Philosophy and Curriculum
Legacy Academy aims to train and equip young men and women through a challenging, yet enriching academic and spiritual environment. Our educational philosophy is three-fold:
to give children a Christian education in a safe environment,
to teach using classical methods that ensure academic success and children who are able to think soundly as adults, and
to work with parents for the development of each student’s character in pursuit of becoming a follower of Christ.
To build a strong future for our students we rely upon time-tested principles, values, and methods. Students must capture a glimpse of their future life and all that it can and should be. This dream of a bright future must be painted for them and help draw them each day.
LA is built upon a value-based system of education and development as outlined by the Word of God. This system is especially relevant in the environment of the 21st century, which is global, technological, fast paced, and very challenging. In truth, the world has more challenges and moral crises than we’ve ever seen, so we must all work hard to prepare our students to navigate through life.
LA provides an environment and culture that is able to provide not only academic excellence but also develops students of integrity, character, and confidence who are aware of their individual purpose, worth, and societal responsibility. LA students will emerge well prepared and thoroughly equipped for any mandate or purpose that may be upon their individual lives.
LA focuses on the holistic development of each child. Students will be developed in an environment that focuses on academic, spiritual, social, as well as physical development. Education is a tool for human development and it must shape the understanding and mentalities of students. It is a journey from ignorance to knowledge, depravity to understanding, and folly to wisdom.
It is our priority to:
Focus on the holistic development of each student
Make learning engaging and fun for every student
Acknowledge God as the source and author of all truth, and foster this love and discernment of truth
Respect that parents are their children's first and best teachers and embrace the idea of "loco parentis" (during the school day we serve temporarily in the place of parents)
Provide an environment in which each child can grow physically, emotionally, socially, academically, and spiritually.
Educate children with the methodology of the "trivium"—a classical approach taking children through three stages: knowledge, understanding, then wisdom.
Create a love and passion for learning and develop the skills needed to build life-long self-learners
Provide a Christian world-view for our students
The real difference between faith-based schools and all other education systems, public or private, must be traced back to its source in two antithetical world views: on the one hand, the view that takes the living God as its starting point. This view allows students to listen dependently to God’s revelation in Scripture, creation, and providence. On the other hand, there is a worldview that explicitly or implicitly denies that the God of the Bible is the source of all reality and the measure of all truth.
Inescapably, schools will train children in some view of some kind. Ours will not be a view that attempts to teach the great beauty of all knowledge, understanding, and wisdom without expressly acknowledging its source. Without shame, Legacy Academy offers a true faith-based education. We firmly believe that God cannot be divorced from learning. Knowledge cannot exist apart from Him. You cannot remove Him from the discussion of science, art, history, math, language, or any other subject. He is the source of all things. Knowledge does not exist in a vacuum and schools should exist to assist parents in training children in a correct world- and life-view.
Legacy Academy employs the classical approach to education. It is a time-tested method, which can vigorously prepare our students for life. It provides for intellectual development, academic achievement, and moral stability.
At its core this method is an approach to learning. We believe it is essential that children not only gather information for passing exams, but that each student learns how to learn. This approach to education provides children the educational tools needed to both learn and think for themselves.
The time-honored teaching method employed at Legacy is known as the trivium, which imparts the basic tools of learning to the student.
What is the Trivium?
The trivium is shorthand for the three foundational academic categories: grammar, logic, and rhetoric.
It is an approach to learning, an approach to subjects, and a set of various subjects. The trivium is applied to every academic discipline, meaning every subject has its grammar, logic, and rhetoric. Becoming educated in any subject involves knowing its basic facts and principles (grammar), reasoning clearly concerning it (logic), and articulating it clearly and effectively (rhetoric). This three-phase model corresponds to the natural stages in child development, a classical model that for centuries has produced men and women of extraordinary achievement and intellect.
The trivium corresponds to three basic, progressing stages in the development of a child: Kindergarten-Sixth grade is the grammar stage; the junior high years are the logic stage; and the high school years are the rhetoric stage. With grammar, the student learns to accurately receive knowledge; with logic, to critically analyze and understand; with rhetoric, to wisely and effectively express himself. The Trivium is nothing more than a proven and very practical approach to education. It is an instructional model that (1) is a common sense way of looking at subjects, (2) approaches the study of subjects in a way that naturally fits with how we learn, and (3) tailors curriculum content to a child’s cognitive development.
It is an effective way of looking at subjects because it breaks subjects down into concrete facts and rules, abstract comprehension and reasoning, as well as application and expression. Every subject can be broken down into its Grammar, Logic and Rhetoric. The Grammar of a subject is its basic facts and fundamental rules. The Grammar of math includes the numbering system and basic math facts. The Grammar of History is names, dates and places. The Grammar of English includes phonics, vocabulary, and spelling rules.
The Logic of a subject is the comprehension of how its facts fit together logically. The Logic of math is algebra and geometry. The Logic of history is understanding the “how and why” of names, dates and places; including understanding reasons for wars, migrations, cultural movements, and political revolutions. The Logic of English includes understanding the parts of speech and the proper construction of sentences and compositions.
