East Texas Christian School works consistently to blend traditional educational curriculum with classical subjects and classical methods.

The Classical method of education is centered on the Trivium, which is Latin for three roads and emphasizes the three different developmental stages of learning.

Grammar Stage

The grammar stage refers to the elementary years in which our students are excellent memorizers. God designed them to be sponges at this age, and we want to fill their minds with good things. Some items our students memorize include:

  1. Books of the Bible
  2. Armor of God
  3. Multiplication tables
  4. English grammar lists
  5. Poetry
  6. History timeline
  7. Great American documents – ex. The Preamble to the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address

Dialectic Stage

The next learning stage of the Trivium is the dialectic stage which roughly corresponds with the middle school years. These students instinctively want to debate everything. God created them this way, and we want them to learn how to question and analyze, not blindly accept everything they’re told. We want them to hold everything up against the truth of the Gospel. How does this look in our curriculum? Students…

  1. Compare and contrast in English
  2. Investigate and experiment in science
  3. Look for cause and effect in history
  4. Draw logical conclusions with syllogisms and proofs in geometry
  5. Learn to decode words by learning Latin word roots in science
  6. Keep dialectical journals

Rhetoric Stage

The third component of the Trivium is the rhetoric stage. This is the stage where students synthesize all of their previous learning, where students create a product. They speak and write with logic and eloquence and persuasion and articulation.

One of the ways that we develop this skill at ETCS is by requiring our students to write a high school thesis.

Other ways include:

  1. Keeping dialectical journals to support higher order thinking skills
  2. Using technology effectively
  3. Preparing multidisciplinary research papers
  4. Presenting science fair projects
  5. Preparing multimedia presentations
  6. Leading small groups of students to process spiritual lessons