TCA’s mission and educational philosophy drive the curriculum and extra-curricular activities. The philosophy of classical education is inherently simple. It is a back-to-basics approach which requires an excellent educator, an eager student, and a blank slate (a white board or piece of paper). Teachers at TCA rely upon the Socratic dialogue method of teaching, asking thoughtful questions to guide students to the correct conclusions. At TCA, teachers have students memorize complicated ideas and text using simple songs and chants. Teachers use blank pieces of paper and have students draw diagrams, and maps for geography for example, by hand rather than using worksheets or fill-in-the-blank. Students learn to take specified notes in composition books and keep material properly organized. The multifaceted approach of classical education, which is based on dialogue and instruction, note taking, drawing, and memorizing, benefits all styles of learners: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic alike.
TCA incorporates the classical philosophy and trivium to its program with a four-year cycle that begins with first grade. This allows each period in history to be visited three times during the course of a student’s education at TCA, once in each stage of the trivium (grammar, logic, and rhetoric). Our literature, geography, and where appropriate, art and music, are tied to our study of history. Our science program also follows a four-year cycle.
Focus on Ancient History – Creation through the fall of Rome – with the study of science focused on biology.
Focus on the Middle Ages – the fall of Rome through 1400 AD – with the study of science focused on chemistry.
Focus on the Age of Exploration through the Revolutionary War – 1400 AD to 1850 AD – with the study of science focused on physics.
Focus on the Civil War through today -1850 AD to modern America – with the study of science focused on astronomy and earth science.
This chronological study of history, literature, and science creates cohesiveness and order and allows students to master content, read more sophisticated text, and build a deeper understanding as they revisit each part of the cycle.