Classical Corner: Amplify Language Arts

Dear Families,

As you know, this year the School of Grammar has adopted a new Language Arts program – Amplify Core Knowledge Language Arts (Amplify CKLA). This comprehensive program is designed with a two-strand approach, integrating seamlessly with our existing Core Knowledge sequence. While the skills-strand teaches children to read through rigorous and research-based methods, the knowledge-strand makes the stories and lessons of the Core Knowledge sequence come alive through engaging stories, writing activities, and meaningful discussions. As we chose this program, these strengths were known. Yet, what was not fully realized was just how in line all aspects would be with our Classical approach.

Take, for example, the parent communication pieces or the Amplify Take Homes. Parents receive these caregiver letters with every unit, and activities regularly throughout. They are designed to not only inform parents of the material being covered in class but also provide extensions for families at home. Different grade levels will see a variety of activities, such as oral phonemic awareness games or blending practice games in the lower grades and discussion questions in the higher grades. Likewise, homework has consisted of quality practice that easily helps parents understand through writing and reading passages exactly where their child stands with grade-level material. Many parents have been struck not only with the thorough overview these materials provide but also with the simple ways they are now seeing they can support their children’s academic progress at home.

Such extensions of learning outside of the classroom is where leisurely learning happens. While the homework pieces provide the necessary repetition to help students solidify skills, the home environment allows students to see that learning happens in leisure–that repetition begets comfort, and such comfort begets a desire to learn in relaxation. We see through the materials that are sent home through Amplify that learning comes in many forms and that learning is enjoyable and interactive. As we work with our children, we can see through these activities that knowledge is cemented and appreciated through such learning in leisure. Whether your kindergartener is coming home proud to show you how they mastered their slanted lines, your second grader is coming home eager to read a humorous excerpt from their current story, or your fifth grader is coming home with thought-provoking questions from their reading, lean in. Learn with your child in leisure–through play, through oral games, through talk around your table. This is where all we do in the classroom comes together. This is where the skills we teach are truly ingrained. It is where our partnership flourishes. Indeed, this is Classical education.


Suzannah Toso

Classical Enrichment Teacher K-2

Classical Coordinator K-12