The Four Sciences of the Classical Curriculum
Concerned with the bodily realm, asks questions about the cause of physical change and physical being, is taught through examples and includes biology, chemistry, and physics. The foundation of this is nature study where the student gets to know his kingdom with humility, leisure, and joy.
|Death of Julius Caesar (100-44 BC)
Concerned with the soulish realm –meaning the intellect and the affections, asks questions about the causes of moral change and moral being, is taught through analogies and fable, and includes the history, ethics, and politics. The foundation of this is art, music, stories, and facts that enchant the mind of the younger child. In other words, a playful and leisurely exposure to all the things that make up a culture and society.
Concerned with the spiritual realm, asks questions about the causes of change and causes of being, is taught through analogies from the trivium, quadrivium, moral and natural sciences, and includes topics like philosophy, metaphysics, ontology, and epistemology. The foundation that allows a student to appropriately study these subjects is a solid foundation in the trivium, the quadrivium, and the moral and natural sciences.
|School of Athens|
Also concerned with the spiritual realm, theology is the queen of the sciences and asks questions about first causes and being, in and of itself. The Theological sciences are taught by analogy and negation and require the student to have mastered all other sciences to study it rightly. Several of the topics included in the philosophical sciences are also found in the theological sciences.
How this could look in the Homeschool
I believe that Nature study the the foundation for studies in all these sciences. Nature Study, in my opinion, is enough for scientific studies all the way through 6th, and possibly 8th grade.
Beginning in 9th grade students would begin a normative studies of each of the sciences. There are not many curriculum out there that give the proper treatment to the sciences. This is an area of need with in the Christian classical community.
Links & Further reading about the four sciences of the Classical Curriculum
A Student’s guide to Natural Science By Stephen M. Barr