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What is Classical Education?

When we talk about classical education, we're referring to The Trivium.

The Trivium is a tried and true method of education that equips students to think well, speak well, and love well. 

"And they will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

—Isaiah 61:3

The Classical Model

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.

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

Teaching to the Grain

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.

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, biblical 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.

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.