Description: Most children today are bored in traditional school settings. The demands are so light and the materials they work with are so un-challenging, that the students simply can not maintain any enthusiasm. With bright children especially, a belief that working hard makes no difference, that the material they are required to study is of no value, or that their teachers don't even bother to check their work all tend to discourage them from even trying. Many just give up. A worse problem is the major universities expect incoming students to have knowledge and skills that the public schools simply do not teach anymore.
The canon on which Western Civilization is based is vast. With inexperienced and unqualified teachers in most school systems, with underfunded schools and overcrowded classrooms, kids don't have much of a chance to learn the basics let alone the classics. I was shocked when I started teaching in Santa Barbara at how little the children knew.
To succeed in a competitive academic environment, a person simply must know how to write. I emphasize writing skills with my students. Though we work extensively with vocabulary building and grammar skills, they are not our primary focus. A student's learning to apply such skills is one of the principal aims of education.
I use classic texts from The Great Books and from the Advanced Placement (AP) reading list as the basis of the curriculum. Many local schools have removed these classics from their curricula. These are local school board choices which, although well meant, mean that your child will not experience the AP books that colleges expect them to have read. The effort here at Oxford is to stretch your child to the limit of his or her academic potential.
All kids are gifted. I make it my job to find and nurture those gifts. We also have fun.
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