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Please note: Summer classes began June 10 and Summer Grace Period ended June 30th. Fall classes start August 19 and Fall Grace Period ends September 15th.
Mythology for the Logic Stage
Single-semester course. In this course, we will study Greek and Roman myths as told by ancient authors such as Hesiod, Homer, and Ovid. We will learn how these ancient civilizations used stories of gods, monsters, heroes, and transformations to better understand the world around them, and what the myths tell us about their cultures. We’ll also compare these stories to mythology in other traditions, explore the impact of classical mythology on literature, art, and culture of later time periods, and discover elements of mythology in the world around us today. At the end of the course, students will use their knowledge of the functions and common themes of mythology to create their own modern myths.
History of the Ancient World
Full-year course. A survey of ancient cultures from the earliest written records through the removal of the last Roman “emperor” in 476 AD, with special attention to the interaction between humans and their environment and the relationship of philosophy to the development of states. Highlights include the fall of Ur; the conquest of Troy; the Republic of Rome; the Han Dynasty; and the fall of Rome. When taken in combination with our Ancient Literature course, this provides the integrated Great Books and History coverage recommended in The Well-Trained Mind.
History of the Medieval World
Full-year course. A survey of medieval nations from 476 through 1453, covering the disintegration of the Roman empire, the rise of the Holy Roman empire, the struggle between papacy and nations, the origins of the modern nation-state, and the rediscovery of Aristotle that led to the Renaissance. When taken in combination with our Medieval and Renaissance Literature course, this provides the integrated Great Books and History coverage recommended in The Well-Trained Mind.
History of the Renaissance and Early Modern World
Full-year course. A survey of world history from the capture of Constantinople until 1800, covering the European Renaissance, the Reformation, European explorations in the New World, the rise of slavery and African resistance, the Elizabethan Age, unification and isolation in Japan and China, the Moghul empire of India, Ottoman threats to the West, the Enlightenment, the American Revolution and establishment of the United States, the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror, the foundations of the British empire, and the increasing influence of industrialization. When taken in combination with our Literature of the Early Modern World course, students will receive the integrated Great Books and History coverage recommended in The Well-Trained Mind.
Full-year course. U.S. History explores the dynamic encounters between the competing cultural ideals, economic drives, political affiliations, and ethical dilemmas which form the foundation of American life, from the colonial era through the Cold War. When taken in combination with our Literature of the New World course, students will receive the integrated Great Books and History coverage recommended in The Well-Trained Mind.
Advanced U.S. History
Full-year course. This course will prepare students to take the College Board’s Advanced Placement U.S. History Exam. When taken in combination with our Literature of the New World course, students will receive the integrated Great Books and History coverage recommended in The Well-Trained Mind.
Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics
Single-semester course. Introduction to Ethics and Moral Philosophy challenges the high school student to learn and acquire the skills necessary to think about, analyze, and discuss ethical dilemmas. This course will center around a three-fold theme of questions regarding the meaning of the word “Good.”—“What is the Good?”, “How can we know what is the Good?”, and “Can we live the Good in our lives?” The course will examine foundational texts from Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Immanuel Kant, among others, and will continue to examine contemporary ethical issues through the lens provided by these classic authors. Because this will be the first introduction for many students to these key thinkers, the passages selected will be abbreviated and students’ work will focus on learning how to read these key thinkers and consider the questions they ask.
Reading for the Logic Stage
Full-year course. Reading for the Logic Stage is designed to engage middle grade students in reading and literary discussion. Students will come together with their instructor once a week to talk about that week’s reading. The instructor will provide prompts for class discussion; these questions will guide that week’s discussion. Students will also be given the opportunity to serve as discussion facilitators throughout the semester.
Summer Reading Club 1
Single-semester course. The WTMA Summer Reading Club is designed to keep logic-stage students engaged in reading and discussion over the summer break. Students will come together with their instructor once a week to talk about that week’s reading. Course Theme: “Unlikely Heroes and Epic Adventures”
Summer Reading Club 2
Single-semester course. The WTMA Summer Reading Club is designed to keep logic-stage students engaged in reading and discussion over the summer break. Students will come together with their instructor once a week to talk about that week’s reading. Course Theme: “Magical Worlds and Talking Beasts”
Literature of the Ancient World
Full-year course. A survey of writing from the earliest written stories (with attention to their origins as oral tales) through the late classical/early medieval masterworks. When taken in combination with our Ancient History course, this provides the integrated Great Books and History coverage recommended in The Well-Trained Mind.
