At Live Oak we employ a centuries-old pattern of learning known as the Trivium (Latin for “three ways”) first implemented in the Middle Ages. This method teaches in accord with the student’s natural grain in three stages – acquiring the basic factual data in a given discipline (Grammar), thinking deeply and reasoning carefully to discern the interrelationship of the facts within a discipline and between disciplines (Logic), and then synthesizing what is gained in the first two stages to formulate, articulate and defend one’s own positions in speech and writing (Rhetoric). Students are not merely taught “subjects” but the art of thinking and learning. Our academic program draws from the rich heritage of the Western liberal arts tradition. History is taught chronologically with the help of primary source documents. Students are exposed to the greatest literature of the past and present. The traditional study of math and science is enhanced with hands-on exercises. Finally, there is an emphasis on the fine arts, and the study of foreign languages both modern and classical.
Charlotte Mason Influence – Cultivation of Delight and Wonder
Live Oak’s approach has been influenced by the ideas of a nineteenth-century British educator of children, Charlotte Mason. Mason emphasized the use of “living books” and “living ideas,” the first-hand study of nature, and the importance of imagination and free play to the learning process. At Live Oak our goal is to challenge but not exasperate our students. While we will maintain rigorous academic standards for our students, we resist a learning environment hampered by excessive competition or pointless drudgery. We will foster wonder and delight in the academic process through hands-on learning, real-life experiences, field trips and special academic events that bring joy to learning. A classical education should not be rigid or dull, but full of life!