Course Descriptions

Classical Rhetoric: Lost Tools of Writing, Level I Pre-Course

This year-long course of study will include prerequisites for thinking and writing well. We will discuss and practice grammar, including what a sentence is, parts of speech, and using strong verbs with correct tenses. We will discuss and practice the tech elements of paragraph formatting, submitting assignments/documents plus revising, saving, and resubmitting assignments. We will discuss and practice how to check your own work and how to ask a clear, specific question when confusion arises. All this will take place in the context of working through approximately the first half of Level I of the Lost Tools of Writing.

Suggested Age: 11 and up

Prerequisites:  Desire to think and write well

Required Texts: The Lost Tools of Writing Level One - Student Workbook, various companion texts


Classical Rhetoric: Lost Tools of Writing, Level I

This classical writing program teaches students more than the basic of composition. It also challenges and teaches them to think. By employing the three canons of classical rhetoric - invention, arrangement, and elocution - LTW reveals how to solve the three problems all writers face, cultivates deeper thinking, and provides a solid foundation for future learning. Its step-by-step instruction makes writing manageable even for students who lack experience or confidence in writing and its lessons in thinking, organizing, and expression will challenge and delight even experienced and eager writers.

Suggested Age: 12 or with instructor and/or headmaster permission

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for the fall semester. In order to be accepted into the spring semester class, students must complete the fall semester or equivalent work in Lost Tools of Writing program.

Required Texts: The Lost Tools of Writing Level One - Student Workbook, various companion texts


Classical Rhetoric: Lost Tools of Writing, Comparison Essay

If you are looking for a class to extend and deepen your student's application of the Lost Tools of Writing Level I skills and ideas, this 15 week course may be the option for you. Comparison Essays fulfills the purpose of understanding people, things, or ideas more deeply, or assessing whether one is better or in some way more desirable than another. The bigger purpose of these thinking and writing skills is to grow in wisdom and prudence by practicing making finer distinctions and better decisions. Students can learn and practice principles and habits of decision-making for their own lives.

Suggested Age: 13 or with instructor and/or headmaster permission

Prerequisites: Completion of LTW Level I.

Required texts: The Lost Tools of Writing- Comparison Essay , various companion texts


Classical Rhetoric: Lost Tools of Writing, Level I Advanced

Are you wanting more practice with Lost Tools of Writing Level One skills and Comparison essay? Then this course will be the perfect fit!  This course combines a review of LTW Level I in the fall and LTW Comparison essay in the spring to provide a deeper understanding and development of thinking, organizing, and expressing ideas as well as the ability to practice writing skills with persuasive and comparison essay forms. 

Suggested Age: Satisfactory completion of  LTW Level I or Level IA

Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of  LTW Level I

Required Texts: The Lost Tools of Writing Level One - Student Workbook,The Lost Tools of Writing- Comparison Essay, various companion texts


Classical Rhetoric: Lost Tools of Writing, Level II

This course picks up where LTW Level One course ended and therefore is open only to returning students or those who have spoken with the instructor. Instruction will begin in the fall with a review of Level One material. Then the class will learn to write the Judicial Essay,  all while learning and mastering new Topics of Invention, Arrangement tools, and Elocution skills. Level 2 essays will include citations, a focus on the audience, problems of bias, and explorations of justice, laws, evidence, and motive. Students will use the updated Lost Tools Level 2 edition for this course. 

Suggested Age: 14 or with instructor and/or headmaster permission

Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of  LTW Level I, submission of Complete Persuasive Essay to instructor

Required texts: The Lost Tools of Writing Level Two- Student Workbook, various companion texts


Classical Rhetoric: Lost Tools of Writing, Level III

In LTW III, we learn to make decisions about a future action. We assume a perspective, find a necessary question, generate an issue, and attempt to persuade the audience (the decision-maker) to act: either to implement a change (the proposal) or to maintain the status quo. We learn special topics to find advantages: honor and/or utility. In addition, we add three new and powerful tools: the modes of persuasion, the four causes, and analogical reasoning.

