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What Makes The River Academy Different?

Ten Benefits of the Classical and Christian Approach Used at TRA

1.  Integration of the Christian Worldview into all subjects:

At The River Academy, all subjects are taught from a biblical perspective.  This means students learn to view all areas of life and learning in light of the scriptures and in this way have their entire view of the world shaped by their Christian faith.

2.  Focus on building a solid foundation in the fundamentals:

One benefit of adopting the classical model is that during the grammar phase of learning (for more information on this see the page entitled "Classical Education") students are given a solid base in the core areas of learning like language, math, reading, and writing.  

3.  Development of logical thinking skills:  

Building upon the fundamentals, students then begin to develop their logical thinking abilities (again, see "Classical Education" for more info).  Through Socratic dialogue, debates, round table discussions and a formal logic class (8th grade) students begin to hone and sharpen their minds enabling them to think clearly and with sound reason.

4.  Articulate speakers and writers:

The culmination of our program is two years of formal rhetoric training (find more on the page entitled "Classical Education").  Though our students begin writing and giving verbal presentations in front of their class beginning as early as first grade, they become most accomplished during their final two years of high school where their final project is a 20 minute written and then delivered (from memory) thesis.  All of this training builds the critical tools of writing and speaking into our students so that upon graduation they write well and are confidently articulate.   

5.  Staff focused on developing Christian virtue and character: 

Education is incomplete unless it reaches the whole person.  This is especially true for Christian parents and teachers, though even the Ancient Greeks like Plato and Aristotle viewed education as whole person development.  In this way, we view our jobs as both academic and relational, thus our staff are committed to helping students grow in Christian virtue and character.

6.  Development of personal diligence: 

We believe hard work is essential for success.  At The River Academy, students learn to work hard, while having fun, to accomplish big goals.  One of the greatest comments we receive from graduates is that they felt prepared to work hard academically.  

7.  Character formation in Christian community: 

Students are challenged to grow in character through their classes, but they are also challenged to develop character through the close nit student and faculty community.  Because of the size of our school, most students and families know one another.  This close bond serves to forge solid Christian character as students learn through the ups and downs of living in community.  

8.  Life-long friendships:  

Many of our students go to school with the same students for 12 years.  While this provides helpful challenges similar to living with family, it also provides deep and lasting bonds that last a lifetime.

9.  Well read students: 

In addition to a focus on the fundamentals of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, our students receive a powerful exposure to some of the greatest literature of Western Civilization.  We believe reading one of the most formative tools in a child's education.  Because of this we seek to expose them to the best literature every year they are at The Academy.  By the end of their education they will have accomplished a stunning amount of reading.

10.  Liberal Arts approach which creates a broad knowledge base:

Through broad exposure to the history of Western Civilization and its literature, as well as Math, Science, and classical language (Latin), our students develop an expansive knowledge base.  This wide exposure to the core subjects is aimed at giving the students a solid enough foundation in the basics, that when they go on for further studies in specific fields they are well equipped to excel.  While different from the more modern approach of specialization earlier and earlier in a child's life, we view well rounded graduates who are able to excel at whatever future fields of study they pursue, as more advantageous to them in the long run.