TRCA aspires to provide an academic culture of joyful excellence — academic rigor combined with fun, engaging experiences. The curriculum of Two Rivers Classical Academy provides a framework and plan for both classroom and home instruction. Teachers and parents will provide the skills, enthusiasm, and human presence that complete the curriculum.
If we compare a school to a living organism, the formal curriculum is its skeleton. Curriculum provides both form and the capacity for function. The success of a school’s purpose statement is ultimately embodied in the classroom activities and the long-term effect that those activities have on the students’ minds and characters and on the shape of their lives. A firm, well-articulated curriculum can allow for a multitude of activities and perspectives within the school while still moving everyone within the community toward common goals. – Wisdom and Eloquence: A Christian Paradigm for Classical Learning, by Robert Littlejohn & Charles T. Evans
Classical education strives for mastery of learning skills rather than a standardized list of data. In the grammar (i.e., elementary) stages of learning, classical education aims for mastery of language and math skills. In the logic (i.e., middle school) stages, the emphasis shifts toward understanding the logical systems of language and mathematics. Practically speaking, TRCA’s goal is to prepare students to begin Algebra I, Formal Logic, and Classical Literature in the 8th Grade.
These emphases not only equip students with life-long learning skills, they prepare students for advanced mathematics and sciences, rhetorical skills of composition and speech, and a classical liberal arts perspective on the history and literature of Western Civilization. As TRCA develops its full PK-12 program, its goal is for graduating seniors to be thoroughly prepared for lives of learning and service, and either vocational training or college.
TRCA’s plan of instruction is designed around annual themes, which will be followed to some extent by every class/stage of the academy. For the 2019-2020 academic year, history, language arts, and literature will revolve around the Middle Ages; science materials will revolve around physics.
Academy-wide annual themes require additional work during the planning and design of curriculum. However, the benefits far outweigh the costs of that extra effort, particularly for collaborative schools like TRCA. During classroom days at the academy, all students can share in community learning activities regardless of their age levels. At home, parents know the themes that all of their children are studying, making it easier for parents to engage more meaningfully in instruction, learning activities, and family discussions.
Christian education is more than a cultural label, and it views education as more than a process of imparting facts. Christian education is the formation of the whole person into a disciple of Jesus Christ who loves and pursues truth, beauty, and goodness in the world.
TRCA will employ a daily recitation of Scripture, catechism, and hymns through engaging teaching methods, community learning activities, and integration within the full academy curriculum. While TRCA will intentionally leave some doctrinal issues to be answered by parents and churches, the academy will teach (and aspire to demonstrate) the core Christian doctrines contained in its Statement of Beliefs.
Priorities in Text/Resource Selection
- The texts support a Christian view of God, oneself, and creation; where alternative worldviews are espoused, content can easily be adjusted or discussed by teachers and parents.
- The texts support a classical model of education.
- The texts allow for collaboration between school and home.
- The texts allow for differentiation among students within the classroom setting.
- The texts/publishers have a proven track-record.
- The students’ materials are age-appropriate and appealing, with an eye to rigor and excellence.
- The teachers’ resources are both user-friendly and robust.
- Resources are cost-efficient for the academy and families.
- Texts are agreed upon by a board-appointed team of educators and parents, and then approved by the Board of Directors.
2019-2020 Plan of Instruction
The 2019-2020 Plan of Instruction provides an overview of TRCA’s curriculum for the coming year. The plan will be adapted and updated for subsequent years. A detailed book list will be provided to enrolled families.