The K-5 level is what one scholar has called, the “engine of civilization.” Students must have a solid foundation in basic skills and knowledge to proceed to the advanced reading, processing, and dissemination of ideas necessary for a democracy. Therefore, the K-5 progression in a classical-liberal school looks vastly different from that of modern schools.
At Classical Prep, scholars are taught grammar, Latin, classic literature, and cursive, as well as systematically introduced to knowledge in math, science, geography, history, and the arts. The school uses curricula that rely on direct instruction methods to impart knowledge efficiently and effectively, including Saxon math, Reading Mastery, Shurley English, IEW writing curriculum, Handwriting Without Tears, Song School Latin, and Wheelock's Latin.
Liberal education at the K-5 level is rigorous but completely accessible to scholars who are willing to put in the time and effort. The return on this investment is a foundation from which a student can successfully progress to read complicated texts, converse intelligently on a wide variety of topics, and proceed with confidence into higher-level learning.
Ridgeview Classical, a successful classical charter school in Colorado in operation since 2001, explains the importance of the Grammar school in the following manner.
Classical education, liberal education, has a method of teaching developed and honed for over two thousand years in the West. Without knowing the things around us, the things that brought us here, the words and structure of language through which we express these things—animals, plants, elements, rivers, cities, Presidents, poems, nouns, verbs, adjectives—we cannot think at all.
The greatest genius of the age, in learning a foreign tongue, would still have to begin with the rudiments of the language. For a young mind to become ready for thought it must pursue a massive importation and organization of basic facts: the bricks for building the edifice. To this end, learning in the early grades, what some call the “grammar stage,” consists largely in mastering facts and strengthening the power of the mighty memory to recall these facts on demand.