Liberal Arts: To Live Free, To Live Well

Classical education is a liberal arts education. “Liberal”, in this case, means “free”. Classical education prepares young men and women to live in freedom and independence, and not in a servile existence. The primary art for which we are preparing is the art of living well. Job skills are a by-product and not the end of classical education. The end is a virtuous young adult who lives not with historical or cultural amnesia, but rather with a sense of who she is in the context of human history. Classically trained students will be well qualified for future studies in law, medicine, business, engineering, technology, theology or any other professional or vocational pursuit. We aim for our students to know the story of our country, and to read and write with facility. We are clear that a young graduate who is able to use her knowledge of the past to make good decisions in the present, and to plan wisely for the future will be in high demand and prepared to flourish.

Classical education requires teachers who are trained in academic disciplines (literature, history, sciences, mathematics, etc.), and not just in “education”. Naturally, classical school teachers love to spend time with children, they are kindhearted, and they know how to manage a classroom. But subject matter expertise is required. Our vision is to create a faculty that is academically gifted and in full pursuit of intellectual interests, because these habits tend to positively influence students who are by nature looking for leaders to follow.

Articles on Classical Education

Books on Classical Education

  • Classical Education: The Movement Sweeping the Nation, Gene Edward Veith, Jr.,/Andrew Kern
  • The Making of Americans: Democracy and our Schools, E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
  • Cultural Literacy, E.D. Hirsch, Jr.
  • Why Johnny Can’t Tell Right from Wrong: and What We Can Do About It, William Kilpatrick
  • The Seven Laws of Teaching, John Milton Gregory
  • The Lost Tools of Learning, Dorothy Sayers
  • *Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for any Child, Cheryl Swope

*This book (and Veith/Kern) includes some descriptions of classical education as it is implemented in a ‘Christian classical’ environment. To be sure, Founders Academy is a non-sectarian, non-religious, public school. Some readers will find Swope’s account encouraging and highly motivating. She details classical education and its benefits for all children, and she makes a compelling case for its benefits for children with learning challenges.