The Principle Approach® is a Delicious Classical Education!
In the beginning years of my journey to grasp the Principle Approach® method of teaching and learning, the description given to me was with the use a school bus analogy. Well, I can’t relate to that very well… we don’t do school buses here, dontchya know. However, I can liken it much better to a cake. Specifically, a chocolate cake. So, for better or for worse we will be discussing chocolate cake in this post. Ha! After all, The Principle Approach® is a Delicious Classical Education. And chocolate cake is delicious. They’re a perfect analogy match.
To begin with, whether you use a pre-boxed curriculum or you are baking your curriculum from scratch, the Principle Approach® can be applied.
That said, you’re about to enjoy the most delicious classical education. Indeed, you’re going to gather all of the necessary ingredients, prepare your cake, sit down with your children and enjoy eating of it together. Let me show you how!
- A teachable spirit
- A love for the Lord
- Living books, text books, the world around you
- An Idea/Philosophy to pull from these books to test against Scripture.
- The Bible
- Webster’s 1828 Dictionary
- The Blue Letter Bible
Recommended but Optional:
The Noah Plan® Curriculum Guides, The Noah Plan® Curriculum K-3rd, The Noah Plan® Curriculum Overviews for 4th-12th, The Red Books (These can all be found at this store here.)
The First Layer:
Both of these are overarching- they are not confined by grades. These are the foundation of your lesson- that’s why they are the first layer of your cake (the cake represents your lessons).
Your Leading Idea is your theme and the Bible Principle supports your theme. The Bible Principle is either a verse of your choosing (in context of course) or one of the 7 Bible Principles which The Foundation For American Christian Education focuses on each school year.
You can teach the same Bible Principle for the same topic in your lesson to children of various ages.
The Second Layer:
Your second layer is the content which correlates with your Leading Idea and Bible Principle. This can be pulled from living books (literature) you will be reading, a film you watch, the world around you, history, your Noah Plan® lessons/overviews, lessons you make from scratch, or a boxed curriculum of your choice.
The Third Layer:
Your last layer is the 4R Method. This is where it gets rich. You see, this layer is full of nutrients for your noggin (hey, it’s a health-nut cake, okay?).
You’ve got ideas, actions, attitudes, philosophies, etc. to research. So you dig in and research words in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Define those words and their key words. This gives you correct understanding of definitions and also gives you a nice list of words to research in the Bible. As Christians, it’s important to us to know and understand what the Word of God teaches us.
Then you’re going to reason from Scripture with your children. Next, you are going to relate. Lastly, you will record what you learn. This may be done by journaling, creating a video, memorization, etc. It’s up to you!
But wait, Heather!!!
That’s an awfully large cake ya got there! Not everyone has tummies that can hold all of that food!
Portion Out Slices of the Cake:
It’s okay. You, the baker, get to decide what size of a slice to portion out per student. As you go through the lesson planning process, you choose how big of a slice each of your children can eat. Little slices for littler tummies to digest. Medium sizes for those medium sized tummies to digest. Large slices for the larger tummies to digest. You’ll get it juuuuuuust right for them. (Hey, how did Goldie Locks and the Three Bears sneak into this?)
In other words, as you go along teaching the content, you pause where you see fit for your younger ones. They have the information you want them to know/they need to know. This is their little slice of cake for their littler tummies. They can begin working on their notebook pages (illustrating, jotting down notes, crafting the lesson, etc.). While they are busy “eating their slice of cake, ” they will still hear you go on with the lesson on a deeper level with your next oldest children. And so you continue until you are finished delivering the lesson to your oldest child.
So, now I need feedback from you all. Does this help you to understand how to teach multiple ages/abilities with the Principle Approach® at one time? It’s a time saver! If I can clarify anything, please let me know and I’ll do my best!