K-2 | Elementary | Middle School | High School
A Typical Day & Daily Prayers
Right from the start we introduce the students to the intricacies of language. It is our conclusion that a person’s thoughts are only as good as the language he has for expressing them. Even in first grade they do exercises on the differences between ‘and’, ‘or’, and ‘but’. They have exercises on rewriting sentences. We use the McGuffey’s Readers, and so right away the students develop an extensive vocabulary as they learn their reading.
As the students progress through the grades, they learn more about correct expression of thought through writing all sorts of things up through a Senior Paper that must be at least 40 pages long, with footnotes and bibliography.
They also study speech, research, and debate. These are also applied in courses in apologetics, Biblical studies, and ethics. We have no qualms about making them memorize things either—in fact they gave a goodly number of poems and famous speeches they have to memorize over the years.
We teach science as a mode of human thought in which all men have to engage. In this study the students learn precisely what sorts of things science can say, and what exactly it cannot say. They are given to understand that men can easily make science into a religion, and just what that means in terms of what Science says today.
The students have Latin from kindergarten through 9th grade, followed by two years of Koine or New Testament Greek and a year of refresher Latin. They have work writing in Latin, translating the Psalms, some philosophy, and Roman and Medieval tales. This all helps them to make their thoughts more precise.
There is a complete double cycle of history starting with ancient history in third grade and going to contemporary history by the end of eighth grade. Then it starts over with ancient in freshman year of high school and ends with contemporary by the end of junior year. The Senior Paper must be on some person or event in American History.
For the personal edification of the students, we also have a complete course on art and music (including two years of Gregorian Chant) – history, appreciation, and production. They learn the rule of expression in these areas and have to produce art works, music, and plays.
The crown of all this is, of course, their religion studies. They cover catechism lessons (they have some choice of books, and many choose Baltimore), Bible history, Church history, and lives of the saints. In later years they study many of the Church documents, encyclicals, writings of the Fathers and Doctors of The Church; and Scripture Studies – to which they apply their knowledge of Latin and Greek.
We also do not neglect the virtues, but frequently give exhortations and explanations in attempts to get the students, of their own accord, to practice the virtues. We ask, “What good is all the knowledge and intellectual ability, If there is no holiness derived from them?” We also try to counter the ‘big lie’ that so many young people seem to believe – that nothing good is fun: Why does God not what us to have any fun? Why do we have to go around solemnly and prayerfully and never do anything we really want to do? We counter, “God made us to be happy. He knows what will make us happy and what won’t. Do not be deceived; sin will never make you happy.”
Then we encourage them to become
Tools of Mary – to go out into the world and lead such an exemplary life that they attract others to ask about it. They reply, “Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I am a Catholic.” and see where the conversation goes from there; allowing Mary to speak through them by saying what comes to their minds. Thus they will go about fulfilling Jesus’ command to, “teach all nations, baptizing them …” (Matthew 28:19) as it has been so wonderfully interpreted for us by Pope John Paul II.