Liberal Arts Level 4: Children’s Classics
Term: Yearlong 2019–20, September 3–May 22
Target Grade Levels: 6–7
Schedule: 4x / week, 55 min.
Section 1: M/T/W/Th 10:05 a.m. ET with Presbytera Maria Koulianos and nature studies and poetry teacher TBD
Section 2: M/T/W/Th 1:15 p.m. ET with Presbytera Maria Koulianos and nature studies and poetry teacher TBD
Two-Year Rotation: Click for Details
Our liberal arts curriculum is designed to offer the heart of a classic literature based education integrated into a single course. Taught in the spirit of Orthodox Christianity through a restful (scholé) pedagogy, the courses span 6 levels on a two-year rotation, plus level 7, for a total of 13 years of unique material. Class sizes are limited so that interactions within the classroom are personal and cultivate depth of learning.
Book lists for both Rotation A and Rotation B are listed in the course materials tab. For the 2019–2020 school year, you only need to purchase the books for Rotation B.
Click here to view the scope and sequence of our Liberal Arts Curriculum.
Liberal Arts Level 4: Children’s Classics is designed to increase student communication skills through reading, writing, speaking, and listening, and the study of the English language. Additionally, it will focus on nature studies and composition of personal letters, narratives, essays, and short speeches.
In this course students can expect to read a variety of novels, short stories, poetry, essays, and nonfiction, developing a strong connection with books and an enthusiasm for reading. These literary pieces will model the different writing styles we will be working on in class. At times, history will be discussed, as it plays a fundamental role in shaping literature. Various elements of specific genres will be addressed, including, but not limited to, organization, purpose, audience, narration, conflict, tone, and theme.
Writing assignments will include timed responses, journal writing, essays, critiques, and creative pieces. The multistep writing process will also be utilized to develop, revise, evaluate, and improve each written piece of work. Vocabulary, spelling, and grammar will be an important part of this class and will be reinforced holistically through each composition piece. Because we are a community of learners, we will work together as a class and each student will present information to his or her peers in groups or individually.
Our major units of study will include, but are not limited to:
- Poetry, short stories, and novels
- Narrative, expository, technical, and persuasive writing
- Speech writing and delivery
Syllabus: View the course syllabus here.
Liberal Arts Core Curriculum Features:
- Classical Arts: Grammar, Dialectic & Rhetoric
- Complete Subjects: History & Literature
- Bonus Science Supplement
- Orthodox teachers
- 24/7 access to Schoology LMS
- Semesters scheduled according to the Orthodox Church year (New Calendar)
Scope and Sequence: Click here to view the scope and sequence of our Liberal Arts Curriculum.
2019-2020: Rotation B
- Fall 2019
- Where the Red Fern Grows, Rawls
- The Aeneid for Boys and Girls, Church
- The Story of the Romans, Guerber
- The Little Prince, trans. Woods
- Archimedes and the Door of Science, Bendick
- A Christmas Carol, Dickens
- Supplemental as assigned: The Storybook of Science, Fabre
- Spring 2020
- The Princess and the Goblin, MacDonald
- Galen and the Gateway to Medicine, Bendick
- The Story of the Romans, Guerber
- Keeper of the Light: St. Macrina the Elder, Cooke
- The Story of King Arthur and His Knights, Pyle
- Rolf and the Viking Bow, French
- Supplemental as assigned: The Storybook of Science, Fabre
*Required materials are not included in the purchase of the course.
NOTE: The books listed above are for the upcoming school year and are required texts. The books listed below are for the next rotation of this class which will run in the 2020–2021 school year. These texts are listed for reference only and will not be used in the upcoming school year.
