Summer hours Mon-Thur 9AM-3PM - closed July 30-August 12

Schedule a visit now to learn more about the oaks for 2018-19 school year! - 509-536-5955

Summer hours Mon-Thur 9AM-3PM - closed July 30-August 12

Schedule a visit now to learn more about the oaks for 2018-19 school year! - 509-536-5955

Summer hours Mon-Thur 9AM-3PM - closed July 30-August 12

Schedule a visit now to learn more about the oaks for 2018-19 school year! - 509-536-5955

  The Oaks

A Classical and Christian Academy

Classical Curriculum. Life. Commitments.

  The Oaks

A Classical and Christian Academy

Classical Curriculum. Life. Commitments.

tour-oaks-sm

  The Oaks

A Classical and Christian Academy

Classical Curriculum. Life. Commitments.

Present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. (2 Tim. 2:15)

Recovering Classical Education

The Trivium is not an Experiment, but a Proven Model

trivium-2

The trivium taught the primary tools of learning. The quadrivium applied the trivium to the complete range of advanced subjects.

For twenty centuries, these methods, integrated with a biblical world view of salvation in Jesus Christ, have educated and guided Christians from all traditions.

Twenty years of first-hand experience at The Oaks confirms that classical education is as up-to-date as ever.

Our Headmaster, Charlie Dowers, explained classical education and the trivium helpfully during a radio interview in 2015.
the-trivium-explained-2
The trivium helps a guy (or a girl) make sense of gummies, toothpicks, and regular shapes, with rocket wings at the top for good measure.

Recovering Classical Education

The Trivium is not an Experiment, but a Proven Model

trivium-2-sm-1

The trivium taught the primary tools of learning. The quadrivium applied the trivium to the complete range of advanced subjects.

For twenty centuries, these methods, integrated with a biblical world view of salvation in Jesus Christ, have educated and guided Christians from all traditions.

the-trivium-explained-2
The trivium helps a guy (or a girl) make sense of gummies, toothpicks, and regular shapes, with rocket wings at the top for good measure.

Twenty years of first-hand experience at The Oaks confirm that classical education is as up-to-date as ever.

Our Headmaster, Charlie Dowers, explained classical education and the trivium helpfully during a radio interview in 2015.

Wisdom Across Developmental Stages

Teaching to the Grain

oaks-art-first-grade
First graders at work on an art project.

Dorothy Sayers, the noted 20th century Christian intellectual and British novelist, wrote a booklet titled The Lost Tools of Learning. This sparked a renaissance of classical education. She broke fresh ground by mapping the trivium to the three stages of a child's mental and emotional growth.

Following her lead, we "teach to the grain". We use age-appropriate materials to engage students at the intersection of their present spiritual, intellectual and emotional maturity.

dorothy-sayers-2
Dorothy Sayers

Wisdom Across Developmental Stages

Teaching to the Grain

oaks-art-first-grade-sm-1
First graders at work on an art project.

Dorothy Sayers, the noted 20th century Christian intellectual and British novelist, wrote a booklet titled The Lost Tools of Learning. This sparked a renaissance of classical education. She broke fresh ground by mapping the trivium to the three stages of a child's mental and emotional growth.

dorothy-sayers-2
Dorothy Sayers

Following her lead, we "teach to the grain". We use age-appropriate materials to engage students at the intersection of their present spiritual, intellectual and emotional maturity.

Grammar

No One is Better At It than Our Youngest Students

grammar-class-1200
Typically, many students raise their hands to answer a question.

Memory, rhyme and recitation do not tire, but invigorate, younger children. The grammar stage helps them build a vast array of knowledge upon which all their later learning will feed.

A set of objectives for Bible, spelling, grammar, reading, penmanship, history, mathematics, science, art and physical education offer reachable goals. Behavioral objectives direct the child's growth in character.

Grammar students also benefit from weekly teaching by our secondary Latin, science, music and art staff.

