Who We Are
Sola Gratia Classical Academy Inc. is a Christian classical homeschool community with a touch of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy woven throughout. Through embodied learning and less rigorous pacing, we help our students develop a relationship with what they study, while also providing an orderly and purposeful introduction to the Liberal Arts. We maintain our pursuit of excellence in the classical tradition without the traditionally rigorous pacing. We put practices in place to guide virtue formation, recognizing that virtue formation must accompany academic instruction in order to reach wisdom. Christ is at the center of all we teach. We are educating hearts and heads.
Parents are welcome to stay and work alongside their students, gaining a deeper understanding of the classical model. They are also welcome to drop off their children, and only attend community days during their required rotation weeks and celebrations. We cultivate an atmosphere of collaboration and service. Academic Mentors serve to mentor parents and students alike. Older students are encouraged to serve as mentors to younger students and given opportunities to do so throughout the year.
Benefits and Services
We provide our members with these benefits and services:
- A vibrant community committed to more restfully paced, classical learning
- A meaningful, enriching curriculum featuring the traditional, classical arts of grammar, logic, rhetoric, mathematics, science, and the great books
- Drop-off privileges with carpool
- Easy online access to your student’s entire scope and sequence for all classes
- Nature study, art, music and theater instruction as part of the core curriculum offering
- All Classical Academic Press curricula is included in tuition costs
- Two days a week of core instruction for grade 4 and up
- Learning Celebrations throughout the year to punctuate learning
- Optional community wide monthly field trips offered
- Schole’ performers during most lunches once per week for all grades
- Virtue formation through elements such as morning time, curricula choices, and monthly service project lunches
Our Guiding Principles
Pursuing Wisdom . . . through a Classical Curriculum
Classical education is a long tradition of education that has emphasized seeking truth, goodness, and beauty and the study of the liberal arts and the great books. What are the liberal arts? They are grammar, logic, rhetoric (the verbal arts of the trivium), arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy (the mathematical arts of the quadrivium). Classical education also includes the study of Latin. The study of these subjects in the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty teaches students how to learn and how to think, and how to pursue wisdom.
It is precisely this kind of education that has produced countless great leaders, inventors, scientists, writers, philosophers, theologians, physicians, lawyers, artists, and musicians over the centuries. Classical education never really disappeared, but it did diminish starting around 1900 with the advent of progressive education. In an effort to restore this most proven form of education, the liberal arts tradition has been renewed and expanded again over the last thirty years.
We endeavor to renew this classical tradition in our Scholé Group. We do so by focusing on a core curriculum of Latin, writing, logic/rhetoric, arithmetic/mathematics, science, and a study of the great books. Our students study some of these subjects together with tutors during our Campus Days and others at home in their homeschools.
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Discovering Delight—in Restful Learning
As our name implies, we value the concept of “restful learning” that is at the root of the word scholé. The word scholé (pronounced skoh-LAY) comes from a Greek word that means “restful learning,” with the connotation of “contemplation,” “conversation,” and “reflection.” Scholé is also the basis for our English word “school,” but this modern term has lost the connotation of restfulness. Progressive education often cultivates a learning experience that is frenetic, as students and teachers rush to “cover” required material. As a result, students tend to learn to cram, pass, and forget. Even within the classical tradition, it is easy to find ourselves approaching education from a state of stress, striving anxiously to recover a rich tradition and thus missing the great depth it offers.
We believe excellence in academics need not be frenetic. Instead, allowing the concept of scholé to guide our teaching practices, we pursue restful learning by modeling peace, love of the subject, and unrushed learning. It is important to note that restfulness does not mean idleness. Instead, it means that we pursue depth instead of breadth, valuing contemplation and conversation over merely “covering” a wide range of material. We seek meaningful engagement of fewer books and concepts so that learning becomes enjoyable and memorable. We dig deep into classical subjects so that our students experience refreshment as their studies come alive. Through a scholé pedagogy, our families discover delight in learning.
