The after-school program is the heart of Classical Connections and where the biggest gap can be filled. In this portion of CC, teachers will focus on the fundamental differences between classical education and traditional education, including reading comprehension, writing, grammar, nature study, and recitation. Each subject area will not be addressed each week, but will be covered over the course of the semester. We will study the different subject areas together and spend the majority of the time together honing skills that need special instruction. Classical Connections will provide small amounts of extra work that can be completed at home for special study and that can be turned in for CC Points to be redeemed at the end of each semester. Reading Comprehension will be studied by reading high quality and high level material for the students’ ages. We will read together and then the students will begin to learn critical reading skills necessary for later analytical thinking. Writing will be addressed by having the students imitate great works and forms of writing. At a young age, imitating great writing is the best form of practice to later develop the student’s own writing skills. Grammar study will first address learning parts of sentences and the English language and then will later develop into both deconstructing and constructing sentences. Younger children will learn chants and songs that help them memorize the necessary parts before they move on to the more developed nuances of grammar. Nature Study is a special aspect of many classical schools that follows the Charlotte Mason method of study for young children. Studying nature helps children to develop a wide range of important skills including: observation, critical thinking and questioning, and appreciation and wonder. Recitation is one of the unique aspects of classical education as it serves for the foundation by which they move on to more analytical methods of study. It is practiced in multiple areas of study, but is also given special attention on its own. Young children are capable of memorizing remarkably long passages of Scripture, poetry, and prose. Classical Connections will spend some time over the course of a semester working with the students on memorizing the selected passage, but this is an area that will require some work and practice at home, as well. We will have an end-of-the-semester program where the students are able to demonstrate what they have learned and share their recitation piece.
Students will choose one hour a week to participate in the after-school program. The four options are Tuesdays: 3:15-4:15 (2nd Grade), 4:30-5:30 (4th Grade); Wednesdays: 3:15-4:15 (1st Grade), 4:30-5:30 (3rd Grade and 1st Grade). Class size will range from 7-9 students. The 2017-2018 year will serve students in grades 1, 2, 3, and 4 and subsequent years will grow with this age group. Classes begin after Labor Day and follow generally the RISD calendar.
Cost & Registration
The after-school classes are $375 per semester. In order to register for a class, CC must receive a registration form and non-refundable deposit of $50. Spots are limited and subject to availability.
The Reading Program is an extra added incentive program for those participating in Classical Connections. Students receive the CC Reading List, which includes good, thoughtful books appropriate for each grade level and have access to CC’s growing library. Students who read 15 books off of the CC Reading List will receive a community prize (gift certificate) at the end of the semester. In order to receive credit for each book, students must fill out a (very short) form and have a parent sign the form. This program is free for those in the after-school program, though those not enrolled can join for $20 a semester. The Reading Program is open to grades K-5.