Academic- general questions
After all school is a school is a school, and by law and SAT's they have to cover the same content, right?
Well, one could say a church is a church is a church, but those who have experienced wildly varying congregations and denominations know that's not true.
At basic expectations, an American school is expected to engage the core subjects and a few common electives, and if that is all that is engaged, the past seventy years' experience supplies a pretty decent estimate of what to expect in the resulting education and training.
But what if learning is engaged in a different way, with a deeper examination of subjects, a different, more holistic orientation of subjects, and the inclusion of some forgotten subjects which successfully fortified American founders and statesmen?
A partial list of LPA's classical Christian curriculum distinctives is placed below for consideration.
Select Lake Pointe distinctive approaches
- Emphasis upon subject mastery, especially in foundational knowledge
- Elementary: phonics training, cursive handwriting, solid math skills, structured writing, intensive grammar study
- History focus in four year/unit cycles (Ancient, medieval, early modern, and modern)
- Literature tied to the historical period studied
- Emphasis upon reading classic literature and communicating well with structure and style
Courses which help make Lake Pointe's education distinctive are not available at most other school choices:
Secondary Classical Christian and Ministry Prep
- Latin (Elementary and Secondary)
- Missional Geography
- Formal Logic
- Intro to Philosophy and Christian Worldview
- Bible Survey of both Testaments
- Understanding Cultures (Sociology)
- Personal Finance from a Christian Perspective
- Foundational Beliefs of Christian Faith
Gifted students only? The answer might surprise you, so hang on.
We believe God gifts every student in unique ways; therefore not all students are "academically" gifted. One answer to this question is that an academically talented student is going to have an easier time in an academic setting, just as a natural athlete finds it easier to throw a ball accurately. This simply means that a student with less "natural" academic talent will have to compensate with character traits such as diligence (hard work), perseverance (sticking with it), and humility (seeking help).
Movies love to show the strong character overcomer as the hero, especially in a sports context. The true story of "Rudy" comes to mind; an undersized steelworker's son fights for his dream to play for Notre Dame. "Rocky" is another, with its blue-collar boxer who becomes champion. How about "Invincible?" It's the true story of a 30-year-old bartender from South Philadelphia who overcame long odds to play for the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles in 1976.
Good news! The structure of the University Model School is stacked in favor of the student. He or she has parent's' help as tutor and encourager. There is additional time on at-home days to pour into assignments that other students might do more quickly. Additionally, classes are small, allowing more attention from the instructor. Then also factor in instructors who care about the students and eagerly respond to a student who wants to learn and who is willing to work hard.
Parental involvement, available personal study time, and small student-to-teacher ratios all allow an average student to achieve an above-average education. What's more, with increased parent support and help to bridge the gap, even a below-average student can achieve an above-average education, although many underperforming or underprepared students wouldn't choose to work that hard.
An interesting question for students and parents to ponder is this:
Would you rather have average grades accompanying a superior education -- one that is challenging, promotes deep thinking, and offers thorough preparation for university-style learning (and life!) -- or an easier course load and higher grades for the transcript? This doesn't mean that you can't have both, but if you could only choose one, which would it be? The answer will help you decide if the challenging program at LPA is a match for you.
Each spring, grades 3-9 invest two days in taking the Stanford 10 standardized testing. Why would a classical Christian school require an assessment with neither classical nor biblical content?
Lake Pointe does not teach to the Stanford test. The exams don't have questions about ancient or medieval history, for example, and certainly no questions about the Gospel. So why take them? Four reasons:
1. LPA believes parents should have an outside assessment of their student's core knowledge -- his or her strengths and weaknesses compared to other students. The Stanford compares a student to others from a variety of schools around the nation.
2. The scores provide useful core knowledge feedback to school and teachers, plus the information is vital to support the curriculum in accreditation reviews.
3. In our modern education-driven and data-craving society, timed, standardized, and multiple choice-style testing is a fact of life. The practice helps LPA students to be prepared for the PSAT in the 10th grade and the SAT/ACT tests in the 11th and 12th grades.
4. If a student transfers to another school, the third-party, nationally understood Stanford scores provide helpful placement information and evidence of core knowledge.
While we reject some of the problems we see in schools now, we cling to the idea that our own similar education was "good enough."
When parents consider involving their children in classical Christian education, a common question often rises in his or her mind:
It's a legitimate question, but first the term "OK" must be defined. OK by which standard? Here are some standards often offered.
I have a really good job.
Is this the standard for an excellent education?
Question: would a deeper education be more or less valuable to one's career and appreciation of the surrounding world?
I got a pretty high score on the SAT.
Is this the standard for an excellent education?
Question: Since the SAT and its peers control the content to be tested, what do standardized tests not assess? Since schools, driven to have students perform well on such tests, certainly then teach (directly) to them, what is not being taught. What difference would the "missing" content potentially have upon someone's education -- and appreciation and opportunities?
I have a master's degree (or Ph.D.)
This worthy accomplishment speaks to both intelligence and diligence.
Question: Similar to those above, wouldn't that higher degree be even more meaningful and useful with a more thorough classical Christian foundation underneath it?