Classical education is a three-step process of training the mind. The early years of education are about learning the language and absorbing facts as a student lays a strong foundation for further study. In middle school, a child learns to reason or think logically through arguments. In high school, pupils learn to communicate and express themselves persuasively. These three stages are called the grammar, logic, and rhetoric stages of the trivium. They form the first three parts of the seven liberal arts in classical education.
I hope you enjoy reading this blog post. If you want to do my course on how to homeschool, click here.
The trivium is taught in many schools and homeschools around the world today. More recently, the classical method has been the cornerstone of many classical homeschool curriculum programs like:
- Veritas Press – online LIVE or self-paced classes – book a free consultation with them here.
- Memoria Press – mailable program
- Compass Classroom – affordable video-based classical program
If you head to their websites, you can see their curriculum’s structure and learn more about the classical method.
History of Classical Education
Classical education is once again coming into favor and usage in the Western world as we realize how much of our Western Christian heritage we lost when we rejected classical education.
Classical education began in Ancient Greece and Rome with philosophers like Plato, Socrates, and St. Augustine. At this time, the Socratic method of teaching was developed.
As the world emerged from antiquity, medieval scholars embraced the seven liberal arts as an excellent form of advanced education. In the first universities, the trivium was a requirement of a Bachelor’s degree, while the quadrivium was a requirement for a Master’s degree.
Since that time, the Socratic method has been used in Western Society – especially in many universities – as an effective teaching method. A more detailed history of the classical method can be found in this PDF.
What Are the Types of Classical Curriculum?
The two types of classical curriculum are:
- Traditional Classicists
Let me explain them some more.
The neo-classicist type of education is based on the principles outlined in Dorothy Sayers’ essay “The Lost Tools of Learning” and expanded upon by Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise in their book “The Well-Trained Mind.”
This approach divides education into three stages:
- the grammar stage,
- the logic stage, and
- the rhetoric stage. (All these stages are expanded on further down the page.)
Classical language study, particularly Latin, is also a vital component in this educational model.
History is taught chronologically in repeating cycles, dividing it into four periods: Ancient History, Middle Ages and Reformation, Colonial Times through Victorian Ages, and Modern History (20th Century).
The neo-classicist education emphasizes the importance of history, literature, language, and logical reasoning to cultivate well-rounded and articulate individuals.
Neo Classicist models tend to be more Christian.
The traditional classicist approach to education places a strong emphasis on Western History, particularly the Greeks and Romans, without adhering to a 4-year history rotation.
While the terms “grammar, logic, and rhetoric” are seen as disciplines to be studied rather than developmental stages, the stages are still followed in any study, regardless of the student’s age.
Similar to the neo-classical approach, the traditional classicist values the study of Latin and other classical languages, as well as logic and the Great Books, though there might be some variation in the specific texts included in each curriculum.
Traditional Classicist models tend to be more secular.
What are the 7 liberal arts?
The 7 liberal arts encompass the trivium and the quadrivium. The:
- trivium has the
- grammar (early years of primary school)
- logic (middle years of school) and,
- rhetoric stages (high school years).
- quadrivium has the subjects
- astronomy, and
The Greeks thought that if a student knew these seven subjects, they would be equipped to tackle any other learning in their lifetime.
The trivium means the place of three roads in Latin.
Through spiral learning in the trivium, children are taught as they re-visit previous topics in each stage. For example, you might memorize a small portion of a classical text in the grammar stage and then revisit it in the logic stage when you write an essay on it, and then debate it in the rhetoric stage.
The grammar stage in classical education is all about learning the language. But, students don’t spend four years doing English. Rather, they learn the foundational skills they will need for further learning.
The grammar stage covers Year 1 to Year 4 (students are around five to eight years old). Students around this age have minds that are eager to absorb information.
Children of this age find memorization enjoyable, so they’re tasked with learning many facts.
They learn poems, spelling, grammar and phonic rules, mathematics, phonics and spelling, flora and fauna details and descriptions, foreign language vocabulary, historical and other well-known stories in great literature, and more.
In this context, the word ‘grammar’ should be thought of as ‘basic building blocks’. What are the building blocks for? The next stage – the logic stage of classical education.
The logic stage in classical education is about learning to reason (or logic). Children enter this stage in Grades 5 to 9 (ages nine to 14).