The deliberative outline adapts the elements (amplification, narratio, proof, etc.) to the needs of the deliberative address.

New schemes and tropes are included, along with paragraph coherence and cohesion. 

When we have to make decisions about the future, the problem is obvious: we don’t know it. In real life, that means any decision we make is, to some extent, uncertain. Therefore the bigger purpose of studying Level III is to grow in wisdom and prudence by practicing making difficult decisions from which we can learn principles and habits of decision making for our own lives and communities.

Suggested Age: 14 or with instructor and/or headmaster's permission

Prerequisites: Satisfactory completion of LTW I & II, submission of Level II address to instructor

Required Texts: The Lost Tools of Writing Level Three- Complete Guide, various companion texts 


Classical Rhetoric: Lost Tools of Writing, Senior Thesis

Students write a senior thesis, all while mastering the Topics of Invention, Arrangement tools, and Elocution skills. Students will be led from clearly defining their thesis topic, to thoughtful arrangement, and to appropriate expression. Students will be guided through responsible research including how to properly cite their authority and how to consider issues like bias in their sources. This classical writing program teaches students more than the just the basics of writing a senior thesis. It will also challenge their thinking by teaching them to integrate their years of learning into a single issue. By employing the three canons of classical rhetoric - invention, arrangement, and elocution, the student will be equipped to overcome the three problems all writers face while tackling an expanded essay and to cultivate deeper thinking while integrating their years of learning. The step-by-step instruction makes the writing of a senior thesis manageable for all students.   The lessons in thinking, organizing, and expression will challenge and delight even experienced and eager writers.  Students in this course will complete a senior thesis as well as receive instruction in memory and delivery in preparation for their presentation.  

Suggested Age: Senior in High School (16 and up)

Prerequisite:
Successful completion of LTW Level I, submission of a Complete Persuasive Essay to the instructor.

Required Texts: The Lost Tools of Writing Level One - Student Workbook


Classical Rhetoric for Adults: Lost Tools of Writing I, II, & III, 6 Week Intensives


Designed to help you teach your children, these LTW Intensive courses for adults will model the teaching process, while also helping you improve your own writing and thinking. This class will reveal the ancient truths behind the LTW program while at the same time enabling you to teach effectively and powerfuly on a day to day basis. 

Suggested Age: Adults

Prerequisites: None

Required Texts: LTW Level I, II, or III Complete Sets


Classical Composition: IEW - Writing Lessons in Structure and Style

IEW’s Structure and Style writing program introduces students to the process of writing through a sound step-by-step method, learning various tools of writing along the way. Students will learn to create key word outlines and turn their outline points into well structured sentences. This skill is the basis for all other types of writing learned in the course. Using research source materials, students learn to summarize references and write a formal essay. They will also practice the art of narrative story telling, writing from pictures, and inventive writing. While the various writing structures are practiced, elements of style are introduced along the way. The combination of structure and style presented by IEW is accessible and fun!

Suggested Age: 9 years and up

Prerequisites: None

Required Texts: IEW Fables, Myths, and Fairy Tales Teacher and Student Combo, various companion texts


Classical Languages: Oral Latin  

This course is for students who wish to begin understanding Latin directly. Through many conversations, fables, pictures, and potentially silly scenes, students will practice listening to spoken Latin. As they listen, students will also begin to practice speaking Latin with the teacher and other students. It is designed for students with little or no knowledge of Latin, though students familiar with the grammar of Latin will certainly benefit from oral learning as well. The course will prepare them for Oral Latin B, as they age, as well as for the Latin I course, offered through CiRCE Online, using Lingua Latina. 

Oral Latin is focused on the two first arts of language: hearing and speaking. As such, reading—and to a greater extent writing—will be only secondary; these more advanced skills rely on the solid foundation students build hearing and saying Latin themselves. The motto of this course is Latinam discere Latina (to learn Latin using Latin). This means that the teacher will use as much Latin—and as little English—as possible, allowing the students to absorb the language directly. Without much English, students will connect the words and sentences they hear with actions, images, and other Latin words to build their knowledge.

