As seen in The Island News- August 25-31, 2016
From the dawn of recorded history to the advent of the 20h century, Classical Studies has helped support the foundation of a good education for young minds. America’s Founding Fathers were well-versed in Classical Studies, the evidence of which is clearly reflected in the architecture, government, laws and culture of our nation.
Classical Studies involves exposing students to Greek mythology and to Greek and Roman history, language, and literature. Students at Holy Trinity Classical Christian School in Beaufort begin with rudimentary lessons at a young age and progress though more detailed course work as they rise through the upper grades. The courses, woven together consecutively, enable the students to attain a comprehensive understanding of the roots of Western civilization.
“Education can be defined as the transmission of culture,” says Josiah Tobin, a teacher in the upper school. “At Holy Trinity, we trace back our country’s roots through Western Civilization. We do not want our students to merely read what our Founding Fathers wrote, but also what our Founding Fathers read. Our Classical Studies curriculum accomplishes this task, and the students enjoy reading about the ancient Greeks and Romans.”
Holy Trinity students are exposed to the Great Books at an early age. Third-graders read D’Aulaires’ Greek Myths. Fourth-graders read Famous Men of Rome. In fifth grade, students advance to Famous Men of the Middle Ages. Sixth-graders immerse themselves in Famous Men of Greece, The Trojan War by Olivia Coolidge andHoratius at the Bridge. In seventh grade, students read the Book of the Ancient Greeks by Dorothy Mills and Samuel Butler’s translations of the Iliad and Odyssey. In the eighth grade, they read the Book of the Ancient Romans and the David West translation of The Aeneid.
By the ninth grade, students are reading The Oresteia by Aeschylus, Three Theban Plays by Sophocles, Trojan Women and Medea, both by Euripides; and Classical Literary Criticism. It all comes together in the 10th, 11th and 12th grades when students will read De Officiis, On Obligations and The Republic and the Laws, all by Cicero. Then there’s The Agricola and The Germania by Tacitus, selections from Plato and Aristotle, Philosophy 101 by Socrates, and, finally, Western Civilization Art, Architecture and Sculpture.
“I like reading anything that’s about history,” says fourth-grader Joshua Mark (pictured above). “If you have something that’s about history and share it with me, I’ll like it.”