American History & American Literature
American History: A Study of the Stories, the Land, and the People | American Literature
Humanities & Great Books Program for 9th -12th Grades | Literature + Rhetoric + History + Logic/Philosophy + Oratory (+ Optional American Government & Economics) All in One Program
In this program, students in 9th- 12th grades will reach beyond their everyday world and learn to recognize and appreciate truth, goodness, and beauty in the great books, art, ideas, and cultures of our vast and diverse nation. In response, students will discuss, write, create, recite, and contemplate. This year a few of the core questions we will ask include: How is a nation established? What is the American Spirit? What is the harmony between the individual and the community? What does it mean to be good? What is justice? How have people and how ought we pursue life, liberty, and happiness?
In literature, students will learn to attentively read American Literature through a collection of short stories. Short stories are a highlight of American literature. We will read authors like Flannery O’Connor, Edgar Allan Poe, Wendell Berry, Jack London, and Toni Morrison. They will learn to understand the works, times, and culture and how to read the works according to their nature. They will learn to express their experience, observations, and understanding through writing, discussion, and other projects. Enrolled students have the option of making this course an honors course. Please see the FAQ below for details.
In history, students will study American history. Rather than focus on a singular historical perspective, we will create a living dialectic through reading and comparing rich artifacts, cultural mythology, living history narratives, and primary documents, each embodying their unique perspective. Students will learn to trace our nation’s diverse political, cultural, and geographical history. Students will learn to ask good questions about history and how to navigate seemingly incompatible accounts of history. Students will respond to their reading through writing, discussions, notebooking, and projects. Enrolled students can make this course an honors course and add on the American Government & Economics extension course. Please see the FAQ below for details.
In Government & Economics, students will learn the fundamental principles and structures that shape American civic and economic life. This is an optional add-on asynchronous course for students in the High school program. This course draws on what the students are already reading in history and builds on it with additional readings, assignments, and written online discussions. By combining American History with Civics and Economics, we save students’ time, save parents’ money, and provide an opportunity for students to develop deeper connections and insight into how America works.
In writing, students study classical rhetoric and poetics. In classical rhetoric and poetics, students learn how to master coming up with what to write about, arranging their writing appropriately, and expressing their ideas most fittingly and beautifully. During their time in the academy, students at Paideia Academics progress through Rhetoric & Poetics I-III. The content of their writing is the authors, ideas, and works they study in history, literature, and philosophy.
Logic/Philosophy is an integrated and hands-on class. Students will learn about and practice the skills of logic and philosophy by practicing traditional and material logic exercises and attentively reading and responding to quotes and short works of philosophy related to literature and history. Students progress through Logic/Philosophy I-III during their time in the academy.
Oratory rounds out a student’s studies with classical rhetoric and poetics. Students learn how to become intimate with short writing selections, get an empathetic sense of the piece, memorize it, and perform it in a way that embodies the truth of the piece. Students practice this with selections from literature, speeches, plays, and poems from history, literature, and philosophy. Students perform their selections at various times throughout the year.
- Literature: American Short Stories by Various Authors (PDFs provided by teacher)
- Short Stories by: Flannery O’Connor, Wendell Berry, Washington Irving, Toni Morrison, Jack London, Edgar Allan Poe, Ralph Ellison, James Baldwin, Alice Walker, Nella Larsen, Issac Asimov, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edith Wharton, F Scott Fitzgerald, William Faulkner, Ray Bradbury, Louise Erdrich, and Shirley Jackson.
- Selections from American Poetry
- Philosophy: American Transcendentalists (PDFs provided by Teacher)
- Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, Margaret Fuller, + others.
- Hamlet, by William Shakespeare, Folger Edition
- Selected Speeches & Essays from American History (Provided by teacher)
- Selected American Poetry (Provided by teacher)
- Humanitas: History of America, Volume 1 & 2, a living and primary documents-based history curriculum by Classical Academic Press (View Curriculum here). Note: Volume 1 will be available in 2-3 months. Volume 2 will be available before we begin with it in winter 2024.
- Selected fine art, music, maps, and primary documents (Included in Humanitas Curriculum or provided by the teacher as PDFs)
- American Government & Economics (if you choose to participate in the add-on course)
- Basic American Government, by Clarence B. Carson
- Common Sense Economics: What Everyone Should Know About Wealth and Prosperity, by James D. Gwartney
- Select Primary Documents (Provided by Teacher)
- Rhetoric & Poetics I
- Rhetoric & Poetics I Handouts (Provided by Teacher)
- How to Read a Poem, by Burton Rafel
- Rhetoric & Poetics II
- The Writer’s Workshop: Imitating Your Way to Better Writing, by Gregory Roper
- Rules for the Dance: A Handbook for Writing & Reading Metrical Verse, by Mary Oliver
- Logic I
- Traditional Logic I by Memoria Press Student Workbook and Text
- Logic II
- Traditional Logic II by Memoria Press Student Workbook and Text
Who: 9th – 12th-grade students. (Depending on their skill level, 9th graders can enroll in either the middle school or high school program.)
