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Course Recommendations by Age/Grade


Overview

In the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, we seek a true classical Catholic education, while simultaneously satisfying the requirements of modern education laws. As these are two separate streams of learning, they are best kept separate, with the modern requirements being completed in an efficient manner that does not crowd out the more important studies.

It must be understood that the modern K-12 grade level system never existed in world history before the public schools were created in the 1850s. The great flaw of most homeschools and private schools is that they imagine that they will follow the public school model which, in the end, only means one thing: they will neglect classical Catholic education and complete only the minimum modern standards (if they do that much). This is the plague of modern Catholic education.

Only in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy do we maintain our focus on classical Catholic studies while satisfying modern requirements. This method of education is different and requires some learning, but it will prove simpler and more effective in the long run.


If you would like individualized help planning studies for yourself or your children, please schedule a consultation meeting with Mr. William C. Michael.


Goal: Classical Catholic *and* Modern Studies

In the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, we work to complete both classical Catholic and modern studies. This can only be done by (a) focusing on classical Catholic studies and (b) completing modern studies in the simplest and most efficient way possible. This can only be done in the Classical Liberal Arts Academy. We will use the colors maroon and navy to keep classical and modern courses distinguished on this page.

In the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, we work to complete both classical Catholic and modern studies.

I. Primary (Ages 6-14, Grades 1-8)

In the Catholic Church, children are said to reach the “age of Reason” around age 7, which is why the sacraments of Penance and First Communion are administered at this time. Likewise, in ancient times, a student aged 6-14 was considered a child (παις) and the “childish” education given was called paideia (παιδεια). The focus of this period in classical education was on physical development through “Gymnastics”, cultural development through Music, and academic development through Grammar. Gymnastics and Music continued throughout a student’s education and parents are encouraged to provide for these through private, local activities.

A. Classical Catholic Studies

1. Classical Catholic Studies (Ages 7-11)

Young children getting started should begin their classical Catholic studies with the following courses:

  1. Trivium
  2. Quadrivium
    • n/a
  3. Philosophy
  4. Theology
  5. Humanities

2. Classical Catholic Studies (Ages 11-14)

Children getting started a little later should begin in the following courses:

  1. Trivium
  2. Quadrivium
    • n/a
  3. Philosophy
  4. Theology
  5. Humanities

B. Modern Grade-Level Studies (Ages 7-14)

While focusing on making progress through the classical Catholic studies above, students can complete modern grade level requirements by working through the courses recommended below.

Grade K (Ages 3-6)

The Academy’s Petty School courses are intended to provide young children with activities help them develop the discipline to become students and learn ideas that will be studied in depth as they begin real studies around age 7, when they read the age of Reason. When a young student is ready to learn to read and write, he should move to Grade K studies.

  1. PTY-001 Petty School Reading
  2. PTY-002 Petty School Writing
  3. PTY-003 Petty School Arithmetic
  4. MOD-000 English Reading K
  5. MOD-020 Elementary Literature K
  6. MOD-091 Handwriting I (Manuscript)

Grade 1 (Ages 6-7)

In addition to the classical Catholic studies listed above, students are recommended to complete the following courses to satisfy modern grade level requirements:

  1. English
  2. Mathematics

Grade 2 (Ages 7-8)

In addition to the classical Catholic studies listed above, students are recommended to complete the following courses to satisfy modern grade level requirements:

  1. English
  2. Mathematics

Grade 3 (Ages 8-9)

In addition to the classical Catholic studies listed above, students are recommended to complete the following courses to satisfy modern grade level requirements:

  1. English
  2. Mathematics

Grade 4 (Ages 9-10)

In addition to the classical Catholic studies listed above, students are recommended to complete the following courses to satisfy modern grade level requirements:

  1. English
  2. Mathematics

Grade 5 (Ages 10-11)

In addition to the classical Catholic studies listed above, students are recommended to complete the following courses to satisfy modern grade level requirements:

  1. English
  2. Mathematics

Grade 6 (Ages 11-12)

In the “middle school” years, students must begin preparing for the rigors of high school studies. In addition to the classical Catholic studies listed above, students are recommended to complete the following courses to satisfy modern grade level requirements:

  1. English
  2. Mathematics

Grade 7 (Ages 12-13)

In addition to the classical Catholic studies listed above, students are recommended to complete the following courses to satisfy modern grade level requirements:

  1. English
  2. Mathematics

Grade 8 (Ages 13-14)

In addition to the classical Catholic studies listed above, students are recommended to complete the following courses to satisfy modern grade level requirements:

  1. English
  2. Mathematics

II. Secondary (Ages 14-18+, Grades 9-12)

Historically, age 14 was recognized as the time when a boy (παις) became a lad (μειρακιον), and his education advanced to a new level until he became a young man (ἐφηβος) at age 18. It was at this time, age 14, that King Philip of Macedon arranged for Aristotle to tutor his son, Alexander. In the Catholic Church, we find the sacrament of Confirmation taking place at this time. In medieval times, students could move to the University at this time. Academically, a student needs to take responsibility for his own studies, and work as hard as possible to make year-round progress.

