Category Archives: Christian School

Light of the Nations

by Amanda Ryan, Rhetoric teacher for Logos Online School

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2016 of The Classical Difference magazine, a publication of the ACCS.

Why classical?

EducereClassical Christian schools are popping up in various countries around the globe — Australia, Nigeria, and the Bahamas, to name a few. While the classical method is beginning to spread abroad, it has found good soil in Asia and is particularly taking root in Indonesia.

According to Maryani Budiman, the head of school at Cahaya Bangsa Classical School in Padalarang, Indonesia, the classical method challenges students to question and think critically, skills that are not emphasized within Indonesia’s current system of education. She says that Indonesia’s educational methods, in both public and private schools, are uniform at every level. “They do not really educate the students because the education stays the same.” The system of education in Asia is known for stressing rote learning and rigorous testing. Classroom culture is typified by the idea of the teacher pouring out knowledge and the student simply receiving it. “From elementary up to high school,” Maryani states, “we just stay in grammar school, in the grammar style of learning.” As Dorothy Sayers might describe it, these schools are stuck in the poll parroting stage of education. Continue reading

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The State of Classical Education

An interview of Douglas Wilson by David Kern of the Circe Institute

 

DK: It’s been more than 30 years since you and your colleagues started Logos School in Moscow, ID and more than 20 years since Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning came out. Since then classical Christian education has grown quite a bit, in no small part because of the work of ACCS and organizations like it. In looking back, what gives you the most satisfaction? 

DW: I think I would have to say that it is most gratifying that the movement now has enough history and momentum to continue on when I am out of the picture. We are well past our lift-off stage, and we can turn our attention to the work of consolidation, and deliberate expansion. I am very grateful to God for how far we have come.

 

What challenges have been most resolute in testing the mettle of this movement?

There is nothing new under the sun, and so our two great challenges have been the same as they have been for every form of culture building. Those challenges are failure and success. The challenge of looming failure is the challenge of keeping enough students enrolled, paying for the books, keeping teachers fed, and so on. Some schools are challenged every year with the daunting prospect of simply making it. The other great challenge is the challenge of success. You don’t have to worry about survival, and your waiting list goes around the block three times. One of the great challenges for our schools that have been successful (in this sense) is the challenge of staying true to the mission, and not becoming just another private prep school.

 

What do you foresee being most challenging moving forward? How can these challenges be overcome?

I believe that classical Christian education has proven itself academically, so — as a movement — I don’t think we need to worry about disappearing into nothing. I do think we need to worry about disappearing into something else. I am concerned that many of our schools are starting to measure success by how assiduously established colleges and universities are recruiting their graduates, and luring them with big time scholarships. But we are at the tail end of a higher education bubble, and so I don’t believe that this should be how we measure success. I would love to see a deepening commitment to Christian higher ed. I know that God calls some of our graduates into the existing system, and God bless them all. But I don’t want anybody going there under false pretenses. So I think the prep school vibe is a big temptation to be resisted.

 

What does the classical Christian education need for continued growth? 

We need to deepen our bench. By this I mean providing a thorough classical Christian education to our next generation of teachers. That would be one thing. We also need to develop and enrich the curriculum choices that we have available to us. A lot has been done here, but much more needs to be done. We are trying to do our share in this, and are grateful to everyone who has a hand in it. For an example of the “next generation” kind of thing we are trying to do in this area, you could check out — http://www.logospressonline.com.

 

Ideally, what would you like the movement to look like in ten years?  

In ten years, I would like to see a great increase in the number of ACCS accredited schools. I would like to see resources developed (curriculum, online teachers, etc.) for schools that don’t have large numbers. And I would like to see the development of a large data base that would enable us to track our graduates and make note of their accomplishments.

 

 

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The Headmaster’s Huddle

Here at the start of the 2013-14 academic year, Dr. Larry Stephenson reminds us why we do what we do.