When: Monday- Thursday 11:00am – 12:15pm EST (8:00-9:15am PST; 4:00-5:15pm GMT)
(American Government & Economics add-on, Asynchronous)
Calendar: 33-weeks, August 21, 2023 – May 31, 2024; Parent Orientation: Thursday, August 17th, 2023, 8:00pm EST
– Labor Day Holiday: Monday, September 4th, 2023
– Fall Break: October 9th – 13th, 2023
– Thanksgiving Break: November 20st – 24th, 2023
– Nativity/New Years Break: December 18th, 2023 – January 5th, 2024
– Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday: January 15th, 2024
– Winter Break: Monday, February 19th – Friday, February, 23th, 2024
– Easter Break: March 25th -29th, 2024
– Pascha Break: April 29th – May 3rd, 2024
Where: Zoom for Live Classes & Canvas for our Virtual Classroom
Teachers: Mrs. Angela Burke and Ms. Jennifer Dow
- 5 hours of Live Classes (Instruction, Discussion, and Community) Weekly (1hr 15min daily, M-Th)
- Weekly Threaded Written Discussions in our virtual classroom
- All Classes are Recorded and available in our virtual classroom.
- All assignments, materials, and class correspondence are available in our virtual classroom.
- All syllabi, assignments, projects, teaching, assessment, and record-keeping are completed by the teacher.
- Transcripts and course descriptions made available at the end of the year for each student
- Total High School Classes/Credits: 3.5-4.5 High School Credits
1. English/Literature, 1 Core Credit (Honors Option)
2. American History, 1 Core Credit (Honors Option)
3. Philosophy/Logic, 1 Elective Credit
4. Oratory, 0.5 Elective Credit
- (Optional) American Government & Economics, 1 Core Credit
Tuition: $1847 (Five Classes, One Program)
Honors add-on for History & Literature: $175
American Government & Economics add-on: $375
Pay all at once, by the semester, or in 10 monthly installments.
Seats Available: 16
High School FAQ
What is a Good/Great Books-style humanities program?
A Good/Great Books-style humanities program means the ideas and the literature lead. Practically this means that coaching writing and reading skills in the context of reading great books take center stage. The class will seek to see the common thread of ideas woven through both history and literature and respond to these ideas with writing, discussion, and other projects or activities.
Does my High School student need their own books?
Yes, especially the literature books and a student planner. Students may be asked to take notes in their books or highlight various passages. They need their own copies of books so they can do these things.
Does my student need to take additional literature, history, and writing courses?
We ask that you not sign your student up for additional core classes in these areas. In our experience, extra courses in these areas tax a student unnecessarily.
If you would like to give your student some independent study to make the course an honors-level course, we do provide several quality suggestions that work with our course and educational philosophy. Simply reach out to your teacher.
How does a student receive honors credit?
The Paideia Academics high school program is almost an honors credit as it is. Students seeking Honors credit for English and History will write four additional papers throughout the year, read 1-3 Biographies for history, and select essays for literature. These papers will require greater depth, breadth, and synthesis as they read, think, research, and write. There is a $175 additional fee for students participating in the honors track.
How do students participate in the American Government & Economics Add-On Course?
To participate in the American Government & Economics add-on course, students must be enrolled in the PFHA high school program. There is an additional $375 fee for the course. Students will meet with their instructor asynchronously and complete additional readings and assignments to learn the fundamentals of American Government and Economics. This will satisfy the American Government or Civics & Economics credit required by most states and colleges.
How much time will my student spend working outside of class?
High School students can expect to spend around 7-10 hours per week outside of class on their work for this class. If students are taking longer, we can work with your students to refine their focus and study skills throughout the year.
How do you handle grades and transcripts?
High School mentors/teachers will assess your student’s work in two ways, first, by using a mark of complete or incomplete with written feedback about what to improve. Second, they will use rubrics and traditional grades where fitting. If a student receives an incomplete and they turned it in on time, they have the opportunity to fix their error and turn it back in for a complete. Parents will receive an end-of-semester report outlining all completed, in-completes, and late work. At the end of the year, the teacher will translate everything into a concise transcript with letter grades. Parents can choose whether to share that grade with their students.
What classes do I need to teach at home? Do you have suggestions for online or local classes for these additional courses?
- Foreign Language
- Additional Electives, as needed
Note: As much as possible, a liberal arts course of study should include Living Books on various topics related to and integrated with the above studies and written & oral narrations in response to readings in the number of at least 1 per day.
Remedial Work (If Still Needed)
- Spelling (if still needed)
- Handwriting & typing (if still needed)
- Formal grammar (if still needed)
At the Paideia Fellowship, we recommend the local dual enrollment programs to help fill in the other classes students need to take locally. Online, we recommend the Classical Learning Resource Center, which offers almost every class you could think of, The Raphael School, which offers Greek and Orthodox Catechesis, Polymath Classical Tutorials, which offer outstanding liberal art mathematics classes, and Memoria Press Online Academy as well as The Schole Academy, by Classical Academic Press, both of which offer a large variety of classes.
What do you suggest for annual and college entrance testing?
The PFHC recommends the Classical Learning Test. Woodcock-Johnson Testing to comply with state Annual testing laws if it is required in your state. For Information about PSAT (usually in 9th grade) and SAT/ACT (usually in 10th-12th grades) visit collegeboard.com for info and testing locations. With that said, there is a new standardized test that many colleges are now accepting in place of the SAT and ACT, which aligns with our values and course of study more than the ACT and SAT. It is called the Classic Learning Test (CLT). You can read more about it on its website, Classic Learning Test, and see which colleges accept it and how to prepare for it.
What supplies will my 9th-12th Grade student need for PFHC?
You will receive a complete and finalized book and supply list no later than August 1st.
Can you tell me more about PFHC’s approach to writing?
Students at Paideia Academics Academy will receive consistent and developmentally appropriate instruction and assessment in the art, practice, and particulars of writing, rhetoric, and logic from 7th -12th grades. Instruction in writing begins with narration and ends with classical rhetoric. A complete outline of the language skills taught in each class is provided in the syllabus for each class provided on the first day of class.