We are in no way experts on Classical education, but we have been forming a few mental differences between the two approaches as we learn more. Here is a quick overview of our findings so far.
- Both advocate living books, though Classical tolerates textbooks more than CM does.
- Both use narration, and several other methods are compatible between both.
- CM places an emphasis on a generous education that includes music and art more than Classical does.
- Classical can be described as rigorous and systematic, while CM takes a more gentle approach and allows for more flexibility; this difference is seen especially in the younger grades. For example, Classical introduces writing composition earlier and studies it as a subject; while CM depends on oral narration and a smooth transition into written narration in later grades without studying composition as a separate subject. Second, Classical encourages more parent explanations/ instruction and distilling of information than CM does. Third, Classical advocates studying grammar at an earlier age than CM does.
If you’re interested in reading the differences from a Classical person’s point of view, you could check out this article written by Susan Wise Bauer.
Then you can read a response written by Karen Glass.