What is Catholic Schoolhouse?
Are you looking for a homeschool program that will unite your family in their studies? No more teaching biology to your 1st grader and then geology to your 3rd grader and electricity to your 5th grader! With Catholic Schoolhouse, everyone in your family will learn about the same subjects at the same time, and you’ll come back to those subjects every three years, so your children can go more in depth according to their age and interest level.
Catholic Schoolhouse is a Catholic homeschool program that uses a classical approach to learning. The program has four levels: the Pre-Grammar level (up to age 4), the Grammar level (4k-6th grade), the Dialectic level (7th-9th grade), and the Rhetoric level (10th-12th grade). In Madison, we currently have Pre-Grammar combined with our nursery, four Grammar level classes, and one Dialectic class. We hope to establish a Rhetoric class in the future, if there is enough interest.
What happens at the Grammar level?
Our community day is a fast-paced morning in which all of the grammar (memory work) for the week is introduced by a tutor in a fun way, using songs/chants, hand motions, games, and classroom activities. The memory work creates a spine for your history, geography, science, religion, Latin, math, and languages arts studies.* After learning the new memory work, students will get the opportunity to do hands-on science and art projects that connect to the memory work for that week. For example, the art project may be in the style of the famous artist of the week, who lived during the same time period of the history memory work and in the same region as the geography memory work. As a classical program, we don’t learn subjects in isolation. Everything is connected in God’s amazing design of our world! In addition to learning new memory work and doing the hands-on art and science lessons, students will also do regular presentations to learn public speaking skills, and the day will end with grammar review games of previous weeks’ memory work.
In the Pre-Grammar/Nursery class, our little ones are doing many of the same activities as their Grammar level siblings, but in a big open gym, with the option to go play when they need a break. They focus largely on growing in virtue and learning about the Saints. They’ll cover the same memory work but probably won’t dive into all eight subjects every week. Weather permitting, they have outside time every week as well.
What happens in the Upper Level classes?
Older students focus on the goals of interacting with one another (communication skills), growing in right thinking (logic and philosophy) and recognizing the true, good and beautiful (fine arts) because there we will find God. Dialectic students, typically ages 12 to 15 (7th to 9th grades), will be encouraged to review the memory facts as they delve further into them through discovery and discussion work. In the future, Rhetoric students, typically ages 15 to 18 (10th to 12th grades), will do the same while adding rotating government, economics, and logic.
Catholic Schoolhouse is more than a day out of the house; it can help bring structure and cohesiveness to your entire homeschool experience and will bless your family.
*Catholic Schoolhouse covers some memory work for math and language arts that the whole family can learn together, however, it is strongly recommended that parents use a separate, grade level specific math and language arts (phonics/reading/spelling/writing) with each child. Catholic Schoolhouse can provide the spine for everything besides these core “Three Rs” (reading/writing/arithmetic).