What is Classical Education?
A classical education utilizes traditional liberal arts as a means of instilling wisdom and virtue in our students. It invites the scholar into what Mortimer Adler, a 20th century pioneer of classical education, called the "great conversation", that ongoing discussion to which the great thinkers, poets, artists, and musicians have been contributing throughout history. A classical school such as St. Timothy's provides a setting where students are immersed in the very best ideas and works that are the heritage of western civilization as they are taught to read well, speak well and think well.
A classical education provides a strong foundation in all the key subjects, giving students the skills and knowledge with which to excel for the rest of their lives, no matter what course of studies or career they choose to pursue later in life. Excellence in writing, an appreciation of the order in creation, knowledge of the patterns of history and the structures of language: these will all serve our children well in the future. One of the strongest methods for ensuring the information the students are learning stays with them is memorization, a tool frequently employed in our school.
Classical education takes a systematic and coherent approach to learning. Since all knowledge is interrelated, our curriculum directs the students to make connections between the subjects. For example, in the lower grades, the students read literature which is related to the time periods they are studying in history. This approach widens and deepens as the student progresses in maturity and learning. In the later grades,the reading of Vergil's Aeneid supports the students' study of Greek and Roman history, of Latin grammar, of English composition, and of man's understanding of the divine.
Classical education is language-focused in that learning is accomplished through words, written and spoken, rather than through images (pictures, videos, and television). Language requires the mind to work harder; in reading, the brain is forced to translate a symbol (words on the page) into a concept. Our study of three languages (English, French, and Latin) emphasizes the careful study of and correct use of grammar as the means to clarity in communicating and as the way to a deeper and more satisfying appreciation of literature.
St. Timothy's educates children in the truest and fullest sense by giving them the necessary tools of learning and by fostering wonder and love for all that is genuinely true, good, and beautiful. We wish to cultivate a child's God-given desire to learn and to provide them with an excellent education so that they might understand themselves and their world in the light of the truth and acquire the character to live happy and integrated lives in the service of God and others.