High School

The Rhetoric Stage - 9th to 12th Grades

After having studied and mastered the disciplines of Grammar and Logic, High School scholars have spent the last four years studying Rhetoric. Rhetoric is the overarching way of learning in the High School years. All the typical subjects, from history to science, mathematics, literature, and the arts, are studied through the lens of inquiry, deeper thinking, and synthesizing the scholar's ideas using the prior knowledge gained in the Grammar and Logic stages. The goal during High School is to apply the skills and insights of Rhetoric in each subject.

The Rhetoric stage aims for scholars to gain a nuanced and complicated understanding of the material they are studying. High School is a time to cultivate multiple literacies, not merely limited to the spoken and written word, and allows our scholars to engage meaningfully with our ever-complicating world.

Through the study of Rhetoric, scholars learn how to speak and write with eloquence, beauty, persuasion, and imagination. Writing takes place in science (lab reports), literature, history, and essays using Rhetorical skills. The study of great thinkers from Aristotle to Augustine to Martin Luther King allows scholars to learn from the masters of oratory and writing. Scholars learn to imitate and dissect these masters and synthesize their works for the student's own use. Students then spend a good part of their High School practicing and delivering their own speeches and presentations which culminate in Junior and Senior Capstone courses.

ELA In a Classical High School

High School English literature classes at an Ethos Logos supported school, focus on studying classic novels; a mastery of major literature concepts; understanding and learning authors’ methods; expanding the scholar's vocabulary; and writing essays, critiques, opinions, and comparisons between various works, styles and historical connections. A Classically educated High School scholar will have advanced skills in interpreting, discussing, presenting, and sharing their ideas. By the Rhetoric stage of the Trivium, students will have a deep understanding of historical context and be able to form their own opinions about the classic works of literature.

Junior English students write many projects to prepare them for their senior year and the SAT essay. Senior English students prepare for college through literature and vocabulary studies and write a Capstone thesis to culminate their year.

Novel studies include reading and discussing classic and contemporary novels.  AP English prepares students to take the AP English Exam by studying figurative language through poetry and prose, writing essays from classical and contemporary literature, and applying literary vocabulary to test-taking. 

Mathematics In A Classical High School

 "We must endeavor to persuade those who are to be the principal men of our State to go and learn arithmetic, not as amateurs, but they must carry on the study until they see the nature of numbers with the mind only; … arithmetic has a very great and elevating effect, compelling the soul to reason about an abstract number, and rebelling against the introduction of visible and tangible objects into the argument.”
Plato, The Republic, Book VII

Classical Math is a step-by-step approach to understanding the why behind a new concept.  In today's fast-paced society, we frequently complete tasks without understanding why we are doing them. As a result, if scholars know why they are solving a problem in a certain way, they can quickly move on to more complex problems, confident with their foundational knowledge.

Students retain the ability to reason through a complex problem much longer than they retain a formula they once memorized. Developing the ability to reason mathematically and discover patterns proves to be much more enduring than memorizing steps to take.

A Classical take on math brings scholars into the discovery of the deeper theory of math. A Classical approach asks the scholar to reason through a problem instead of being told the answer. We move from crunching numbers to discovering patterns and the power of mathematical reasoning.

Framework for the Ethos Logos English Program High School

Great authors are psychologists who provide a window to the soul. The books that stand the test of time painting a portrait rich with color and depth, these portraits help us see what we cannot see in ourselves or in others. A great narrative helps us draw moral motivations by transporting us into the stories we are reading. 

Evolution has wired our brains for storytelling—how to make use of it for over 40,000 years. Since the first cave paintings were discovered, in Western Europe and Indonesia, telling stories has been one of our most fundamental communication methods. A story activates language process parts of our brain as well as sensory and emotional regions that anchor the moral or lesson of the story in our lasting memory.  The power of a story to make a lasting intellectual and emotional connection happens because a story if broken down to the simplest form, is a connection of cause and effect.   We think in narratives all day long, whether playing soccer after school or having dinner with friends. We make up (short) stories in our heads for every action and conversation. 

We have built a wide range of options for your scholar's English and history course of instruction.  Using our Lesson Cards, workbooks, and digital instructional platform, we have created a system whereby scholars might work independently, in small groups, or as a class/pod to explore:

  • several works of an author to learn how a writer develops his/ her style, voice, and ideas over time; 
  • works of the same genre from various historical time periods;
  • selected works are chosen for their historical context and for their relationship to historical events or to other literary or artistic works of their time period; 
  • we bring in several different works that explore similar themes and analyze how different authors approach universal human experiences; 
  • a combination of long from novels, short stories, news articles, opinion pieces, poetry, and theater to be used for analysis, compare contrast, and content support for the ELA program. 

Foundations of our Classical English Program

  1. An effective English language arts curriculum develops thinking and language together through interactive learning.
  2. An effective English language arts curriculum develops students’ oral language and literacy through appropriately challenging learning.
  3. An effective English language arts curriculum draws on literature from many genres, time periods, and cultures, featuring works that reflect our common literary heritage.
  4. An effective English language arts curriculum emphasizes writing as an essential way to develop, clarify, and communicate ideas in persuasive, expository, narrative, and expressive discourse.
  5. An effective English language arts curriculum provides literacy in all media forms.
  6. An effective English language arts curriculum provides explicit skill instruction in reading and writing. 
  7. An effective English language arts curriculum teaches the strategies necessary for acquiring academic knowledge, achieving common academic standards, and attaining independence in learning.
  8. An effective English language arts curriculum builds on the language, experiences, and interests that students bring to school.
  9. An effective English language arts curriculum develops each student’s distinctive writing or speaking voice.
  10. While encouraging respect for differences in home backgrounds, an effective English language arts curriculum nurtures students’ sense of their common ground as present or future American citizens to prepare them for responsible participation in our schools and civic life.

The Arts in a Classical High School

 When students reach the Logic and Rhetoric Schools, the emphasis is on photography, 3D art, painting, music theory, and choir. Masterwork continues as students practice the concepts they have learned, leading to a deep appreciation of the GOOD, TRUE and BEAUTIFUL.

Art and Music in a Classical school are also integrated with subjects such as history or science. In the Logic and Rhetoric Schools, Art and Music often overlap with history and literature. In these classes, students begin to learn about the various periods of art and music history, artists and composers, and their major works. Ethos Logos high school arts move to the advanced choir, orchestra demanded, and theater and performing arts. 

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