Classical education has its roots in the teaching methods of the ancient Greeks. It was the primary educational model of the Western world until the twentieth century. Each subject area is taught through the classical threesome, or “trivium,” that corresponds to children’s developmental levels at each stage. “Grammar” (preschool/elementary school age) is focused on basic knowledge, acquisition, and structure not only of language but also any field of study. “Logic” (middle school age) is the analysis of cause and effect relationships in an area of study. “Rhetoric” (high school and beyond) is persuasive and creative communication of knowledge, skill, and ideas. These areas of the trivium not only correspond to grade levels, but can be incorporated into every level of learning. In addition, since we are a Christian school, the Bible is taught to the children as fundamental truth through which we understand all subjects.
“[Classical education] emphasizes the goal of giving our children the educational tools to both learn and think for themselves”
-Gregg Strawbridge, Classical and Christian Education
Children in the grammar stage of learning memorize and respond to new knowledge easily. They retain a repertoire of essential knowledge and skills for future use. For students in our classical grammar school, one can expect the following:
Creative, yet structured and sequential teaching within the grade level and between grade levels
Enjoyment of literature, music, and art from many time periods and genres
Reading lessons based on quality or classic children’s literature
Thorough memorization of phonics, math facts, English rules, history, etc.
Drills that incorporate singing, movement, and recitation
Learning through singing, drama, and a second language
Bible instruction that builds faith and knowledge
Integration of all subject matter
The Cor Deo School’s half-day kindergarten provides the foundation for future success in grammar school by educating the hearts and minds of our youngest students. The half-day program puts in place the framework for reading, writing, and math mastery, and provides students with everything they need to start first grade with a strong foundation. Cor Deo kindergarteners will traverse the Bible with an overview of stories of the Old and New Testaments. They will explore their own families and communities in history and the seasons during science. Learning comes alive with great works of child-friendly art and music.
Kindergarten Enrichment builds on what has been learned in the classroom to inspire a sense of awe for God’s creation around them. Our Kindergarten Enrichment program is an optional, additional half-day session, which accommodates the needs of parents who are looking for a full-day program to broaden the opportunities to learn, explore, and discover in a challenging, yet nurturing, cheerful atmosphere. Students enjoy hands-on music and math activities, science and art projects, physical education, and literature appreciation. Special events and field trips accompany both programs to reinforce and celebrate what they learn throughout the year.
Kindergarten Half-Day Program
Monday–Friday, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Content includes: Bible, reading, history, science, math, music, field trips
Kindergarten Plus Enrichment
Kindergarten Plus Enrichment
Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.
Content includes half-day program content plus: art, physical education, additional music, literature, lunchtime, rest time, additional nature walks, extra recesses and skill reinforcement in math, reading, and writing when deemed appropriate by the parents and teachers.
Our grammar program builds on the kindergarten foundation by using classical studies to emphasize mastery and skill development in reading, spelling, English, writing, math, science, history, and geography. Classical literature selection for all ages emphasizes quality in language, themes, story development, and illustrations. Our Biblical instruction progresses historically from grade to grade, connecting elementary learning into a meaningful whole. Bible, history, literature, and art are combined to create an integrated approach to the humanities.
In addition to the Biblically-influenced curriculum, our program includes Specialty Classes for our grammar students, taught by instructors who are truly specialized in their particular field. These classes allow our students to flourish not only academically, but also aesthetically, socially, and physically. Our specialist programs include Latin, Music, Art, Drama, and Physical Education.
A creative, nurturing, and intentional learning environment promotes character development through a Biblical worldview.
"During the [Logic School] years the student’s capacity for formal reasoning develops. So why not stick the peg where it fits? This is the stage when learning facts is not enough. Questioning and arguing are commonplace, and often even a nuisance. Children reaching this age are eager to challenge ideas and exercise their newly developing reasoning abilities. At Cor Deo, Logic Students begin formal training in Logic and are also introduced to the Socratic Method, a three-step process of learning that uses questions, debate, and logic to arrive at truth.
Amazingly, classical and Christian schools have been quite successful in teaching college-level logic to eighth graders (including formal syllogisms, fallacies, truth tables, and digital logic)!"
-Strawbridge, Gregg. Classical & Christian Education. Veritas Press, 2002. Third Edition
Logic has a central place in the curriculum in that it is a subject and skill that is applied and used in virtually every other class. For example, students in history, literature, or science classes will be required to think logically about the content they study and to expose any fallacies they detect in texts, presentations, and classmates (respectfully of course). Their writing in these classes will be assessed for their logical sharpness, and examinations will also presuppose and exercise logical skills.
Students study the various types of logic including informal logic, categorical, and symbolic logic. While these designations sound intimidating, they are learned well by adolescent students generally inclined to . . . argue. In addition to logic, students in the Logic School also study traditional subjects like science, history, math, literature, and Latin. Music, art, drama, and physical education are also included in the Logic curriculum.
Like the Grammar School, the culture of the Logic School will be one of order, peace, courtesy, and enthusiasm. Students in the Logic School, however, will be encouraged to debate and challenge one another in a Socratic, energetic, yet respectful manner. In these classes, students will not always raise their hands to speak, but learn to wait their turn and inject their comments and questions in an appropriate fashion. Debate and discussion guidelines will be given, monitored, and enforced by our Logic teachers.
The Portrait of a Graduate aligns with our mission as we seek to develop students who exemplify the following attributes:
Love God with all their hearts, minds, souls, and strength
Demonstrate mature Christian character and virtue
Graciously engage and influence their community with a Christian perspective
Listen thoughtfully, reason wisely, speak persuasively, and act intentionally
Have a passion for life-long learning