What is Classical Education?

Classical education is a systematic approach to learning, capitalizing on the students' natural learning strengths. The classical pattern is called the trivium:

  • Grammar Stage (typically elementary years): students' minds absorb information so learning involves memorization of rules, facts, stories, descriptions, etc.

  • Logic Stage (typically middle school years): students are interested in asking "Why?" so learning involves cause/effect, relationships between different subjects, how and why things fit together logically

  • Rhetoric Stage (typically high school years): students apply rules of logic to express their learning through clear, supported writings and speech

Suggested reading regarding Classical Education:

  • "What is Classical Education?" by Susan Wise Bauer (http://www.welltrainedmind.com/classical-education/)

  • "The Lost Tools of Learning," by Dorothy Sayers (http://www.gbt.org/text/sayers.html and attached below)

  • The Abolition of Man, by C.S. Lewis

  • Recovering the Lost Tools of Learning, by Douglas Wilson (attached below)

  • The Case for Classical Christian Education, by Douglas Wilson

  • Classical Education and the Homeschool, by Douglas Wilson, Wes Callihan and Doug Jones

  • The Seven Laws of Teaching, by John Gregory

  • Repairing the Ruins, edited by Douglas Wilson

  • Classical Education, by Gene Edward Veith, Jr. and Andrew Kern

Additional information and related articles can be found by searching online for “Classical Education”.


Encourage your child to read often, as this is foundational for a classical education. Also, read aloud to both young and older student. Two great literature guides are:

Honey for a Child’s Heart by Gladys Hunt

The Read Aloud Handbook by Jim Trelease

Additional reading lists can be found in The Well-Trained Mind, by Susan Wise Bauer and the Veritas Press catalog.