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Classical education has seen an explosive rebirth in the past few years in the homeschooling community.  In fact, there are so many different interpretations of what it means to give your child a classical education, that you could easily spend weeks pouring over all the different requirements, curriculum, teaching cooperatives, and interpretations out there…and you'd feel overwhelmed with the burden of comprehending and applying all that you learned. Yikes...who needs all that stress?!

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Welcome to "Classical Education 101" where I'll tell you what you need know to work smarter, not harder.  


Classical Education

An authentic classical education is not the heavy load that some experts would have you believe.  Classical education, as rendered throughout most of Western history, was really SIMPLE ... 

Using classical methods like memorization and recitation, a classical scholar taught an apprentice three skills (grammar, logic, & rhetoric) over several years until the apprentice became so proficient with the skills that he could be a classical scholar, too.

"An educated child is one who knows how to use her native language to reason critically so that she can communicate effectively."

Diane Lockman

So simple, right?  Teach reading, thinking, writing, and speaking skills until the kid masters them.  Once the apprentice had the skills mastered, he could then study meaningful abstract concepts like truth, goodness, and beauty.

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Trivium Mastery

Unlike today's interpretation of classical education, the historical model involved teaching three skills simultaneously (as one unit), not chronologically (aka stages). This philosophy of education was called the trivium or the "intersection of three roads." What were the three roads every child mastered?  Grammar (language skills), logic (critical thinking skills), and rhetoric (communication skills). Because the apprentice worked on all the skills at once, he was able to accelerate his education.

During k-8, bring your child to trivium mastery.


It was only during the 1860's that a 12-year model of classical (teaching subjects) was adapted to the "common school," then in the late 1940's, a new way of thinking about an old idea emerged with Dorothy Sayer's Oxford speech.  Why in the world would you conform your homeschool child's education to the public school model?  You took them out of that cookie-cutter system, right? Bright mom or dad, I'm here to tell you there's a better way ... teach skills, not subjects, during k-8.

Teach your kids how to read, think, write, & speak.

The authentic classical model of education works. Educated children were raised like this (mentor + apprentice + 3 skills) for nearly 3,000 years from ancient Greco-Roman times to the early and medieval Christian Church to America's colonial founders. Men and women who learned the skills had the tools to learn anything. Why change a a good thing? Authentic classical education worked for my kids, and it can work for yours, too! 

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Beyond the Trivium

When you teach the essential skills (reading, thinking, writing, & speaking) in grades k-8 instead of subjects, you lay the groundwork for classical high school.  Having achieved trivium mastery, your teen has the skills to learn anything and now has the mental capacity and discipline to tackle higher-level, abstract ideas. 

"Classical high school is an open system for learning how to think and communicate about life's most meaningful ideas."

Diane Lockman

In order to comply with state graduation laws, you'll need to log the required subjects (English, Math, Science, Social Studies, & Electives). 

But remember this:  authentic classical was always about exploring what it means to be human ... timeless truths like liberty and justice. So as you're complying with the state, exercise the freedom of classical homeschooling by customizing those subjects to your teen's own particular interests, abilities, and passions.  

CLICK on the Quick-Start Guide below for creative high school ideas.

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I'll Show You How to Give Your Kids a Classical Education

If you want practical instructions for turning the idea of an authentic classical Christian home education into reality, then Trivium Mastery is exactly what you need to get the ball rolling.  I'll show you exactly how to teach the three skills with:

  • 3 skills checklists (Road Maps to Mastery)
  • 12 real-life case studies (5 families w/ kids ranging from 5-13 yo)
  • 40+ teaching tools to assess & foster learning (appendix)

Click on the button to learn more.

More Classical Education Resources


academic-summer-campsOnce a week, I write a new blog post on one of three classical homeschooling topics:

Planning Tools

Teaching Strategies

College Prep High School

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Quick-Start Guides to Classical Education