The Classical Education Difference
By: Mr. Cutrer
We often talk about the differences between classical education and the current public education routine. For a practical demonstration, let’s talk specifics about how a classical education in first grade differs from the public system by looking at how we incorporate daily science instruction, utilize Singapore Mathematics, and teach explicit phonics.
Daily Science Exploration
One notable difference in a classical first-grade education is the commitment to daily science instruction. While public education systems may schedule science classes only a few times a week, classical education integrates science into the daily curriculum. This approach aims to cultivate curiosity and a love for discovery from an early age, emphasizing hands-on experiments and observation. By fostering a daily engagement with science, students develop critical thinking skills and a natural inclination towards inquiry-based learning.
We embrace Singapore Mathematics, a method known for its emphasis on problem-solving and conceptual understanding. Unlike the Common Core approach, Singapore Math encourages a deep understanding of mathematical concepts through a progression of visual, concrete, and then abstract learning. Additionally, Singapore Mathematics focuses on solving a variety of problems, fostering critical thinking and analytical skills. This approach not only helps students grasp mathematical concepts but also teaches them how to apply these concepts to real-world situations.
Explicit Phonics and Grammar
Classical education also places a strong emphasis on language skills, particularly through explicit phonics instruction. Instead of relying on sight words, which can limit a child’s ability to decode new words, classical first-grade education focuses on teaching the building blocks of language. This includes breaking down words into phonemes, understanding the rules of spelling and grammar, and fostering a strong vocabulary. By providing a solid linguistic foundation, students are better equipped to become proficient readers and writers.
Choosing the right educational path is a pivotal decision that shapes your children’s academic journeys. A classical education focuses on building a strong foundation in core subjects. By prioritizing daily scientific exploration, conceptual understanding in mathematics, and explicit language instruction, classical education aims to instill a lifelong love for learning and equip students with the skills needed to navigate an ever-changing world.