What is the Trivium?

There are seven Liberal Arts in a classical Christian education. The first three Liberal Arts are called the Trivium Arts. They train the Mind to comprehend (Grammar), analyze (Logic) and then to synthesize (Rhetoric).

The art of Grammar teaches students to read and understand texts. Grammar also provides elementary instruction in writing. Historically, students learned Grammar in Pre-K through 6th grades.

The art of Logic trains students to understanding others’ arguments and write their own. When Logic was taught has a more varied history in classical education. Most schools today teach this art sometime in the 7th through 9th grades.

The Art of Rhetoric teaches students to write eloquently and persuasively. Rhetoric teaches us to be “gentle with one another” and takes place in the 10th through 12th grades.

In a classical Christian education skills are reviewed and broadened year by year. Through repetition and application in new contexts students’ skills grow. For example, take how our language sounds. In the art of Grammar students learned the sounds of English. And how we represented those sounds in letters and letter combinations. This skill receives fresh study in Rhetoric. Students master the ability to write poetry and in various prose styles. They learn to pay attention to sound, cadence and rhythm. This classical method of instruction deepens and refines their skills.

Leave a reply