Cornerstone currently offers classes for children from Kindergarten through Grade Eight. We have both full and half day kindergarten programs available. We also offer preschool for children ages three and four. Information about our preschool programs can be found at these links: Preschool Three and Preschool Four.
Classical education at Cornerstone is built upon two foundational premises: Children are made in the image of God. Education is very valuable. Since children are bearers of God’s image, they are capable of excellence. Second to the Gospel, education and its resulting benefits are one of the greatest blessings that can be shared. In our society, education is almost essential for those who would have a positive effect on their community.
Cornerstone exists to provide an academically challenging education so that through our students, with education, we bring God glory in the world.
The Classical Approach: Pedagogy
Tradition means giving a vote to most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about. All democrats object to men being disqualified by the accident of birth; tradition objects to their being disqualified by the accident of death. Democracy tells us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our groom; tradition asks us not to neglect a good man’s opinion, even if he is our father.
From Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
We avoid what alienates parents from their children and take the opportunity of education to connect students to their Savior and their families, churches, and country.
The most important lessons we teach our children are the ones that are never written in lesson plans. The way a teacher organizes her classroom, structures her instruction, handles time, and what she chooses to support her teaching, all these things teach the student his inherent value and the value of that which is being taught.
Each of the academic disciplines are eminently worthy of devoted study. Children should be treated with dignity. Though they have limitations in attention span, experience, and reasoning ability, they are capable of excellence. They are worthy of the best we have to offer. We are obligated to put the best before them in the classroom, the school, and the home. In turn, we expect the best from our students, for each deed, word, or work should be an honest expression of their abilities when they properly steward God's gifts.
The Trivium: A Matter of Emphasis
"Trivium" means "three ways" and in classical education it is a pedagogical method which follows the natural development of the child. Traditionally, these three ways are known as: Grammar, Logic or Dialectic, and Rhetoric.
In Lower School, memorization and facts are emphasized. These form the grammar of the academic disciplines. While human beings naturally reason, reasoning itself is impossible without facts. Young children are experts at memorization and they have a remarkable affinity for facts. The Trivium capitalizes on this natural proclivity by placing facts before our youngest students. The practice of memorization, categorization, and repetion forms the mind for continued learning by establishing a structure whereupon new facts both memorized and reasoned to can be built.
In the Middle School, reasoning is emphasized. Teenagers have a natural interest in argument and dialectic thinking. Cornerstone builds upon the facts laid down in Lower School by teaching and providing opportunities in class discussion and writing for students to reason--to argue. Students receive formal instruction in logic in Grade Seven.
As students transition to Upper School, they master the beautiful and persuasive presentation of their reasoning. Cornerstone does not currently offer Upper School classes. These classes will be added as we grow.
Curriculum: The Best for Our Children for the Sake of The Gospel
We choose the best works and resources for our children, for the environment in our classrooms and homes, the stories we tell, and the lives we live tend the souls of our children and form their tastes. As we raise our children to seek after what is good, true, and beautiful, we must put what is good, true, and beautiful before them in our classrooms and homes. This value is reflected in our reading material and our art classroom for example. In art, students learn about the classics. Only well-written books which encourage the contemplation of goodness, truth, and beauty are included in the curriculum.