Classical Homeschool Curriculum Stages Explained with Resources Needed

A classical homeschool curriculum is based on the Trivium and can be used from grades kindergarten through 12th grade.

Basically classical homeschooling is a teaching model that parents can use to teach their children. Some parents use a textbook approach, some use a unit study approach, some use a literature approach, and some use a classical approach to homeschooling. There are many other methods out there, but these are the most common.

A classical homeschooling approach is more tailored to the students abilities. It is based on the trivium...

What is the trivium? In the elementary grades the trivium emphasizes memorizing facts in various subjects. In the middle school years it emphasizes thinking and understanding various subjects. And in high school it emphasizes abstract thinking. The word Trivium is a Latin word that means "the three-fold way or road".

Children have a natural bent toward wanting to understand the world around them. They are constantly asking questions and taking in everything they see. As a child's physical motor skills develop so their mental skills develop over time. When a baby learns their language they are taught basic vocabulary words that they don't understand yet but are essential to their learning of the language (grammar stage). Then they learn how to put those words together to form longer thoughts (dialectic stage). Then they become more fluent in the language and can think and reason (rhetoric stage).

When we learn new skills like learning to drive, learning to operate a computer or learning anything as an adult, we go through the same phases.

The three stages for a classical homeschool curriculum:

classical homeschool curriculum

Grammar Stage - Grades 1-6 - Here the student focuses on the different subjects and memorizing facts related to each subject. Some good resources for this stage are any of the resources written by Susan Wise Bauer author of The Well Trained Mind. Her First Language Lessons books are excellent for teaching Language. The Story of the World books are also excellent for reading stories about the different cultures throughout history.

Dialectic Stage - Grades 7-9 - In this stage of classical homeschool curriculum, students move from memorizing to understanding why and how. Students might begin a Logic course at this point, focus more on their Latin studies, and dive deeper into History and Literature. They move from the concrete to the analytical. They start examining what they have memorized and start working on understanding why and how those facts are true. Instead of playing games and drills they will begin discussing more about what they have learned.

Books to use for this stage:

Use a good Logic course.

Bible - Read through the Bible in 3 years.

Latin or Greek - Use a good Latin or Greek course to build on the vocabulary that was memorized in the Grammar Stage.

Writing - Learn to write good sentences, paragraphs and essays over the course of the 3 years.

Literature and History - Continue reading good quality literature.

Math - Move into learning Algebra, Geometry and Algebra 2.

Science - Begin to explore the Creation/Evolution debate and use a good Science course like the Apologia Science series.

Debate - Start looking into learning how to Debate different subjects relating to faith and other issues.

Rhetoric Stage - Grades 10-12

Rhetoric is basically learning the art of communication. Your student will need to focus on how to communicate in writing and speaking to continue with their classical homeschool curriculum.

There are some books you can get that can help them learn this stage of Rhetoric.

Your student can continue with Bible reading and study. They can move into studying the Biblical worldview and apologetics. For writing they will want to learn how to write a research paper and continue to develop their writing style. They will also want to become familiar with philosophy and the worldviews associated with that too. They can continue their study of Latin and Greek classics along with good literature. For History they can study law, economics and politics. Once your children have finished Algebra II and Geometry, they can move into applied and Advanced Math. For Science they can continue with the Apologia Science courses. Using these books and courses can help round out your classical homeschool curriculum.