Without question, the #1 question I receive from families starting in the CLAA is:
“What type of schedule do you recommend for CLAA studies?”
I have heard families using the Seton home school curriculum talking about having their daily homeschooling done in a few hours. If that’s your goal–to get done quickly every day–fare well. The reason such a schedule is possible is because Catholic homeschool families are taking the minimum standards of modern K-12 education and are making a rule of them.
Modern K-12 requirements have nothing to do with Christian education, and we should be embarassed to even speak of them in homeschooling discussions.
Can you imagine presenting such a curriculum to any of the saints and asking what they think of it? They would have no idea what they’re even looking at. Imagine the conversation:
St. Thomas: “What is this?
Parent: “It’s the modern K-12 curriculum.”
St. Thomas: “When did the Church establish this?”
Parent: “Oh, it was never established by the Church.”
St. Thomas: “What philosopher established this?”
Parent: “I have no idea.”
St. Thomas: “Where did this curriculum come from, then?”
Parent: “I don’t know. It’s just what all the schools do today.”
St. Thomas: “So, you’re giving your Catholic children a secular education…at home?”
Parent: “Yes–but we do study Latin.”
St. Thomas: “Why?”
Parent: “I don’t know.”
St. Thomas: “Grammar and Reasoning? Ethics and Scripture?”
Parent: “No. There’s no time for that–and, we get done in just a few hours each day.”
That’s the reality we’re dealing with. It’s approaching the craziness that most Christians mock in liberal political circles.
On the contrary, the classical liberal arts, which, before the Scientific Revolution and Protestant Schism, was the only curriculum known anywhere among Catholics, requires everything a student has. Their study is a way of life that one must choose instead of inferior pursuits. This is taught plainly in the inspired book of Sirach, which teaches us, honestly, the separation of the mechanical arts and the liberal arts (both of which are valuable):
“Whoever is free from toil can become wise.”
In other words, we must choose to pursue wisdom instead of other things, and those who do not cannot have it. If a student will devote his hours to playing sports, or studying computers, or building furniture, or practicing the piano, he will do so at the expense of liberal studies. We must choose to pursue the noblest work in this world, and very few are choosing this work today.
The recommended schedule can be viewed here:
It is important to understand that for any schedule to “work”, it must be able to handle the unavoidable interruptions that come in the providence of God. To maintain an inflexible schedule is selfish and unsustainable, and to have no schedule because of interruptions is unreasonable. The schedule provides a default routine, or goal, to which everyone returns as soon as any interruption has passed. Children in the home assumes that the schedule is to be followed unless told otherwise. The family can always maintain the schedule while individuals attend to their own tasks and appointments. The schedule is the norm and goal, not the rule.
How the CLAA Helps
In the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, we don’t sell books to homeschool families. We are a home-schooling family and live the life we recommend to others. Our program is arranged to serve the true classical liberal arts curriculum and we provide all of the resources and services required to succeed in it. The schedule we recommend is tested and proven not only effective but sustainable in real-life circumstances, where family members are busy as parishioners, relatives, neighbors and friends. We’re not ashamed of talking about the practical details of family life and home-schooling.
Please feel free to ask any questions about the recommended schedule here or on the CLAA Support Forum, which offers a little more privacy.
Mr. William C. Michael, Headmaster
Classical Liberal Arts Academy
Mr. William C. Michael, O.P. is the founding headmaster of the Classical Liberal Arts Academy. Mr. Michael is a Lay Dominican in the Catholic Church and is a homeschooling father to ten children, all of whom have studied in the Academy. He graduated from Rutgers University with an honors degree in Classics & Ancient History, is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and is currently studying at Harvard University. Mr. Michael has worked in private education as a Classics teacher and administrator for over 20 years. Mr. Michael is known for his talks on the Academy YouTube channel and his sponsorship of Classical Catholic Radio.