Children at School

Cornerstone

CLASSES FOR STUDENTS 7th - 9th GRADES

Grades seven through nine concentrate on organizing facts learned in the Grammar stage while helping students address the question, “Why?”

A formal study of logic gives focus to the naturally argumentative nature of students during these years of development. They spend less time memorizing and direct more effort to analysis and deepening their understanding of God, His world, and themselves. They deepen their required studies of Latin and begin training in Speech and Protocol.

For more information, see the article below.

Children at School

WHAT IS CORNERSTONE?

Cornerstone is our class for 7th through 9th graders. It meets 2 days a week, Tuesday and Thursday. This stage in classical education concentrates on organizing facts, learned in the Grammar stage, while helping students address the question, “Why?” They spend less time memorizing and direct more effort toward analysis and deepening their understanding of God, His world, and themselves. We have opted to put many classes in these three grades together for a couple of reasons. First of all, it keeps the cost lower for your family, since we can use fewer teachers. Secondly, having a variety of ages and abilities in one classroom puts learning at the center, both socially and academically. The older students in the class help teach the younger students by modeling more sophisticated, complex problem solving and critical thinking skills. This is a benefit to the younger students, obviously, but it's also a benefit to the older students as they have opportunity to express what they're learning.

 

We will be dividing the students up by grade for particular classes, such as Math, Latin, and Logic.

 

Some of the core classes that we will offer are Bible, History, and Literature - which are taught through a study of the great books of Western civilization. We believe that these three areas of study provide a solid foundation for a true Liberal Arts education.  The goal is to build a Christian worldview into our students as logic-stage thought processes are employed. This will be studied in three cycles (which will then be repeated in Capstone, grades 10 through 12): Ancient, Middle ages and Reformation, and US History/Modern. We are excited to offer this classes to our students.  They will be studying original documents from authors throughout history.  Then, they will have the opportunity to discuss this together and understand how each piece fits together.  They will be reading the same books that our Founding Fathers read – classics from the Greeks and Romans, Shakespeare, Calvin, Luther, and many more – along with other classic and modern works – both fiction and non-fiction.  These classes build a strong moral foundation for our students.

 

At the same time, we do not neglect Arithmetic and the Sciences, including formal Logic. Logic is the art of reasoning well--of learning to think God's thoughts after him. Students will be introduced to the basics of propositional arguments; how to determine the validity of propositional arguments, plus more. More importantly, they will learn how to apply such tools to arguments found in real life, to think clearly through the muddy waters of our modern life. A formal study of logic gives focus to the naturally argumentative nature of students during these years of development. 

 

In order to facilitate this clear thinking, we have two classes that are specifically designed to teach students to organize their thoughts into orderly categories. Those are Algebra and Latin. The goal of classical education is not to be prepared for a job, but to produce thinking, educated people. In the same way, the goal of Algebra and Latin both is not just for future use, necessarily. Both of these classes teach students how to organize information in an orderly way, and access it as needed. They complement each other, because language and math tend to use different parts of our brain. 

 

For Latin, we will offer up to three levels, as well, for those who have already had Latin class, and those who are new to it. Latin is an extremely orderly language. There are many rules, but few exceptions. This makes it very helpful in training the brain to think. The other benefit of Latin is that it gives us a deeper understanding of our own language, as many English words have a Latin root, and is structured similarly.

 

We plan to study Geography, as well. Over the three cycles, we will learn to find and then draw all the countries, major cities, and majors features of the world.

 

Expressing all these important concepts in their own words is an important part of Classical Education. Writing well is essential. We will use the Lost Tools of Writing to teach our students to expand and hone their writing skills.

 

Finally, we will offer Science. We will cycle through Natural Science (with Science Fair), Origins, and Physical Science to our 7th – 9th graders.

 

As you may have guessed, this is an academically rigorous program. However, we believe that if we set lofty goals for our students, they will often meet, and even exceed, those goals. It is our endeavor to give the students all they need to be successful at this program. We want to partner with you, as parents, to make sure that your child is empowered to do well in this program.

 

Ultimately, this is still a co-school. This means that you, as their parents, have the authority in your child's education. We are just standing alongside you and acting under your authority. That means you can customize the program to fit the needs and abilities of your child. If you decide to enroll your child in the Cornerstone program, we will work with you to make sure this program works for your child in a way that challenges them without disheartening them.