The educational philosophy of Classical Catholic Education stems primarily from Traditional Catholic Education. The “liberal” descriptor of this educational philosophy indicates “freedom”, as in freedom from the type of life which certain elements of the world, in their compulsion toward a self-absorption masked by commercialism as self-fulfillment, suggest we lead. Rather, the true “freedom of the children of God” (Romans 8:21) originates from God and is found in union with Christ Jesus and his obedience to the Father’s will: “As Son, Jesus brings a new freedom: not the freedom of someone with no obligations, but the freedom of someone totally united with the Father’s will, someone who helps mankind to attain the freedom of inner oneness with God” (Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives, p. 120).
Weekly assignment sheets and our integrated family program, where History and Science are organized in such a way that all your children are simultaneously covering the same topics at different levels, make organization easier for the parent.
“Socratic” discussions begin in the earliest grades and teach students to begin questioning and discussing stories, pictures, fables, proverbs and famous works of art.
We implement an integrated History and Literature program in which religion, geography and art are not isolated subjects. The program presents a four-year cycle of volumes spanning all of history from creation through modern times. Such an integrated approach to history facilitates the child’s understanding of his or her own provenance as one originating in God, and builds continued self-knowledge as the child relates his or her own origin in reference to the world’s. Such an understanding of one’s own provenance helps to build the assurance becomes truly free in continually reconnecting with God and the plan he has for each one of us.
The Language Arts (spelling, grammar, writing, literature, drama, debate, and oratory): An education in Language Arts functions as an induction to reality and truth. In addition to Literature and Composition, faithful instruction in Grammar augments student learning of the structure and form of language, and reinforces student familiarity with language’s ability to express ideas. Fidelity to a Phonics-Handwriting-Spelling program builds mastery of the concrete skills needed for reading and writing, ensuring further fluency of these skills.
Math has always been central to the liberal arts curriculum. Our Math program emphasizes building a strong conceptual basis in math reasoning, supplemented by instruction in concrete skills for the sake of further academic fluency in learning and applying math concepts. The study of mathematics should also instill in children a sense of wonder at the profound way in which the world displays order, pattern, and relation. Mathematics reveals the beautiful order inherent in the cosmos and our students will be able to recognize this beauty.
Science shows us that truth is not a subjective construct; it is rather, the correspondence of the intellect to reality. Our program explorer the nature of scientific knowledge and the role it plays in leading us toward truth, goodness, and beauty; also, considering the evidence for and the implications of design in the universe.
Our instruction in Music and Art will emphasize how the Church has used such expressions of goodness, truth, and beauty to contribute to the development of Western civilization. We use the Ward Method of Music instruction where children – through vocal instruction – learn music theory, composition and conducting. The method was created to teach children the fundamentals of music so they would be able to sing the vast repertoire of sacred music. The method is unique in that it has a basis in Gregorian Chant.
Virtue program: Our curriculum for education in virtue is set up in such a way that a whole school/family studies the same virtue each month.
Art: Students are made familiar with nine artists per year, and practice the style and technique of the artists through reproducing some of their works through the utilization of various media. We use artwork to teach religion and quiet prayer.
Recitation: Nine poems and Bible verses are introduced to the students each year. They memorize them cooperatively and individually for formal recitation. Our end-of-the-year presentation features drama, choir and recitation.
We provide instruction in conversational Latin and Greek because of their regular grammatical structure – a feature that helps students learn strong grammar and vocabulary as well as reinforces logical thinking patterns. Like studying mathematics, the inherent logic and order to classical languages has advantages for nurturing precision and coherence in students’ reasoning and speaking.
Regarding further benefit of studying Latin, it is worth quoting St. Pope John XXIII at length:
“There can be no doubt as to the formative and educational value either of the language of the Romans or of great literature generally. It is a most effective training for the pliant minds of youth. It exercises, matures and perfects the principal faculties of mind and spirit. It sharpens the wits and gives keenness of judgment. It helps the young mind to grasp things accurately and develop a true sense of values. It is also a means for teaching highly intelligent thought and speech.”– Veturum Sapientia
The following is a breakdown of our Academic Curriculum by grade: