Mount Parnassus Classical Academy

A secularly focused classical education infused with movement, music, and mindfulness. And now brain training.


Progressing Past Finger Counting to an Understanding of Place Value Mr Jonathan Gregg


Why knowledge matters in the age of Google
Mount Parnassus follows the sequence of the Trivium which aligns with the stages of cognitive development put forth by seminal cognitive psychologist, Jean Piaget, and the current research in cognitive science. The first stage is the grammar or knowledge stage in which students are involved in learning facts, information, rules of grammar, vocabulary from all 7 liberal arts, stories from history and literature, mathematics facts with automaticity as the goal--the list goes on. At this stage (roughly K-4th), students are sponges!

How the classical education model and Common Core differ in views concerning the importance of acquiring knowledge in respects to learning and higher order t...


Classical Education - Why we believe it is relevant today.

Is the classical education model relevant for 21st century learners? This is an excellent video discourse addressing that question.


Brainy Acts Training Center

Want to know how I started researching brain training to help my son with autism?


Exercises for reading fluency progress

I titled this inaccurately--study does not show the exercises. Rather, this study compares the effects of primitive reflex inhibition exercises on reading fluency compared to conventional reading intervention. Surprising results!

Study presented at neurological conferences.


Vision Development: Causes of Learning Disabilities

An excellent video explaining how visual processing issues affect learning. And how to get help for your child.

Kathy Johnson describes how vision - beyond acuity and the need for glasses - is a cause of learning disabilities. Watch her eyes closely!!


The Moro Reflex.avi

Kathy Johnson describes the moro reflex in infants and the problems it causes later in life if it is not integrated. 01/10/2017

Overview of the Pyramid of Potential (1/60)

If enrolling your child as a student at MPCA is not an option, this is a fabulous program that parents can learn and use with their own children; furthermore, individuals can start their own brain training business and work with other clients. Please feel free to contact me about details or simply contact Kathy Johnson at Pyramid of Potential.
(I do not receive any compensation for sharing information about this program. I am enthusiastically a brain trainer myself and want it to benefit as many children and adults as possible). Kathy Johnson of Pyramid of Potential, Inc. tells why there is no silver bullet for overcoming learning struggles. She explains the Pyramid of Potential, a m...


Metronome Use (42/60)

In this video, Kathy explains what a Metronome is and it's very important role in Brain Training.


Do you have a child with dysgraphia? This is an excellent and easy to read article on explaining how primitive reflexes and the vestibular system are involved in the writing process. 07/20/2016

MindUP™ | The Hawn Foundation
Research is validating the effectiveness of mindfulness training in addressing anxiety, stress, and trauma, As more and more students struggle to learn due in part to these challenges, the school environment and curriculum needs to incorporate tools to help students face these very real issues. Mount Parnassus is dedicated to doing so by utilizilng the MindUP program. MindUP™ teaches social and emotional learning skills that link cognitive neuroscience, positive psychology and mindful awareness training utilizing a brain centric approach.

[07/04/16]   Several members of a closed facebook community I belong to wanted to know how the school could possibly help children with autism spectrum disorder, especially since I am not providing the usual special ed services that public schools are required to implement. I wll post my reply here if anyone--member or not--is interested. :)

You have raised some legitimate questions. The school is not strictly for children with asd or other special needs—a neuro-typical student could attend and would benefit from the classical curriculum, but there are other schools that use this. However, this is a general ed classroom that utilizes various aspects that one may find in a special ed classroom. Conscious choices in the lighting, the wall color, flooring, sound, furniture, wall decorations, etc. have been made with sensory processing and other research of learning environments in mind. A movement area with mats, crash pads, rebounder, and a balance beam are part of the classroom. Furthermore, the student/teacher ratio is 6/1 with a highly qualified para as an additional aide. This can be very beneficial for asd students who suffer from overstimulation and/or anxiety due to large classroom/school populations.

IEPs are an important and necessary document in the public school system to protect the rights of students to a FAPE. As a private school that does not receive any funds from the state/federal government and despite my graduate degree in special education, I have chosen not to provide these very time consuming academic plans. With that being said, this school is not for everyone and parents get to decide where they send their child.

Therapies such as O.T. and speech are a necessary component of our children’s developmental growth; my son always had wonderful therapists in the Boise School District. My son has private therapies he continues to attend and I implement as many suggestions into our school day as appropriate to a classroom setting.
Again, this is not for every child but it gives parents another choice that may address their child’s circumstances better than their current school.

[06/30/16]   The 2016/2017 school year is set around 4th and 5th grades, but students going into 3rd or 6th grade would be considered on an individual basis--which all students must go through to be accepted. This process helps to ensure that each student will benefit and is served well by attending MPCA. 06/24/2016

Why is Crawling On Hands & Knees So Important?
When children do not crawl or spend an adequate amout of time doing so, we often see it manifest in learning disabilites and other neurological developmental issues. A fabulous book, "Smart Moves: why learning is not all in your head", by Carla Hannaford explains the science and research behind the importance of movement and brain developlment; furthermore, she reveals what can be done to address developmental challenges for children (and adults) out of this critically important infant stage.
Our school day incorporates strategic movements that work on neurological processes. And it is fun! Continue reading 05/20/2016

About Primitive Reflexes

Primitive reflex integration is an integral part of our morning routine. What are primitive reflexes and why are they important to learning? Watch my mentor and friend, Kathy Johnson, explain these fundamental brain development processes in this youtube video. Kathy Johnson of Pyramid of Potential talks about what primitive reflexes are and how to be sure that changes are realized. 05/17/2016

These Light Bulbs Cause Anxiety, Migraines, and Even Cancer. If you have them, do THIS immediately!

The physical environment of a classroom is very important; yet, in most classrooms this is not sufficiently emphasized. Mount Parnassus is a school in which the classroom design and aesthetics are based on research that shows how a student’s learning is affected by sensory input from the classroom environment. For instance, all fluorescent fixtures have been replaced by LED lighting.
content/uploads/StudentBrochure.pdf Many of us in the effort to save energy and money, replaced our old standard light bulbs with environmentally-friendly new generation energy saving light bulbs. However, the new generation of energy efficient light bulbs are so toxic that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency created an emergenc...




20 N Latah St
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