Literature of the Medieval and Renaissance Worlds
Full-year course. A survey of the most important works from the later Church Fathers through the sixteenth century/Elizabethan era. When taken in combination with our Medieval History course, this provides the integrated Great Books and History coverage recommended in The Well-Trained Mind.
Literature of the New World
Full-year course. A survey of the most important works of literature from the early settling of America to the modern day. When taken in combination with our U.S. History or Advanced U.S. History courses, this provides the integrated Great Books and History coverage recommended in The Well-Trained Mind.
Literature of the Early Modern World
Full-year course. A survey of literature, from the “first novel” through 1800. When taken in combination with History of the Renaissance and Early Modern World, students will receive the integrated Great Books and History coverage recommended in The Well-Trained Mind.
Single-semester course. In this course, students will go through a representative collection of some of Shakespeare’s most enduring plays, with a focus on enjoyment and appreciation of the Bard’s work. They will examine Shakespeare within his own context, how his works derive and relate to earlier literature and history, and Shakespeare’s prolific legacy in our world today.
The Graphic Novel: Between the Panels
Single-semester course. This class aims to instill an understanding of graphic literature and how to read it. From the most basic elements of page and panel construction, to the psychological foundations of pictorial representation and image architecture, the student will emerge from the course equipped to analyze and assess all manner of graphic literature. Given its inherent ability to blur the boundaries separating text from image, silence from speech, sequential art—comics and graphic novels—is uniquely poised to pursue subjects that are equally resistant to categorization. In fact, it is this ability to distort and reconfigure expectations that makes thinking of the comic as simply a hybrid work of prose and graphics a wild underestimation. Because, when all is said and done, what happens between the panels, in the formal emptiness where both image and text end, is what allows the graphic novel to reveal so much about how and why we do what we do.
Expository Writing I
Full-year course. Building pre-rhetoric skills in organization, sentence structure, and research skills. Covers narrative summaries, chronological narratives, descriptions, biographical sketches, and sequences, plus beginning literary essays about both fiction and poetry; one- and two-level outlining; thesaurus use, note-taking, and documentation.
Preparation for Rhetoric Writing
Full-year course. One-year “crash course” preparation for high school rhetoric. Designed for high school students who have missed the prerequisites (at the suggested middle school grades) and need additional training before beginning a formal rhetoric course. Prepares students for entering Rhetoric I.
Full-year course. The first year of a 3-year high school sequence. Read about our rhetoric sequence here. Introduction to the techniques of persuasive writing. Drawing on the extensive written tradition stretching from Plato to Montaigne, this course teaches students how to order their thoughts and words in the great patterns set down over the last few thousand years–patterns which are enriching and powerful.
Full-year course. The third year of the Academy’s 3-year high school sequence. Read about our rhetoric sequence here. This course follows our Rhetoric II class. The focus is on writing mature argumentative essays across a number of topics and in different contexts; advanced skills in research and citation; analysis of modern scholarly essays, advertisements, and other contemporary forms. The materials used in this course are intended for mature high school students.
Single-semester course. Basic English grammar crash course: a survey of essential grammar concepts and skills, for students who do not have a solid grasp of basic grammar. Parts of speech and their uses, mechanics, verb tenses, and fundamental skills in diagramming.
Single-semester course. For students who have a solid understanding of basic grammar concepts. Builds on foundational skills and explores the definitions and functions of all parts of speech, reinforces mechanics, enhances understanding of verb tenses, and practices fundamental skills in diagramming.
Single-semester course. English grammar course for students who have an understanding of parts of speech and their functions but have not studied more advanced sentence structure. We will cover phrases, clauses, complex sentence structure, sentence transformations, and advanced diagramming.
Single-semester course. A truly advanced English grammar course for students who have mastered basic and intermediate concepts but have not studied advanced sentence structure and function. We will cover modifiers, advanced verbs, troublesome grammatical elements, and diagramming.
Creative Writing for the Logic Stage
Single-semester course with full-year option. Creative Writing for the Logic Stage is a semester-long elective course that will meet once per week. We will be exploring different aspects and genres of creative writing through analysis of an assortment of readings and completing various writing exercises.
Creative Non-Fiction Writing for the Rhetoric Stage
Single-semester course. A semester-long workshop designed to introduce students to the craft and techniques of creative nonfiction. Students will explore the origins of creative nonfiction while practicing their own writing within the genre. In particular, students will read personal essays, both canonical and contemporary, that exemplify remarkable use of description, narration, characterization, openings, endings, and tension. The readings are aimed at developing the students’ own writing practice. The focus throughout is on identifying and applying specific prose techniques.
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