Daily Bible study covers, gradually, the entire Old and New Testament. Beginning students memorize and recite portions from Proverbs. Older grammar students memorize an entire chapter.

history-card-2
Students chant a sequence of history facts, together, supporting recall  many years later, without mistake.
grammar-speech-meet
Speech meet awards.
grammar-science
Mastering the art and science of observing nature.

Grammar

No One is Better At It than Our Youngest Students

grammar-class-1200-sm-1
Typically, many students raise their hands to answer a question.

Memory, rhyme and recitation do not tire, but invigorate, younger children. The grammar stage helps them build a vast array of knowledge upon which all their later learning will feed.

history-card-2
Students chant a sequence of history facts, together, supporting recall  many years later, without mistake.

A set of objectives for Bible, spelling, grammar, reading, penmanship, history, mathematics, science, art and physical education offer reachable goals. Behavioral objectives direct the child's growth in character.

grammar-science
Mastering the art and science of observing nature.

Grammar students also benefit from weekly teaching by our secondary Latin, science, music and art staff.

Daily Bible study covers, gradually, the entire Old and New Testament. Beginning students memorize and recite portions from Proverbs. Older grammar students memorize an entire chapter.

Logic

It's Easier to Argue When You Know the Rules

debate-prep-1200
Reviewing and plotting strategy for the afternoon section of a multi-school debate event.

Logic stage students insist on debating (competitively and for fun) whether something is or is-not logical. We help them master the distinguo of classical logic across this God-ordained developmental phase.

We teach them to recognize and separate true argumentation from false. We require them to offer factual evidence and sound reasons for their bold claims about reality.

Training in written composition based on the pro-gymnasmata of the Christian educational tradition becomes their bridge to the expressiveness of the rhetoric stage. Browse the Pro-Gymnasmata curricular summary used by students.

These years also introduce students to algebra, geometry, basic and earth science, American literature, English grammar and world history.

hare-tortoise
Common fables form the opening lesson of the Pro-Gymnasmata.
latin-drama-2
Allegra Miller
eric-indgjerd-4
Eric Indgjerd

Students can now, for the first, appreciate their Latin studies for grounding them in non-formal, logical thought.

(Above, left) Allegra Miller leads a Latin class, using engaging dramatization techniques to bring the language alive.

(Above, right) Our long-time Latin head and innovator, Eric Indgjerd, presented his teaching methods at the 2017 national ACCS conference. He also returned to study for a second consecutive summer, with the world-renowned Accademia Vivarium Novum, and consult with them about future plans for our Latin program.

Logic

It's Easier to Argue When You Know the Rules

debate-prep-1200-sm-1
Reviewing and plotting strategy for the afternoon section of a multi-school debate event.

Logic stage students insist on debating (competitively and for fun) whether something is or is-not logical. We help them master the distinguo of classical logic across this God-ordained developmental phase.

We teach them to recognize and separate true argumentation from false. We require them to offer factual evidence and sound reasons for their bold claims about reality.

Training in written composition based on the pro-gymnasmata of the Christian educational tradition becomes their bridge to the expressiveness of the rhetoric stage. Browse the Pro-Gymnasmata curricular summary used by students.

These years also introduce students to algebra, geometry, basic and earth science, American literature, English grammar and world history.

hare-tortoise
Common fables form the opening lesson of the Pro-Gymnasmata.

Students can now, for the first, appreciate their Latin studies for grounding them in non-formal, logical thought.

latin-drama-2
Allegra Miller

Allegra Miller (above) leads a Latin class, using engaging dramatization techniques to bring the language alive.

indjgerd-rome
Eric Indgjerd

Our long-time Latin head and innovator, Eric Indgjerd, presented his teaching methods at the 2017 national ACCS conference.

He also returned to study for a second consecutive summer, with the world-renowned Accademia Vivarium Novum, and consult with them about future plans for our Latin program.

Rhetoric

Expressing Ourselves Beautifully in Service of Truth

harkness-rhetoric
The round table supports Harkness-style conversations between students and teacher.

Who today does not regret the frequent descent of political and cultural rhetoric into mere propaganda? For two millennia, rhetorical training was a prerequisite for graduation from the trivium.  So it is again at The Oaks.

