Because mathematics, music, and Latin are the three universal languages, they are given a special emphasis in classical education.

The art of calculation

Mathematics, like all languages, is cumulative, rigorous, and demanding; it develops logical, accurate, and precise thinking habits.


Mathematics is the language of science and the indispensible tool for the study of the natural world. The key to success in all sciences, especially chemistry and physics, is a good math education.


Arithmetic is the art of counting and calculation. Like the Latin Grammar, arithmetic is concrete, based on memorization, and is a small and finite subject. These characteristics make arithmetic appealing to the child’s mind—it is something that he can understand and over which he can achieve mastery.


In the trivium model of learning, arithmetic is the focus of grades K-6th. Next to the alphabet, arithmetic is the most useful tool students will ever possess. It should not be rushed over in a hurry to get to higher mathematics. Games, drills, skip-counting, and challenge problems make arithmetic an enjoyable part of the school day.


Many modern approaches to mathematics education do not adequately emphasize arithmetic leaving students deficient in basic facts and operations when the mind is ready for more abstract mathematics instruction. The energy and effort of students are dissipated over a variety of topics, many of which are too abstract for students in the grammar stage to understand. Insufficient time is given to basic skills, and students do not experience the satisfaction of mastery learning, nor are they adequately prepared for higher math.


Our textbooks and teaching strategies at Holy Trinity Classical Christian School ensure that students learn arithmetic and mathematics in an age-appropriate scope and sequence ensuring mastery learning of the basic math skills in the grammar stage in preparation for algebra, geometry, and calculus.