Real Classical Education for Catholics
“I prayed, and prudence was given me;
I pleaded, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepter and throne,
and deemed riches nothing in comparison with her,
nor did I liken any priceless gem to her;
because all gold, in view of her, is a little sand,
and before her, silver is to be accounted mire.
Beyond health and comeliness I loved her,
and I chose to have her rather than the light,
because the splendor of her never yields to sleep.
Yet all good things together came to me in her company,
and countless riches at her hands.”
What is Real Classical Education?
In modern circles, a popular, but misleading, group has become popular that pretends to offer “classical education”, usually through private schools and home school programs. These programs do not offer real classical education, but simply an older form of modern schooling, which is still modern schooling.
Real Classical education is education that serves the intellectual needs of men and women. If we are honest, we can see that there are many ways to make a living in this world, and anyone can go to college. These should not be things that trouble us. Children today, however, are loaded with pressures by Christian parents and teaches who are not thinking about their souls, but are talking about SAT scores, college admission and jobs–as if the things unbelievers seek should be the things we are seeking. In the past, it was no so. Wise and holy schoolmasters guided their students in the pursuit of Wisdom, and they did so through the classical liberal arts.
Classical education is not about “stages of learning” as Dorothy Sayers said–that’s modern psychology speaking, not Catholic philosophy. Real classical education is the study of the classical liberal arts, which are seven subjects of study which prepare a student to seek Wisdom.
Students must learn the art of Grammar, which teaches them to speak and write rightly. Students must learn the art of Reasoning, which teaches them how to investigate all subjects. Students must learn the art of Rhetoric, which teaches them how men are moved by speech. Students must study Arithmetic, which is the study of multitude, or number. Students must study Geometry, which is the study of magnitudes, or bodies. Sixth, students must study Music, which is the art of numbers in relation to one another, or harmonies. Seventh, students must study Astronomy, which is the art of magnitudes in motion, by which the universe was created.
These arts prepare a student for the the higher sciences: Philosophy and Theology. This education is the only education worthy of men made in the image of God, who are appointed to govern the earth. Whatever is done for mere earthly pursuits or to supply physical needs is associated with education only because our foolish society has made K-12 schooling compulsory for all children, regardless of their socio-economic conditions. That “public school” education has nothing to do with Christian education. No saint in history every received or recommend such an education.
In the Classical Liberal Arts Academy, we provide real classical education to every family that wants it.
“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road.” (C.S. Lewis)