Currently in grades three through six, the English curriculum emphasizes: reading, penmanship, spelling, grammar, composition and period-specific,
Seventh-grade curriculum emphasizes: language development and usage, composition and a survey of good books from American literature.
Curriculum in grades eight through twelve emphasizes writing and continued language development, with literature based vocabulary development. Literature content in grades eight through twelve progresses through the good and great books of ancient, classical, early church, medieval, renaissance, reformation, modern, and American periods. The content parallels the study of history, providing advanced exposure to the finest literature of the West. In grades 2 through 10, students learn the 14 pre-rhetoric heuristic called the Progymnasmata in preparation for grade 11 Rhetoric.
“Progymnasmata are collections of speaking and writing exercises for students of rhetoric. As historians have shown, they played an extremely important role in European education from Antiquity to the beginnings of the Modern Era. Unfortunately, they are treated today, if at all, as an historical curiosity, a relic of the old ‘school rhetoric.’ Occasionally, there are attempts to revive the traditional sequence. Both approaches miss what I believe is most valuable about the Progymnasmata, the very idea of a unified pedagogical program in the language arts, spanning primary, secondary, and higher education, oriented toward the shaping of rhetorical character, and organized around a sequence of well-defined exercises in verbal analysis and composition.”
—The Very Idea of a Progymnasmata, Fleming, J. David, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Currently, grades 2 through 9 survey the world, and especially Western Civilization, from the ancient to the modern day. Throughout their tenure at Gloria Deo, students will study this sequence three times, in increasing sophistication. At each level students will grow to understand a Christian perspective on the development of civilization. Discussion aids students in seeing God’s providence in the outworking of His overarching plan. The chronological sequence of presentation parallels the study of literature.
Grammar level history emphasizes mental cataloging of the major people, events and dates through rhyme, rhythm and recitation.
Logic level history reviews the cataloged facts and aids the students in recognizing the connectivity of historical events, people and locations. Principles of logic and rhetoric are integrated to enhance student learning, discussion, debate and presentation.
High school level history explores the motivation of leaders, relationships between different cultures in existence at the same time, forms of government and causes of war. Primary historical texts make this course the equivalent of an advanced study of the West.
Recognition of the orderly nature of God’s creation undergirds the philosophy of Gloria Deo Mathematics. Solid practical instruction is included so students grasp principles, aptly apply them and progressively master mathematics at each level.
Grammar level mathematics study addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Facts are learned inside, outside, upside down. Learning facts,Geometrical shapes and groupings lead students easily into more complicated mathematical processes.
Logic level students develop in symbolic mathematics. Algebra requires the student to work with the unknown; to analyze each problem, discover its central point and apply knowledge already acquired to its solution.
High School level mathematics includes Geometry, Trigonometry, Integrated Mathematics,and Calculus
Providing much of the foundation of English and Romantic languages, Latin is integral to a classical education opening a door into the classical world. Introductory Latin is taught third through sixth grade. Advanced Latin instruction continues during 7th and 8th grade. High school Spanish is offered to students and other languages may be available.
Grammar level science students discover the works of God in His creation through study and laboratory experience in the physical and life sciences.
When students enter the logic—reasoning or understanding—stage of learning, fifth through eighth grade science provides the basis for ordering this revelation of God. Laboratory experience verifies the great discoveries of scientists.
High school students further study Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Physics, reinforcing these principles through strident laboratory application. Studying the principles and laws of each science the graduate will finish with a sound grasp of foundational scientific ideas.
Considering the sheer number of years and the amount of quality schools wherein the teaching of Latin was an integral part of any good academic training, the instruction in Latin at Gloria Deo should need no explanation or defense. However, like many traditional particulars of good education lost in the name of “modern” or “progressive” education, Latin’s advantages have been neglected and forgotten by a couple of generations. Latin was regularly taught even in American high schools as late as the 1940s. It was considered necessary to a fundamental understanding of English, the history and writings of Western Civilization, and the understanding of Romance languages.
Gloria Deo teaches Latin, therefore, for two major reasons:
Latin is not a “dead language”, but rather a language that lives on in almost all major western languages, including English. Training in Latin not only gives the student a better understanding of the roots of English vocabulary, it also lays the foundation for learning other Latin-based languages.
Learning the grammar of Latin reinforces the student’s understanding of the reasons for, and the use of, the parts of speech being taught in our traditional English classwork, e.g. plurals, nouns, verbs, prepositions, direct objects, tenses, etc.
Classical Christian educators describe theology as the “queen of the sciences” and philosophy as its “handmaiden.” Bible, theology, philosophy and apologetics develop the thinking of the maturing student to effectively defend and advance the Christian faith in any arena. Grammar School students study a portion of the Bible, beginning with Genesis and moving through Revelation, in a five-year sequence. In the Upper School, a comprehensive study of the law, history, poetry, and wisdom literature of the Old Testament, as well as the Gospels, Acts, and Pauline Epistles, exposes students to the revelation of God. Later studies include the creeds and confessions of the church through theology and apologetics.
“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone that asketh you a reason for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence,” 1 Peter 3:15.
Education of the whole person includes training the physical body. Physical training, teamwork and performance under pressure will enrich the education of youth. Gloria Deo plans to provide coaching and interscholastic competition as funds and support are available.
Each student has been called by God to a life of Christian influence whether in the church and family or in the broader society through law, politics, economics and business, the arts, sciences or industry. Eventually Gloria Deo will provide assistance through the help of a testing and guidance coordinator and well-ordered preparation for college exams and the application process.