What is a classical education?
The essential core of classical Christian education includes the study of Latin and the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome.
— Cheryl Lowe
What is the goal of classical education?
Classical education focuses on the development of the whole student—heart, mind, and soul. It strives to give students a broad and rich education that enables them to fulfill God’s plan for their lives, whatever that might be. Rather than emphasizing vocational training and specialization, classical education prepares students to think deeply about the books and ideas that humanity has contemplated for generations. It resists the fad to focus merely on the functionality of a person. It strives to make the best human out of every human. Classical education encourages a lifelong pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty, and nurtures the habits that enable that meaningful way of life.
What distinguishes classical education?
In the traditional classical model, being “educated” means something objective. In classical education, content is not subject to whimsical standards or temporary fancies of the time. To have a true classical education, a student has learned Latin (and possibly Greek), has a thorough understanding of history and ancient cultures, and has read from the canon of Great Books broadly. A student who receives a classical education shares a common body of knowledge with his ancestors and is prepared to pass down that culture to future generations. Because he has learned what has already been said, the student is able to make meaningful comments about the modern era and participate in the Great Conversation—the ongoing dialogue about the best that’s been thought and said.
Why is Latin the core of a classical curriculum?
We believe Latin must be studied to justify the word “classical” in classical Christian education. The study of Latin and the classical civilizations of Greece and Rome has defined classical education for over 2,000 years. The standard has been set; we are not at liberty to change it. Latin offers many practical benefits, but, more than anything, Latin trains the mind and integrates the skills necessary to learn any subject like no other subject can. Latin demands careful, detailed thinking—it is cumulative, systematic, and finite. Latin requires drill work. It requires repetition and consistency. It requires students to mentally organize information into readily accessible groups. It requires perseverance until mastery is achieved. Latin is beautiful and purposeful, which is why it is the core of our curriculum.
Who is served by a classical curriculum?
Everyone. Every person is worthy of and can benefit from a classical education. A well-planned curriculum is one that prioritizes for students not simply knowledge, but wisdom, and affords not only content, but character. The Memoria Press curriculum consistently reflects a classical, Christian, traditional identity and successfully serves homeschools, cottage schools, Christian schools, charter schools, students with special needs, and adults.
How was the Memoria Press curriculum developed?
The Memoria Press curriculum was conscientiously designed within the classical framework. The goals were defined first, based on the well-established high standards of the past, and then the necessary steps to get there were put in place. This top-down approach matters because it identifies a finish line for students before they take off at the start. Every component of the Memoria Press curriculum is intentional and is routinely scrutinized and refined as we shepherd students through our own brick-and-mortar school, Highlands Latin School. Rather than being merely a collection of well-meaning parts, our curriculum is a cohesive plan that exalts connectedness and pursues an identifiable end. Importantly, this end is not only an academic summit; it is the development of a whole, thoughtful person, cognizant of his duty to contribute to the world and confident in his ability to do so.
How does the Memoria Press curriculum support the success of every student?
Memoria Press honors students by believing they are capable of great achievement and preparing them well for their tasks. Students can read Shakespeare, Augustine, Dante, Homer, and Vergil, as well as study logic, rhetoric, metaphysics, and apologetics because our materials are thoughtful about pacing and preparation. Because our end goals are lofty, the primary program is an essential piece of the plan. It is the foundation upon which the house is built. Students are judiciously trained in accuracy, attention to detail, and mastery from the very beginning. They are encouraged to read well-curated literature repeatedly and contemplatively. They are trained to seek the truth. They are immersed in classical art and music. They memorize and recite beautiful poetry every year. With slow, conscientious planning and dedication to a purposeful goal, students can become educated.
How does Memoria Press support the success of every teacher?
Cheryl Lowe, Memoria Press’ founder, sought to develop a classical curriculum that is authentic, but also accessible. Our program is for parents and teachers who wish to give students a rich classical education regardless of their own educational background. Memoria Press strives to offer a classical education that is genuinely achievable. Our boxed curriculum packages offer open-and-go practicality. They include student workbooks, teacher manuals, and curriculum manuals that include daily and weekly lesson plans, supplemental resources, suggested support materials, and a layout that includes checkboxes for accountability. Memoria Press’ curriculum is complete and dependable, but more than anything it is flexible and can easily be customized for every parent and every school.
How does a classical curriculum inspire a lifelong pursuit of wisdom?
Borrowing from the wisdom of Socrates, the classically educated person achieves what Cheryl Lowe joyfully referred to as “Ignorance Awareness”—that is, the humility and gratitude that accompanies high academic achievement and the counter-cultural self-recognition that there is always a lot more to learn. Memoria Press believes the pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty is inexhaustible. We are committed to helping each student and teacher develop God-given talents so that he or she will be well-prepared to honor ongoing callings throughout life.