Since the primary work of this course will happen during classtime, ‘homework’ will be minimal: practicing the new Latin and sometimes listening to or watching Latin recordings.

Suggested Age: 8-11 years old

Prerequisites: None

Required texts: None, used teacher-created materials


Classical Languages: Beginning Grammatical Latin

This course is for students who wish to begin understanding Latin directly. Through many conversations, fables, pictures, and potentially silly scenes, students will practice listening to spoken Latin. As they listen, students will also begin to practice speaking Latin with the teacher and other students. It is designed for students with little or no knowledge of Latin, though students familiar with the grammar of Latin will certainly benefit from oral learning as well. The course will prepare them for the Latin I course, offered through CiRCE Online, using Lingua Latina. 

Oral Latin is focused on the two first arts of language: hearing and speaking. As such, reading—and to a greater extent writing—will be only secondary; these more advanced skills rely on the solid foundation students build hearing and saying Latin themselves. The motto of this course is Latinam discere Latina (to learn Latin using Latin). This means that the teacher will use as much Latin—and as little English—as possible, allowing the students to absorb the language directly. Without much English, students will connect the words and sentences they hear with actions, images, and other Latin words to build their knowledge.

Since the primary work of this course will happen during classtime, ‘homework’ will be minimal: practicing the new Latin and sometimes listening to or watching Latin recordings.

Suggested Age: 11-13 years old or with instructor and/or headmaster's permssion

Prerequisites: Completion of Oral Latin or other spoken or significant Latin experience, instructor and/or headmaster permission

Required texts: 

  • Lingua Latina: Familia Romana
  • Lingua Latina: Colloquia Personarum
  • Lingua Latina: Exercitia I

Classical Languages: Latin I 

Using Lingua Latina per se Illustrata by Hans Orberg, the ultimate goal of the Latin program is to attain mastery and command of the language in order to read Latin classics and to understand the Latin authors in their language. This is effectively achieved through an active use of the language — listening, reading, writing and speaking in Latin. 

These courses are taught entirely in Latin, with students first learning the meaning of words and phrases in context.  The consistent repetition of essential vocabulary and grammatical forms through a written narrative and oral instruction are complimented by a persistent study of Latin grammar.

Level One covers all the fundamental elements of Latin grammar, while Level Two will introduce students to Latin authors and Roman history at a more advanced level. 

Note: All students need to begin with Level One even if they have had Latin in the past. Because of the nature of the course, it requires the student to begin thinking in Latin. In addition to understanding Latin, the course requires the student to produce Latin using correct grammatical structures, which is a more advanced skill. 

Suggested Age: 14 or with instructor and/or headmaster's permssion

Prerequisites: None

Required texts: 

  • Lingua Latina per se Illustrata, Pars I: Familia Romana 
  • Lingua Latina: Exercitia I
  • Other companion resources may be required per instructor

Classical Languages: Latin II

Using Lingua Latina per se Illustrata by Hans Orberg, the ultimate goal of the Latin program is to attain mastery and command of the language in order to read Latin classics and to understand the Latin authors in their language. This is effectively achieved through an active use of the language — writing and speaking in Latin. 

These courses are taught entirely in Latin, with students first learning the meaning of words and phrases in context.  The consistent repetition of essential vocabulary and grammatical forms through a written narrative and oral instruction are complimented by a persistent study of Latin grammar.

Level One covers all the fundamental elements of Latin grammar, while Level Two will introduce students to Latin authors and Roman history at a more advanced level. 

Note: All students need to begin with Level One even if they have had Latin in the past. Because of the nature of the course, it requires the student to begin thinking in Latin. In addition to understanding Latin, the course requires the student to produce Latin using correct grammatical structures, which is a more advanced skill. 