We train students to place the rhetorical stage arts of invention, arrangement, style, memory and delivery into the service of biblical truth across a wide range of secondary studies.

These include American and British literature, modern history, trigonometry, calculus, chemistry, physics, as well as multiple Bible courses.

isaiah-blackboard
Maps of important ideas spark rhetorical invention.

Junior and senior-age students select, research, prepare, write, memorize and, finally, present an oral presentation of a thesis project. These form the capstone of their rhetorical studies and, indeed, of the entire trivium.

science-scales
Mastering the details of experimention demands complete attention.
Kate Cvancara placed third in the 2016 ACCS speech competition. She proposed science fiction as an important apologetic tool.

Rhetoric

Expressing Ourselves Beautifully in Service of Truth

harkness-rhetoric-sm-1
The round table supports Harkness-style conversations between students and teacher.

Who today does not regret the frequent descent of political and cultural rhetoric into mere propaganda? For two millennia, rhetorical training was a prerequisite for graduation from the trivium.  So it is again at The Oaks.

isaiah-blackboard
Maps of important ideas spark rhetorical invention.

We train students to place the rhetorical stage arts of invention, arrangement, style, memory and delivery into the service of biblical truth across a wide range of secondary studies.

These include American and British literature, modern history, trigonometry, calculus, chemistry, physics, as well as multiple Bible courses.

Kate Cvancara placed third in the 2016 ACCS speech competition. She proposed science fiction as an important apologetic tool.

Junior and senior-age students select, research, prepare, write, memorize and, finally, present an oral presentation of a thesis project. These form the capstone of their rhetorical studies and, indeed, of the entire trivium.

Joint Partakers in the Love of Christ

Doctrinal Commitments that Keep First Things First

class-praying
Seeking God's help to understand His Word.

We live in a culture that dismisses the relevance of well-defended appeals to the authority of scripture and the historic teachings of the faith. At The Oaks, correct doctrine matters, though we teach students to separate essential from secondary teaching.

Essential doctrines must be upheld, without compromise. Our teachers confess their common Christian understanding, gladly, in accord with our statement of faith (below).

Secondary doctrines cover orthodox teachings about which sincere Christians may differ. We encourage free class debate within the boundaries of mutual humility and charity.

Our secondary students devote a year to doctrinal study, a year to methods of biblical interpretation, and a final year to practicing the defense of the faith (apologetics). These equip them to own their Christian confession beyond The Oaks.

Students read Augustine of Hiippo's Confessions. He bequeathed a theological foundation respected by all Christian traditions.
calvin
comenius
chesterton
lewis
John Calvin
His Institutes yielded profound insights into the sovereignty of God.
Johannes Comenius
The Great Didactic  pioneered a Reformed educational pedagogy.
G. K. Chesterton
Orthodoxy still challenges contemporary man with Christ's claims.
C. S. Lewis
In Mere Christianity, Lewis exemplified an evangelical gospel balance.

Joint Partakers in the Love of Christ

Doctrinal Commitments That Keep First Things First

class-praying-sm
Seeking God's help to understand His Word.

We live in a culture that dismisses the relevance of well-defended appeals to the authority of scripture and the historic teachings of the faith. At The Oaks, correct doctrine matters, though we teach students to separate essential from secondary teaching.

Essential doctrines must be upheld, without compromise. Our teachers confess their common Christian understanding, gladly, in accord with our statement of faith (below).

Secondary doctrines cover orthodox teachings about which sincere Christians may differ. We encourage free class debate within the boundaries of mutual humility and charity.

Students read Augustine of Hiippo's Confessions. He bequeathed a theological foundation respected by all Christian traditions.

Our secondary students devote a year to doctrinal study, a year to methods of biblical interpretation, and a final year to practicing the defense of the faith (apologetics). These equip them to own their Christian confession beyond The Oaks.

calvin-sm-1
John Calvin
His Institutes yielded profound insights into the sovereignty of God.
comenius-sm-1
Johannes Comenius
The Great Didactic  pioneered a Reformed educational pedagogy.
chesterton-1-sm-1
G. K. Chesterton
Orthodoxy still challenges contemporary man with Christ's claims.
lewis-sm-1
C. S. Lewis
In Mere Christianity, Lewis exemplified an evangelical gospel balance.