As we begin another academic year, I simply want to take a moment to remind myself (and all of you) why, specifically, we do what we do – the goal of all our labors. The demands of any given day… the many decisions which must be made, the conversations which must be had, the crisis which must be managed… threaten to obscure our vision. Amid the pressing demands of the day, we sometimes forget the mandate that all of us, as administrators, have been given.

God has called us to the task of educational leadership – specifically to future generations.  The leadership we must provide is not understood by the world, but has been modeled for us by our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Continue reading

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Logic: The Secret Weapon of Tomorrow’s Lawyers

by Amanda Perry

From the time Logos School in Moscow, Idaho entered the speech and debate ring in 1995 they have maintained a long-running track record of success. Fourteen-time Regional winner, twelve-time Idaho State Championship winner, Logos holds a ten-year history of stellar performances at the National High School Mock Trial Championship, going toe-to-toe with schools from across the country in a courtroom setting. Logos continues to beat its own record, ranking higher every year. In 2012, they placed fifth in the nation.

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How does a small Christian school from a small town hold its own at a national level? The ace up their sleeve is a little thing called logic, the art of reasoning well; of defining terms, making accurate statements, constructing valid arguments, identifying fallacies; and it’s no parlor trick. Head coach Chris Schlect explains, “In Mock Trial, logic is enfleshed. It works the same way baseball players learn how to turn a double play— performing them over and over, learning that no two infield balls come at you the same way. We grow proficient at logic by performing it over and over again, and in the process we learn to creatively deploy logic in new and creative ways.”  Continue reading

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Classical Christian Education: The Elevator Pitch

by Douglas Wilson

Thanks for asking. We are heavily involved in classical Christian education, but what do we mean by it?

logicBy classical we are referring to two things. First, our schools are built around a pedagogical method inspired by the medieval Trivium. The elements of that Trivium are grammar, dialectic, and rhetoric. As Dorothy Sayers once pointed out, these three categories correspond very nicely to certain stages of child development. The elementary years line up with grammar, which we take as the constituent parts of every subject. Dialectic, or logic, has to do with the relationships of the parts, and students are naturally good at this in the junior high years. Rhetoric has to do with the presentation of this knowledge, once it is gathered and sorted out, and this corresponds to the high school years. So we begin with rote memorization, move on to categorization, and conclude with presentation. If we were to use biblical terminology, we could call them knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

The second meaning of classical has to do with our understanding of history. The kingdom of God must not be confounded with western civilization, but their stories are so intertwined that it is not possible to understand one without the other. When it comes to history, we do not want our students to be provincial, stuck in modernity. If all human history were a map, we want to teach them how to find the x that says “you are here.” This necessity affects the content of our curriculum.

rhetoricBy Christian we mean that we want all subjects to be taught as parts of an integrated whole, with the Scriptures at the center. We are confessing, orthodox Christians in the historic Protestant tradition. Because Scripture is central to us, this means that Jesus is Lord of Heaven and earth, and therefore Lord over the whole educational process. This of course means academic rigor, high standards, good moral discipline, and freedom from the arbitrary and inconsistent dogmas that are currently dragging down the government schools. But fundamentally, we would want to point to the fact that it means our schools can be places of forgiveness and joy—the only way anyone can come to understand the world.

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Online Seminars: Group Discounts

Churches, schools, homeschool co-ops, or just a group of friends can now take advantage of special pricing.

This is an amazing opportunity to learn from some of the best teachers in Christian and classical education – 32 weeks of live instruction, one hour a week.

Groups:

  • 5 – 9 participants………….10% discount per participant ($315 ea.)
  • 10 – 19 participants………..20% discount per participant ($280 ea.)
  • 20 – 29 participants………..30% discount per participant ($245 ea.)
  • 30 – 49 participants………..40% discount per participant ($210 ea.)
  • 50 or more participants…..50% discount per participant ($175 ea.)

Groups will register under one name and receive one access number for the class. 

So grab a few friends (or 100 friends) and enjoy one of these live online seminars together.