A. Classical Catholic Studies (Ages 14-18+)

Students at this age should begin (or continue) working in the following classical Catholic courses and move as far into higher studies as possible:

  1. Trivium
  2. Quadrivium
  3. Philosophy
  4. Theology

B. Modern Grade Level Studies (Ages 14-18+)

In the high school years, students must immerse themselves in the most rigorous course of studies possible.  For students preparing for admission to selective universities, four years of English, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Natural Science and History are necessary.  Catholic students must complete these studies in the most efficient manner possible, so that classical Catholic studies are not crowded out of the curriculum.  In addition to these studies, students need to make sure that preparation is made for standardized tests that may be required for college admission (SAT, ACT, etc.) For help with college preparation, it is recommended that parents schedule a consultation meeting.

Grade 9 (Ages 14-15)

The following courses provide for the satisfaction of a modern 9th grade course of studies.

  1. English
  2. Foreign Language
  3. Mathematics
  4. Science
  5. Social Studies

Grade 10 (Age 15-16)

The following courses provide for the satisfaction of a modern 10th grade course of studies. If students have not completed 9th grade studies, they must begin there.

  1. English
  2. Foreign Language
  3. Mathematics
  4. Science
  5. Social Studies

Grade 11 (Ages 16-17)

The following courses provide for the satisfaction of a modern 11th grade course of studies. If students have not completed 9th-10th grade studies, they must begin there.

  1. English
  2. Foreign Language
  3. Mathematics
  4. Science
  5. Social Studies

Grade 12 (Ages 17-18)

The following courses provide for the satisfaction of a modern 12th grade course of studies. If students have not completed 9th-11th grade studies, they must begin there. If students are far behind in normal high school studies, an emergency remedial plan would be necessary.

  1. English
  2. Foreign Language
  3. Mathematics
  4. Science
  5. Social Studies

Electives and Other Subjects

In the course recommendations above, subjects such as Music, Art and Physical Education have been left out. We do not recommend that students satisfy these requirements by school activities, but through quality extracurricular activities that include music lessons, dance classes, Church choir participation, gymnastics, competitive sports, martial arts classes, JROTC membership, etc.

Colleges and universities will not be interested in the quantity of activities one participates in, but for the quality of those activities and whether the student demonstrates professional potential and leadership skills which will carry over into college and professtional life.

Need more help?
If you would like individualized help planning studies for yourself or your children, please schedule a paid consultation meeting with Mr. William C. Michael.

High School Transcripts and References

To apply for college admission, students must prepare transcripts that are meaningful to the schools receiving them. Modern colleges and universities know nothing about classical Catholic studies, and expect a certain arrangement, which we are wise to provide.

A student’s four years of modern high school studies should be laid out simply with the courses studied each year set together. After the modern grade level courses have been listed, students should list the classical Catholic studies they have completed that go above and beyond the modern high school requirements. A sample transcript template can be found below:

Please note that no recognition of “advanced” studies will be recognized if students do not complete modern grade-level studies well. The modern courses must be completed well.

Students who are enrolled in the Academy’s Premium Student plan, who work with Academy staff regularly throughout their high school years, and who complete the studies listed above, may request reference letters from the Academy.

What Selective Colleges Recommend

If a student desires to attend a college that does not have a selective admissions rate, admission is not a concern. So long as the modern courses recommended above are completed, the student has a GPA over 3.0 and a decent SAT score (if required), he will be admitted.

If, however, a student wishes to attend a more selective university, he must realize that every student applying will have a solid high school transcript, high grades and great test scores. This will not be enough for admission. The message from the most selective colleges is clear:

“By taking the most academically demanding courses you can find, you can improve both your chance of admission to a selective college and your performance during the first years of college.”

Harvard University

“Whenever you can, challenge yourself with the most rigorous courses possible.”

Princeton University

“When the admissions committee looks at your transcript, it will not focus on whether you have taken any specific course. It will be far more interested to see that you have challenged yourself with difficult coursework, and have done well.”

Yale University

“We recommend you pursue a reasonably challenging curriculum by choosing courses from among the most demanding available at your school.”

Stanford University

“You should focus on taking the most challenging courses available to you in the areas that most interest you.”

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

“When making curriculum choices, seek out courses that will enrich and challenge you, rather than worry about how they will look to a college application reader.”

University of Chicago

“There’s no minimum grade point average or class rank required, but know this: You’re up against the best and the brightest in the world. The more rigorous your course selection, the better your grades, and the higher your class rank, the more competitive your application will be.”

University of Notre Dame
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