Our Approach

What does “classical” mean? Why is this your approach?2021-11-04T22:40:20+00:00

We teach using the classical method in all subjects. This approach is called “classical” because it dates back to Aristotle and was formalized in the Middle Ages. It is characterized by a whole child approach to learning, using an integrated curriculum, classical books, art, music, and a formal study of Latin and logic. In other words, classical education is a liberal arts education.

We teach using the classical method because it is a proven form. It is the highest standard of education and has produced many of the world’s greatest thinkers, authors, scientists, artists, inventors, and politicians, such as Augustine, Aquinas, Galileo, Copernicus, Gutenberg, Luther, Shakespeare, and Newton, as well as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and the rest of our country’s founders. Classical education’s developmental wisdom has stood the test of time; it not only creates lifelong learners, but empowers these learners to apply their knowledge in meaningful ways.

How is this different from any other school?2021-11-04T21:55:34+00:00

Apart from obvious differences in curriculum and instruction, classical education differs fundamentally from traditional education in its focus on the interrelation of all knowledge. While traditional education teaches math, English, and history as isolated “subjects,” classical education seeks to show the interrelation of all knowledge. Math relates to science which relates to logic. Literature relates to history which relates to art and music. Christian classicists take the connection further by pursuing the interrelatedness of all knowledge under the sovereignty of God through theology.

Classical education seeks to stir the heart and the intellect to invite curiosity and ignite a passion for learning. It is less about training for a specific, temporal vocation and more about learning to think and live with an eternal purpose.

What is the “Trivium”?2021-11-04T21:50:46+00:00

Our curriculum is based on the classical concept of the “Trivium,” which in Latin means “the three ways.” The three stages of the trivium are Grammar, Logic, and Rhetoric, which correspond to the three stages of growth in a child’s thinking and learning. As such, we teach students to understand, discern, reason, and explore in ways that align with their natural development.

Grammar Stage (K-5th)

This stage is focused on laying foundational knowledge in all areas of study. Teachers employ developmentally appropriate methods such as memorization, recitation, and songs with grammar students.

Logic Stage (6th-8th)

This stage takes the foundational knowledge gained in the Grammar stage and expounds on it. Students in this phase are naturally argumentative and are beginning to ask difficult questions about their world.  Analysis and critical reasoning are the chief mental acts of this stage. Developmentally, logic students learn best through debate and discussion.

Rhetoric Stage (9th-12th)

This stage is the culmination of the Trivium. The student of rhetoric takes the foundational knowledge gained in grammar school, the analytical skills of the logic stage, and begins producing and defending his/her own ideas. Thesis defense and eloquent written and oral communication are the hallmarks of the rhetoric stage.

This seems crazy. Why would I consider this?2021-11-04T22:40:56+00:00

While no one educational model is the best fit for all students and families, we’ve seen the collaborative model have widespread appeal.

Collaborative education serves homeschool parents seeking the support of a like-minded community, partnership with trained teachers in a classroom environment, and comprehensive curriculum. It serves traditional school parents seeking more involvement in their child’s education, greater and more flexible family time, and affordability.

A few of the key positives to consider:

  • Comprehensive and integrated liberal arts curriculum – no need to cobble together a school year from numerous sources and vendors or navigate endless curriculum choices
  • A Christ-centered worldview that permeates every subject
  • A community of families aiming at the same goals and values as yours
  • A more flexible family schedule, including flex Fridays – allowing for longer weekends, travel, more time for sports, lessons, activities, etc.
  • Less nightly homework
  • A thorough Christian education that is far more cost-effective
  • The ability to play a significant role in your child’s education without having to do it all yourself!
Is your curriculum linked to a particular church or denomination?2021-11-05T04:17:40+00:00

No. We teach in alignment with our historical, orthodox Statement of Faith, but do not espouse a particular denominational viewpoint. We use the English Standard Version (ESV) translation for scripture memory, but students may use any translation they wish for reading.