If your school has contracted with Logos Press as its Sole Source curriculum provider, you automatically qualify for additional discounts on seminar materials. For more information on Sole Source, contact us at 208-892-8074.

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A Message for Classical Christian Educators

From Dr. Larry Stephenson

Greetings,

I pray all is going well as you prepare for next school year; scheduling, hiring personnel, and ordering materials. As an administrator for over 25 years and the head of three small ACCS schools currently, I know the challenges of trying to put together a great staff and great courses for our students. I’m also privileged to be heading up Logos Press, the curriculum division of Canon Press. One of our primary goals is to help support classical, Christian schools all over the world by coordinating resources and connecting like-minded educators. We are thrilled to announce four new ways of doing just that.

1. DAILY ONLINE CLASSES
Logos Press is in the unique position of having access to many outstanding, experienced teachers. Thanks to today’s technology, we can help you provide your students with outstanding instruction in courses that wouldn’t be available otherwise. These live class sessions will meet every day of the school week for 45-50 minutes.

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  • Customized schedules: These classes are well-suited for ACCS students and schools. We will do what we can to customize classes in a way that best fits your students, and we can connect schools across the country in an online community dedicated to supporting classical Christ-centered education in a local school setting.
  • More opportunities for your teachers: Do you have part-time teachers that need a full schedule to meet their financial needs? Online teaching opportunities can give your faculty that flexibility. We’ll provide the training and the online classroom—all they need is a computer with a webcam.

2. LIVE WEEKLY SEMINARS for STUDENTS, PARENTS, and TEACHERS 
We also offer one-hour-per-week, year-long live seminars for teachers, board members, and upper-level students—taught by some of the brightest minds in the classical education movement: Continue reading

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What is Classical Education?

In the 1940’s the British author, Dorothy Sayers, wrote an essay titled The Lost Tools of Learning. In it she not only calls for a return to the application of the seven liberal arts of ancient education, the first three being the “Trivium” – grammar, logic, rhetoric, she also combines three stages of children’s development to the Trivium. Specifically, she matches what she calls the “Poll-parrot” stage with grammar, “Pert” with logic, and “Poetic” with rhetoric (see The Lost Tools Chart). At Logos, the founding board members were intrigued with this idea of applying a classical education in a Christian context. Doug Wilson, a founding board member explained the classical method further in his book, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning. Logos School has been committed to implementing this form of education since the school’s inception. An excerpt from Doug Wilson’s book, Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning: Continue reading

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Differences Between Modern and Classical Christian Education in America

Thanks to David Goodwin and the Ambrose Group for allowing us to post from their booklet, “Discover Classical Christian Education, A Parent’s Essential Guide“. Visit the Ambrose Group website, A non-profit group dedicated to expanding the reach and influence of classical Christian education
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Modern Education

Democratic: Every student should attain the same level of achievement.

Multi-cultural: Critical of our Western cultural roots, strongly emphasizing imperialism, slavery and historic Christianity as “what is wrong with America”.

Naturalistic: Emphasizes math and science at the expense of art, literature, and history.

Secular: Holds the “spiritual” as personal and separate from education. Avoids deeper philosophical values. Continue reading

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The (Often Ignored) Prerequisite to a Good Education

by Tom Garfield

Slowly and weightily, Pa said, “Miss Wilder, we want you to know that the school board stands with you to keep order in this school.” He looked sternly over the whole room. “All you scholars must obey Miss Wilder, behave yourselves, and learn your lessons. We want a good school, and we are going to have it.” When Pa spoke like that, he meant what he said, and it would happen. (Little Town On the Prairie, by Laura Ingalls Wilder)

“And, fathers, do not provoke your children to anger; but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

The above verse is often used by Christian educators, and rightly so, to demonstrate God’s view of the kind of instruction children are supposed to receive, that is, a completely God-centered one. What isn’t pointed out often enough from this verse is to whom the imperative is given, that is, the father. Continue reading

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