Dialectic Curriculum

Our Dialectic Students participate in a wide range of classes.

Omnibus combines history and literature in a single course.  Each year, students will focus on a specific time period and read classic texts to enhance their understanding of that era. 

  • 6th Grade: Ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome; Early Church
    • Sixth Grade Omnibus is a general overview of the three cultures that formed Western civilization and that contributed to the growth and spread of Christianity, namely ancient Judaism, Greece, and Rome. Sixth grade focuses on their religious and political ideas by reading the histories of Herodotus and Suetonius, The course then provides an introduction to the primary literary forms by reading the epic poetry of The Odyssey and The Aeneid, and then culminates in a study of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles
  • 7th Grade: Medieval Europe, with a Northern Emphasis
    • Seventh Grade Omnibus traces the spread of the Church through Europe and into England during the Middle Ages. Students read the Christian and chivalric literature of England (Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Canterbury Tales) and Scandinavia while studying the developing relationship and conflicts between the Monarchy and the Church. They conclude with the stirrings of reform in England and an introduction to Martin Luther. 
  • 8th Grade: The Modern West with an American Emphasis
    • Eighth Grade Omnibus begins with the study of the English Reformation and the conflicts of Church and State in Britain that contribute to colonization of the New World. In doing so they read such classics as Pilgrim’s Progress and Pride and Prejudice.  The year continues with the study of America from its foundation to the end of the Cold War while students read The Great Gatsby, Fahrenheit 451, Call of the Wild, and other greats.  

Our robust Science curriculum includes hands-on activities and comprehensive lab work to bring the topics students are learning to life.

  • 6th grade: Students are introduced to physical science with a large focus on Newton’s Laws via hands-on labs.
  • 7th grade: Students learn about life science and have the opportunity to participate in multiple dissections, including owl pellets and frogs.
  • 8th grade: Students tackle physical science with labs that focus on the basics of physics.

In Mathematics, students continue to build on what they have learned in grammar school by continuing the Math in Focus program into 6th grade. The Math in Focus Scope and Sequence for Grades is available online here.

Next, our students use a  Pre-Algebra textbook for 7th and limited chapters of an Algebra 1 textbook for 8th grade with the Glencoe/McGraw Hill curriculum sequence.

Our Practicum courses combine the study of composition, grammar, and vocabulary to continue building the students’ writing skills.   The course continues with the sequence of the Writing and Rhetoric curriculum to teach writing classically. Our Mother Tongue provides a sturdy review of the grammar skills the students gained in grades 1-5, and Classical Roots allows the students to utilize their knowledge of Latin to study English vocabulary.

  • 6th grade: Students learn to write Refutations and Confirmations.
  • 7th grade: Students begin to write Encomiums and Vituperations.
  • 8th grade: Students learn to write Comparisons while also participating in an introduction to Logic.

In dialectic Bible courses, students learn to read the Scriptures by looking to Christ as the Key to unlocking their meaning, in utter reliance on the Holy Spirit’s illumination and in light of the Great Tradition shared by Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox sisters and brothers.

  • 6th grade: Old Testament I is the anchor of the dialectic Bible curriculum, laying the foundational themes of creation, fall, and renewal. From Genesis to II Samuel, students follow the beginning of all things and God’s great story of redeeming a good world fallen into sin. From God’s redemption of Abram to His freeing His people from slavering in Egypt to His giving them the gracious and loving law to His rescuing them from their own rebellious idolatry to His gift of King David, students see God’s unfolding plan of redemption.
  • 7th grade: Old Testament II is devoted to the continuing story of God’s redemption of all things.  Following Israel from the establishment of Solomon’s kingdom to the return from the exile (roughly I Kings through Malachi), students read along as Israel sinks deeper into idolatry and chaos, ever noting God’s severe mercy as spoken through the prophets of the latter half of the Old Testament.
  • 8th grade: New Testament students experience the flowering of the story of creation, fall, and renewal planted in the previous Old Testament courses. Jesus of Nazareth, God Incarnate, the promised One of Old Testament types and shadow, has finally arrived. Students follow the story of Christ’s incarnation, life, death, resurrection, and ascension found in the Gospels and turn to the Book of Act to follow the Church as she continues that work of redemption. Along the way, attention is given to the epistles and their reflections on the life of Christ.

All dialectic students at The Academy participate in Latin courses.  The cycle initially begins in third grade and then starts again with the basics in 6th grade. By high school, many of The Academy’s Latin scholars earn national recognition for their academic achievements on the National Latin Exam.

Dialectic students also participate in electives.  During grades 6-8, all traditional students participate in Music at The Academy.  Traditional students are also required to choose between Art, Drama, and Debate Blended students have the option to participate in electives but it is not required.    

Rhetoric Curriculum

Our Rhetoric Students also participate in a wide range of classes.

Omnibus combines history and literature in a single course.  Each year, students will focus on a specific time period and read classic texts to enhance their understanding of that era. 

