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1. What do you mean by a Christian education? The acknowledgment and acceptance of God and His truth as revealed in the biblical revelation, to be the critical reality around which all truth, beauty and goodness may be organized and understood.
2. What do you mean by classical or trivium-based education? Next to Scripture, the trivium is at the core of a classical education. Simply put, thetrivium refers to the three ways of learning. These are the stages of a child’s education that encompass grades K-12. The stages correspond to a child’s development and also build upon one another. At each stage, tools of learning are introduced with the goal of mastering each tool. The trivium was introduced by the Greeks, adopted by the Romans, and formalized by Christendom in the Middle Ages. It was the Church during the Middle Ages that coined the term trivium to refer to these stages of education. It is in this sense that the Church can be said to have plundered the Egyptians again. The classical approach was the most prominent for over one thousand years. It is only in the last fifty to one hundred years that the current progressive model of education has become prominent. Our grandparents likely received an education that still contained some elements of the classical approach. Thus, We are going ad fontes - back to the fountain to reclaim our Western heritage of a classical education. The first stage which encompasses grades K-6 is referred to as the grammar stage. During this stage the grammar or foundation of each subject or discipline is mastered. The tool introduced is memorization. The grammar stage parallels the biblical descriptions of knowledge. This stage utilizes a child’s natural inclination for rote memory, chanting, singing, and repetition. How many times have we marveled at our children’s ability to ask the same question in staccato manner or to repeat the same game long beyond our own fatiguing point? The second stage is formally called the dialectic or logic stage. The primary tools introduced during this stage are informal and formal logic. This stage corresponds to grades 7-9. The biblical conception of understanding best describes this stage. St. Paul admonishes us to be mature in our understanding (1 Cor. 14:20). Therefore, the objective in this stage is for students to grow to maturity in their understanding of each discipline and the interrelation between disciplines. The inquisitive nature of children continues to evolve during this time. Combining their curiosity with the internalization of knowledge gained from the grammar stage, students develop a natural inclination toward argumentation. This tendency requires guidance and discipline to harness its positive aspects. The study of logic and the biblical injunction toward humility provide this direction. The study of logic introduces students to the common fallacies put forth in arguments and furnishes the analytical skills necessary for the development of their own arguments and the defense of the faith (1 Peter 3:15). The final stage of the trivium is the rhetoric stage in which tools of persuasion in speech and writing are fully developed. As the knowledge of the grammar stage became internalized during the dialectic, the literature-rich composition of a classical education becomes internalized after much imitation of the great speeches and writing of Western Civilization. Dorothy Sayers rightly referred to this as the poetic stage. Students’ appreciation of beauty comes into more full fruition during this time. The biblical teaching on wisdom is paramount in this stage as students continue to seek to cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). This stage culminates the trivium-based education in which, we believe, God has granted our students ears to hear, hearts and minds to understand, and wisdom to do His will. The other aspect to a classical education is to teach children their Western heritage through reading the great works of the West. These books provide the classical content. Such books are necessary to appreciate the arguments that have formed the way we think. This is so that our children can adequately provide the Christian antithesis to the humanistic arguments of our heritage that are still being advocated by our godless culture today. There are approximately 200 schools in the US that subscribe to this definition of classical Christian education as members of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools.
3. What is a condensed day schedule? First through fifth grade students will attend Dominion five days per week for six hours per day. This is approximately 70% of a typical school day. By greater efficiency at school and greater involvement at home by parents, we strive to keep the family the “center of gravity” for our children. The single most influential factor in a child’s educational performance is an involved parent. It is also the primary factor in the child’s emotional, social, and spiritual development. Dominion desires parents who have the desire for a college preparatory education for their children and who are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to be beacons in every aspect of their children’s lives. Dominion gives families time, opportunity, and tools not only to inform their children’s minds, but also to form their hearts and lives. To fulfill Georgia educational requirements, grades Six through Twelve attend classes seven hours a day, five days a week.
