Vision Statement

The Vision of a Classical Education for a Catholic Culture

Any parent who has a serious interest in St. Benedict Integrated Homeschool Program can already identify the hundred or more reasons why our children’s cultural and educational landscape is troubling–no, more than troubling.  We face perils that may be unprecedented as schools have failed us, immorality is rampant, the serious practice of the Catholic Faith has largely been abandoned in the Western world (particularly Europe), relativism flourishes, various media assault us daily and distract us from serious thought, the right to life and the dignity of the human person are trampled.  And so on.  Amidst all of this we find ourselves, Catholic families with a deep desire to truly educate our children, adrift, looking for like-minded families with whom to build friendships and find support.  We also realize that, collectively, we are suffering from a disorienting amnesia.  Here we are in the early 21st century with more information obtainable in five minutes than some ancient and medieval scholars might have dealt with in a lifetime, yet how do we move from so many gigabytes of information to true wisdom?  Here we are Catholics trying to pass on the fruits of Western Civilization to our children, and yet, somehow, we realize that that inheritance was never fully passed on to us.

Yet these treasures – the great ideas, works of literature and art and music, the wisdom of the saints and philosophers – are critical to our understanding ourselves and our place in God’s world.  The humanities are so-called precisely because our very natures as human beings are revealed through their study and contemplation.  Most wonderful is the reality that as that nature is revealed, we recognize God’s own Image.  We recognize ourselves as free and rational beings made by and for the One who draws us to Him in the Good, the True and the Beautiful we encounter in our own experiences and in those we study.

St. Benedict Integrated Homeschool Program seeks to restore education to its proper order as being in the service of God through the cultivation of the faculties He has bestowed upon each of us.  While wisdom and sanctification are the proper end of that education, each faculty pursues its own goal: the intellect seeks Truth, the will finds its fulfillment in the Good, and the imagination bears fruit in its arching toward Beauty.  And so, education, properly ordered, leads us to God Himself, whom we find faithfully revealing Himself and redeeming man throughout history.

St. Benedict aims to support parents who wish to homeschool in an ordered, serious classical methodology and integrated cultural and historical understanding of Man that sees the Catholic Faith as the heart of that narrative through thousands of years.  To this end, our program provides two days of on-site directed studies by experienced tutors in a classroom setting, while parents teach and guide the children at home, in tandem with the program curriculum, on the remaining days.

Classroom discussions are lively and aimed at allowing the children to begin to see differently, to view the world with the sensus Catholicus – a true Catholic sense and understanding.   A classical methodology is employed to ensure that students practice a mental discipline and clarity of thought and speech that find their full expression in the articulation of and arching toward the Good, the True and the Beautiful.  Practically speaking, this means the careful study of language–Grammar, Latin, Logic, Composition, Poetry–through memorization, critical thinking, imitation, translation, and word study.  This approach to learning does not need to be incredibly difficult or take longer than other more standard approaches of plenty of textbooks and worksheets – in fact, it should be challenging while yielding so much more for one’s efforts.

Ultimately, the tutor-led discussions draw the children toward to a new way of seeing the world around them, of integrating their broad knowledge and understanding the world as a long, sometimes painful, often beautiful history of the call and response between God and Man. That vision, brought about through the combination of the classical method and the sequential cultural studies seminar, apprehends the history of man and reveals the unity and coherence of that history when the Incarnation is seen as the defining event through which all of man’s story must be interpreted.