  • 9th Grade: Ancient Near East, Greece and Rome; Early Church
    • This course returns to a study of the Ancient Near East, Greece and Rome, with a deeper consideration of matters of ethics and justice, before ultimately coming to the Gospel of Salvation in Jesus Christ.  Students read epic and dramatic poetry in The Iliad, the classical historical texts of Josephus and Thucydides, and the philosophy of Plato (amongst other) that ask deep questions about goodness and justice, and what it means to live ethically in community with other human beings.  
  • 10th Grade: Medieval Europe with a continental emphasis
    • In Tenth Grade, Omnibus returns to a study of Medieval Europe with a deeper philosophical and theological consideration of Christendom, starting with St Augustine’s City of God, continuing through specifically Christian forms of imaginative literature that develop throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance while reading texts like HamletThe Faerie Queen, and Paradise Lost,  They also learn about developments in science while concluding with the Reformation and Renaissance and the emergence of nation states. 
  • 11th Grade: The Modern World with a Global Emphasis
    • Eleventh Grade Omnibus focuses on Europe’s transition into the modern age from the medieval age.  This class studies shifting solidity of the unified Christian world view as people of this age begin to question everything from social class and religion to philosophy and government.  Because of the class’s historical situation in the modern age the literature is primarily comprised of novels and plays from the West’s greatest authors with texts such as Sense and Sensibility, Crime and Punishment,  The Sun Also Rises, and The Great Divorce. 
  • 12th Grade: The History and Literature of the United States of America
    • Twelfth Grade Omnibus begins with the study of the origins of America as colonies of Britain as they establish their own unique identity, first culturally and then politically.  It follows with a study of America as an independent nation from independence to the Cold War, and the effects and application of the principles of freedom, responsibility, and justice. Texts include The Scarlet LetterThe Souls of Black Folk, and The Death of a Salesman.

In rhetoric Science courses, the foundation built in the Grammar and Dialectic grades allows students to think deeply about science and how to apply these concepts to God’s creation. Rhetoric students are exposed to real life application projects, lab experimentation, model building and presentations, moving from mere appreciation and application to expression-the clear articulation of what they have learned in written and oral forms in clear, cogent prose. Students learn that an understanding of science without an ability to express that understanding to others is not a fully-developed scientific approach.  Just as they have read the works of noteworthy scientists, so they are taught to emulate something of the expression of scientific concepts. Graduates of The Academy leave with a universal education in chemistry, physics, biology, and earth science and with a love of the discipline and preparation for further study.  

In Rhetoric Mathematics, our courses follow a traditional sequence:

  • Algebra 1
  • Geometry
  • Algebra 2
  • Trigonometry and Pre-Calculus
  • Calculus

We continue the Glencoe/McGraw Hill curriculum through Algebra 2.

We have two math tracks that are primarily based on student readiness. If students have successfully completed our 8th grade math course,  they have the option to start the track with Geometry and finish with Calculus. The second track starts with Algebra 1 in 9th grade and culminates in Trigonometry/Pre-Calculus. We also offer probability and statistics as an additional senior math class. 

Both tracks fully prepare students for standardized testing and college readiness. Our Trig/Pre-Calc and Calculus classes offer concurrent enrollment with a local university.

Rhetoric Theology courses build upon the foundation of the biblical theology gleaned in the dialectic years, deepening the understanding acquired there and pushing students into broader areas of loving engagement with neighbors.

  • Logic enables one to think well about the world, especially arguments found therein. Students embody the art of logic through contemplation of the theistic foundations of logic, practice of making and defending arguments, training in identifying fallacious arguments and learning proof methods for sentential and quantified logic.
  • Systems of Thought is devoted to the exploration and discussion of the history and development of Christian doctrine, doctrine being shorthand for the content of scripture’s narrative, conceived as stage directions for the dramatic embodiment of the biblical narrative of creation, fall, renewal.
  • Rhetoric studies classical rhetoric systematized by thinkers before and after Aristotle, the Christian critique of this system by St. Augustine and the application of rhetorical thinking to our contemporary world and lives. Students learn the three classical canons of invention, arrangement and elocution, so that they may treat language with the reverence that befits God’s creative medium, understand God’s self-expression and communicate the radical kind of love shown by Christ, the Word, Himself.
  • Comparative Religions is the study of the world’s religions, but with a concern for how we ought to treat an Other’s religious beliefs as much as with the content of those religious beliefs. Couched in terms of sacrificial listening, the goal of the course is humble engagement with other religion through a critical evaluation of students’ own assumptions about Others’ religions, a consequent embodiment of a Gospel-driven ethic of engagement and careful readings of the major texts of Atheist, Taoist, Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim neighbors.

Students at The Academy complete their Latin study in 9th grade and, between grades 10-12, students take Spanish.

Practicum continues into the rhetoric grades with courses IV & V.

  • Practicum IV is designed to guide the student in the basics of persuasive composition and elementary poetry.  In the composition portion of the year, The Lost Tools of Writing I guides the student not only in composing a persuasive essay, but also in analyzing literature, employing the three canons of classical rhetoric (invention, arrangement, and elocution), and applying various schemes and tropes. In the study of poetry, the student utilizes the book The Art of Poetry to guide them in learning how to identify and utilize the basic poetic devices as they read and analyze poetry and then compose their own poems.
  • Practicum V is designed to guide the student in the basics of judicial composition and in depth studies of specific American poets and poetry.  In the composition portion of the year, Lost Tools of Writing II guides the student in perfecting the judicial essay. This course allows students to further hone their use of the three classical canons of rhetoric (Invention, Arrangement, Elocution) while also focusing on citations, addressing a certain audience, problems of bias, and an exploration of justice, laws, evidence, and motive.  In the poetry portion of this course, students will focus on a study of specific verse and shape forms through a study of the poetry of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. 

The Academy’s Writing program culminates in the execution of a Capstone project, presented to our community in their last semester.

Rhetoric students also participate in electives.  During grades 9-12, all students have the ability to choose two electives from the following options: Music, Art, Drama, and Forensics/Debate.  

Read more about our curriculum in our School Profile.  

Read about our philosophy of Formation vs. Information.

"A high standard of conduct was held in the classroom, but the fruit of the loving, structured environment for our daughter yielded more peace and more confidence."