ACADEMICS

Middle School Curriculum

Because we believe that each child develops at his or her own pace and not in a manner that mechanistically follows age, our curriculum is personalized to the individual gifts of each student. Students are placed in their classes according to aptitude and prior knowledge; thus, no student’s path through our curriculum will be the same, and courses do not strictly align to a student’s grade level. Additionally, our curriculum is designed to promote integration across disciplines. The following describes an overview of what students can expect to learn throughout their time in our middle school program.

Integrated Humanities

The humanities, properly understood, are the study of what it means to be human. Our integrated humanities program is an interdisciplinary exploration of history, literature, art, philosophy, and theology. At the same time, our program strives to respect the integrity of each discipline. Integration occurs in two primary ways:

    1. Chronological integration. History and literature are studied chronologically and in tandem to reveal change over time. Human thought builds upon what has come before; a chronological approach to the study of history is therefore essential in scaffolding a deep understanding of the development of human culture and knowledge. As we are a classical school, our focus is primarily on the legacy of Athens and Jerusalem, though as a matter of course other elements of world history are introduced as they connect to the overarching narrative of Western Civilization. Thus, we begin with an exploration of the ancient biblical, Near East, and Greco-Roman world. We then proceed to the medieval era and the rise of Christendom before entering the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, the Age of Exploration, and the modern world. Finally, we end with a study of American history.
    2. Thematic integration. Human history and literature are studied alongside one another to explore thematic questions, such as: What are the virtues of authentic heroes? What is justice, and what makes a human society just? What are the moral obligations human beings owe to each other, to themselves, and to God? What is the proper means to pursue justice? What is courage? When, if ever, is violence justified? What is beauty? Why do we seek to create beauty? What does it mean to be a flourishing human person?

History texts will include a variety of textbooks and authentic history texts, as well as primary source selections as chronologically and thematically appropriate. Literature texts will include selected literary works as curated by our faculty.

English Composition

Our composition program follows the frameworks set forth by the Lost Tools of Writing. This program teaches students the classical canons of Invention, Arrangement, and Elocution. Because the program is systematic and sequential, all Lumen Verum students, regardless of their grade level upon entry to LVA, will proceed through the three levels of the Lost Tools of Writing. In rare cases, an exceptionally gifted student may be permitted to proceed through the composition curriculum at a faster pace. However, in general, even strong writers can benefit from repetition and reinforcement of basic writing skills.

Grammar is taught using a variety of materials and pedagogical approaches, including direct instruction, drills, and proofreading practice. In the middle school, attention is also paid to cultivating handwriting that is legible, neat, and precise, as well as beginning typing and mastering the MLA format for written assignments.

Science

In the classical Catholic understanding, science is the study of nature and how it reveals the order of creation as established by the Divine Creator. As we explore nature in depth, we come to know God in greater truth. We also come to recognize our role in creation and the moral obligations incumbent upon us within the order God has established. We utilize the rigorous Novare science curriculum, which we supplement with hands-on demonstrations and experimentation as well as exploratory nature excursions and field trips to sites of scientific interest in the local area.

Math

In a liberal arts program, math prepares the mind for abstraction, helping to bridge the concrete, physical reality of the material world and the immaterial reality of pure ideas. Such habits of thinking prepare students for the contemplation of eternal truths. The study of mathematics enables students to see and marvel at the lucid order of the universe.

Our math program utilizes the Art of Problem Solving curriculum, an advanced math curriculum that trains students’ minds in logic and quantitative reasoning. Students who are advanced in mathematics upon entering LVA can take a placement test to discern the proper entry point for their study.

Latin

Latin is studied because of its intrinsic importance to Western civilization and particularly to the Roman Catholic tradition. In addition, the study of Latin trains and focuses the mind on understanding the structure and logic that undergird language. The thrill of being able to read an ancient text in the language in which it was written is a joy that every student should experience.

Our Latin program utilizes the Memoria Press Latin curriculum as well as the Lingua Latina text. Introductory Latin is taught using the Memoria Press materials. Advanced students who have progressed beyond introductory Latin can begin Latin I with Lingua Latina, an immersive and sequential text.

Theology

While theological themes are embedded into each subject studied at Lumen Verum, theology is taught as a specific course in order to provide a space for students to explicitly explore the teaching of the Catholic church. Lumen Verum utilizes the Sophia Institute Press curriculum.

Rhetoric

Within our classical curriculum, we believe it is essential for students not only to learn to read well and write well, but also to speak with compelling eloquence and poise. Our Rhetoric program is offered by instructors from the Rose Debate Institute (https://rosedebate.com).

Distinguished Guest Lecturers

Our unique model of education allows us to engage a variety of contemporary Catholic scholars from around the world to interact with our students as Distinguished Guest Lecturers. We are delighted to welcome outstanding Catholic scholars from all academic disciplines to serve in this capacity. These scholars will offer guest lectures, lecture series, book clubs, and discussion groups for our students throughout the year.

Learn more and meet our Distinguished Guest Lecturers.