How It Works

Where will you meet?2021-11-02T04:52:46+00:00

We are currently in discussion with like-minded churches to secure the most appropriate facilities. We are committed to staying close to the Carlsbad/Encinitas region.

What are the qualifications of the teachers you hire?2021-12-08T02:06:18+00:00

Our teachers are degreed professionals who love children and have a gifting and passion for teaching.  They must also fully and joyfully subscribe to our Statement of Faith, complete a thorough background check, and take part in MinistrySafe screening and training.

What does a weekly schedule look like?2021-11-05T04:16:23+00:00

Each week is split among on-campus days and at-home days.

Mondays/Wednesdays are full days on campus with trained teachers covering all subjects in a classroom setting.

Tuesdays/Thursdays are at-home days during which a parent co-teacher follows provided lesson plans to reinforce learning.

Fridays are flex days for completing assignments, working on projects, catching up on reading, or as family days.

This approach maintains and blends many of the best aspects of both private school and home school education.

What happens on Fridays?2021-11-04T22:44:25+00:00

For grades 4 and below, Fridays are a “flex day” which are used for completing reading assignments or other projects. For Grammar students, the Friday course load is usually one hour or less. Beginning in 5th grade, students have assignments on Fridays, though the load is often less than on other weekdays.

If coursework is completed, Fridays may be used at the discretion of the parents – for field trips, get-togethers with other families, or just as a family day.

What is the role of the parent co-teacher when teaching at home?2021-12-08T02:09:52+00:00

Parents assume the role of “co-teacher” for the younger grades. The on-campus teacher introduces new concepts in class, and provides detailed lesson plans and a checklist for each subject that parent co-teachers use at home with their student(s). Parents are provided everything they need in a detailed, guided fashion. In the older grades, as students begin to work more independently (beginning somewhere between 4th and 6th grades), parents transition to the role of tutor and, with the more difficult material in upper grades, a course monitor. We do not expect parents to master and teach the more advanced material in the upper grades. NCC will provide extensive course material and resources for the advanced subjects in these grades.

How much time is spent on lessons during at-home days?2022-02-23T09:10:43+00:00

The amount of time spent on lessons at home on Tuesday and Thursday depends on many factors, including family size, your student’s age and maturity, learning style and speed, and family dynamics.

It is important to remember that there is no evening homework assigned. Based on our experience, all of the below real-world time estimates are more efficient than a 5-day-a-week school model. Most families complete the at-home assignments during the daytime, eliminating late nights and opening up time for families to be together.

For the Tuesday and Thursday at-home course load, we provide the following as a rough estimate:

  • Kindergarten: 1.5 to 3.0 hours per at-home day

  • First Grade: 2.5 to 4.0 hours per at-home day

  • Second Grade: 3.0 to 4.5 hours per at-home day

  • Third Grade: 3.5 to to 5.0 hours per at-home day

  • Fourth Grade: 4.0 to 5.0 hours per at-home day

  • Fifth and Sixth Grade: 4.0 to 6.0 hours per at-home day

Additionally, some families may choose to supplement the lesson plans with enrichment activities, optional assignments, or extra reading.

Fridays: In grammar school (grades K-4), Fridays are a flex day; that is,  a day for catching up on assignments, attending enrichment activities, or simply spending time with family. For logic and rhetoric schools (5th grade and up), Fridays are used as flex days and for potential additional coursework at home.

What if I get stuck teaching a topic and I don’t know what to do?2021-11-05T04:16:34+00:00

We encourage parents to contact the on-campus teacher by email, text, or phone with any questions. Parents may also choose to interact with other parents from their child’s class to swap ideas and tips. We will also organize get togethers for parents to connect and network.


When do you start?2021-11-02T04:52:58+00:00

North County Classical will begin its inaugural year Fall 2022.