4. What curriculum is used? Dominion offers its students a robust curriculum that integrates the study of literature and the arts with the study of history and geography. Students will obtain a grasp of the present and a perspective of the future through rigorous study of the past. See our Scope and Sequence for a current snapshot of our curriculum. Our Literature Lists (K-6) are available here. They will be warned of evil and error and challenged to live virtuously and nobly through the example of those who have gone before. Students will be challenged to ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it (Jer. 6:16). They will learn to think critically and biblically by evaluating the writings of outstanding thinkers of the past and present. They will be encouraged to express themselves creatively in written and artistic media through exposure to great literature and art. They will learn that creative stirrings are rooted in the fact we are created in the image of God. A mathematics and science program is offered that enables them to participate knowledgeably in the scientific and technological discussions of the modern world. From the early grades, the mathematics curriculum makes use of a hands-on approach which enables the students to acquire a solid understanding of the world in which they live through a direct encounter with the wonders and laws of God’s creation. Students will rightly learn that modern science was born out of a Christian worldview. As the world was created by a reasonable God, we can discover something true about nature and the universe based on reason. Dominion offers a physical education program that involves students in a variety of physical activities and sports designed to develop their physical fitness, athletic skills, and character.
5. How much is tuition? Because of the unique condensed day schedule, Dominion is substantially more cost effective than the typical private classical Christian school. However, our desire to hire excellent teachers for our students will be taken into consideration when determining tuition. Annual tuition will be ~70% of the average private Christian school tuition in Gwinnett County. Please visit our tuition page.
7. When did the school open and what grades are taught? What are the school hours? Dominion opened in the Fall of 2006. Classes for K4-10th grade will be available for the 2014-15 school year. We desire to add a grade each year until the Academy is K4-12. There are informational meetings for interested families held on a regular basis. Logic and Rhetoric (6th-12th grade) students begin class at 8am while Grammar School (K4-5th grade) students begin class at 9am. All students are dismissed at 3pm.
8. Will the school be accredited? Dominion Classical Christian Academy is a member school of the Association of Classical and Christian Schools (ACCS) and is provisionally accredited by the Georgia Association of Christian Schools. We are in year 1 of a 3 year process. Our students may transfer school credits, are recognized by the Georgia Board of Regents and are eligible for the HOPE scholarship.
9. Why are students required to take Latin? The study of Latin is an integral part of a classical education. From antiquity through the nineteenth century, Western educators understood its power to sharpen one’s grasp of language and to teach clear thinking and speaking. Today, moreover, Latin is of inestimable value in conveying an appreciation for Western culture and history. In sum, Latin contributes beautifully to accomplishing all of the goals of the trivium. The study of Latin greatly enhances the young child’s grasp of the English language. Since most English words are derived from Latin, an understanding of these roots increases the range and depth of a student’s vocabulary. Mastering the subtleties and nuances of Latin grammar also aids in the comprehension of complex English sentences. Latin study, therefore, contributes enormously to the grammar stage of classical education. Latin is a complex but very systematic language. Reading it requires more than just memorization. It entails the comparison and analysis of subtle forms and differences. It involves the practical application of rules and principles. We see, therefore, that it teaches logical thinking. The study of Latin also involves the study of Latin authors. Experiencing these authors means encountering the greatest writers and thinkers of two thousand years of Western culture. In teaching Latin, we are exposing our students to the best of the rhetorical tradition. What better way to learn the art of skillful communication than from the masters of our own intellectual history? Finally, we note that Latin is the linguistic soul of our culture. Most of the languages of Western Europe evolved, to some extent, from Latin. Over fifty percent of our own English vocabulary is derived from Latin and students studying Latin typically increase their English vocabulary by 500-1,000 words.
10. Is the Academy governed by a church? No, Dominion Classical Christian Academy is governed by a board of trustees and is not affiliated with Ivy Creek or any other church. Please see our Statement of Faith.
11. Is Dominion Classical Christian Academy a non-profit organization? Yes, Dominion is incorporated as a non-profit organization in the state of Georgia and is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization with the IRS.
12. What is the significance of the name Dominion? The name Dominion signifies the dominion mandate God gave to man through Adam, Noah and Christ. Man’s cultural mandate is to rule, fill and transform the earth. This call was given before the fall of man to Adam (Gen 1:28). We are to take dominion over all the earth and transform it through work with our hands and minds.
13. Who founded Dominion Classical Christian Academy? Dominion Classical Christian Academy is the vision of a small group of families that desire to fulfill the biblical mandate to raise and educate their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord that they may live a life of glory to God. The vision of Dominion can only be accomplished through the grace of God and other Christian families joining this call.
14. What is Dominion’s non-discrimination policy? Dominion Classical Christian Academy admits students of any race, color, national, or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to the students at the school.