Students of this age think more abstractly and analytically and love asking, ‘Why?’. They are curious about cause and effect and want to know how different fields of knowledge intersect. How do facts fit in a logical framework?
As they learn logical reasoning, they can begin writing argumentative papers to criticize and analyze texts.
No longer are they absorbing facts. Instead, they are logically thinking through arguments. They can do this in different ways, but this is often done through writing a thesis or verbal debate with other students.
The rhetoric stage in classical education is all about communication. Students in Grades 10-12 (15 to 17-years-old) are in the rhetoric stage.
The grammar and logic stages form the foundation of the rhetoric stage. Students already know the language and vital facts. They’ve also learned how to think logically. But, in the rhetoric stage, pupils learn to persuasion as they write and speak with intelligence and substance.
They can do this because they know how to reason from the logic stage and know vital foundation information from the grammar stage.
Students in the rhetoric phase are ‘becoming independent, forming their own opinions and starting to separate from their families’.
Classical education takes advantage, once again, of where the student is up to in their new phase of development. In addition, it capitalizes on the fact they can now analyze and synthesize the information they learned in the grammar and logic phases to develop their own opinion.
The rhetoric phase also teaches students how to communicate their views effectively and winning manner. This reminded me of 1 Peter 3:15, which says, ‘…but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect…’
In the later stages of the rhetoric phase, adolescents can begin to specialize in further study that interests them (either in the latter part of high school or in preparation for university).
Debating and Communicating
Of course, this is where debating comes into the picture. Students are immersed in the rhetoric stage as they learn to speak and write persuasively:
Studying rhetoric magnifies your influence and ability to persuade others through language and is key to your influence as an employee, friend, family member, and citizen. It makes you a better citizen; if you want to be a well-informed voter and citizen, you must be fully aware of the tactics and techniques used. Such knowledge empowers you to discern truth from fallacy. Knowing rhetoric protects you from intellectual tyranny; studying rhetoric puts up a defensive shield around your brain, allowing you to filter out external messages and follow your own inner compass. It makes you a savvy consumer empowering you for rigorous and constructive debate; one should know how to discuss and debate with vigor, intelligence, and civility. Also, a firm understanding of rhetoric will help prevent you [walking] into a path of heated wars as you will be able to spot logical fallacies or unsound arguments. [Source: Liberty Classical Academy – page now deleted]
Students can learn to transmit their views through speech and writing using five canons that underpin the rhetoric phase of classical education in the rhetoric phase. These are:
- inventio (invention) – a systematic search for arguments.
- dispositio (arrangement) – a system for organizing arguments.
- elocutio (style) – mastery of the stylistic elements of rhetoric arguments.
- memoria (memory) – memoria is concerned with memorization.
- actio (delivery) – ‘pertains to the mechanics presenting the created speech or composition’.
These canons are derived from antiquity, where it was imperative to have polished speech and compelling and persuasive arguments. (See Apollos and his subsequent popularity due to his eloquent speech).
Quadrivium means the place of four roads. It involves four subjects (music, geometry, arithmetic, and astronomy) of study involving mathematics. Hence they are also known as the arts of numbers.
The quadrivium is usually studied on college or university campuses. The prerequisite knowledge for the quadrivium is the trivium.
Students need to know mathematics if they are to study the quadrivium. Arithmetic is the foundation of the other arts.
Students study addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and symbolic representations of mathematical objects and ideas (mathematical notation).
Today we think of geometry as a set of shapes in the mathematical field. However, geometry in the quadrivium has a far broader meaning and practical application than we give it today.
For example, architecture, surveying, and engineering would have been studied under the umbrella of Geometry.
Again, Music in the trivium involved more study than we would suppose. For example, the subject involved musical appreciation studies, writing music, playing music, and other types of artistic expression.
Astronomy is the study of celestial objects and phenomena.
In past eras, we knew less about the heavenly stars. Perhaps that’s why there was more interest in them in ages past.
Another reason astronomy was studied more in the past was that it was essential for dating, navigation, and other areas.
The 2 Practical Arts
As a side note, alongside the 7 liberal arts, 2 practical arts were practiced. These two practical arts were medicine and architecture.
