Grammar School Stage
Grammar School Overview
The foundation of education at Veritas is for students to grow in their delight in the truth, goodness, and beauty of God. Students in their early years (K through grade 6) are especially designed by God to be filled with the wonders of God displayed in all of creation. This is done first and foremost by teaching the students to observe and absorb all of God’s creation from biblical perspective. Every part of the curriculum is designed to discern and reclaim the glory of God throughout history in all subjects of knowledge.
Emphasis is placed on catechism, memorization and imitating the great masters. Through nature study and field trips, students will have many opportunities to see and interact first-hand with the glory of God in the creation. Most importantly, students will form a clearer vision of God’s glory in creation by the Christ-like and personal guidance of the teacher.
Read More On The Classical Christian Education Grade Levels Here
Grammar School Pedagogy
New parents are often impressed and surprised with the amount of memorization and the depth of learning that goes on in our classroom. We do this because, as Dorothy Sayers points out in her essay “The Lost Tools of Learning,” young children are wired to memorize. In grades k-6, we memorize Bible chapters, classic poems, types of birds, lists of historical figures and their significance, states and capitals, the periodic table of the elements, zoological taxonomy… and the list goes on. Some parents wonder why we do this.
First, as children learn to read and write, they begin to rely less on their memory. If you can make a list, why remember it? Consequently, they use their memory less and less after the 2nd grade. As with anything else with our bodies, if you don’t use it, you lose it. By exercising children’s memory, we are establishing a life-long capacity for them to memorize.
Secondly, when you memorize at a young age, you retain your memory much better. Most of us recall the rhymes and chants we did when we were in grade school. “I before E,” “I pledge allegiance,” and “she sells sea shells,” are all things we probably can recite off the top of our heads. Wouldn’t it be great if we had the preamble to the US Constitution or the 13th chapter of I Corinthians memorized so that it could roll off the tongue?
Finally, before the logic (middle-school) phase, children need to have a collection of facts from which to draw conclusions. By using their innate ability to memorize at a young age, we get them ready for the logic phase. Children in the grammar phase also learn mastery of the core learning skills— reading comprehension, writing, and arithmetic as well as speaking (rhetoric) and independent study skills.
5th-6th – The Pre-Logic Phase
Learning is optimal when it is inspired and intrinsically motivated. In 5th and 6th grades we encourage students to stretch beyond facts to gain a greater understanding on their own. One way we do this is through reading and literature; we use appropriate thematic truths in a story or work that contains important, higher meaning, which encourages students to discover the power of story. When done properly this enables children to be better prepared for the logic phase.
As Christians, we are people of the word. God reveals His truth to us through the Bible. It contains history, stories, poems, songs, prophetic writing, parables, unique story-telling formats (i.e. synoptic and non-synoptic gospels), theology epistles, and even specialized forms of writing such as apocalyptic literature. To understand the Bible, students need more than a simple understanding of language. True literacy involves knowing how to read these forms to obtain their intended meaning. We call this learning transcendent or poetic truth—truth that transcends the world around us. The pre-logic phase emphasizes this imaginative and exciting form of reading, writing, and understanding.
Grammar School Curriculum
Every part of the curriculum is designed to discern and reclaim the glory of God throughout history in all subjects of knowledge.