7 Ways A Classical Education Works With A Christian Worldview

Classical Conversations is a classical, Christian education.  Some might see those words placed together and not see the connection.  In fact, some might go as far as to say they don’t connect.  It probably won’t surprise you to hear me say, well, they do go together!  Actually, I’m a firm believer that classical + Christian are better suited to each other than classical + humanistic.  But, I didn’t always know that.  

How do they connect? Here are several ways — 

1. Truth and beauty.  In classical education, children are to sink into timeless pieces of literature, examine, appreciate, and replicate artistic masterpieces, enjoy nature, and relish in musical marvels.  Where there is real beauty, there is truth. 

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. Philippians 4:8

2. Exploring the best.  There are literal greats or giants of their field in every area of study.  Why settle for less? These greats from times past serve as mentors of sorts when time is spent immersed in their works. 

By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.
Hebrews 11:7 (really vs. 4-11)

3. Connection between subjects.  Math, science, history – these are not subjects unto themselves, but parts of a whole.  When studied as such, not only do we see the greater value of each of the parts but get a more complete picture of the whole.  Dividing them limits our vision. 

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. Romans 1:20

4. Virtue, not knowledge. Morals, not job skills.  Classical education has always had a higher aim than creating and employing a workforce to support a nation.  It was seeking good citizens…or another way to look at it, good neighbors.  

Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. 1 Corinthians 10:24

5. Outlined for growth and maturity.  Classical education expects growth and models its teaching methods after natural developmental stages.  Why? It works best, because it’s how humans have been created to learn. 

Now the boy Samuel was growing in stature and in favor both with the Lord and with men.  1 Samuel 2:26

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. Luke 2:52

6. Emphasis on rhetoric.  Classical education has placed a strong emphasis on a student’s ability to share ideas.  Because learning something only for yourself seriously limits the possibilities. 

The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.  2 Timothy 2:2

7. Timeless.  Because classical education is interested in the best from humanity, students are not limited to contemporary thinkers.  Minds are exposed to a greater context than our personal, generational, or national history.  

Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.  Deuteronomy 7:9

Classical education is both what is studied and how it is studied.  
It leads you to discover and explore the best humanity and this world has to offer, but on its own, takes you no further.  I first began to unpack the limitations of a classical education for myself while reading Climbing Parnassus.  My appreciation grew for classical education, but I also recognized that it alone is not enough.  Without adding Christian to the classical, you’re simply left with a humanistic education that can see the beauty of the created world, but has little idea what to do with the ugly.  Surely, close examination and study of the world around us will reveal both.  But with a Christian education based firmly on the truth of the Bible solely in one’s grasp, you are able to add wisdom to knowledge and understanding.  You are able to look beyond simply what’s around, beyond simply what we can see, touch, taste, hear, and smell.  While some may rightly make the argument that classical education has always led one to explore beyond the merely physical by the asking of good questions, I’d suggest that while it promotes the questions, it does not provid
e the answers.  And therein lies the greatest advantage to pursuing an education that is both classical and Christian.  For through discovery, you will find not only the beauty of creation, but the Creator.  And not only the Creator, but the Savior who offers so much more than this world can display.  The Savior who is the reason for the beauty and the solution to the ugly.  The God, Creator and Savior, who seeks you and wishes to reveal Himself through His creation.


“A classical, Christian education, then, teaches students to love God by learning about the world as God’s universe, designed by His creative mind, governed by His laws, and sustained by His providential guidance.  Parents begin the process by training very young children to look for evidence of God’s design in all subjects, even math and language.  Children can discover the logic of His universal natural laws as they study science and His unfolding plan as they encounter history.  They encounter His creativity in music, art, and literature.” (Classical Christian Education Made Approachable, p.47) 

I exhort you to choose a classical education that begins and ends and focuses on God as the central figure and reason for all that you study.  Perhaps you can see through my thoughts on classical, Christian education as to why we’ve chosen Classical Conversations to be the tool we use to teach our children.  Actually, I think I’ve misspoken.  God, in His great love for our family, selected Classical Conversations for us long before my husband or I had a full understanding of why it was the best choice.  Maybe we still don’t fully? We are but students ourselves.  But, in His infinite wisdom, God has planned the steps of our homeschooling journey without any knowledge or experience of our own.  And we are so grateful.  So excited to see where He leads us.

Do you have questions about classical, Christian education? Do you have more you’d like to add to the conversation? Please do! And I invite you to stay tuned as I intend to share more about classical education over the next several weeks.  

Visit here to see how Classical Conversations approaches combining the classical method of learning with a biblical worldview.  

Want to understand more about classical education? Check out my post, A Beginning Glossary of Terms for Classical Education and my series of how-to classically educate posts entitled At Home with the Classical Method

Comments

  1. says

    Great points, Beth! You probably know that I’ve been reading through Teaching the Trivium and they make a great case for connecting Classical and Christian too. They talk about the stages of the trivium coinciding with the Biblical words: Knowledge, Wisdom, and Understanding. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to reading more!

    • says

      yes, amy! I have so many books on my to-read list, but that book was so full i think i could already read it again & learn more!

  2. says

    Well written and well said. Thanks! We are just ending out CC year next Tuesday. It was another exciting year! I do have a question for you and maybe it is elsewhere in your blog…I am a bit overloaded with four, one turning 2…and all that involves…and I want to simplify for next year. Ideas? Have you posted lots about what you do, etc.? Thanks! Leesa

  3. Anonymous says

    Thanks so much for having this give away! My favorite CC subjects are English Grammar and the History. My kids just love the time line!

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