Legacy’s classical approach to education follows the natural development of a student's intellect. It begins with the "grammar" level by presenting the basic facts and principles of learning. It then progresses to the "logic" level of ordering information. Classical education then matures in the "rhetoric" stage where students learn to think critically, integrate information, and communicate effectively.
We start each day together as a school body in the Mini-Chapel. Mondays through Thursdays, we have a mini-assembly where we pray, sing our Hymn of the Month, and go through the Foundations of the Faith.
During their Kindergarten years (K4 & K5), more emphasis is placed on acquiring academic skills but still in the context of fun. They learn while having fun but, soon enough, they will transition to having fun while they learn. Students begin to develop their phonics, writing, and arithmetic skills in K4 and build upon these foundational skills in K5. By the end of the K5 program, students are beginning readers and have a solid foundation to continue to develop their writing and arithmetic skills.
Music, Art, and Physical Education are essential aspects of a classical Christian education. Age appropriate skills are taught. In Art, we emphasize creativity, rather than cookie-cutter handcrafts. We go on several field trips each year, ranging from nature walks and tumbling gyms, to theatrical plays at Idaho State University, to visits to local museums or zoos. Students spend a half day (8:30am-12pm), five days-per-week, learning classroom etiquette and expectations that will be needed as they mature and continue through our school. This is a vital time for students to demonstrate increasing maturity, understanding and responding to instructions, and a developing awareness of the needs of others. In every way we can, we demonstrate the love of Christ, and show our students how they, too, can love one another as Christ has loved them. We limit our class size to 10 students for Kindergarten so that we have a low student/teacher ratio. Students must turn 4 years old by September 1st to enroll in K4.
Grammar School (1st-6th)
We call our elementary school (grades 1-6) the Grammar School. Every day, classical Christian students acquire skills they will use throughout their education and indeed, throughout their lives. The skills of literacy, numeracy, and critical thinking are taught and used in many contexts, and students engage with them creatively, thoughtfully, and carefully. There is never any busy work.
Young children, grades K4 through 6th, are able to memorize information quite easily. You may see this as your child quotes their favorite movie or song after only a few viewings or commits the stats from their favorite sport to memory. The classical method cultivates that God-given ability and teaches the child how to gather and use factual information. Some examples include memorization of phonics for reading and spelling, rhythmic chants for grammar rules, poetry and scripture memorization and math tables. While 1st and 2nd grades continue to master their phonics skills, starting in 3rd Grade, students begin to learn and understand the grammar structure of the English Language. 2nd Grade students quickly graduate from simple readers, to reading “real books” that include timeless classics such as The Boxcar Children, Encyclopedia Brown, Pinocchio, and Winnie-the-Pooh. Also, starting in 3rd Grade, students begin taking Latin, which will continue into the Upper School.
Grades 7th and up are called the Upper School. Young adolescents naturally strive for independence and love to debate and argue. In the Logic stage, children develop abstract reasoning ability. At Legacy, students learn to develop and examine arguments in every subject. Logic and Rhetoric classes are key to the upper school. Thus, our students are able to take the “data” they have memorized in earlier grades and use it to develop thoughtful ideas. Latin instruction will continue and the option to take other language classes will be open for students.
A classical Christian education is not content with students whose minds are full of facts and whose reason helps them find truth. Students must learn how to persuasively communicate that truth to influence the world. Classes offer ample opportunity for students to discuss, debate, and present ideas in each discipline. While rigorous math and science studies continue through the latter grades of Upper School, students are challenged to delve deeper into some of the most challenging and influential works of literature from the Ancients through modern eras, wrestle with philosophical and worldview issues, and practice the art of listening, writing, and speaking well. Each year builds upon the previous, with students constantly polishing and perfecting their communication skills. A student who has completed all three Trivium phases in a Classical Christian Education - from Grammar to Logic to Rhetoric - will be a well-read, well-spoken individual who knows what they believe, why they believe it, and how to communicate it to positively impact the world around them. Students spend a whole day (8:30am-3:30pm), five days-per-week, in Upper School. We limit our class size to 16 students so that we have a low student/teacher ratio. These are important years in a child’s maturation. We take special care to work through matters of the faith. We want our students to take ownership for their decisions and to think through those choices using a Biblical framework.