Literature in Classical Education
What sort of literature do students study in classical education? They learn through what is called Great Books.
These books include famous books from antiquity and books from the Western Canon.
The great books are a variety of books scholars agree are the foundation of literature in Western culture. Classical scholars have classical education booklists that may vary a little, but they agree on a core number of books. You can see Memoria Press’ classical education booklist here.
Languages Studied in Classical Education
If you know only a bit about classical education, you probably know the classical method is the weird one that insists on teaching Latin to its students.
Why does it do this when (as the poem goes):
Latin is a dead language,
Dead as dead can be,
It killed all the Romans,
And now it’s killing me.
Latin is a beautiful foundation for all romance languages. That means it helps students learn these languages because it forms their basis.
Romance languages include Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Romanian. English isn’t strictly called a Romance language, but knowing Latin helps students immensely as 50-75% of the English language is based in Latin. (English is of German roots…those Angles!)
So, you see, Latin is the basis of many languages!
Latin is used in Medicine, Architecture, and Engineering Terminology.
Learning Latin also helps students understand complicated terminology in many modern vocations. For example, medical terminology is full of Latin (do you want some medicina?), as is architecture (no renovatio needed there), and engineering (where non loqui sed facere [not talk but action] is needed!).
Traditional vs. Classical Education
Let’s look at some differences between traditional education and the classical method.
- Traditional education values observation over reason; classical education values the latter more
- Classical education values:
- Teaching virtues and morals more.
- Questioning by students more.
- Classical education teaches facts to children with a definite purpose of inculcating wisdom, wonder, and worship; traditional education has less of a purpose (?empowerment).
- Christian values are more incorporated in a classical Christian education than in a traditional public school curriculum.
- Traditional schools spoon-feed children and don’t teach them how to learn themselves. Classical education equips students with the tools for learning any subject in the future.
- Latin, logic, and debate are only taught in classical education.
- The classical method is a three-step process (the trivium). The traditional method is broken up into year groups.
There are many other things, but these come to mind first.
What Classical Curriculum Programs Can I Use?
You can find many choices of classical curriculum today. The most popular ones are:
- Veritas Press – online LIVE or self-paced classes – book a free consultation with them here.
- Memoria Press – mailable program
- Compass Classroom – affordable video-based classical program
- Classical Conversations – homeschool co-op focus
- Classical Academic Press – customize your curriculum with this one
- A Well-Trained Mind
- Tapestry of Grace – Unit Studies approach to a Christian curriculum
- My Father’s World (Eclectic)
- A Tapestry of Grace (Eclectic)
The Not-so-Good Points about the Classical Education
- Memorization and rote learning aren’t in favor nowadays; however, this is only done in the grammar stage, where children love memorizing.
- Compared to other homeschool curricula, a classical homeschool curriculum can take more time.
- Children with different learning styles may find bookwork onerous.
- Parents need to help young children more than if they were using a traditional homeschool curriculum.
The Good Points about Classical Education
- Children get an education that is rigorous, comprehensive, and second to none.
- The classical education method equips children to learn by themselves in the future.
- A good grasp of language and thinking skills is vital with the media being so prevalent in our lives.
- Classical education teaches morals and virtues, which other homeschool methods sometimes fail to do (excepting the charlotte mason method).
- Classical education allows for a child’s developmental stage. They teach young children with the grammar curriculum, middle school children with the logic/dialectic stage curriculum, and high school-aged children with the rhetoric stage curriculum.
Charlotte Mason vs. Classical Education
You may have heard of the Charlotte Mason homeschool method. Charlotte Mason was a classical educator who admired classical education but thought it could use some softening. Some hallmarks of Charlotte Mason education are:
- Children should learn from nature more (Charlotte Mason founded Scouts and Girl Guides).
- Books need to be exciting and engaging (she called this type of book a living book).
- Teaching habits was an excellent method to instill virtue in children.
- Perfection during short lessons was valued over sitting at lessons a long time.
There are many more, but you can get a quick look at Charlotte Mason education in my video here.
Famous People Who Had a Classical Education
The classical method, which has its roots in antiquity, has produced many influential people who heavily influence our culture and values (some for better, others for worse).
