The greatest gift parents could ask for, when approaching their student’s high school years is wisdom. You’ll know you’ve found wisdom regarding your teen’s education when you answer these two questions: “What are the best goals for my child?” and “What are the best means to achieve those goals?” When evaluating homeschooling pros and cons, Christian parents understand that, although academics are important, their child’s faith in Jesus Christ is paramount. Classical Conversations shares this focus with you and has designed its high school homeschool curriculum to glorify God through the pursuit of truth and beauty. This enables children to grow into adults possessing wisdom and the ability to reflect the excellence of Christ to this lost and broken world.
High school offers unique and golden opportunities. Many parents say this is the stage where they really begin to see the fruit of their homeschooling efforts shining in the lives of their children. These transformative years are when the ideas, values, and skills of the students are seen more clearly than any other period of their life. Classical Conversations’ high school homeschool curriculum is designed to take students through the rhetoric stage—where, as growing teens, they learn how to communicate the truth of the subjects they’ve previously learned through writing, speech, and conversation. This phase, called the Challenge phase, has proven ideal for students in the high school years (ages 12-17) because it encourages them to take the analysis skills they’ve learned and apply them in order to become articulate communicators. Building on the earlier Foundations and Essentials programs, the Challenge program embraces self-study augmented with the dynamics of group conversations.
In the Challenge high school program, students learn the vital skills and subjects for long-term success in college and career—in a Christ-based foundation they will carry with them for life. Classical Conversations Challenge (CCC) is an integrated high school homeschool curriculum involving six skills:
Each year, students of CCC study and progress in Latin. Latin is known is commonly called the foundation for grammar skills because it not only teaches students more about their own language, but they learn fundamental linguistic principles that can be applied to learning any language. In this program, students talk through the ideas of language, translate languages together and help each other grow in concepts and vocabulary. Many alumni say that Latin classes prove very useful because they are incorporated with learning several other languages. It is particularly valuable for individuals that go on to medical related fields commonly using Latin terms in the workplace. Latin also lays the perfect groundwork for those who go on to international work or missions as students learn words useful for Biblical interpretation.
Exposition and Composition Skills
This is a comprehensive curriculum of reading, writing, discussing literature so students can lay the groundwork for essay writing. This skill phase is designed to help students learn, exercise, and communicate their abilities across many subjects. Consisting of American/British Literature, Poetry/Theater, and Ancient Literature, students learn to construct well-composed essays by studying the greatest pieces crafted throughout history. This includes memorizing masters of exposition and composition, such as Shakespeare, in order to learn how to communicate effectively. Students also examine and critique ancient literature under the authority of the Bible. This helps increase students discernment of truth in other texts and equips them to boldly speak out against things in discordance with God’s Word.
The debate skill is a dynamic, engaging course of learning how ideas and worldviews influence the world. In this skill, students study Western cultural history, American history and world history. Students in the debate skill also explore free-market economics and the United States government. Students love studying economics as they participate in online stock market games reflective of current markets, thereby learning the value of sound decisions. They also learn finances closer to home by preparing and reviewing a personal budget. In American government, students learn the U.S. Constitution, Federalist Papers and other documents critical to our nation. This creates a fundamental understanding of the U.S. government, its checks and balances and its role. By writing compositions they are encouraged to dig deeper in their understanding and appreciation the complex concept of freedom. Students also split up in teams, research resolutions and debate one another. This encourages students to think about topics differently and process other, but similar perspectives. Infused with a Christian worldview, these debate skills highly favor students as they go into the world to share the gospel in truth and love.
This skill encourages students to research, apply and articulate findings within the realm of science. This includes physical science, biology, chemistry and physics. As are all subjects at Classical Conversations, these are taught through a Biblical perspective. For example, science classes don’t just explore the physics of how the world operates but how it is designed by the Creator’s divine hand. Students develop a deep and personal understanding of the sciences by reading and outlining the texts on their own–before they take the tests. Students also research a relevant topic of their choice, write a major research paper and present their findings to the class. Many of Classical Conversations’ classes are community classes that involve local families coming together to create an environment that is both diverse and Christ-orientated.
Classical Conversations defines rhetoric as, “The time of application and presentation of academic excellence and truth to our world for this purpose: to know God and make Him known.” Every academic year, CCC requires students study subjects within the realm of rhetoric. This includes drama, philosophy, logic and theology. These are presented in such a way that students become equipped to think critically, articulately and persuasively – particularly when it comes to defending the intelligibility of the Christian worldview. This skill helps produce individuals who not only love the Lord, but love those who do not yet know Him so that they can clearly communicate the Christian worldview to them.
In addition to philosophy, logic and theology, students of CCC will learn advanced problem solving through mathematics. In this logic skill, students learn to develop mathematical answers and explain the processes and the laws used to derive those answers. This skill includes Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Advanced Math A and Advanced Math B.
We study the ideas of Biblical worldviews in every topic we embark on. Each of these skills was created to inspire, in students, a life energized by a love of learning so that they may grow into adulthood glorifying the God who created them. And because this rhetoric model involves community conversations with classmates, students form lifelong friendships and connections that are essential to personal development. The best part– parents also develop a close network by going through the journey with others in their homeschooling endeavors. As a result of this incredible support system, coupled with the resources offered through Classical Conversations, no parent has to feel inept about homeschooling—even with teens in high school. This Christ-centered high school education has proven immensely successful and has cultivated great Christian leaders in communities all over the world. Families can approach these years with confidence knowing that their children are getting a well-rounded education infused with Christ-based wisdom. As Proverbs 24:3-5 says, “By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is full of strength, and a man of knowledge enhances his might.”