ACADEMICS - OUR CURRICULUM
The Lyceum curriculum is designed to prepare each student to continue his education in any college or university that he chooses to attend. More importantly it is designed to prepare a student as a lifelong learner, who has not only acquired foundational knowledge in every major discipline, but has also acquired the “habitual vision of greatness” that will set him on the right trajectory for pursuing truth, goodness, and beauty.
As a college preparatory school, the excellence of the Lyceum curriculum lies in its focus on the foundations, principles, and beginnings of the various sciences, disciplines and arts. Whereas many school curricula focus on providing a multitude of courses which ostensibly cover overwhelming amounts of material, The Lyceum curriculum takes as its first principle our Lord’s parable of the wise and foolish builders. The wise builder
“… dug deep, and laid the foundation upon rock; and when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house, and could not shake it, because it had been well built."
As opposed to the foolish builder who
“…built a house on the ground without a foundation; against which the stream broke, and immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great."
Our Lord’s words are very suitable to those who are involved in the education of the young. The Lyceum curriculum is not interested in ‘building an education’ on the ground without a foundation. A strong foundation is not based the current fashion, or changing customs of the day. A strong foundation is not based on unrealistic and even impossible promises about the acquisition of genuine knowledge. An excellent curriculum should instead be built upon rock, and this is the secret of The Lyceum’s classical curriculum.
And what is this rock upon which the classical curriculum is built? It is the rock of the canon of great works that has formed the minds of every educated person until the early part of the twentieth century. It is the treasury of “the best that has been thought and said,” that are called the “Great Books of the Western World.” But it is not only the books; it is also the great music and poetry, the great art, the profound prayers and holy examples of the saints that form the mind profoundly. A curriculum built on rock will always be built on the time tested and time honored works of the greatest thinkers in the history of mankind. Every student deserves an education that “digs deep” and carefully confronts these foundational thinkers, composers, scientists, saints, artists and musicians.
In education, as Pythagoras said, “The beginning is half the whole” or at least as Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard says “well begun is half done.” To give a student a good beginning, to set him on the right trajectory, to impart the tools of learning, to plant and cultivate the seeds of science and genuine knowledge, to teach the faith, to do all these things well is certainly half if not more than half the whole work of a Catholic classical education.