Is TCS right for you?

Welcome to Tallahassee Classical School

Tallahassee Classical School will develop graduates who are critical thinkers, coherent writers, confident scholars, thoughtful leaders, and responsible, compassionate, and virtuous citizens. TLH Classical provides an engaging learning environment where all scholars enjoy learning and develop life-long learning skills. As they develop their intellects and moral habits they will internalize truth, beauty, and goodness.

Independent thinkers: If a student were asked to read Plato, Virgil, Augustine, Aquinas or Locke because there will be a test on their content, the student would likely find them uninteresting. Our scholars read with a purpose. Like a treasure hunt, they are looking for the connections and development of ideas that span all great literature. When reason and belief are integrated, students are unlikely to be persuaded by college dogma.

If you are ‘coherent’ in the way you write it means everything in your writing is logically laid out and connected. TLH Classical scholars will express themselves clearly and continuously through their writing and essays.

Simply put, those who communicate well have a tremendous advantage in life. Many skills and talents lie undeveloped and ideas untried because an individual cannot express their ideas clearly and persuasively. The ancient Greeks realized this and thus began the study of rhetoric. Our scholars study logic and as the school grows they will more fully engage in debates, defend their ideas intelligently, and will practice the art of expression through Rhetoric School – both orally and in writing.

We also strive to develop thoughtful leaders. The term “thoughtful leaders” can be interpreted to be those that think deeply or as those that are considerate of the needs of others. Both of these character traits will be pursued and developed by the classical scholar.

Aristotle identifies ethical virtue as “a habit, disposed toward action by deliberate choice, being at the mean relative to us, and defined by reason as a prudent man would define it.” According to Aristotle, “virtues arise in us neither by nature nor contrary to nature; but by our nature can we receive them and perfect them by habituation.” TLH Classical upholds ethical virtue.

5 Questions to ask yourself

TCS upholds high academic standards for all scholars regardless of their background, socioeconomic status, or ability. The curriculum is rigorous, content-rich, following the classical liberal arts, traditional education model, with provisions to challenge all scholars to fulfill and expand their individual academic potential. TCS has a language-focused program where learning is accomplished through written and spoken words versus images such as videos and television. In a language-focused learning setting, the mind needs to work harder and ‘decode’ a symbol (words) into concepts. Images, on the other hand, allow the mind to be passive and enjoy the translation from words into concepts already completed. TCS scholars begin studying Latin in Grade 6.

Technology is used minimally to enhance learning when appropriate but not as a foundation to gain wisdom. In an age of increasing technological specialization, it is even more important to provide a strong base of common knowledge as well as the tools of learning so scholars will have the capacity to think across these divisions. In a world with technology and a plethora of information at scholars’ fingertips, scholars must still possess a strong body of knowledge, based on teacher-led instruction. That, in combination with learning to read widely, will give students the tools they need to be lifelong scholars. We tend to assume that technology has not altered human nature in any fundamental way: children, however, learn mostly from teachers, who do at times use some technological tools to help them teach. That is not to say that our scholars will not have access to computers from time to time in the upper levels. How would this program reconcile with your academic goals for your child? How would your family adapt to the school’s program?

TCS was developed with high-academic standards from its inception as the foundation of the school. The community recognizes TCS for the academic standards it upholds. This comes with a discipline of work that most likely requires more of scholars and parents alike. Parents are often called upon to be actively involved with their young children as they do homework, track reading minutes, practice their Latin, or memorize the rules of grammar. Parents will find that by the 4th or 5th grade, math, history, foreign languages, and other subjects may exceed their ability to help. However, parents still remain actively involved to ensure they are diligently working to prevent frustration from poor study habits and to foster a learning environment at home.

Some families may find it difficult to trade some recreational or entertainment time to focus on academics, and for that reason, we ask parents to give that serious consideration before sending their children to TCS. For those who wonder why we have higher expectations: the school’s expectations rise to the level of two or three generations ago, and the standards in most other developed countries today. Children at TCS enjoy the challenge and are curious learners. What expectations characterize your family? If you are serious about finding an educational partner in preparing your child for life, we would invite you to visit and see what’s possible.

Some families want a mainstream education like they had growing up. If you were satisfied with your education (assuming you were educated in a mainstream public or private school) and don’t see any reason to want more, then you probably won’t find our form of education appealing. From our uniforms to our study of the great books to our emphasis on reading and writing, we are different than most schools.

Often, the people who most identify with classical education are those who researched or experienced the program themselves or through a relative. Because classical education takes time to appreciate, those with a background in traditional Western education more quickly identify with the advantages gained in what has been called a “Western liberal arts” education.

If you are attracted to education that reaches beyond training to enrich the minds of students as they learn to truly enjoy learning and become educated beings vs. skilled trained individuals, then you should consider TCS.

Because all of us have had educational experiences and most have attended school, we have been immersed in various philosophies whether we have been aware of them or not. Jeanne S. Chall (Professor Emeritus at Harvard University, Graduate School of Education), notes the importance of understanding philosophical approaches in education, for philosophy dictates choices from textbook selection to approaches to student discipline.

Educators and parents since the end of the 19th century have aligned themselves with one or the other of two fundamental positions: “Intellectualist”, which defines the primary goal of education as the mastery of core academic subjects by everyone, and “Anti- Intellectualist”, which defines the primary goal of education as “meeting the needs of individual students, which may or may not include a primary emphasis on academic learning.” These positions have also been termed “Knowledge-Centered” (Intellectualist) and “Student-Centered” (Anti-Intellectualist). TCS is a Knowledge-Centered school. Students sit in desks facing the instructor, including kindergartners, and the teacher is responsible and accountable to follow TCS established curriculum and pedagogy versus allowing students to direct learning based on their interest.

If this philosophy resonates with your family, you will witness firsthand the qualities and benefits of an intellectual based program.

The most consistent success factor for children at TCS is the learning environment at home. Families who read and love to learn send children to our school because they want the world of language, books, history, science, and math to be an integrated whole. They want their children to use their love of knowledge to explore and seek truth. Families that rarely visit a library or bookstore, or watch more than one T.V. show a day, probably will not find our value compelling. Having said this, families have been discovering the world of literature and information through their children’s experience at our school.

If you would like to develop a love of books, knowledge, and learning in your home, and even have your vacation plans changing to include educational trips, TCS can provide a great start.

(Adapted from St. Johns Classical Academy.)

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