Q: How does the “average” student in a classical Christian school do in college in comparison with the “average” student in other education models? How do these students compare on college entrance exams?
A: According to studies published by the ACCS, “Whether it’s the college readiness index, Verbal, Math, or Writing SAT performance, or ACT scores, students at ACCS member schools score above all other types of schools— public, religious, and even independent…. While you might expect our students to excel in verbal and reading scores, our schools were also the top performing in math. And, our schools place students in nearly every selective college in the country.”
“But it’s not just the numbers that are impressive. If you visit any of our schools, particularly the ones with high-schools, you’ll notice the difference in manners, poise, and wisdom. The ACCS president visits dozens of ACCS member schools every year:
“One thing that still surprises me are the juniors and seniors I meet when I visit schools. School to school, state to state, wherever I go, the students stand out. I can have a conversation with them about important things, deeper things right in the school cafeteria. They’re confident, and polite. They cheerfully greet me in the hallways. They think. They’re the kind of kids I want my own children to become.” –David Goodwin, President, ACCS
The results to these tests are posted here: https://classicalchristian.org/measure-it/
Q: We have homeschooled up to this point. My student is behind in one subject, but advanced in another. How will you decide what grade he/she should be placed it?
A: Before a student begins at GCS, we administer an academic assessment so that they can be placed at the appropriate level for math, spelling, reading and literature. Some of our students switch classes for different subjects even in the youngest grades so that they can be challenged at the appropriate level.
Q: Will my student who has never before been classically educated be able to keep up?
A: Students from all academic backgrounds will benefit from the time-tested methods of the classical approach. Exposure to a classical education can enrich the student on many levels. We have many students who have transitioned successfully to the classical approach in all grades.
Q: My student has never taken a Latin class. Will he/she be behind at GCS?
A: Many of our new students have never been exposed to Latin. In each grade, we have an entry level Latin class available so that students who come to GCS from all academic backgrounds can start at the beginning with the grammar of Latin.
Q: How much time is spent on lessons during the at-home days?
A: The amount of time spent on lessons at home depends on many factors, including family size, your student’s age and maturity, learning style and speed, and family dynamics. For the at-home course load, we provide the following as a rough estimate:
Kindergarten: 1.5 to 2.5 hours per at-home day
First Grade: 2.5 to 3.5 hours per at-home day
Second Grade: 3.0 to 4.5 hours per at-home day
Third Grade: 3.5 to 5.0 hours per at-home day
Fourth Grade: 4.0 to 5.0 hours per at-home day
Fifth & Sixth Grade: 4.0 to 6.0 hours per at-home day
Seventh Grade and up: 5.0 to 8.0 hours per at-home day
Additionally, some families may choose to supplement the lesson plans with enrichment activities, optional assignments, or extra reading.
Q: What is the role of the parent when teaching at home?
A: Parents assume the role of “co-teacher.” The on-campus teacher introduces new concepts in class, and prepares detailed lesson plans and a checklist for each subject that parents use at home with their student. The parent guides the student through the checklist. In the older grades, as students begin to work more independently, parents transition to the role of course monitor. Parents will log on to Sycamore every “at home” day to print their students’ assignments.
Q: How do I co-teach multiple children in the older grades?
A: Lessons can be staggered so that the parent can teach one child while another is working independently. Also, as students get older they are able to work on more portions of their lessons independently which allows the parent to work with other children. By second or third grade, portions of assignments can be completed without the parent needing to be directly involved. This allows flexibility for working with multiple older children. In 5th grade and up, the students will begin to transition to taking full responsibility for their assignments.
Q: What curriculum do you use?
A: Our Board has worked closely with our teachers and also other classical Christian schools and teachers to make curriculum choices that are the best fit for our school format. Most of the curriculum that we use is also used at other ACCS schools. We continually examine our choices to make sure that our students are being challenged appropriately while also being pointed back to Scripture at every opportunity. You can find a curriculum list by subject on our Curriculum page.
Q: Is there assigned homework?
A: There is no evening homework assigned. All material is covered between the on-campus school days and at-home school days, freeing the evening for family time.
Q: Is this a co-op or homeschooling group?
A: No, GCS is a private school, registered with the state of North Carolina. A university style school is not the same thing as a homeschool “co-op.” In a co-op, parents join together and utilize their gifts, talents, and abilities to instruct the children of that group. For example, if a family is part of a co-op and one of the parents of that family is particularly gifted in the subject of science, then that parent might teach science to other children in the group. These cooperatives can be wonderful educational venues for families, but GCS is not a co-op; it is a school. We hire professional teachers and provide families many of the services they might expect from a traditional educational institution, such as in-class and standardized assessments, transcripts, lesson planning and other benefits parents would expect from a school.
You may have heard of homeschool groups who use the classical model and that may be confusing since we also utilize the classical model for education. We are similar to those programs in educational model, but the format is very different. Their format is that of a homeschooling group where each parent decides how involved they want to be in the group, the parent individually plans their child’s curriculum, and assumes all responsibility for grading and standardized testing. The format at GCS is that of a private school where the school decides the curriculum, the teacher plans the lessons, does a large portion of the instruction, and grades the work.
Our families tend to be heavily involved in community, church and family activities throughout the week. We believe our approach is a “golden mean” for many families who wish to maintain primary influence over their child’s education but feel that they may lack sufficient time to homeschool to a high academic standard. By offloading much of the planning and teaching to professional teachers and staff, we save families time and money from having to “reinvent the wheel” to execute an academically rigorous, Christ-centered home-based education.
Q: How can I start the application process:
A: Please see our Application page for information about the enrollment process.
Q: Does GCS accept students mid-year?
A: In most cases, if the 3rd quarter has not yet begun, GCS does admit students mid-year if there is space available in the grade level applied for. However, there may be circumstances where we must ask the family to wait until a later date to start. For example if there were only 2 weeks left in a quarter, we may have to wait until the next quarter begins before your child could begin. Feel free to contact us to discuss your family’s situation.
Q: Can we visit the school?
A: All visitors to the school must schedule a visit with the school’s administrators ahead of time. To schedule your visit and get more information about GCS, please Contact Us.