Classical education a lifetime investment

(Riverton, WY) – Why spend the money for a classical education when K-12 public education is free? That’s a question answered easily by Chris Jones of Riverton who with his wife Francesca decided to send all three of their children to Trinity Lutheran School in Riverton.

“For my wife and I, it was how we grew up, especially Francesca, she went to a private classical school in North Carolina, then a Catholic high school in Beloit, Kansas,” Jones said.  “We made the determination that we wanted to have a Christian element for our children and Trinity provided that in a classical setting.”

Chris Jones, Chief Meteorologist at National Weather Service in Riverton sent all three of his children to Trinity Lutheran School for the benefits of a classical education {h/t Randy Tucker}

The benefits may not seem clear to an outsider who doesn’t have a grasp of the difference a classical curriculum can offer a student, but once a student is enrolled, an involved parent will notice it easily.

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“The biggest benefit was the fact that students who were ahead or slightly behind were able to participate where they needed to be,” Jones said. “It provided an opportunity for our kids to grow in areas they were passionate about.”

That passion for the Jones’ oldest son Brett, came in mathematics. Brett was able to take accelerated coursework in math during his middle school years at Trinity, graduating from 8th grade where he completed Algebra II. Brett is one of the 2022 valedictorians at Riverton High School and took advanced classes at Central Wyoming College after his freshman year.

Sometimes the attributes of a classical education arise late. Grammar is a key component of Trinity Lutheran’s classical curriculum, and the benefits for the older Jones children Brett and Aidan have emerged in both high school and CWC classes.

“The development of writing skills, proper grammar and spelling are emphasized in a way you don’t often see in a public school,” Jones said.  “When it comes to writing papers and essays for college, I can see where classical education has been very beneficial to our children.”

Memorization was once a part of traditional education but has largely disappeared from the K-12 curriculum. A Trinity memorization is a vital part of a child’s academic progress beginning in kindergarten.

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“The other piece of classical education that we found fantastic was the ability to memorize and retain knowledge, “Jones said. “In high school, we’ve had teachers remark on how our children could memorize facts and lists. They were able to memorize and recall that information.”

Many parents don’t realize the positive effects learning proper grammar and being able to memorize and recall information can have on their children, but it is a focus at Trinity Lutheran School.

“Grammar and memorization are applicable in life, in college, and applicable professionally,” Jones said. “Communication and learning new things in a job are tremendous skills. It has helped our children in the next step in life beyond high school.”

Another valuable academic discipline taught through 8th grade at Trinity Lutheran is Latin. You’ve probably heard Latin regarded as a “dead language” but what you may not have heard is how it prepares a student to learn a foreign language, helps in understanding scientific terminology, and aids in writing and speech.

“Where Latin has truly made a difference for our children is in learning a foreign language,” Jones said.  “Latin helps with the roots of words and vocabulary.”

A complete K-8 eduction including grammar, Latin, cursive writing, and math is available at Trinity Lutheran School {h/t Randy Tucker}

The benefits of all the varied offerings of classical education, set in an organized sequential grade level curriculum are invaluable.

“The small class sizes, classical education, where you can develop individualized plans and they’re in a Christian environment that reinforces what we do at home and church are tremendous,” Jones said. “Trinity is the only school in the community that can offer all these things.”  

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