What is classical Christian education at sheridan hills christian school?

The Trivium

Classical Christian Education is often defined as a three-stage process called the trivium. The trivium itself is an instructional method that encompasses the three elements of the classical disciplines: grammar, logic, and rhetoric. This pedagogy is applied from the earliest lessons through the latest as an effective response to the changing stages of development. All aspects of education are instructed and discipled through a Biblical worldview in order to create strong foundations of faith and Christian interpretation in each student. 

Grammar (Infants-6th Grade):

Grammar is not the subject of grammar but rather the mastery of the information needed to master each subject. This stage applies to Early Education and Lower School when children are the most receptive to information and can more readily memorize. Focus is placed on reading, writing, and spelling, an introductory study of Latin, math proficiency, scientific facts and reasoning, and developing observation, listening, and memorization skills. Students are given an overview of history through a Biblical lens and a study of the major stories of the Bible. A major goal at this stage is providing the students tools to master the elements of language and develop a general framework of knowledge. In addition, students are expected to apply basic logic and rhetoric so that as they mature, mastery of these elements, along with a growing intellectual curiosity, will emerge.

Classical Tools and Methods at SHCS:

•    Veritas Press Curriculum (Bible, Language Arts, History, Reading)
•    Classic works of Literature & History 
•    ACSI Science Curriculum 
•    Weekly Chapels 
•    Introduction to Latin 
•    Saxon Mathematics Curriculum 
•    Assessments such as Terra Nova and STAR reading & math
•    Annual Science & History Fair
•    Weekly “Memory Period” with lessons in Geography, Latin, Bible, and History


Logic (6th-8th):


Maturing students naturally begin to demonstrate independent and abstract thought initiating the next stage of development for children in the later Lower School (6th) and beginning of Upper School (7th-8th). Commonly called the logic stage, students of this age often express sincere questions and a desire to search for the reasoning behind long-held principles and truths. Building upon the foundational skills, the wise teacher will recognize this tendency to question and debate, and utilize it as a tool to mold and shape the student’s mind. Logical discussions, engagement in debates, and drawing correct conclusions while supporting them with facts will be emphasized. The pedagogy equips students with language and thinking skills, making them capable of detecting fallacies in an argument. This is the stage where students begin to utilize the tools mastered in the earlier years of Lower School. This molding of thought and communication skills is not to promote in students a critical or negative attitude but rather to cultivate discerning and thoughtful students – those who know when to follow and when to lead.


Classical Tools and Methods at SHCS:

  • Various curricula such as Memoria Press, Veritas, Saxon Mathematics, Pearson, McGraw-Hill

  • Logic strategies incorporated into English class

  • Integrated Science which introduces students to fundamental concepts of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and more

  • Assessments such as Terra Nova, PSAT, and STAR reading & math

  • Emphasis on Classical Literature

  • Electives: Art, Choir, or Drama

  • Weekly Chapels

  • Annual Science & History Fair

  • Student clubs & organizations

Rhetoric (9th-12th):

The rhetoric stage is ingrained in students during High School as they use language, both written and spoken, to eloquently and persuasively express themselves. This typically aligns naturally with the growth of young adults. Subjects are taught at a high level of academic rigor by teachers who are experts in their field. Students are also guided by their Christian teachers to be distinctive in their faith and articulate their beliefs in a proper manner.  The hope is that each student utilizes their communication and leadership skills, forged in high school, to further the kingdom of Christ Jesus. Certainly a Christian life speaks volumes in itself but when such a life has been properly equipped to use the great tools of communication - persuasive speech and writing - God’s glory can be shared with others in a powerful manner.

Classical Tools and Methods at SHCS:

•    Various curricula such as Memoria Press, Veritas, Saxon Mathematics, Pearson, McGraw-Hill
•    Advanced Placement (AP) and Honors classes all of which emphasize rhetorical skills in both              speaking & writing
•    Bible classes with Apologetics emphasis 
•    Emphasis on Classical Literature 
•    Assessments such as Terra Nova, SAT/PSAT, ACT, and STAR reading & math
•    Speech & Debate elective
•    Annual Science & History Fair
•    Weekly Chapels 
•    Annual Spiritual Retreat 
•    Student clubs & organizations 
•    Annual Europe Tours 
•    Fine Arts classes: Art, Choir, Musical Theater
•    Fine Arts clubs: Thespians, The Sheridan Hills Shakespeare Company