Philosophy

Philosophy

The Geneva School seeks to glorify Christ through cultivating wisdom and virtue through academic excellence. Cultivating wisdom and virtue or the love of truth, beauty, and goodness, should be at the core of any educational endeavor. At the Geneva School, this includes modeling respect for our students as fellow image-bearers of God (children are to be nourished), discipline (God is a God of order, structure, and creativity), reverence for God and His creation and proprietary (giving every idea its fitting expression) in each student.

There are five ideas that distinguish classical education (From Andrew Kern, Circe Institute).

  1. A unifying principle that orders all learning, thus an integrated, proportioned course of learning.
  2. Recognition of the transforming power of ideas, thus an emphasis on training students to contemplate ideas rather than merely retain content or master processes.
  3. Virtue as the end of education, rather than mere application, thus a concerted and rigorous effort to cultivate every human faculty in every student.
  4. Recognition of the need for mentors, models, examples, etc. who are masters of their area of knowledge and who are the kind of people we hope the student will grow up to become. In a word: honor and recognition to genuine authority.
  5. Endless emphasis on reality over mere appearance, thus the recognition that perception is powerful, but not necessarily reality. When one is taught that perception is reality, accountability and the need to grow is either relativized, trivialized, or removed altogether.

Robust Christian Education

First and foremost our school is under the lordship of Jesus Christ. We believe that all things in the heavens and on earth were created by Christ and for Him (Col. 1:16-17). Robust Christian education is thoroughly Trinitarian and aims to help students understand and experience God and His world in all of its wonderful diversity and unity. The Geneva School teaches each subject from a distinctly Christian worldview that calls our students into a deeper appreciation and love for who God is, what He has done, and what He is calling us to do as His people.

Love God and Neighbor

God calls us to teach our children to love Him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. At The Geneva School, we surround our students with the Word of God in the classroom and on the playground teaching them to take every thought captive. The Geneva School offers an extensive Bible memory program, as well as Bible and Theology classes. It is our intent to use these times to help our students grow in their love of God and their neighbor.

Raise Our Children in the Education of the Lord

Parents are commanded to raise their children in the admonition of the Lord which literally means in the education of the Lord. Christian parents are commanded to impress upon their children’s souls the things of the Lord so that they will embody a Christian worldview.

Classical Education Trains the Mind

At the Geneva School, students progress through the stages of the Trivium in a purposeful manner. Our students begin preparing for Logic School in kindergarten. The way we teach our students to spell and read develops the critical thinking region of the brain. Our students study of Latin beginning in third grade further develops this region. Our emphasis on mathematics forms the brain in a manner similar to Latin and will serve the students well as it develops their ability to analyze and reason well. Our rigorous integrated curriculum teaches our students that the subjects they are studying are part of an integrated whole. The Trivium is a critical template that can be used to learn any subject at any time creating lifelong learners.

In the grammar stage, students memorize a large amount of elementary knowledge such as historical facts, names, dates, vocabulary, spelling, geography, scientific data, mathematical tables, etc. through chants, songs, and recitations. This teaches them how to integrate new information. The grammar stage student attains mastery of the fundamentals and most importantly the student masters the tools and methods of learning in an orderly manner.

Classical educators and students do not see subjects as self-contained, isolated units. They see knowledge as part of an integrated whole. Knowledge is more like a web than a chest of drawers; subjects are taught in relationship to one another.

Higher test scores are a by-product of a classical Christian education but not the end goal. Classical education trains students with the tools of learning opening up endless possibilities for each student. Classical Christian education trains students to think and communicate with a mind of wisdom concerning itself not just with the knowledge gained but with the transformation of student’s soul.

The Lost Tools of Learning

Classical Christian education has produced some of the greatest scholars of Western Civilization. Classical education’s Trivium and later Quadrivium was the educational method used hundreds of years before the birth of Christ. As the church became more influential after Constantine, it adopted the Trivium as a basic method of education, and it was used widely until the early twentieth century here is Americal. Unfortunately, with the rise of educational reforms of the 19th century, the Trivium was set aside.

The Geneva School is classical in its approach is foundationally based on the Trivium. Subjects studied include Math, History, Language Arts, Latin, Geography, Literature, Theology, Music, Art, and Science. Teachers utilize age-appropriate techniques according to each stage of development.

  • Pre-Grammar Stage: Kindergarten-Second Grade, students focus on learning to read, concentrating on flawless decoding and fluency, and becoming numerate. Students in this stage will grow in poetic knowledge of true, beautiful, and good things, i.e. books, the discovery of animals, and plant life, music and the Bible.
  • The Grammar Stage: Second through Sixth Grade, students become familiar with the grammar of classical Latin and other subjects. They grow in their proficiency in mathematics. During this stage of their education, students become conversant in the basic rules of the things they continue to study at deeper levels in the logic stage.
  • The Logic Stage: Seventh and Eighth Grade, the facts and basic rules learned in the grammar stage are used to challenge students to make associations and connections between and among the subjects they study.The introduction of intellectual strategy, logic, algebra, and geometry deepen their ability to think and become comfortable with an abstract thought process.