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Academics

Curriculum Models

Our Preschool Program

K-8th Grade Classical Academy

Grammar School

Preschool - 6th Grade

The name Grammar School is relatively unique in this day and age, but it fits the educational model we use in our Academy. All the children in our Grammar School are in the grammar stage of learning. It is important to understand what is meant by grammar, why it should be the first step in education, and how it is taught.

At this stage of development, children’s brains are designed to absorb and retain factual pieces of information and do so best when exposed to this information through repetition, practice, and play, coupled with music and movement. Therefore, our grammar students sing, dance, clap, and chant as they learn their Bible verses, phonics and math facts, and the like.  Thus, laying a strong foundation as they commit these important concepts to long-term memory.

Daily time spent learning God’s Word, weekly exposure to the Fine Arts (both music and art classes), physical education, and recess are also a part of your child’s experience at MLCA.
Every subject has a grammar – a set of rules or basic facts. Grammar is truth in the most straightforward manner. Listed below are the twelve subjects usually covered in the grammar stage.
  • Art: Shapes, colors, drawing, and picture and artist recognition
  • Bible: The Ten Commandments, creeds, prayers, and Biblical stories
  • Geography: Geographic awareness (local and global), maps, countries, and capitals
  • English Grammar: Phonics, word classification, proper sentence structure, and spelling
  • History: Time-lines of Western Civilization, literature, names, places, and events
  • Latin: Pronunciation, vocabulary, translation, and recognition of derivatives
  • Literature: Classic books and authors
  • Math Tables: Numbers, symbols, and tables
  • Music: Piece and composer recognition and note and symbol reading
  • Oratory: Enunciation, recitation, and oral narrations
  • Science: Vocabulary, identification, classification, and history of science
  • Writing: Tracing, copying, dictations, and narrations
The grammar for each subject lays the foundation for all other learning in that subject. An education built upon these concrete facts endures through adolescence well into adulthood. Children in their elementary years act as sponges, anxious to soak in the world around them. Therefore, it makes sense to fill that world with the solid truths that they are able to use for the rest of their lives. This stage should not be filled with the abstract. Young children cannot comprehend abstracts because they have not yet reached the physical or cognitive maturity necessary to process such information. Instead, they are ready to absorb what is simply placed in front of them.
One of the major teaching tools employed during the grammar stage is memorization. During the elementary years, children possess an enormous capacity to memorize. Not only do they find success in this challenge, but they enjoy it as well! Once a fact is committed to memory, the pupil owns it and is able to call on it during future stages of learning. Memorizing also benefits the child because it requires a certain degree of effort. The scholar learns that it is necessary to invest significant time and energy in order to achieve success. A proper work ethic developed in the beginning stages of education is likely to carry throughout an entire lifetime.
The value of a classical education begins with the proper foundation being carefully laid in the grammar stage. In addition to solid academic groundwork, Messiah Lutheran Classical Academy welcomes the opportunity to teach your child the highest of all truths – salvation through the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

School of Logic

7th & 8th Grade

The logic or dialectic stage is the next stage in the Trivium, a grouping of three levels of brain development that has been used as a model of education for millennia. At some point in late childhood or early adolescence, student’s brains begin to wrestle with the “why’s” and “how’s” of content. They begin to make connections, see correlations, and understand cause and effect.
In the School of Logic at MLCA, students are challenged to hone those new processing skills and build upon the foundation that has been laid in the grammar stage. Both formal logic (including the study of the syllogism) and informal logical fallacies are studied, as students begin to master the skill of reasoning and argumentation.

Why Latin?

The Importance of Latin Education in the Logic Stage

The question “Why Latin?” seems warranted. After all, Latin is a dead language. Why do we bother teaching our children something that is no longer in use? The answer is simple: although Latin is no longer in use as a free-standing language, it is very useful in learning and using the English language and other languages (especially French and Spanish). It also holds a place in the liturgical background of the church.
Many words (over half of the words in the English language) have Latin roots. Latin vocabulary is a decoding tool for English vocabulary. The long, difficult words in English are usually the ones with Latin roots. Students who have the Latin meanings well in their command starting in third grade have the advantage of using those meanings to decipher the difficult English words when they start to encounter them in the seventh and eighth grades. This advantage has proven itself in above average verbal standardized test scores by students of Latin.
In addition to vocabulary, Latin assists students in understanding the grammar of English and other foreign languages. As a “dead” language, the rules governing Latin do not change, making it a perfect first language to study.
A Latin education finds an additional use within the liturgical background of our church. Our youth are able to access our liturgy in its original language. As the children sing “Agnus Dei,” “Pax Domini,” and “Gloria in Excelsis Deo,” the language hardly seems dead.
By the third grade, students have a good grasp of the English language and reading skills, and yet they are still in the grammar stage – ready to ingest knowledge. They attach quickly to rhymes, chants, and jingles. Latin fits well into this learning method with chants of amo, amas, amat…
Latin is a tool that helps our children grow into adults with broad vocabularies and a working understanding of our liturgy. It is time to throw away the idea that Latin is dead and let Latin breathe life into the learning of our children.