FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
IS THIS A CHRISTIAN PROGRAM?
Yes! We believe that studying well honors God and drives us to delight in Him. Though we are interdenominational, our teachers and families must agree to the Nicene and/or Apostles' Creed and be members of a local church with a clear Christian testimony.
Our school day will include scripture reading, prayer, and liturgical readings in line with the creeds and orthodox Christianity. Our interactions will be guided by Biblical principles and the example of Jesus Christ. We will model and encourage one another to love the Lord and love others. We will seek to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
We have a broad vision for Biblical studies that aligns with the stages of development and our end goal for student knowledge. We hope to integrate a Biblical studies program by fall, 2021. We are also planning a reading schedule for enrichment and community building, and will share that when it becomes available.
HOW ARE YOU CLASSICAL?
1. We affirm the Trivium.
The Classical stages of Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric describe child development. In the early years, children are absorbing knowledge. They later become interested in learning to distinguish facts, truths, and viewpoints. In the rhetoric stage, they have learned to build on prior knowledge and apply their experience with logic to express personal knowledge and viewpoints.
The trivium has further reach and application than many realize. Every lesson is a microcosm of this model. In every new area of study, we expect students to familiarize themselves with new grammar, decipher the facts, and find connections or make assertions based on their findings. The trivium, rightly applied and understood is more than stages of development, it is a model of the way we gather and apply knowledge.
2. We believe in an integrated educational model.
Classical education, the foundation for the Renaissance-inspired Liberal Arts model, (in contrast to the progressive model) views all subject matter as interrelated. While many of us studied subjects like history, art, math, and science in isolation from one another, we believe they are stronger when naturally related concepts are highlighted. At Montgomery Academy, our focus is on building strong ties between teachers across subject areas and planning curriculum in a way that helps students recognize the application of newly acquired knowledge across all areas of study.
3. We believe the Humanities are the core of all study, with Literature being central.
The Classical model rests on the humanities as the foundation for all areas of study. What does this look like in practice? At Montgomery Academy, our unit of history corresponds to literature, art, music, science, and math. We believe that it is not only important to study the history and development of these areas, but to also consider current developments in discipline subjects.
HOW ARE YOU A CHARLOTTE MASON PROGRAM?
HOW ARE WE CHARLOTTE MASON?
We believe education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life, and a science of relations.
We believe that, as much as possible, the school atmosphere and environment should be pleasant and home-like. Education is not something that happens only in school--its reach and application extend to all areas of our daily lives. When we separate “learning environments” from “living environments,” we sever natural connections that might be made between study and application.
We believe that people who enjoy learning make the best teachers. When we take time to delight in new skills or knowledge, we model joyful learning for our children. It is an integral part of our model to provide opportunities for our parents and teachers to learn and grow together so that we can provide for our children out of full hearts and minds.
We also believe it is the function of a teacher to curate a feast of information and guide students to make their own discoveries and connections. Though lecture may have some place in the classrooms of older students, in a CM classroom, the well-prepared teacher presents a wealth of quality materials and ideas, then guides students through their studies by questioning and offering points of refinement. Emphasis is on discovery, listening, questioning, problem-solving; research. (As opposed to memorizing facts to be regurgitated for assessments.)
This method can be a difficult transition for those who come from traditional educational backgrounds, but we believe it creates ownership on the part of the student. This method is our goal, and something our teachers will study and refine.
For further reading, we suggest
Charlotte Mason’s 20 Principles
Ambleside Online’s Annotated Charlotte Mason Series
We believe that people were created for physical activity, skill mastery, and close ties to nature.
Our bodies and our minds share a connection, therefore we cannot neglect physical activity as part of our education. When we spend time in nature, in games, in learning skills like crafts, drawing, or music, we come closer to realizing our potential. There is nothing like the satisfaction from the observation of beauty, completion of a challenge, or movement to bring health and vitality to our lives.
We also believe it is important to expose children to a range of activities. One student might discover a love of drawing, horticulture, or coding when they might not have had that opportunity at home. Sharing skills and resources is a strength of learning in community and we look forward to growing together.
We believe that narration is vital for the assessment and retention of information.
Narration is the process of retelling information that has been relayed. In the beginning stages, this means the teacher reads a quote or short passage, and the student retells that information. With time, students learn to listen closely, retain information, and assimilate it in a personal way. In a classroom setting, this may mean students learn to take notes from a primary source read aloud. Coupled with IEW’s writing program, our middle school students will have exceptional ability to glean information from research or lecture. These skills have immediate as well as future application!
WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR METHODS AND PHILOSOPHY?
We cannot recommend highly enough the book When Children Love to Learn, edited by Elaine Cooper. We hope it sparks in you a vision for the possibilities for the future of our educational system, as it has in us.
HOW MUCH IS SCHOOL TUITION?
Please see our admissions page for tuition, fees, books, and schedules.
WHAT WILL I NEED TO SUPPLEMENT?
A math curriculum will be necessary (though we are planning to add this in the future) and a Bible curriculum is recommended. Some families also add a separate grammar program, though much of this is covered in our literature and writing class.
We want to be very careful to not overstep church and parental authority, but we are glad to recommend Bible study resources to you that many of our families use at home. Additionally, we have many rich resources in our library and in the Spring Creek library available for you to use.
HOW DO YOU DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN AGES AND ABILITIES WHEN YOU HAVE MULTIPLE GRADE LEVELS IN ONE CLASS?
This quick article by Sonya Shafer is helpful in thinking through this. We have found it extremely beneficial to have multiple ages in one class. (Within a certain range/ developmental level.) The fact is, that in a traditional classroom where students are grouped by age rather than topic or skill, there are varying levels of comprehension and ability. We select materials that are appropriate for a developmental stage and differentiate assignments. For example, one student may need remediation. We will work with parents to find suitable materials or offer additional help. Students who are ready for a challenge will love our library, reading lists, and challenge assignments.