8:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Prudentia Classical Academy is distinctively “collaborative.” Though this model is new to our community, it has a well-established track record of success across the country. The following provides a brief explanation of the collaborative model we intend to use, as well as resources for further reading and consideration.
The model goes by several names: “collaborative,” “hybrid,” and “University Model®.” As the names suggest, the model aims to combine the best attributes of homeschooling with the best attributes of traditional schooling, integrating them into one educational experience under one cohesive curriculum.
PCA will provide comprehensive, classical curriculum. Students will learn in the classroom two days per week with professional, qualified teachers. This will be a full school day with the full range of subjects. Parents will teach lessons and oversee assignments on the alternate homeschool days. In grammar school (grades 1-6), the fifth day will be a flex day – a day for catching up on coursework, attending enrichment activities, or simply spending time with family. For logic and rhetoric schools (7th thru 9th grades), the fifth day will be used as flex days and for potential additional coursework at home.
While the model is new to SWLA, hundreds of schools across the U.S. are successfully using it. Many of these schools affiliate with one another through the National Association of University-Model® Schools, the Association of Classical Christian Schools, or other organizations and accrediting bodies. PCA may seek to associate with one or more like-minded associations for the purposes of teacher training, resources, and development.
What It’s Not
The collaborative model shares several features with other educational options, so it is naturally confused with those options. Therefore, it may be helpful to distinguish what it isn’t:
Part-Time School. Although students sit under classroom teachers twice a week, education occurs four days per week using a unified curriculum and plan. Some days are on campus, and some days are at home.
Homeschool Group or Co-op. Though we celebrate the tremendous success of the homeschooling movement and of classical homeschooling options, collaborative education is something different: a comprehensive, unified curriculum under the co-teaching of professionals and parents.
Professional Tutoring. Tutoring is specific to one subject or area. By contrast, a collaborative school functions from a holistic paradigm of education that seeks to shape students in every area of learning.
Traditional Private School. Though we will work in a spirit of partnership with private schools throughout our community, collaborative education is different – and requires a larger commitment of time and effort from parents in the direct education of their students.
What It Is
A homeschool academy with professional teachers, a head-of-school (much like a principal or dean), an established curriculum, and a cohesive vision for a full education. PCA is a registered nonprofit corporation, led by a Board of Directors and governed by the nonprofit laws of the State of Louisiana.
Collaborative education seeks to maintain the biblical responsibility God has given to parents to be the primary educators of their children. We believe education is one of the most important ways a parent invests in rearing a child in the way they should go, as we are called to do in Deuteronomy 6. While the sole responsibility of raising children in the Lord rests on the parents, PCA comes alongside and partners with parents in the weighty task of educating their children.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
Parents who choose PCA to assist in educating their family will benefit from a ready-made curriculum package and carefully-crafted lesson plans. The academy administration and teachers choose each piece of curriculum according to PCA’s classical and Christian distinctives, and then write lesson plans for both the classroom and homeschool days to take students through each subject at an appropriate pace over the course of the academic year. On the classroom days, students benefit from the rigor of the disciplined environment, a range of instruction methods, and social learning opportunities.
During the remainder of the week, parents co-teach, guiding their children to complete coursework prepared by the classroom teacher. This arrangement gives parents more time to enjoy and train their children, with freedom from choosing and planning curriculum and always being “on” as the teacher.
PCA places great value in giving students a rich education and opportunity for learning inside and outside the classroom. We strive to partner with not only parents but other community members to teach skills that will last a lifetime, deepen students' understanding and appreciation for great art and music and provide occasions for learning hands-on skills with the hope of inspiring a passion for excellence in all things to the glory of God.
Sample Weekly Schedule
Monday: homeschool day
Tuesday: classroom school day
Wednesday: homeschool day
Thursday: classroom school day
Friday: “flex day” with activities varying by grade/stage
The learning schedule during homeschool days can be adapted to a student’s particular learning needs. The following are estimates for how much time will be needed on the average homeschool day to complete coursework. These numbers are simply a framework and will certainly vary based on the child.
2nd thru 4th grade: up to 3 hours (2 homeschool days per week)
5th thru 6th grades: 3-4 hours (2 homeschool days per week)
7th thru 9th grades: 4+ hours (2 or 3 homeschool days per week)
The beauty of this model is the ability to preserve the influence of parents and to provide valuable academic resources, the skills of multiple teachers, and an affordable price tag. The classical Christian curriculum and culture emphasize each student’s character development and growth in assuming personal responsibility for learning. Perhaps the greatest benefit is the gift of time: parents have more time for imparting their own faith and values to their children. In this unique partnership, parents, and the school work together toward a mutual goal: to produce virtuous, competent, and wise followers of Christ who are prepared to enter vocational training or college.
 In one study, University Model® students “averaged equally high or higher scores than traditional, comprehensive Christian school seniors on all three common standardized exams.” See ICCTE Journal, Vol. 9, Issue 2, 2014: https://digitalcommons.georgefox.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1123&context=icctej