Indeed, some of these people who have been schooled in the classical approach include:
- St. Paul of Tarsus
- Leonardo da Vinci
- William Shakespeare
- Martin Luther
- Isaac Newton
- Christopher Columbus
- Thomas Jefferson
- Albert Einstein
- Charles Darwin
- George Washington
- John Adams
All this is to say that if you choose a classical education, you join company with history’s movers and shakers!
Different Types of ‘Classical Education’ Common Today
There are several different types of education that ‘classic’ can refer to. Roughly, five types of classical education mentioned in Wilson’s book are:
- Classical Christian Education (CCE – the Augustinian approach) – teaching what can be known with systematic rigor in the context of humans being sinful and needing God’s grace; it also explicitly acknowledges God’s sovereignty. Promoted by the Association of Classical and Christian Schools.
- Democratic Classicism (Aristotelian approach)- promoted by Mortimer Adler in Paideia schools. Proposals geared towards reforming public schools and more secular than the CCE.
- Moral Classicism (Platonic approach) – this educational theory is constructed around trying to find ‘the ideal’ and the belief that education should be a ‘path to virtue’. Moral Classicism is promoted by David Hicks, whose approach is like the classical humanism of the Renaissance.
- Elite Classicism – a difficult to define approach used in elite schools like the Thomas Jefferson School in St Lois. They offer an extremely rigorous education in expensive elite schools. But, their approach might be more eclectic than being a strict adherent to one of the schools of thought above.
- Classic by name – used in schools who like the term ‘classic’ and introduce just enough of the classic theme to convince parents (i.e. by offering a Latin elective) but aren’t genuinely classical in their foundations. (Even worse, a school might add the word ‘classical’ to their school and not change a thing.)
By these definitions, we can see we have to be careful about what a person means when they talk about classical education. What school of thought are they coming from, and does their curricula value Christian foundations and reasoning?
Definition of Classical Education
The term ‘classical’ usually refers to the Graeco-Roman world; the classic age covered about 1,000 years of history. Classic education greatly influenced the culture around the 7th century BC to the 5th century AD. In our Western world, we can track our culture to the Graeco-Roman world.
This being said, there’s no patent on the term ‘classic’. And, as Douglas Wilson explains in his book, The Case for Classical Christian Education (affiliate link):
No one holds the copyright on the word classical, and given the nature of the word, there has been something of a scramble in the various manifestations of classical education. This is not surprising, especially in a time when classical can refer to a ’57 Chevy, an original cola formula, the early Beach Boys, or a classic rock radio station. (p.81)
Wilson’s definition of classical education refers more to our Christian heritage than the Greek heritage definition I used above. Wilson proffers his definition of classical Christian education, saying:
So what then is the definition of classical education?…classical education, as I am using the phrase, refers to a particular pedagogical approach together with an emphasis on passing on the heritage of the West. The pedagogy refers to our commitment to Dorothy Sayers’s basic insight – that children grow naturally through stages that correspond nicely with the three elements of the Trivium. We teach the grammar of all subjects to the younger children; we teach dialectic to the children of junior-high age; and we teach the rhetorical disciplines to the high school students. (pp. 84-85)
He then adds that we study Western culture most in Classical education because we want to understand our Christian culture; and, the West has had the best advances in the Christian faith. Therefore, omitting a decent study of the West’s culture in Classical education is like studying the early church’s history while omitting all references to Constantine; it is an incomplete history and representation of facts.
As you can see, the definition can vary, depending on the reference point of the speaker. Because the definition varies widely, there are many things a classical education can refer to, as we’ll discuss below.
Debate in Classical Education
A great way to develop a deeper understanding of a topic is through debate. In the logic phase of classical education, students start debating different information they learned in the grammar stage. Being forced to defend or attack both sides of an argument makes you learn it in greater detail.
By debating with each other, students learn how to:
- convert the facts they learned in the grammar stage into a coherent argument
- use the correct pace, tone, language, and body language to persuade listeners
- gain a greater understanding of various subjects
- discern a logical fallacy
- learn a subject in depth
- argue to convince
- think quickly and
- work as a team
As Christian homeschoolers, we should encourage our children to debate in a loving and winsome manner. Nothing is so lovely as someone who has beautiful arguments and humbly puts them forward. In this case, not only are the points winning, but the person is too.
