At Heritage School, we employ a centuries-old pattern of learning known as the Trivium (Latin for “three ways”). This approach teaches in accord with the student’s natural stages of development: first, acquiring the basic factual data in a given subject (Grammar stage, grades K-5); thinking deeply and reasoning carefully to discern the inter-relationship of the facts within a discipline and among different disciplines (Logic/Dialectic stage, grades 6-8), and then synthesizing what is gleaned in the first two stages to formulate, articulate, and defend one’s own positions in speech and writing (Rhetoric stage, grades 9-12). This approach embraces the Western tradition, as Andrew Kern observes: "to receive it, to assess it, to preserve it, and to hand it on to the next generation" whom we believe to be image-bearers of God. We teach using an integrated curriculum through the reading of great, classical literature,art and music. We employ extensive discussion, investigation, and questioning.
Influenced by the English educator, Charlotte Mason, Grammar school teachers also employ narration (the students’ retelling of a narrative passage in the author’s own words with the goal of establishing the habit of “attending” well and articulating accurately). In the Grammar school years, students engage in nature study, picture study, dictation.
Thus, students are not merely taught “subjects” but are equipped with the tools of learning and the art of thinking and discernment. The challenging academic program at our school draws from the rich heritage of the Western liberal arts tradition. At the upper levels, reading literature of high quality, Socratic discussion, composition in every subject, and rhetorical skills are strongly emphasized. The study of foreign languages, both classical (Latin) and modern (Spanish), provides discipline, awareness of the grammar and derivation of English and its vocabulary, and an appreciation for other cultures. The study of Spanish further enhances our students’ ability to minister and serve in Texas and Spanish-speaking countries. We teach history using primary source documents as often as possible. A traditional approach to math and science is enhanced with hands-on exercises and experiments. Heritage School also values the fine arts as an outgrowth of man’s historical and philosophical context: through tapping his God-given creative gifts, man creates dramatic expressions of the true, the good, and the beautiful.