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The object of education is to teach us to love what is beautiful.  
Plato, The Republic
 
 
What is classical education?

      A classical education is designed with the developmental stages of children in mind and is the best model for teaching them to recognize, love, and choose goodness, truth, and beauty.  A classical education lays the academic and spiritual foundation needed to best understand God's creation, salvation history, and His plan for their lives.  There are many resources that outline the main tenants of the classical model and why students thrive in a classical environment.  One of the best summaries comes from St. Jerome Academy's criteria for evaluating curricula, programs, and activities:

  1. Is it beautiful?

  2. Are we doing this because it is inherently good, or as a means to an end? If the latter, what end?

  3. Does it encourage the student to think of education itself as a high and noble enterprise, or does it cheapen education?

  4. Is it excellent? Does it demand the best students and teachers have to offer, and hold them to the highest standard they are capable of achieving? Or does it give in to the gravitational pull of mediocrity? Is excellence the highest standard, or is excellence subordinate to lower standards such as convenience, popularity, or marketing considerations (i.e., consumer appeal)?

  5. Does it encourage reverence for the mystery of God and the splendor of His creation?

  6. Does it encourage reverence for the mystery of the human person and respect for the student’s own human dignity?

  7. Does it encourage him to desire truth, to understand such virtues as courage, modesty, prudence, and moderation and to cultivate these within himself?

  8. Does it help the student to see what difference God makes to all the facets of the world, or does it make God’s existence seem irrelevant, trivial, small, or private?

  9. Does it assist in passing on the received wisdom of the Christian tradition, or does it create obstacles to reception of the tradition?

  10. Does it encourage real searching and thinking? Does it provoke the student to ask "why?" Does it stir up a desire for understanding?

  11. Does it encourage conversation between and across generations or does it hinder it?

  12. Does it help to develop to the fullest extent what is uniquely human in the student: the powers of attending, deliberating, questioning, calculating, remembering, and loving?

  13. Does it encourage the student to become patient, to take time, and if necessary, to start over in order to achieve excellence, or does it subordinate excellence to speed, ease, and efficiency?

  14. Does it encourage the student to value rigor and discipline?

  15. Does it deepen the role of the family in the life of the school and the role of education in the life of the family, or does it erect a barrier between family and school?

Read more about classical education

 
 
Curriculum Details

Integrated subject matter

Classical curriculum is often based on the "history cycle," rotating through full years of ancient, medieval, modern/American history.  Study though living books is emphasized.  Subjects such as literature, art, geography, poetry, culture study, writing, memory work, oral presentation, and even science may be encompassed by the history cycle units.  Children thrive in this immersive educational environment and have the time to dive deep into areas of interest.  

Integration across grade-levels

Homeschooling parents know how challenging it can be to jump around multiple history and literature units for multiple children.  Enter the beauty of the school-wide history cycle.  In this design, the parent can focus on one time period with the entire family. Relevant literature is read aloud to all children and projects can be scaled according to ability.  Skill-based subjects (e.g., math, Latin, spelling) are still assigned based on ability.  A school-wide history cycle also allows for the entire community to come together for fun activities, historical presentations, or field trips.

Well-rounded

Fine arts are no less important than "core" academic subjects, as they all contribute to the educational mission at Holy Family Academy.  We eliminate "busy work" so as to devote substantial time to art, music, oral presentation, Latin, and foreign language.  Students enjoy science experiments, saint and virtue studies, and plenty of physical activity.  Please note, we are a low-tech community.  While training young children to use technology may be trendy, there is no research to support this practice.

Fun

Classical education prizes beautiful, rich teaching materials, and the teaching methods are designed to encourage a love of learning in children.  Story, song, poetry, oration, and plenty of time to move and create foster a child's natural curiosity, engagement, and desire to learn more. We joyfully grow in our faith together, recognizing Christ's presence in our work and play.  At the community level, traditional schools and hybrid programs have been shown to thrive when based on the classical model.

Our 2022-2023 Curriculum Plan