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Choosing a School for My Child: 10 Reasons Parents Should Consider Full-Time Classical Christian Education

By Alicia Williamson, Enrollment Director

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, parents find themselves faced with an array of choices when it comes to shaping their children’s academic journey. Among the myriad options, full-time classical Christian education stands out as a robust and time-honored approach that integrates faith, classical teaching methods, and a sense of community. In this comprehensive exploration, we delve into the top ten reasons why parents opt for full-time classical Christian education over a hybrid model or homeschooling, shedding light on the unique advantages it offers.

1. Faith Integration: Commitment to Consistency

At the heart of full-time classical Christian education is the unwavering commitment to seamlessly integrate faith into every facet of learning. Unlike a hybrid model, which may introduce variables in the form of homeschool days or online modules, a full-time approach provides a continuous and immersive environment for nurturing a comprehensive Christian worldview. This consistency is a cornerstone for parents seeking an education that not only imparts knowledge but also molds Christ-like character and values.

At Providence Classical School, every person who invests in your child is a dedicated Christ-follower. Each subject is taught through the lens of scripture, and classroom interactions are nurtured according to biblical values and Christ’s teachings. You can rest assured that Christian values will be modeled consistently for your child and that each day is centered around the gospel with frequent opportunities for prayer and worship.

Students, teachers, and parents praying together outdoors at Providence Classical School

2. Time-Tested Pedagogy: Education that Works

The classical education model has a long history of success, dating back to ancient Greece and Rome. This time-tested approach has produced many of history’s great thinkers and leaders, making it a reliable choice for parents concerned with the quality of their child’s education. Throughout the Trivium (Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric stages), students are trained to think analytically, reason logically, and express themselves eloquently. Students read timeless works of literature, history, philosophy, and science, engage in Socratic discussions, and organize their thoughts into writing and presentations. As a result, they gain cultural literacy and a solid framework for a lifelong love of learning.

Providence Classical School has an enduring record of providing students with an excellent educational foundation. PCS was the first, fully-accredited classical Christian school in the Houston area and remains the largest and oldest full-time CCE school in the region. We have partnered with the Association of Classical Christian Schools since our founding in 2000 and continue to build a strong legacy of classical education in our community and beyond. Parents can trust PCS to serve as a dependable partner for their child’s entire education.

3. Community Building: Fostering Connections Beyond the Classroom

One of the distinctive features of full-time classical Christian education is the emphasis on community building. Daily, face-to-face interactions among students, teachers, and families create a sense of belonging and support that extends beyond the classroom. This interconnectedness contributes to a nurturing and collaborative educational environment, reinforcing the importance of shared values and mission.

At Providence, parents and grandparents play a vital role in all we do. Families partner with faculty and administrators to provide classroom activities, field trips, special events, library days, athletics, and mentorship opportunities. In the process, bonds are formed that build community and glorify God. Similarly, students connect through our House System, Chapel Buddy program, Homeroom time, service projects, socials, and more. This is why we like to say that “PCS is Family”!

Teacher mentoring students at Providence Classical School

4. Direct Teacher Interaction: Personalized Learning in Action

In a full-time classical Christian education setting, students benefit from increased, direct interaction with gifted, highly trained teachers who specialize in their subjects. Small class sizes allow for a more personalized approach to learning. Teachers can better understand students as individuals, address specific needs, and provide guidance that goes well beyond the limitations of a part-time classroom or homeschool workbooks.

Providence teachers love the Lord, their subjects, and their students! They have time to get to know the hearts and minds of the children in their care and to walk alongside parents in meeting the needs of each child. Full-time instruction ensures that students receive quality, consistent instruction from top faculty. PCS faculty complete extensive continuing education courses not only in their fields of study, but also in classical education instruction. (Currently, 31% of our teachers have advanced degrees, and 71% have completed classical education certifications through ACCS.) While parents may not feel equipped to teach their child subjects like Latin, Calculus, and formal Logic, they can trust Providence teachers to teach all subjects with excellence and enthusiasm and to provide parents with invaluable insight into their child’s unique academic, social, and spiritual development.

5. Richer Classroom Discussions: Engaging Minds Face-to-Face

In the world of classical education, the richness of classroom discussions plays a pivotal role in shaping a student’s intellectual development. Full-time attendance allows time for dynamic and engaging face-to-face interactions, enabling students to actively participate in Socratic dialogues and collaborative learning experiences on a daily basis. This fosters an environment where ideas are explored, debated, and understood in a communal setting.

Regular classroom discussions are an important part of developing the communication skills of Logic (7th-8th grade) and Rhetoric (9th-12th grade) students. Five-day instruction gives Providence teachers the time necessary to facilitate robust and deep conversations that engage all students in meaningful ways. By their senior year, Providence students not only take part in these discussions, but they are also well trained in how to lead debates and logical discourses. They graduate prepared to lead, impact, and winsomely engage their world.

Student leads a discussion with classmates at Providence Classical School

6. Structured Environment: Nurturing Academic Discipline

A structured and disciplined learning environment is a hallmark of full-time classical Christian education. This consistency in routine can be particularly beneficial for students who thrive on predictability and may find the frequent transitions inherent in a hybrid model or homeschooling challenging. The structured approach helps instill a sense of confidence, responsibility, and academic discipline that serves students well throughout their educational journey.

In addition, a full-time school model also allows for vertical integration of subjects from Pre-K through 12th grade, providing consistency from classroom to classroom and year over year. This gives parents confidence that their child will receive the highest quality education every year, in every grade.

Visitors to the Providence campus often remark on the beautiful, peaceful, and joyful atmosphere. When students know what to expect day-to-day, they feel confident and comfortable and are equipped to learn and thrive. Consistent classroom systems and etiquette create an environment for students to be successful. Parents can trust that their child will be well prepared for every step of their educational journey. We take the “long view” of education, so that what students are doing in Pre-K will ultimately prepare them for their Senior Thesis and beyond.

7. Access to Campus Resources: Enriching the Learning Experience

Full-time classical Christian students enjoy enhanced access to on-campus resources, ranging from a comprehensive library to well-equipped science labs to athletic and performance facilities. These resources provide a multifaceted learning experience, allowing students to delve into subjects deeply and explore their interests beyond the confines of the standard curriculum. Extracurricular activities, athletics, clubs, special events, and college advising further enrich the overall educational experience.

Providence not only fields well-respected, highly competitive teams and clubs, but we also have taken steps to ensure that our students, athletes, and participants have all they need in terms of training and support to be as successful as possible for the glory of God. Parents appreciate turn-key access to quality student activities with positive, Christian coaches and leaders. By offering a wide range of student experiences all in one place, the Providence community becomes a loving, supportive environment for all students to connect and flourish together.

Elementary students listening and attending well in class at Providence Classical School

8. Consistent Social Interaction: Fostering Social Skills and Lifelong Friendships

Regular, in-person attendance in a full-time classical Christian education setting nurtures consistent social interactions among students. Beyond the academic realm, these interactions contribute to the development of essential social skills, emotional intelligence, and the formation of lasting friendships. The shared experiences create bonds that often extend beyond the school years, fostering a sense of community that endures.

If you happen to visit our campus between 11:40 and 12:40 you will witness first-hand one of the most joyful hours of our day – lunch! We believe that nurturing the social and emotional development of students is just as important as every other facet of education. You’ll find students of all ages playing and eating together purposefully. Because our students are on campus five days a week, we can devote time in each school day to social development and active play time (for all ages!) as we focus on educating the whole child.

9. Emphasis on Mentoring: Guiding the Journey

Full-time classical Christian education creates fertile ground for mentoring relationships to flourish. With regular face-to-face interactions, teachers can develop deeper connections with their students, offering guidance and support in both academic and personal development. This mentorship goes beyond the role of an instructor, creating a supportive environment that encourages students to reach their full potential using the unique gifts God has granted them.

At Providence, faculty and staff develop influential mentoring relationships with students. Recognizing that knowledge and accomplishments pale in comparison to wisdom and joyful virtue, PCS teachers prioritize developing the hearts of our students throughout the days and years of a PCS education. As students learn to serve and lead others, they have trusted adult role models to turn to for guidance and accountability. PCS parents find these relationships a great resource, especially as their child navigates the teenage years.

Providence Classical School Cross Country TAPPS Boys & Girls State Champs 2022

10. Work-Life Balance: The Gift of Quality Time

A full-time school schedule provides families with a structured routine, allowing parents to enjoy quality time with their children and fostering a balanced family life. Rather than shouldering the full or partial responsibility of lesson planning, teaching, and student accountability that comes with homeschooling or hybrid models, full-time schooling enables parents to focus on purposeful family interactions and discipleship. Full-time classical Christian education allows parents to transfer the bulk of educational challenges to others so that homework never gets in the way of heart work.

At Providence Classical School, we understand that busy work does nothing to improve a child’s education and can interfere with quality family time. As such, PCS teachers only assign homework that is necessary, age-appropriate, and purposeful. Families can expect homework to take 10-15 minutes multiplied by their child’s grade level. So, while first graders can expect 10-15 minutes of homework four nights a week, sixth graders might expect an hour of homework. Weekends are reserved for family time until students enter high school. Parents can trust that we value and protect their family’s time together.

In the spectrum of educational choices, full-time classical Christian education emerges as a beacon of tradition, a Christian worldview, and academic excellence. The commitment to faith integration, community building, direct teacher interaction, and a structured environment sets this model apart. By providing consistent social interaction, emphasizing mentorship, and seamlessly implementing the classical model, full-time classical Christian education equips students not only with knowledge but also with the tools to navigate the complexities of life with wisdom and purpose. As parents weigh their options, the benefits of a full-time classical Christian education shine brightly, guiding the way for the next generation of thoughtful, engaged, and faithful adults.

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About Alicia Williamson:
Alicia Williamson earned her B.S. in elementary education from John Brown University and taught middle school math for four years before leaving to raise a family. She has served as the Enrollment Director at Providence Classical School for the past eight years. Alicia and her husband, Tim, have three children enrolled at PCS.

Header Image Credit: fizkes