The name Grammar School is relatively unique in this day and age, but it fits the educational model we use in our Academy. All the children in our Grammar School are in the grammar stage of learning. It is important to understand what is meant by grammar, why it should be the first step in education, and how it is taught.
At this stage of development, children’s brains are designed to absorb and retain factual pieces of information and do so best when exposed to this information through repetition, practice, and play, coupled with music and movement. Therefore, our grammar students are singing, dancing, clapping, chanting, and learning their Bible verses, phonics and math facts, and the like, committing these important concepts to long-term memory and thus laying a strong foundation.
Daily time spent learning God’s Word, weekly exposure to the Fine Arts (both music and art classes), physical education, and recess are also a part of your child’s experience at MLCA.
Every subject has a grammar – a set of rules or basic facts. Grammar is truth in the most straightforward manner. Listed below are the twelve subjects usually covered in the grammar stage.
Shapes, colors, drawing, and picture and artist recognition
The Ten Commandments, creeds, prayers, and Biblical stories
Geographic awareness (local and global), maps, countries, and capitals
Phonics, word classification, proper sentence structure, and spelling
Time-lines of Western Civilization, literature, names, places, and events
Pronunciation, vocabulary, translation, and recognition of derivatives
Classic books and authors
Numbers, symbols, and tables
Piece and composer recognition and note and symbol reading
Enunciation, recitation, and oral narrations
Vocabulary, identification, classification, and history of science
Tracing, copying, dictations, and narrations
The grammar for each subject lays the foundation for all other learning in that subject. An education built upon these concrete facts endures through adolescence well into adulthood. Children in their elementary years act as sponges, anxious to soak in the world around them. Therefore, it makes sense to fill that world with the solid truths that they are able to use for the rest of their lives. This stage should not be filled with the abstract. Young children cannot comprehend abstracts because they have not yet reached the physical or cognitive maturity necessary to process such information. Instead, they are ready to absorb what is simply placed in front of them.
One of the major teaching tools employed during the grammar stage is memorization. During the elementary years, children possess an enormous capacity to memorize. Not only do they find success in this challenge, but they enjoy it as well! Once a fact is committed to memory, the pupil owns it and is able to call on it during future stages of learning. Memorizing also benefits the child because it requires a certain degree of effort. The scholar learns that it is necessary to invest significant time and energy in order to achieve success. A proper work ethic developed in the beginning stages of education is likely to carry throughout an entire lifetime.
The value of a classical education begins with the proper foundation being carefully laid in the grammar stage. In addition to solid academic groundwork, Messiah Lutheran Classical Academy welcomes the opportunity to teach your child the highest of all truths – salvation through the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
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!