In The Words Of Parents
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February 2018 - Posts
Have you ever looked back in your past and realized that one moment in time changed the entire trajectory of where you thought you would go? That’s exactly what happen to bring us to TFA.

I love listening to philosophical and apologetic speakers.  Six years ago, I was listening to a gentleman who regularly speaks and answers questions at the most prestigious universities.  He made a comment in passing that he noticed a change with the student population in the last decade. He said less and less students had the skill to make coherent arguments based on facts and that more and more of their arguments were driven by emotion.  That one statement gnawed at me. It led me on a quest to research different teaching styles and I discovered the classical approach to education.

Classical education best complements how one naturally learns. Has anyone ever told you about a book they read and then you read the book yourself?  The depth of understanding is vastly different.  In the classical approach, students are actually picking up the great works of history and reading it themselves. Self-discovery provides the student with a connection to the material that just repeating back facts that they are told about something just doesn’t. The students then ask questions, sort and compare what they read, and practice what they are learning through classroom discussions, writing, and speeches.

My son started here at TFA in 7th grade. Right away, I saw a noticeable change. My son was excited about what he was learning and was sharing what he was learning with me.  My son loves history. One day, on the way home he  said “I’m finally getting to learn all the details of history I always wanted to know”.  On another day, my son told me his favorite subject was English.  Up until 7th grade he had said he hated English and that it was so boring even though he has always been a strong reader.  He enjoyed English more because TFA has a class dedicated to teaching good writing skills and then a separate class to dig into reading a book and discussing the themes. His math skills have taken a huge leap forward as well. I had him privately tested in 6th grade because we were seeing some holes in the curriculum and his ability to retain the math concepts. He scored slightly below average.  After only a year and a half of Saxon Math, where a new mathematical concept is taught every day while constantly reviewing old concepts, he scored in the 93rd percentile on his PSATs. My favorite change has been his new found ability and desire to verbally express his ideas.  The benefits to the cross-subject integration, repetition, and class discussions cannot be emphasized enough.

My daughter started here this year in 6th grade. I can see how TFA uses the 6th grade year to bridge students from where they were previously to slowly integrating them into this new way of learning. It was a huge transition to start middle school in a new school and take on all the responsibility with what comes with that. I can see confidence building as she has learned to navigate middle school as well as take ownership of her work and interactions with students and teachers. The curricular demands have been greater here and she has shown great perseverance in meeting the higher expectations.

All the teachers that my kids have had are fantastic. They are each very knowledgeable in their area of expertise. I’ve also experienced and noticed a high level of commitment by the teachers and the staff to the school’s code of conduct. Not only are they are committed to teaching the virtues need to carry liberty forward to the next generation, they are living examples of what it looks like.

Was making the decision to come to TFA difficult, yes.  Was there an adjustment, yes. Did we make the right decision, absolutely.  Sometimes the best way to see what you can do is by being challenged and getting out of your comfort zone.

-Parent of a 6th and 8th grader.
Posted by mmooney  On Feb 08, 2018 at 10:44 AM
  
 
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