge did not in and of itself, justify the sweat. The climb was meant to transform one’s intellectual and aesthetic nature as well.”
Tracy Lee Simmon in Climbing Parnassus
First Lutheran Classical School maintains the highest standards possible in developing and implementing a quality and comprehensive curriculum that meets and exceeds state and national standards. All curricula are selected for research-proven effectiveness at producing student achievement as well as for their alignment with a Christian worldview. Emphasis is placed on using materials from Christian publishers that assist students in developing Christian values, although some secular textbooks may be used for instruction and/or for comparative analysis.
The classical education model informs not only the curriculum, but also when content is taught and the manner in which it is taught. Classical methods are characterized by direct instruction. It is language-focused; utilizing spoken and written words rather than images. This trains the mind to work harder as it translates symbols into concepts. Mastery of language and reading prepares the student to excel in all other subjects. As students progress through the stages, Socratic methods (guided questioning and discussion intended to develop critical thinking) are utilized. Classical schools expose children to works of excellence: real literature, quality music, and great works of art.
Reading: A strong emphasis is placed on developing mastery of reading in the early elementary years. A strong phonetic approach is used, based on learning parts to whole, not whole to parts. Saxon Phonics is used to teach reading and spelling, and the Grammar of Spelling is used beginning in 3rd grade. Shurley English is used to teach grammar. The student is immersed in great literature, with carefully selected reading lists. Students are systematically taught to write by learning fundamentals and imitating examples of great writing in fairy tales, Aesop’s Fables, Greek Myths and & Heroes, and Medieval Legends.
History/Geography: The study of chronological history utilizing primary sources and living books (books that include firsthand sources, classics, and contain imaginative, inspiring ideas) and the thorough study of geography are emphasized. The Mystery of History curriculum integrates biblical and world history.
Mathematics: Students learn the grammar (fundamentals) of arithmetic through the use of Saxon Math and Classical Math.
Latin: Instruction in Latin begins in the 3rd grade after the foundation of English grammar has been laid. Students begin with Prima Latina and move on to Latina Christiana and First Form Latin in subsequent years.
Bible: The wisdom of God is applicable to and is integrated into every subject. Bible study, memory, and application are taught daily. A comprehensive curriculum of Bible teaching, One in Christ, is used in all grades.
Science: The fundamentals of science are taught acknowledging God as the amazing Creator of all things seen and unseen. The Grammar of Science curriculum is used in the early elementary grades.
Fine Arts: Children’s souls are nourished when God’s truth, beauty, and goodness are revealed through instruction in music and the visual arts. The students are taught the fundamentals and history of these fine arts, and enjoy employing creative expression through individual and group endeavors.
Logic: The science of the formal principles of reasoning, logic, will be studied in the later years of the logic stage. It aims to reveal the laws that may be used to distinguish good reasoning from poor reasoning. Logic is an aid to improved reasoning, and it helps in understanding God and His revelation. Logical arguments are used in the Rhetoric stage to defend truth.