A Grand Tour

The Historic Christian Context of Our Conversation

grand-tour-lecture
Students study while on tour, sharing insights with peers.

Students spend several weeks during the summer following junior year on a European Grand Tour. They explore the Parthenon, Delphi, Corinth, Ephesus, Rome (including the Vatican and the Colosseum), Florence and Venice. At all stops, we emphasize the relation of these sites to our Christian heritage.

Casual excursions, beaches, walks and great meals are a must, but students also keep required daily journals. They record there, and share, the insights gained by studying the historic, cultural and spiritual events and artifacts that have formed the backdrop of their Oaks education.

The word unforgettable can be sadly over-used, but not here. This tour becomes the educational high-point of a student's first eleven years, and the kick-off for their climactic senior year. Each graduating class, often accompanied by parents, shares special memories of this trip that will truly last a lifetime.

A Grand Tour

The Historic Christian Context of Our Conversation

grand-tour-lecture-sm
Students study while on tour, sharing insights with peers.

Students spend several weeks during the summer following junior year on a European Grand Tour. Parents are welcome, and some participate each year. The group explores the Parthenon, Delphi, Corinth, Ephesus, Rome (including the Vatican and the Colosseum), Florence and Venice. At all stops, we emphasize the relation of these sites to our Christian heritage.

Casual excursions, beaches, walks and great meals are a must, but students also keep required daily journals. They record there, and share, the insights gained by studying the historic, cultural and spiritual events and artifacts that have formed the backdrop of their Oaks education.

The word unforgettable can be sadly over-used, but not here. This tour becomes the educational high-point of a student's first eleven years, and the kick-off for their climactic senior year. Each graduating class shares special memories of this trip that will truly last a lifetime.

tour-2014-7

Exemplars of the Laws of Teaching

Our Teachers are Also Students

staff-retreat
Praising God to begin the morning session at the summer staff retreat, 2016.

Oaks teachers are avid learners. Their return from summer break begins with the call to share how their summer studies will enrich students.

Heads of the Grammar and Secondary schools meet with staff twice-weekly during the academic year. The Headmaster edifies the entire staff at regular intervals.

Conversations explore pressing instructional challenges.  Shared reading of important books, such as The Seven Laws of Teaching, stretch staff beyond their own specialized subject area. In previous years, teachers have read Climbing Parnassus, as well as selections from Calvin's Institutes, Augustine's Confessions and other seminal texts.

We encourage staff to be transparent with their students. Long-time Oaks teacher, Ben Palpant wrote a blog post to explain how his assignment of a John Dunne poem became, unexpectedly, an intensely personal lesson about family and the most precious things in life (right). We cannot expect growth from students that we do not first require of ourselves.

Ben Palpant's 'second mom' with her husband.

Exemplars of the Laws of Teaching

Our Teachers are Also Students

staff-retreat-sm-1
Praising God to begin the morning session at the summer staff retreat, 2016.

Oaks teachers are avid learners. Their return from summer break begins with the call to share how their summer studies will enrich students.

Heads of the Grammar and Secondary schools meet with staff twice-weekly during the academic year. The Headmaster edifies the entire staff at regular intervals.

Conversations explore pressing instructional challenges.  Shared reading of important books, such as The Seven Laws of Teaching, stretch staff beyond their own specialized subject area. In previous years, teachers have read Climbing Parnassus, as well as selections from Calvin's Institutes, Augustine's Confessions and other seminal texts.

Ben Palpant's 'second mom' with her husband.

We encourage staff to be transparent with their students. Long-time Oaks teacher, Ben Palpant wrote a blog post to explain how his assignment of a John Dunne poem became, unexpectedly, an intensely personal lesson about family and the most precious things in life (right). We cannot expect growth from students that we do not first require of ourselves.