Conversely, few things are as ugly as someone just arguing to win points – blind to their partner’s growing frustration and hostility! (Perhaps there are few things which adorn the gospel so awfully as this!).
How Christian Classical Education is Different from Modern Education
Our current education system is morally inept. It used to be that an educated man was a virtuous Christian man. Now, someone who is highly educated can be a biblical fool.
He may be brilliant at engineering or mathematics, but to say someone is an educated man is certainly no longer synonymous with a virtuous man.
The difference is startling when comparing classical and traditional curricula. (I.e. Common Core as seen in American public schools).
Specifically, the noticeable differences are:
- Theological. Traditional education has no context – facts are in a meaningless vacuum; Classical education gives us a context in showing us where we fit in relation to God.
- Metaphysical. Traditional education is oriented towards getting a job to buy a big house to retire early and end in an upmarket nursing home; the Classical approach looks at Truth and says there is a concrete truth, and I’m living with a plan that doesn’t end when I’m dead.
- Ethical. Modern schools were created with the purpose of ‘socializing’ children. Classical education helps parents develop children’s morality, realizing they are more than molecules.
Why Choose Classical Education?
Classical education propels students to reject the modern standard and chase higher virtue and worth in an age where students are lazier and more selfish.
Classical education continually asks a student to work against his baser inclinations (laziness or the desire to watch another half hour of TV) to reach a goal — mastery of a subject. – Susan Wise Bauer
Classical education is not just about learning – it’s about fostering a love for learning and truth. It is not just about thinking; it is about learning how to think.
Students who learn in this manner learn how to cover topics comprehensively, form an opinion and then persuasively transmit those ideas to others in a controlled, clever, and winning debating style.
Why Study the 7 Liberal Arts?
The seven liberal arts are the ultimate refinement of common sense. They enable us to use the God-given faculties of reason to discover truth. They can even, if we use them in a sanctified way, help us overcome sin and folly… a Christian school that doesn’t teach the seven liberal arts is robbing its students of their heritage because it was the Christian community that identified and refined these tools of learning into the superpowerful tool for thinking that they became.
But, classical education’s primary focus is the formation of virtue to:
- love what is truly lovely
- desire what is truly desirable
Classic education uses the trivium or quadrivium to teach these things.
The Principles of Classical Education
Another way of analyzing classical education is through the Principles of Classical Education (I think Christopher Perrin developed these principles).
So, what are the eight principles of classical education? I’ve listed them below (as well as videos on each principle).
Make Haste Slowly (or in Latin, Festina Lente)
The idea of this principle is to make sure you try to master the topic instead of just getting it done. Video here.
Multum Non Multa (or in Latin, Much not Many).
This classical principle tells us to do fewer things well. That is, focus on just a few subjects instead of overloading on too many. Video here.
Repetition is the Mother of Memory (or in Latin, Repetitio Mater Memoriae).
Particularly useful in the grammar stage of classical education, this principle reminds us to use repetition to learn useful things and store them in our memory. Video here.
We learn through our five senses and we must be conscious of our student’s inputs. As educators, we should also try to take advantage of learning by our senses by trying to teach in those ways too. Video here.
Songs, Rhymes, and Jingles.
Very simply, use songs, rhymes, and jingles as ways to learn concepts that might otherwise be difficult. A good example of this is the Latin endings. You can learn them in a song! Video here.
Wonder and Curiosity.
Wonder leads to wisdom which leads to curiosity. So if you don’t have any wonder, you won’t have any wisdom. Educators need to ensure they maintain a love of learning, wonder and curiosity in their students which will turn into wisdom eventually. Video here.
The aim of learning is to teach truth, goodness, and beauty. The educational virtues assist us in that an our aim as educators is to endow them with these virtues to that purpose. Video here.
Schole, Contemplation, and Leisure.
Children need time to leisurely reflect on what they’re learning. If schoolwork is too rushed, children will not enjoy it. They need time to mull over it and contemplate the topic on all sides. Video here.
Possible Problems with Classical Education
My only fear with using a classical method in my home education is that my children will adopt the ‘wisdom of the Greeks’. Brian Douglas, a classical school teacher, put it like this:
Unless we carefully integrate biblical education throughout the entire curriculum, across every subject and grade, it would be very easy for our graduates to know more about Achilles and Dante than Abraham and David. The Word of God is our source for God’s wisdom; without it, we only have the wisdom of man.
