Classical education is traditionally a long-term, three-part learning process beginning in the elementary years and is completed at the end of high school. A classical course of study includes a rich exposure to the history, art, and culture of Western Civilization including its languages (Latin and Greek), philosophy, and literature.
The classical method is based on the medieval model of education called the Trivium (meaning “three paths” or “three ways”). The Trivium covers the three main phases of cognitive development:
- Grammar Period (grade school, ages 9-11) – concrete thinking and memorization of facts and language
- Dialectic Period (middle school, ages 12-14) – analytical thinking, asking questions, and understanding the subjects
- Rhetoric Period (high school, ages 14-16) – abstract thinking, articulation, and learning how to present arguments in a persuasive and pleasing form
Those ages and grades are just suggestions, so don’t worry; it’s never too late to start. In spite of what many people fear (especially in the areas of Latin and math) you can begin a classical curriculum at any age, including middle school or high school.
There are several providers of classical curriculum including: Trivium Pursuit, The Well-Trained Mind, Veritas Press, and Classical Conversations.
Classical Conversations for Homeschoolers
Classical Conversations is a home-centered classical academic program; parents teach their kids at home, then join with a weekly community of peers who are studying the same materials. (Click here to find a local Information Meeting in your area.)
Classical Conversations is unique for three reasons:
- They combine a Christian worldview with a classical pedagogy and bring home educators together in weekly community.
- Their mentoring and coaching resources make homeschooling all your children through high school totally doable.
- They offer programs that meet families’ educational needs from Pre-Kindergarten through College credit.
The high school tier, focusing on Socratic discussions and student leadership, is aptly named Classical Conversations Challenge.
Classical Conversations for Teens
Classical Conversations Challenge covers a full curriculum of subjects for middle and high school students. There are six levels: A, B, I, II, III, and IV. Typically students begin Challenge A when they are 12 and progress through each level completing Challenge IV as a senior, but older students are welcome in any level so you might find a 13 or 14 year old in Challenge A. That’s why they are called “levels” rather than grades so students can enroll in any level they are prepared to study.
Each level progresses through math, Latin, science, and literature with additional seminars which include economics, history, philosophy, theology, logic, and drama. The courses were developed in order to cultivate skills in speaking, logical thinking, debate, persuasive writing, conducting science labs and writing lab reports. Students participate in challenging projects together such as Mock Trial, Team Policy Debate, Science Fair, Speech Events, economics projects, and much more!
Classical Conversations for Parents
As the teacher of your student, you will walk alongside your child as the leading learner. Both you and your child are supported by a trained parent tutor. The tutor/parent/student partnership is a valuable relationship that fosters accountability for all. You are not alone. You can do this!
Moreover, how would you as the parent like to earn a masters degree while homeschooling! Classical Conversations, in partnership with Southeastern University, offers a unique program that lets parents study the same information alongside their children. The course work is sufficiently challenging to accommodate adult students, just at a higher level and from a different perspective.
The Master of Arts in Classical Studies program offers seven concentrations including: English & Rhetoric, Arithmetic & Geometry, Harmonics & History, Latin & Grammar, Logic & Dialectic, Science, Natural Philosophy & Research, Education & Pedagogy.
“This program is the only one of its kind in the world,” said Robert Bortins, Classical Conversations CEO. “I believe this will revolutionize homeschooling, and I am thrilled to partner with Southeastern University on this groundbreaking journey.”
For more information about the Master of Arts degree, visit: https://classicalconversationsplus.com/maprogram