LLCA…Moving outside the four walls

By Barbara Cohen

Lake Lure Classical Academy (LLCA) is a public K-12 charter school that values a classical, knowledge-based education. Classical education has a long tradition in the field of education.It is rooted in the idea that students should be taught to appreciate, understand, and examine the beauty, goodness, and truth around them. One aspect of the classical model that LLCA has embraced is to take learning outside the four walls of the traditional classroom and to cultivate curiosity, engage in observation, and expand inquiry into the world around us. 

Many know the term “field trip,” but “experiential learning” transforms field trips to a whole new level. Experiential learning is learning by doing. This type of learning helps students to connect themselves with places, communities, and nature by taking state required content and combining it with a classical model, and then applying the content to real-life situations, explorations of the natural world, and collaborative problem solving. 

During the first quarter of school, LLCA students have learned to take the NC Science Standards and apply them to hands-on learning from their visits to the NC Arboretum, WNC Nature Center, Chimney Rock State Park, Dupont State Park, Homes State Forest, Grandfather Mountain, and the Biltmore House. History and Geography State Standards have come alive for students during interactive lessons from Gilbert Town reenactments, Cowpens Battlefield, the Cherokee Museum, and the Kings Mountain National Park. Students at LLCA even learn how the state standards for Healthy Living are more than pages in a textbook through incorporating state standards into team building activities at Lurecrest, South Mountain Christian Camp, fishing and bowling adventures. Experiential learning applies to all NC State Standards, but it also enhances the classical model of education. 

LLCA believes that students learn best when they can take their natural curiosity and apply it to learning outside the four walls of their classroom. These experiences also reinforce the concept that learning is for a lifetime and doesn’t stop when school is over. Learning is not just about what a student reads in a textbook or how much they can memorize, but how they can apply that knowledge to their everyday life and to the world around them. LLCA has planned a year full of experiential learning activities and trips. In fact, all students in kindergarten through twelfth grade will take part in learning outside the classroom this school year.  To learn more about the school and how you can get involved contact us at (828) 625-9292 or email the School Director at

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