Homeschooling Styles: Classical - Homeschool Buyers Club

One of the more popular homeschooling methods is the Classical method. The Classical method typically uses the "Great Books" and a "Trivium" structure where learning happens in three stages. The three stages of learning are the grammar stage, the dialectic or logic stage and the rhetoric stage, each of which use the five tools of learning - reason, relate, record, research and rhetoric - building upon what is learn through each stage. There are also two variations of Classical education methods, the Modern model and the Classical model with slight differences between them.

Some reasons this method is chosen:

Time-tested – Many of the ideas for this method of teaching/learning were developed by the ancient Greeks and Romans and have been around for thousands of years.

Encourages reading – A high level of importance is placed on great works of literature which help develop necessary skills in reading writing, speaking and logic.

Focuses on the foundations of learning – Because each stage uses the tools of learning and build upon the previous trivium stage, this firm foundation can get a child ready for further independent studies.

Develop foreign language skills as well a critical-thinking-skills – In a Classical education, time is included for students to learn languages such as Latin, Greek and Hebrew as well as traditional modern languages. Formal logic and critical thinking skills essential for life are also explored at length.

Abundant curriculum choice and support – Because the Classical methodology of homeschooling is a popular choice of education at home, there is a large selection of curriculum available as well as many homeschool groups and associations from which to get support.

Some reasons this method may not be for you:

Reluctant reader – If you have a child who struggles with reading or who simply does not like to read, then this may be a problem due to the heavy emphasis on reading in a Classical education. Additionally, students may find the book selections not to be to their liking or too difficult.

Poor memorization skills and performance anxiety – During the Grammar stage of learning a lot of attention is on memorization of information which may be troublesome or too limiting for your student. While there is not much testing being done, there is an emphasis on being able to recall and perform memorized work accurately. If you have a shy child or one who feels like a failure if they do not achieve perfection, this method may cause your child some distress.

Very structured and rigorous – Because information is presented in stages in a specific order, focusing on the essentials, and there is a lot of information to cover during those stages, there may not be much time left for your child to dig deeper into topics they find interesting or express themselves creatively.

Tactile learners – Much of the learning is done through reading, writing and reporting so there may be fewer opportunities for hands-on learning.

Opportunities for math and science studies – Classical education tends to be a history-based curriculum with a strong focus on literature and language and may not provide enough adequate studies for math and science.

To learn more about the Classical method:

Classically Homeschooling

Well-Trained Mind

Trivium Pursuit

Classical Conversations

Classical Curriculum (Classical Curriculum Resources for Schools and Homeschoolers)