At ECCS, we begin thinking about education with these end goals in mind. Focusing on a child’s natural stages of development, we capitalize on their particular strengths so that we can develop them into strong leaders. The classical model utilizes a child’s intellectual development into three main stages, known as the Trivium: Grammar (Grades K5-5), Logic (Grades 6-8), and Rhetoric (Grades 9-12). Throughout the Trivium, students are taught the grammar or knowledge of each subject, the logic or understanding of each subject, and the rhetoric or art or wisdom of each subject.
In the Grammar stage, which covers ages 5-10, children learn quickly, memorize readily, and love to move, sing, chant, and play. This is also the stage in which children solidify their natural love of learning. In our Grammar School, we use the best curriculum, engaging and challenging literature, Western history, Bible, science, Latin and math. What makes us even more distinctive is that we use methods that work best for the children in the grammar stage, such as songs, chants, memory work, interactive lessons, and active engagement.
As they progress into the Logic Stage, students tend to be naturally more skeptical. They question, they ask why, and they love to argue their points. Rather than fighting against this natural and very important tendency, we train our students how to reason, how to research, and how to argue effectively. Through vigorous class discussions, debates, research papers and projects, students are taught to think carefully and critically. Our Logic students continue in their studies of Latin, science, grammar, composition, and math. We use primary texts to teach history, literature, and Bible, drawing from the greatest writers and thinkers from the Western tradition. We also add the study of Formal Logic in eighth grade.
As they enter the Rhetoric Stage, our students are prepared with a great deal of knowledge from the Grammar stage and have learned to think critically in the Logic stage. They now want to be heard, and are taught to express themselves in Formal Rhetoric classes. We train them to speak and write eloquently, confidently, and rightly. The emphasis on the spoken and written word continues, with primary texts used, such as The Federalist Papers, The Anti-Federalist Papers, The U.S. Constitution, The Declaration of Independence, works by St. Augustine, Shakespeare, Milton, Chaucer, Dickens, Hawthorne, Twain, Orwell, Spenser and a host of other great writers and thinkers. Students’ study of Rhetoric culminates in the senior thesis project, which allows students to choose any topic, research it thoroughly, examine its relevance to society today, and write, present and defend a thesis on it. Our rigorous core classes and emphasis on the art of learning means that our graduates are prepared with academic and leadership skills required to be successful and honor the Lord.