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Growing Together—as a Community of Learners
We are seeking to recover an approach to education that few—if any—of us experienced ourselves. As such, it is sometimes difficult to see the path ahead of us, and our process is often one of trial and error. Recovering the classical tradition and the scholé approach is only made possible by collaboration, which is why we have formed a Scholé Group community. We are united by our commitment to pursuing restful, classical education for our children, and we gather together to share our gifts, experience, and learned wisdom with one another in pursuit of this goal.
As a Scholé Group, we are also connected to a vibrant community of adult and student learners through the Scholé Groups network. Scholé Groups offers guidance on how to pursue restful, classical education and provides practical resources for actualizing these goals in homeschools and homeschool communities. In addition, the Scholé Groups network functions as a platform for collaboration between Scholé Groups across the globe. Together, we grow toward the ideal of deep, meaningful education.
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Statement of Faith
Sola Gratia Community Inc. is an unapologetically Christian Community and all classes will be taught from a Christian Worldview. As a Christian community we do hold to the Christian beliefs set forth in the Scriptures:
- We believe the Bible is the inspired, infallible and authoritative written Word of God. (2 Timothy 3:16)
- We believe there is one God, eternally existent in three persons: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. (Revelations 1:8; Matthew 28:19)
- We believe in the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ, in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His atoning death, in His bodily resurrection and His ascension to the right hand of the Father and in His personal future return to earth in power and glory to rule forever.
- We believe the only means of salvation is through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. (I Peter 3:18; Titus 3:5)
- We believe in the resurrection of both the saved and the lost: one to everlasting life and the other to eternal damnation. (John 5:28-29)
Parents’ Role and Responsibilities
Parents are the legally responsible teacher for their homeschool students. Parents are responsible to oversee their student’s education and maintain any records required by North Carolina Law. Parents are also responsible to arrange for annual standardized testing for their students as well. You can find North Carolina’s Homeschooling Laws by visiting http://www.ncdnpe.org/documents/HomeSchoolGuideBook.pdf. Sola Gratia Classical Academy Inc. is meant to be a homeschooling spine or core for those educating classically. SGCA Inc. is not meant to replace the homeschool parent’s role as their child’s legally responsible educator.
Parents are required to serve six half days per semester, as part of their student’s enrollment at SGCA Inc. This is in part, how we maintain such reasonable tuition pricing. Parent’s also agree to ensure their students are completing their weekly homework assignments, homework completion is an integral part of maintaining full student participation in class, and creating a community of excellence in learning.
Q: What are the distinctive aspects of your community?
A: There are many differences to a scholé community than other classical communities you may be familiar with. We are about restful learning, contemplation, conversations, virtue formation, and developing an atmosphere of servanthood through our partnership with the community. We pursue the traditional mental rigor of classical education without the rigorous pacing. We also have a touch of Charlotte Mason’s philosophy woven throughout our community that is seen in our later start to English grammar (4th grade), our focus on students forming relationships with what they are learning, and our nature based programs, to give a few examples. We use embodied learning strategies in all classes, which is the art of experiences and not just explanations to teach. We maintain our pursuit of excellence in the classical tradition without the traditional rigor in pacing only (we do still have the mental rigor associated with classical learning). We slow things down, take time to really dig deep, and make learning memorable, and permanent. We put practices in place to help with virtue formation, recognizing that we are educating hearts as well as heads. Christ is at the center of all we teach. We teach many of our classes outdoors in the beautiful grounds we are surrounded with, weather permitting.
Q: Can I join this community and a Classical Conversations™ Community or other homeschool community as well?
A: We ask that families not join SGCA Inc. with their children that are also in a CC program. The workload we require, while not as rigorously paced as most classical communities, does still require families to be diligent in getting the homework completed on a weekly basis. We have found that families that join both end up not participating fully, and it becomes an experience in surveying our courses, instead of a deep dive into the course work. If you have an older student in high school that is enrolled in one of CC’s challenge I-V programs and would like to place your younger students with SGCA Inc., we are supportive of this scenario, given that we don’t yet have our high school in place. Ideally, we would prefer to see families be committed to one community, whichever community they are most closely aligned with philosophically.
Q: Do you provide any training for parents to become better classical educators?