Suggested Age: 15 or with instructor and/or headmaster's permssion

Prerequisites: Completion of Latin 1 and/or instructor and/or headmaster's permission

Required texts: 

  • Lingua Latina per se Illustrata, Pars I: Familia Romana 
  • Lingua Latina: Exercitia I
  • Other companion resources may be required per instructor

Classical Languages: Latin III

Using Lingua Latina per se Illustrata by Hans Orberg, the ultimate goal of the Latin program is to attain mastery and command of the language in order to read Latin classics and to understand the Latin authors in their language. This is effectively achieved through an active use of the language — writing and speaking in Latin. 

These courses are taught entirely in Latin, with students first learning the meaning of words and phrases in context.  The consistent repetition of essential vocabulary and grammatical forms through a written narrative and oral instruction are complimented by a persistent study of Latin grammar.

Using Lingua Latina per se Illustrata by Hans Ørberg, level three will continue to the end of the first book completing chapters 24 to 34. Students will begin their study of gerunds, the gerundive, and the subjunctive mood. In addition to understanding Latin, the course requires the student to produce Latin using correct vocabulary and correct grammatical structures in their writing and speech.

Note: All students need to begin with Level One even if they have had Latin in the past. Because of the nature of the course, it requires the student to begin thinking in Latin. In addition to understanding Latin, the course requires the student to produce Latin using correct grammatical structures, which is a more advanced skill. 

Suggested Age: 16 or with instructor and/or headmaster's permssion

Prerequisites: Completion of Latin I & II, permission from Latin I & II instructor and/or headmaster.

Required texts: 

  • Lingua Latina per se Illustrata Pars 1: Familia Romana
  • Exercitia Latina I
  • Latine Disco

Thinking Well: Formal and Practical Logic

Before studying philosophy, whether it is the philosophy of Plato or C. S. Lewis, students should develop a clear understanding of formal logic. This course will help students learn basic aspects of formal logic, specifically, the structure of classical syllogisms. Students with practice applying this basic knowledge to other areas of study in order to strengthen their analytical thinking, which will naturally lead to stronger essays.

Suggested Age: 13 -18 years old or with instructor and/or headmaster's permission

Prerequisites: None

Required texts: 

  • Traditional Logic I Text by Martin Cothran
  • Traditional Logic I Workbook by Martin Cothran
  • Traditional Logic I Quizzes & Tests by Martin Cothran
  • The Best Things in Life by Peter Kreeft

Loving the Lovely: Art Appreciation

During semester long courses, join Kirstie Ruffatto for a poetic encounter with beauty. Kirstie will choose five paintings, and the class will spend three weeks exploring each painting. During the three weeks per painting, the class will narrate what they see in words and in drawings. The point here is not to become a painter, but to become a better seer of the paintings, to love what is lovable.

During the three week cycle per painting, week one will be spent narrating the painting to one another in class while recreating the painting at home with props and submitting a photo for homework. Week two will be spent narrating the painting to one another in class and creating a short story to express the painting as homework. Week three Kirstie will explore the painting's artist and history in class while the homework will be to submit a drawing from memory. The focus of the drawing is not the student's art skills, rather the focus is on the student recalling all of the essential elements in the composition.

This class may occasionally need an added fifteen minutes. The live classes will meet over Zoom, and all homework assignments will be submitted in Canvas.

Suggested Age: 14-18 years old

Prerequisites: None

Required Texts: None


Loving the Lovely: Poetry Appreciation

For the next fifteen weeks, join Levi Gulliver for a poetic encounter with poetry. Levi will choose fifteen poems from 30 Poems to Memorize (Before It’s Too Late). Students will memorize five of the poems for recitation, and students will experience each poem through extensive reading. The goal of this course is not to analyze poems or to classify poems but to love poems.

Every third-week students will submit a recording of their memorized recitation. To provide unity to this short course, Levi will lead the class in the same opening catechism each week, and all students will memorize the same five poems. 

This class will gather live on Zoom, and students will submit recitation recordings through Canvas.

Suggested Age: 14-18 years old

Prerequisites: None

Required Texts: 30 Poems to Memorize (Before Its Too Late)