There are 3 stages to classical education: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Each of these stages incorporates our Catholic faith and teaches the students the ultimate truth of the Incarnation and Salvation History. Each stage matches the development of the student’s brain. While each of these stages of learning can intertwine and overlap throughout the child’s education, there are primary time frames that children naturally learn in a certain manner.
The Grammar Stage (K – 3rd grade)
The grammar stage teaches the child the foundational knowledge for all subjects. They learn the grammar of English (Phonics), Latin, History, Math, Science, Scripture, and Catechesis. During this stage the child tends to find memorizing information enjoyable, and it builds his confidence and knowledge of any given subject. Students in this stage memorize Bible verses, poetry, timelines, and songs that help them build a foundation of knowledge that will aid their formation throughout their education and for the rest of their lives.
The Logic Stage (3rd grade-6th grade)
The logic stage builds on the grammar stage and flows naturally as students begin to question the information they are given. This stage adds a level of depth to the information the student has acquired in the grammar stage and gives the questioning student the right tools to answer the many questions that arise. Students tend to enjoy debate, as they begin to sort out the order of the knowledge acquired thus far in all subjects. Literature is a major component to this stage as it helps the student apply the heroic virtue they have encountered through books to their own experiences. Students continue their study of Latin as a way to improve writing, reading and spelling. Formal Logic classes also begin in this stage.
The Rhetoric Stage (7th grade-8th grade)
Finally, rhetoric is the point of emphasis across all subjects. Although the students will continue to learn and develop their rhetorical skills throughout high school and beyond, it is during this time that the focus becomes writing and speaking beautifully and persuasively in defense of the integrated truth they have come to behold. This stage encourages students to practice and learn the art of public speaking, persuasive writing, friendly debate, and apologetics. It prepares the students to continue their education at any high school and have the confidence and ability to be virtuous Catholic soldiers and leaders.