This is the final stage of the Trivium. The Rhetoric Stage is where children take the knowledge they’ve learned at the Grammar and Logic Stages and learn how to solve difficult problems, become self-aware, and express what they actually think through speech, papers or in groups. Simply put, it’s the stage at which children are taught how to teach themselves anything!
The Rhetoric Stage accomplishes these things by teaching formal Rhetoric, by practicing debate, and by teaching Apologetics, the study of all religions. By combining all of these disciplines and skills, we’re able to not only teach children the reason behind their belief in something, but we’re also able to give them the skills and confidence to support their beliefs when they need them. Whether it be in the real world, or when challenged on their faith in a college classroom, The Rhetoric Stage prepares children to face adversity when it matters most, it prepares them to be able to learn anything, it prepares them for life.
At the Rhetoric Stage, children are starting to become more independent; they’re starting to think for themselves, to form their own thoughts and opinions and to develop their own unique paths in life. It is at this critical stage that Classical Education teaches young adults how to analyze and synthesize their own thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. It’s also this stage when we teach them how to communicate those ideas and arguments in a winsome and persuasive way.