The Trivium

Classical education depends on a three-part process of training the mind. This process is called the Trivium, which means "three roads."

  • Grammar Stage: Mastery of Knowledge (grades K-5)

    During the Grammar stage, children are naturally and uniquely adapted to memorize facts, and they sing songs and recite chants to learn information. They enjoy acquiring and amassing the facts of particular disciplines. Mastering the facts gives students the foundation for further understanding. Latin instruction begins at Grade 3.

  • Dialectic (Logic) Stage: Capacity to Reason (grades 6-8)

    Students naturally begin to question and argue, and during this time they develop formal reasoning abilities. They engage in lively debate and in evaluating the facts acquired in the Grammar stage. Students are instructed in formal logic, logical fallacies, and reasoning skills, learning the science of accurate thinking.

  • Rhetoric Stage: Flourishing of Expression (grades 9-12)

    At this stage, students are naturally self-aware and desire to express ideas critically. In this stage, students learn to write and speak well and to relate to their audience with clarity and persuasion. This stage is the culmination of the learning process, bringing knowledge and understanding together to be expressed in wise, persuasive form.