Classically Educating Disciples for Christ

Curriculum Overview

Bible

The Bible is studied daily to give students not only a thorough knowledge of its content and historicity, but also to impart a clear understanding of the implications of God’s creative and redemptive work in Jesus Christ for their lives. Students will study the Bible from Genesis through Revelation and know the significant characters and events of the Old and New Testaments, including historical dates and geography. Regular Scripture memory, as well as memorization of a sampling of selections from a variety of Protestant catechisms and confessions, will systematically build an understanding and love of Biblical truth. Students will be able to articulate the Gospel of Jesus Christ, defend their faith in an increasingly secular world, and be nurtured in the application of God’s truth to their lives.     

Language Arts and Literature

The ability to read and write is the foundational tool of learning and the main gateway to acquiring knowledge and expressing it. Beginning in kindergarten and continuing throughout the rhetoric years, students are taught the joy of learning and expressing ideas through stories, excellent literature and poetry. The goal is for students to develop increasing ability in reading comprehension, a recognition and pursuit of excellent literature, the development of critical thinking skills, and a clear, orderly expression of ideas through writing. Ultimately, students are guided toward a true love of reading and the ability to discern what is true, beautiful, and good.    

Reading is taught in kindergarten and first grade using the time-tested phonics approach.  An understanding of the mechanics and structure of English is taught through a thorough study of grammar, spelling, and vocabulary.  Writing is taught systematically each year, moving students toward greater complexity and clarity of expression. This culminates in a senior thesis completed in the student’s final year at Samuel Fuller School. Literature and writing are integrated throughout the curriculum.    

Mathematics

Mathematics is a reflection of God’s orderly structure of the universe. Its study helps students to comprehend God’s unchanging and logical character, and how the world functions--from knowing the difference in value between a penny and a quarter to understanding how to calculate the revolution of the earth around the sun. A sound mathematical foundation prepares students for a rigorous study of biology, chemistry, physics and astronomy in later years.

The study of mathematics in the grammar years focuses on all aspects of arithmetic with increasing inclusion of geometric and algebraic concepts culminating with the study of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus in the logic and rhetoric schools.

Students study mathematics incrementally, each year building upon the knowledge base acquired the previous year. A strong emphasis is placed on memorization of essential mathematical facts, tables, and formulas, regular review of previously learned material, and the application of math to real life through frequent study of word problems.

History

History is one of the cornerstones of a classical Christian education because history displays God’s sovereign and redemptive purposes in the world over the course of time. Understanding history, the story of where we came from, helps us to understand and live fruitfully in the complex world in which we live today.

The origin and development of Western Civilization is the particular focus of our study of history because Christ was born into the Greco-Roman world and the flowering of the Gospel within that context shaped the development of Western culture of which America is a part.

Students study history from creation through present day, covering the periods of ancient Mesopotamian and Hebrew cultures, Egyptian, Greek, and Roman civilizations, the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation, and the American experience. For each period, students learn a chronology of important events, dates and people, and understand their significance.  Related geography, literature, music and art are integrated in the study of each historical time period. Historical study provides a solid framework and foundation from which to begin reading the great books of Western Civilization in subsequent years.

Latin and Foreign Languages

Latin is the foundational language of Western Civilization, the source of the five Romance languages, and the root of over fifty percent of English words. Much of modern medical, legal, and theological terminology comes from Latin.

The early study of Latin helps students develop logical thinking skills, increase English vocabulary, reinforce grammatical principles and understanding, prepare for future study of modern languages, and read primary source classical and medieval literature in later years.

Students begin studying Latin in third grade and continue through their grammar school and logic years, moving from simple to more complex proficiency and understanding. Students begin by learning Latin vocabulary, helpful English derivatives and Latin mottoes, and memorizing verb and noun endings, which prepare them for further study in Biblical Greek and modern European languages during the rhetoric years.

Science

Because God made the universe, it has order, which makes scientific investigation possible. The study of science gives students an appreciation for the magnificence, complexity, and immensity of the creation, and enables them to begin to comprehend the operational principles God has designed into it.

The science curriculum in the grammar and logic school years progressively gives students a basic introduction to various sectors within science--biology, chemistry, physics, and astronomy--and teaches them some of the basic principles of the scientific method through simple classroom projects and hand-on experiments.

The rhetoric school years builds on this foundation by dedicating a year of study to each of these sectors, ensuing that students leave Samuel Fuller School with a college-ready and Christ-centered understanding of the physical world.

Fine Arts

Through the observation and experience of God’s created order, we discover and define what is beautiful. The fine arts curriculum helps students to develop their observational and listening skills to recognize and appreciate the beauty inherent in God’s creation, to reproduce that beauty visually and musically, and finally to become well acquainted with the rich artistic and musical heritage of Western culture.

In art, students progressively learn and practice the fundamentals of drawing, painting, and visual composition. Art is integrated throughout the curriculum; students learn to appreciate and understand important works of art, which are part of the historical period they are studying.

Students learn to read music and comprehend the fundamentals of music theory. They use their musical knowledge by singing a repertoire of familiar songs, participating in musical productions, and singing joyfully and knowledgeably to the Lord on a regular basis. Music is also integrated throughout the curriculum as appropriate; students learn to appreciate and identify significant musical compositions and their composers.

Physical Education

Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, requiring respectful stewardship and care as good gifts from God, to be enjoyed and used to glorify Christ.

The physical education program encourages students to be good stewards of their bodies by helping them to grow in their physical capabilities, and teaching them to establish and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Through a variety of physical activities and sports, students develop large motor skills, muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, and coordination. Biblical patterns of behavior are also reinforced by teaching cooperation, teamwork, and good sportsmanship.