School of Grammar: Levels Prima - 4G
During the Grammar phase, children are particularly adept at memorization. Young children learn songs, rhymes, and recite facts with relative ease. Because young children are so eager to memorize, we challenge them by providing substantial subject matter for them to memorize. At Parnassus students will memorize facts of History and Geography, rules of phonics and spelling, facts of Science and Math. In Spanish and Latin, teachers emphasize vocabulary, verb endings and verb tenses. Throughout each year in Grammar School, classically educated children learn the factual foundation of each subject that will serve as pegs for more complex learning in Logic and Rhetoric Schools. Parnassus use songs, chants, and rhymes to help the students learn while enjoying the learning experience.
Great emphasis will be placed on reading, writing, grammar, and math in the Grammar Stage and throughout the curriculum. The founders believe that a child that has difficulty reading and writing early on will struggle in every subject later.
A classical education requires more than "specific" or "classical" content. The methods used to deliver the rich content to the students are as important as the content itself that is being taught. Parnassus will implement instructional methods that have proven to be the most effective in the implementation of the classical model of education evident at the best private and public classical schools in the nation.
The kind of instructional methods utilized by teachers will depend on the Trivium stage that is being taught. Because the goal of the Grammar Stage (Prima - Fourth Level Grammar/4G) is to lay a solid knowledge foundation, instructional methods used in this stage of the Trivium are those that most effectively accomplish that goal. In the Grammar School at Parnassus these methods include:
- Lecture/direct instruction/dictation: teacher presents information; students listen
- Modeling/demonstration: teacher illustrates how something is done
- Principle based question and answer: teacher asks question, students supply answer immediately
- Read aloud: teacher reads from text
- Singing/chanting: students learn a song or chant that tells about information they are to know
- Drilling small bits of information: memorization technique that helps students learn large quantities of information
- Flashcards: reviewing small bits of information on cards – usually math or vocabulary
- Sound-offs: group memorization of data by dividing up facts
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