How do I enroll my student?2022-02-23T09:12:50+00:00
How much does NCC cost?2022-02-23T09:14:14+00:00

View the Tuition & Fees page. NCC desires for families of any financial situation to be able to attend our academy, which is why we seek to set tuition rates as competitively as possible, often less than 1/4 the cost of full time classical schools. As we pursue our inaugural year, we do not currently provide scholarships, but look forward to offering need-based tuition assistance in the future.

What grades are offered at Classical?2021-11-02T04:51:50+00:00

We plan on beginning the 2022-2023 school year serving K-6th students, adding an additional grade level each year until the full offering of K-12th grade is available. Our plan is subject to change based on demand and resources available.

Do I have to be a Christian for my child to attend?2021-11-04T22:31:08+00:00

We follow a discipleship model, meaning that we exist to serve the church as we help families train up their children to trust and treasure God and his gospel in all things. Accordingly, we require that at least one parent agree with our Statement of Faith and regularly attend a Christian church that affirms the same.

The admissions process also includes an in-person meeting where leadership and families can discuss our distinctives and ensure each family is able to make a good-faith commitment to Christian, classical, and collaborative education.

Can students attend if they do not meet vaccination requirements?2021-11-04T22:53:32+00:00

Yes, your student may attend whether or not they are fully vaccinated. NCC does not request vaccination documents.

What if we’re transitioning from another kind of school?2021-11-04T21:00:19+00:00

Students can successfully transition to models like ours from diverse backgrounds including private school, public school, and homeschool. Any student who is at or above grade level in their current school should be able to transition successfully to NCC. The first few weeks of our year include some review and we also gradually increase the amount of work for the at-home days during the first weeks of the semester. Some memory work such as the English phonograms and the History Timeline begins in the early grades and is repeated each year, so students can learn these items beginning in any grade. Latin curriculum similarly has an entry point at each grade. New students will be placed into a Latin course that is suitable for beginners.

In terms of transitioning from homeschool, the routine for at-home days may remain similar to what you have done previously. While parents follow the NCC curriculum, because the instruction is at home 2-3 days a week, many of the aspects and benefits of homeschooling are completely preserved.

Student Life

Will you have uniforms?2021-11-02T04:51:43+00:00


Will you offer sports?2021-11-02T04:51:28+00:00

We believe athletics can provide a great environment to teach children to strive towards a goal, compete alongside teammates, and learn to serve others.  We also observe some sports programs in school settings as potential distractions to a classroom focus. In the future we hope to offer a limited number of sports, keeping valuable time and resources focused on the classroom experience.

That said, many families take advantage of the unique collaborative schedule to curate a better-than-normal sports experience for their children. The schedule (with only two on-campus days per week) allows families to pursue a variety of sports with varying practice times and game days, and even long weekends for sport travel, if necessary, as well as meaningful interaction with neighbors through community leagues.

What will be your policy on students having phones on campus?2022-02-23T09:16:21+00:00

Technology is a powerful tool which can also be a significant distraction. Student access to Wi-Fi and data plans easily open up the most careful families to unwanted exposures. In NCC’s pursuit of what is good, true, and beautiful, we encourage a love of learning and classical teaching methods which emphasize the often neglected “analog” skills of reading, writing, logic, rhetoric, the arts, etc. Screen devices are not permitted on campus. NCC leaves the responsibility to parents to shepherd their children at home in how they engage technology (though we are happy to make recommendations). School papers and research in upper grades, when appropriate, should make use of a computer during at-home school days.


Where can I learn more?2022-02-23T09:19:37+00:00

We host live and online gatherings to share the vision of NCC and to answer questions. Join our mailing list on the home page to learn about the next in-person and online events.

Can I donate?2022-02-23T09:19:17+00:00

Our ability to receive charitable donations is pending as we await 501(c)(3) status. Subscribe to our mailing list on our home page to find out when giving is live.

Can you point me to other resources?2021-12-08T02:19:17+00:00


Examples of a Christian, Classical, Collaborative School:



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