It seems the early church tended to accept too much wisdom of the Greeks in their theology around the first few centuries.
Because Greek wisdom is so brilliant, the Hellenistic (Greek) culture had permeated almost every nation around the time of Jesus, including the Jews. The Sadducees became, in large part, puppets for their Roman rulers and accepted much of Rome’s Hellenistic culture.
When Christianity came to Rome in the first century, there were not myriads of theological works available to keep people on track as there are now. Instead, early Christians had to figure out their doctrine consistent with the early gospels and the old testament.
For example, they had to figure out the essence of God (homoousious) and if there was a Trinity. As a result, many of the early church fathers had some pretty unusual (almost heretical?) doctrines. Most of these were compromised by intermingling Greek philosophy with Christian theology.
Origen Gone Wrong
Origen of Alexandria was a church father who was particularly guilty of this. As Kenneth Calvert from Christianity Today says:
Origen of Alexandria [was] a third-century Christian scholar [who] loved Jesus, the Scriptures, and Neo-Platonic philosophy—a combination that Christians since have viewed as either the height of faithful theology or the depth of horrendous error.
Origen is a fascinating example of this. Origen was (and is still) held by many people in the church to be a heretic. Others thought he was a genius who was so far ahead of the pack that he had no one to peer review the fantastic – and sometimes erroneous – doctrines he was producing. Among the doctrines Origen held were:
- Free will,
- The pre-existence of souls,
- Everyone will be saved one day – including the Devil and
- The Trinity is a hierarchy, with God at the top, Jesus in the middle, and the Holy Spirit at the bottom.
Although these doctrines sound pretty far from the mark to many of us, Origen worked from scratch. There was very little written on the Trinity, and Origen contributed heavily to the development of the doctrine of the Trinity.
All this story is to say that my only fear with teaching my children the classics is that they go down the path of the wisdom of the Greeks.
We need to guard against ‘the wisdom of the Greeks’ because, ‘… the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.’ (1 Cor 1:25)
Temptations Classical Parents Face
Perhaps it is better to call the above scenario a temptation rather than a problem. This is what Brian Douglas does. I find it interesting that Douglas, who writes an article about five temptations classical educators face, confirms he would still choose a classical education.
He calls it the best program available to students today:
Having taught at a classical Christian school for five years and followed the classical Christian education movement for some years prior, I have come to believe that it is the best approach to K-12 education available today.
He goes on to outline temptations classical educators can face. He relates many to classical schools becoming institutions of excellence with a lack of virtue (the one he focuses on seems to be grace).
Below are the salient points home educators should be aware of:
- ‘Overemphasize mistaken notions of success’ – as children learn so well, they might mistake the trappings of good education for the education itself.
- Believing academic rigor and disciplined behavior equal a good education – ‘Without God’s grace, we can only produce narcissists who are more focused on their successes and failures than on the eternal reality of God’s love for his people.’
- Relying on our goodness instead of relying on God working in students’ hearts. ‘It is easy for classical Christian schools to feel like we have the moral high ground [amid] a fallen culture. After all, anyone who seeks out such a school believes it superior to other systems, especially secular ones.’ We need to humbly seek God’s guidance and stop relying on ourselves.
- Forgetting about God’s Word. Unless we seek to promote the Bible and its knowledge over the knowledge and stories of the Greeks, students can come out knowing more of Zeus and Juno than of Jesus and Moses. We need to remember a hundred ways to teach our children the gospel.
If you want to know more about the classical education method, check out:
- Dorothy Sayers: Lost Tools of Learning (free Youtube audiobook here…I’m reading!)
- The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home
- 100 Common Questions: A Guide to Understanding Classical Christian Education
Conclusion on What is Classical Education
The classical education method is rooted in antiquity. It’s a method that educators can trust has worked in ages past. It’s the method Paul of Tarsus, Galileo, Dante, William Shakespeare, Martin Luther, and George Washington learned by. The Classical approach catches students’ interests by teaching them in a style that aligns with their developmental level. Classical education teaches children the tools of language and how to use them. It is also superior to other education methods as it teaches children virtue and truth. As Christians, we seek the truth in our education, and classical education will do this brilliantly if done with a focus on the gospel!