How to Take Classical Education Online

This week I'm writing about how the classical education world can respond to the news that our students won't be attending school for the next several weeks, and maybe even months! Of course classical homeschoolers know exactly how to respond, but what about teachers and students in charter and private classical schools? Jon Gregg is… Continue reading How to Take Classical Education Online

Classical Education Tips for First-Time Homeschooling Parents

In just a few days our work at the Barney Charter School Initiative has changed dramatically. We had planned to visit our affiliated schools in Idaho and Texas, and to host a conference for school board members here on campus. But now we are turning our attention to helping the thousands of students, parents, and… Continue reading Classical Education Tips for First-Time Homeschooling Parents

Paul Lockhart on Teaching Math

The first time I started thinking seriously about how to teach mathematics was when I read "A Mathematician's Lament," by Paul Lockhart. He's an impressive mathematician with real credentials, but what I like best about him is his straightforward, common sense way of talking about things. He's direct and clear, and funny. In school I… Continue reading Paul Lockhart on Teaching Math

Caldecott on How Fiction Shapes the Imagination

Here and below, illustrations from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, by the Brothers Grimm, and illustrated by Nancy Ekholm Burkert. Every Kindergarten teacher knows that at some point in the year, when the class is reading a story together, someone is going to raise a hand and ask, "Did this really happen? Is it… Continue reading Caldecott on How Fiction Shapes the Imagination

William Kilpatrick on Choosing the Best Children’s Books

Here and below, two of Robert Ingpen's illustrations from The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame. It is so important to choose the right books for our students. But how do we know which ones to choose? William Kilpatrick’s Books that Build Character (1994) is one good place to start. Here’s some of his… Continue reading William Kilpatrick on Choosing the Best Children’s Books

How Classical Education Shapes Mathematical Thinking, by Jon Gregg

“The study of mathematics develops and sets into operation a mental organism more valuable than a thousand eyes because through it alone can truth be apprehended.” Plato, The Republic A Misconception Often, even from an early age, certain students develop an affinity for mathematical and scientific thinking, an affinity which parents, teachers, and administrators tend… Continue reading How Classical Education Shapes Mathematical Thinking, by Jon Gregg

On Teaching the Virtues through Literature

Education, to be real education, must train both the minds and the characters of students. But how can we teach young people to be virtuous? Setting an example is the first step, but at some point the virtues must be explained and defended. This is a very difficult thing to do well: we run the… Continue reading On Teaching the Virtues through Literature

What is classical education?

Classical education is not fluff. It is real content that spans the ages. It includes excellent stories: classic and timeless tales from literature, the stories of people and places and events of history, the stories of people, inventions, discoveries, and creative pieces in science, music, and art. For the youngest students, the best classical schools will include all of those things and emphasize the importance of learning to read and spell through an explicit phonics program, and include the mastery of basic math facts and the building of conceptual mathematical understanding. Teachers will know and love their content, and they will help your child begin to develop an understanding of how the different subject areas work both independently and together to tell us about ourselves and human nature. Teachers will do this through dynamic, teacher-directed instruction; your kids won’t be left on a device all day and they won’t be self- or group-taught through projects. Most importantly, virtue and character will be intertwined through the conversations about both curricular content and student behavior, so your young children will begin to understand what it means to be a good citizen, and these conversations will complement what you are trying to teach them at home.