Curriculum

Our Academic Approach

Students at Chesterton Academy enjoy a cohesive, content-rich education. A broad exposure to many different disciplines helps students expand their interests and uncover hidden talents. Each year builds on the previous, so that by the end of senior year, our students are articulate, clear-thinking, well-rounded, and, very importantly, joyful individuals.

The Humanities Program

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History, literature, philosophy, theology, and languages are braided together in an integrated curriculum utilizing the Socratic Method.

Grade 9: Ancient World
Grade 10: Early Medieval Period

Grade 11: High Middle Ages to the Renaissance
Grade 12: Modern World

Our study of literature is tied to the study of history and the rest of the humanities. Students are first introduced to classical epics of Homer and then exposed to early English classics such as The Canterbury Tales and modern literary renderings of medieval history. Moving towards the modern period, they read Dante, Shakespeare, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Chesterton, and American literature. Reading and writing go hand in hand, and each student masters the art of the essay in their writing assignments in all subjects.

The history classes at Chesterton Academy form the backbone of our curriculum. The four-year history sequence covers ancient history through the Greek and Roman civilizations, early Church history, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Reformation and Counter-reformation. In senior year, students study the modern era, including the American and French Revolutions, the Industrial Revolution, the Communist Revolution, and the Sexual Revolution. Each history course is tailored to provide a colorful backdrop for literature, art, and science classes.

Philosophy, “the love of wisdom,” exercises the brain while it elevates the soul. The ability to understand abstract concepts leads to clear and systematic thinking in all things. We use philosophy to connect the humanities, but also to show its obvious connection to logic and mathematics. We study the development of philosophy from its classical roots focusing on Plato and Aristotle, its dramatic encounter with the early Church, its christening by St. Thomas Aquinas, and its deterioration in the modern era.

Theology, “the study of God,” is the context by which all other texts are studied. The principal theological texts studied are the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We also read selections from the Church Fathers, Documents of the Church Councils, and Papal Encyclicals.

Three years of foreign language classes are required for all students. Students begin with two years of Latin and then choose to take Latin III or Spanish. Due to some students having studied a foreign language prior to their time at Chesterton, we try, as much as possible, to place them in the correct level right from the start, regardless of their grade.

The Math and Science Program

Science is the study of the physical world, that is, of God’s creation. None of these subjects can be approached without a sense of wonder. It is fitting, therefore, to begin by looking up at the heavens, at the lights in the sky: Astronomy. Then we take a look at the world God created (Geology), the creatures he created (Biology), and the intricate substances of which all things are made (Chemistry). We end by gaining an understanding of the nature and properties of matter and energy (Physics).

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The Fine Arts

Grade 9: Ancient Art History | Drawing and Calligraphy
Grade 10: Late Roman and Early European Art History | Pastels and Colors
Grade 11: Late Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque Art History | Oils
Grade 12: Classical, Romantic, and Modern Art History | Oils

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