The Rhetoric of a subject is its articulation, expression and application. The Rhetoric of math includes the application of mathematical study to accounting or engineering (e.g. calculus). The Rhetoric of history includes developing and effectively communicating views about political science and cultural trends. The Rhetoric of English includes writing effective essays, debating techniques, and public speaking.
The Trivium approaches subjects in a way that fits naturally with how we learn.
It goes “with the grain” of how humans learn any new subject material. If you decided to learn about baking bread, you would first learn the “grammar” of bread baking. You may not consciously think about the grammar, but you would initially learn the basic facts and rules of bread baking—the kinds of flours, measuring ingredients, varieties of breads, etc.
Your learning process would continue into the logic phase. You would learn about how different flours produce different breads, how certain ingredients produce certain results in your final product and how proper mixing, kneading, and baking each affect how the bread tastes. You would begin to “comprehend” bread baking.
Finally, after having mastered the grammar and the logic, you would learn how to articulate and express what you know about bread baking. This might include developing a presentation about “The benefits of whole wheat flours”, and you might persuasively discuss your views about particular bread machines with other bread connoisseurs. You would be in the rhetoric stage of your learning. You would be learning skills in communication, articulation, and application as it relates to bread baking.
The Trivium tailors curriculum content to a child’s cognitive development by utilizing methods and subject matter that are appropriate to the age of the student. Children in the Grammar stage (K-6th grade) tend to think in concrete terms and have an amazing ability for memorizing many facts. Children in the Logic stage (7th-9th grade) are naturally developing reasoning and analytical thinking abilities. As they mature to high school (10th-12th grade) or Rhetoric stage, they are able to think in very abstract terms and have greater interests in being creative, expressing themselves, and communicating their ideas. The classical method plays to these age-related tendencies.
Understanding the Trivium allows you to put into context our educational philosophy and how we will approach each child’s education beginning at the preschool level.
Other Methods and Philosophies
Recognition of Demonstrated Character
We seek to develop young men and women who excel in moral character, as well as academics. We will reinforce this through practical activities, such as:
Bible study—students formally study the Bible in class and it is a regular source for teachers to refer to throughout the day in daily conversations.
Commendation days recognizes, honors, and awards academic and co-curricular excellence, but also recognizes students for nobility of character.
Legacy Academy will also emphasize celebratory announcements and affirmation to children regarding the demonstration of proper character.
Likewise, instances of lapses in character are dealt with in the biblically prescribed manner:
private rebuke, which may include parental presence,
rebuke before witnesses, and
open rebuke, which may include expulsion from Legacy Academy community.
Exposure to Build Global Awareness
LA is committed to the inclusion of students from other cultures, nationalities, and languages as part of its creation of a globally sensitive learning environment. We live in a world in which every part of the globe is more closely related to each other than ever before. We are aware of this and want to build children who have a global perspective of the world and are thoroughly equipped for interacting with its complexities. This mix of abilities and cultures provides greater scope for creativity by the staff in planning and implementing lessons, and a widening of the students’ learning styles and experiences.
One of the key principles espoused by LA is that of shared ownership. It is of great benefit to the LA student to have a strong and cooperative relationship between the school and parents/guardians. Parents are urged and called upon to participate, own, and involve themselves in the LA process. This takes the form of supporting the values of the school within the home, enforcing school rules, sharing with the student body practical aspects of work life, and monetary or in-kind donations. Beyond the involvement of parents and guardians, LA also draws on the expertise and participation of the wider community.
The purpose of school rules is to provide an orderly and harmonious environment for all members of the Legacy Academy community and to help all students attain their maximum potential. In addition, rules teach students how to order their lives and practice respect for others. Rules thus assist in developing disciplined lifestyles and good character which benefit students their whole lives.
LA rules are not only clearly proclaimed, they are transparently, justly, and universally enforced. The school’s rules are not intended to be exhaustive, but to cover the main principles of conduct and some particularly important specific matters, such as
Regularity and punctuality
Respect for property
Respect for authority
How to treat others, including their peers considerately and thoughtfully
Maintaining honorable conduct outside school
We Are Different…
We teach differently because we have a different perspective on the Child. We believe that each child is nothing less than the Divine Image, an icon of the invisible God. They must be taught personally, in relationship, and holistically.
We assess our work differently because we have higher standards.
Our worldview is different because Christ is central.
This paradigm shift creates a number of challenging practical problems, perhaps none of which is more significant than the problem of communicating it to the contemporary audience.
The virtuous person is disciplined, purposeful, and focused in thinking and behavior. In proper education we cultivate the moral virtues, the physical virtues, and the intellectual virtues. By refining all of them, we are enabled to bring them into a harmony that we can justly call integrity.
We believe that every child is God’s own unique and beautiful craftsmanship. We believe there is a specific call for each child’s life that is only found in a relationship with Christ.
We believe that children need a Christian environment and worldview for development that will thoroughly prepare them for the great exploits that await them. We believe that Christian students should be the brightest academically, most upstanding morally, well developed emotionally, adept socially, as well as alert and sensitive spiritually.
We would consider it our pleasure to assist you in developing your child into this type of person. At Legacy Academy your child will be valued, nurtured, loved, and challenged.