A: We do! There are multiple benefits to being part of our Scholé Group. One of those is access to teacher-training courses from ClassicalU. We coordinate Schole’ Sister events where moms get together to focus our own hearts on truth, beauty, and goodness. This is also a time of encouragement, fun and fellowship with one another. We also do parent teacher meetings and some training for families to discuss various stages of implementing Schole’ in your home.
Q: Does Sola Gratia Classical Academy Inc. have a Statement of Faith?
A: We do! See above. We are a Christian community with a Biblical Worldview lens that we teach all subjects from.
Q: What role do parents play at Sola Gratia Classical Academy Inc.?
A: Parents are an integral part of the community. Parents are given a sign-up at the beginning of the year where they can elect which areas of service they commit to for fulfilling the yearly requirements of service. The areas parents serve in are: assistants in certain classrooms; such as art, nature and lower elementary classes, nursery, and playground facilitators for our lunchtime games. We also want to minister to parents when we can and be flexible. As a result, we are offering the option for those parents who feel “seasoned” in the classical model and are comfortable dropping their child off on the days they are not scheduled to serve, to do so. We welcome parents to remain on campus with us and experience the day with their child, as well. We hope this flexibility is refreshing for our parents and further enables them to pursue a scholé homeschool. Parents are expected to take part in the community wide learning celebrations, of which there are generally three to four scheduled for any given year. They will take place during the days and some Friday evenings, to allow Dads and extended family to participate and see what the kids are working on and learning. Dads and grandparents, as well as friends and other extended family, are all welcome during any of our learning celebration days! Parents are a collaborative part of our community and their input is valued and listened to. In order to be flexible and serve various families, we do allow a parent substitute to serve in a parent’s place. This substitute could be a grandparent, high school aged child or other designated adult. Parent service hours are required. If a family does not fulfill their required service hours, SGCA Inc. retains the right to dismiss that family without refund from the community.
Q: What behavior is expected of students during campus day?
A: Students are expected to be respectful and ready to receive instruction from the Academic Mentors and assisting adults on campus. They are also expected to be kind to their fellow students, following the “golden rule.” We will be working on virtues community wide and hoping to further cultivate these qualities in our children throughout the year with many opportunities. Academic Mentors and the Director have discretion to require parents to remain on campus and revoke drop-off privileges for any given student, if they see a student is unable to demonstrate the required behavior for the community. It is suggested parents sign up for the community with the ability to be on campus weekly, in case their child needs them to be there more than is required for rotating in as a helper. In addition, we do require that students participate fully in our curricula and classes weekly. Students can be dismissed without refund, if they fail to meet our requirements for class participation.
Q: Where do I buy the required textbooks for my child?
A: All Classical Academic Press materials we use on campus are provided as part of tuition! This includes Writing & Rhetoric, The Art of Argument, and Latin materials required in class. Additional curriculum used would be available via online or at the Homeschool Gathering Place, used.
Q: How do I apply to have my children admitted into Sola Gratia Classical Academy Inc.?
A: Visit the “Apply” page under “Tuition” on the main menu. The first sentence contains a link to the application. You may print off the application to fill out. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for where to send your completed application and ensure there are openings.
Q: Is there a discount for families with multiple children enrolled?
A: Our pricing is inclusive and very discounted in comparison to anything offered in our area. In our area, one class for a year will cost $300-$600! We are offering 5 classes taught for one day and 10 taught for two days; these are high quality classes and our pricing includes a Schole’ lunch performer on Wednesdays as well as CAP curriculum student books, uniform shirts, childcare for service days, and all other fees such as the facility fee, etc., -all included. We felt this was a more fair way to price our community, rather than inflating the costs for everyone in order to discount for some families.
Q: May my child eat lunch during campus day?
A: Yes, please pack a lunch for your student. We only allow water to drink, no juice boxes or soda please while on campus, to protect the Church’s carpets and keep bees away when we are outside. We would just ask that you pack a healthy lunch and prefer there be very low sugary foods/treats. 🙂
Q: Is there a dress code at Sola Gratia Classical Academy Inc.?
A: Yes, there is a dress code. We will have SGCA monogrammed polo shirts and then require black, blue or khaki shorts, pants or skorts/skirts to go with them. You can read more about this policy under “About” and then “Our Handbook” on the main menu.
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