The words “classical education” often get tossed around, falling carelessly into conversations, classrooms and systems. To some it can seem specialized, cultured, or even exclusive. Many times educators douse their lessons with singing, chants and rhymes and feel accomplished as a classical educator. Do we really know what it means? My journey through the classical method started with the splash of classical method and a whole lot of system. But what is classical education really? My understanding came like a flood of peaceful understanding when I finally grasped the method. A scholar I am not and I have much more to continue to learn, but I am hooked, captivated and totally all in to what classical education really is.
Classical education for the young child is daily providing children with a feast of truth, knowledge and beauty. Allowing them to take it in, digest it and produce what they’ve learned often through creative writing, narration and drawing.
It is a method, not a system, that provides a rich, God-centered, and plentiful knowledge from each of the liberal arts and then invites children to enjoy and consume in an unlimited amount of ways. After they have feasted, children digest what they’ve heard, seen, felt, read, and experienced and the product is a child that loves learning.
The very God-given nature of children is complimented by the methods of classical education. The two work together in sync rather than in conflict. And the product is excitement in the classroom, no fear of assessments, and an eagerness to learn. As a teacher I must use the method and not just a system. Systems may produce good test scores, methods make good thinkers. There is much more to be learned about classical methods and I’m excited to keep learning, isn’t that classical?