As principal of Messiah Lutheran Classical Academy, I regularly search my heart and mind to explain the essence of Classical Education. I strive to find the right words to sum up, in a neat little package, my passion for classical methodology and the almost miraculous way it reaches the heart of children. I wrestle with the most accurate way to convey the way that the classical approach teaches children to truly THINK and ignites in them a love of learning. Classical Education is a challenging thing to explain in a few, brief sentences.
The “bones” of classical education are full of so many details and fancy terminology. There are impressive Greek and Latin phrases that describe the form, the course of study, and the flow of the curriculum. What I have come to understand is this: The newest and most exciting thing in education is truly the OLDEST thing in education. In a world that is full of uncertainty, swelling with constant change, Classical Christian Education is an island of purity. At MLCA we pride ourselves on being “delightfully rigorous”. We see ourselves as an island in a sea of experimental methodology and educational novelty.
We approach each student at their developmental level. The Classical model relies on what is true, good, and beautiful and has stood the test of time.
From the Grammar Stage (K-4) where children build a strong foundation of facts. They sing, they chant, they memorize, dance and frolic around the classroom. At this age, students crave repetition and rhyme. These YOUNGEST of all students soak up facts and information like a sponge. Students at this age have the ability to believe that what they have been told is the truth.
That is the simple beauty of the grammar stage. These young children are absolutely in love with learning.
Then we move on to the LOGIC phase where students are learning to reason, and the body of knowledge they learned in the grammar stage is the stuff “learning to reason” is practiced on. This is where children are naturally inclined to ask the question “Why?” This is where they question what they have learned in the grammar stage to see if it is in fact true. This is the stage that our world sees as challenging and a constant source of frustration. But if we can take a deep breath and understand that this part of the process is the necessary step to arrive at the next one and therefore on to maturity, perhaps we can take a deep breath and help these young people learn to question and reason while maintaining an attitude of honor and respect.
At MLCA we operate In Loco Parentis, in a close partnership with the parents of our students. WE respect and understand that a parent is always the student’s primary educator. We believe in the principle of multum non multa, which could be translated, “less is more”. In a world where many schools “cover” a wide variety of subjects, it is our aim to MASTER these subject areas and build in them sequentially and logically.
In short, we are revolutionizing education, by returning to the past. To quote Christopher Perrin, “Those of us in Classical education are taking our cues from before the party began. Our experiences are all similar: we have not found the wholesome food we need in this present; we have been entertained but not fed, amused, but not instructed. We have gone, therefore to another place, not too far off, but still forgotten by most. We have gone back to the well-walked path of the tried and proven—the classical method of education.”
Principal, Messiah Lutheran Classical Academy
Any questions? To see how your child, too, can benefit from a classical education at MLCA, or to sign up for a tour, contact us!