We provide the most time-tested methods of educating students, and at the same time delivers the most cutting-edge education in America. Our students receive a “classical” education. The entire curriculum is based in the Classical Liberal Arts and Sciences with a strong emphasis on civic education.
A classical education aims to recover lost tools of learning in order to cultivate wise and virtuous men and women who will be responsible citizens of our republic.
The K-8 curriculum follows the Core Knowledge sequence with some modifications to accommodate TEKS in addition to some classical education enhancements. Core Knowledge (CK) is a knowledge-rich curriculum sequence that effectively builds in students the grammar of each subject area preparing them for more advanced studies in later grades. CK is a systematic course sequence built upon the following ideas: 1) learning is built upon previous learning, 2) reading comprehension and overall academic success are dependent upon solid academic background knowledge, 3) there is a common body of knowledge all citizens should learn, i.e. cultural literacy, and 4) students must be better prepared to become more informed and responsible citizens of our republic. The Core Knowledge sequence can be viewed online below.
Modifications to accommodate TEKS and enhancements in grammar school include additional novels in some grades and the study of Latin and Greek root words in grades 3-5. Methods and resources from The Riggs Institute, orthography, are used to teach explicit phonics, spelling, writing, and English grammar. Singapore Math is used in grades K-7 to teach math concepts and students are firmly grounded in math facts.
In the middle grades, instruction in Latin begins in sixth grade and continues into high school. Formal instruction in logic begins in eighth grade. While the Core Knowledge sequence ends with 8th grade, the knowledge-rich spirit of CK continues in the high school curriculum at Founders. One difference is instruction is more dialectical in both the middle and high school grades, and the process of learning rhetoric that begins in the early grades reaches advanced stages in high school. The high school grades feature a rigorous liberal arts and sciences curriculum. Students learn content in more in-depth manners, and the focus is more coordinated to Western Civilization. In the humanities, priority is given to original sources and great books. Math and science offer rigorous training in fundamentals and theories in these disciplines including both logical methods of inquiry and the scientific method. Fine Arts are promoted from the start with CK and continue through high school with both in school and extra-curricular opportunities in art, chorus, orchestra, and theatre.
- Classical virtues, as well as principles in self-government and civility, are identified and clearly taught in a seamless manner through course content.
- The curriculum is knowledge-rich and built around the belief that there is a common body of knowledge all members of our society should master in the core areas and in the Fine Arts.
- Emphasis is placed on minds-on learning and on fostering a spirit of inquiry in students.
- Standardized tests do not drive the curriculum.
- Literacy is taught through explicit phonics and traditional grammar and composition.
- Logic and rhetoric are emphasized in the upper grades.
- Greek and Latin root words are taught in upper elementary grades. Latin studies are an integral part of the upper school curriculum.
- Mathematical and scientific knowledge are pursued for their own sakes, not merely for their practical applications.
- Literature and history instruction are rooted in primary sources and in great books.
- Instruction in the Fine Arts includes theory, history, and performance.
- Students are trained in study skills, planning and organization, close reading of text, and note taking.
- Importance is placed on bodily fitness and physical education in concert with fit minds.
- Co-curricular and extra-curricular academic and athletics activities are offered and encouraged to promote a well-ordered and well-rounded experience for students.
The Great Books
Upon graduating, every Founders student would have studied extensively the Great Books of the Western tradition.