2020-2021: Rotation A
- Fall 2018
- My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George
- The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
- The Illustrated Our Young Folks’ Josephus, William Shepard
- Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
- The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien
- Spring 2019
- Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie
- Call of the Wild, Jack London
- The Endless Steppe, Esther Hautzig
- The Story of the Greeks, H.A. Guerber
- The Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling
- Resource Books to be used throughout the year
- The Art of the Personal Letter (Margaret Shepherd)
Presbytera Maria Koulianos has been an educator for over 20 years, loving every minute, with vast experience in both public and private schools as a classroom teacher, in developing and implementing learning programs for students, and as an area administrator. She earned her bachelor of science in education from Indiana University with certifications in elementary education, 7/8 nondepartmental, language arts 1–9, and computer education K–12. She holds a master of divinity and a master of theology from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, MA, where she wrote her thesis, “The Annunciation of the Theotokos from a Liturgical Perspective.” Presbytera Maria and her husband, Father Dionysios, live in the greater Boston area, where he is the priest of Saint Catherine’s Greek Orthodox Church in Braintree, MA. She hopes to inspire her students to love literature and become lifelong learners.
James Stephen Taylor was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Columbia, Missouri, where he attended the public schools and the University of Missouri. He received his bachelor’s degree in humanities and his master’s degree in English from Southern Illinois University. The University of Kansas, Lawrence, was the setting for his doctorate in philosophy of education, and was where he attended courses in the famous Integrated Humanities Program with Professors John Senior and Dennis Quinn. At KU he taught freshmen and sophomore English and literature, and undergraduate and graduate courses in the philosophy of education. Upon graduation Taylor taught in a variety of middle and high school schools, parochial schools, and preparatory academies, including St. Mary’s Academy (Kansas), Wichita Collegiate School, and Topeka Collegiate School. For five years he was assistant, then associate professor of the education department at Hillsdale College, Michigan. Two of those years he served as department chair. He held regular classes using the Good and Great Books as part of the teacher preparation program. His last collegiate position was at the University of Tulsa, also in the department of education, where his specialties were philosophy of education in the graduate school, and children’s literature classes for elementary and middle school future teachers. Dr. Taylor is also the author of Poetic Knowledge, a book often used and cited in the renewal of classical Christian education.
Dr. Taylor’s father, a newspaperman and writer for the Associated Press, became editor of the Missouri Alumnus magazine and a popular speaker. His mother was a fourth grade teacher and librarian for Columbia public schools. James Taylor was raised in the Methodist church. His journey to Orthodoxy may have well begun there while, during a lengthy sermon, he gazed at the engraving on the wooden pulpit: “The Truth Shall Make You Free.” He was pleasantly surprised years later to learn that John Wesley, founder of Methodism, was an Anglican minister deeply read in the Fathers of the Church. Later, he began a tour through the various expressions of Roman Catholicism, particularly traditional Benedictine monasticism, then spent several years with a Byzantine Rite, and finally arriving, somewhat broken but not beyond repair, at peace in the Orthodox Church.
Dr. Taylor is currently a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church, Topeka, Kansas.
Computer: You will need a stable, reliable computer, running with a processor with a speed of 1 GHz or better on one of the following operating systems: Mac OS X with Mac OS 10.7 or later; Windows 8, 7, Vista (with SP1 or later), or XP (with SP3 or later). We do not recommend using an iPad or other tablet for joining classes. An inexpensive laptop or netbook would be much better solutions, as they enable you to plug an Ethernet cable directly into your computer. Please note that Chromebooks are allowed but not preferred, as they do not support certain features of the Zoom video conference software such as breakout sessions and annotation, which may be used by our teachers for class activities.
High-Speed Internet Connection: You will also need access to high-speed Internet, preferably accessible via Ethernet cable right into your computer. Using Wi-Fi may work, but will not guarantee you the optimal use of your bandwidth. The faster your Internet, the better. We recommend using a connection with a download/upload speed of 5/1 Mbps or better. You can test your Internet connection here.
Headset: We recommend using a headset rather than a built-in microphone and speakers. Using a headset reduces the level of background noise heard by the entire class. Headset Recommendations: USB | 3.5mm
Zoom: We use a web conferencing software called Zoom for our classes, which enables students and teachers to gather from around the globe face to face in real time. Zoom is free to download and easy to use.
- Visit zoom.us/download.
- Click to download the first option listed, Zoom Client for Meetings.
- Open and run the installer on your computer.
- In August, students will be provided with instructions and a link for joining their particular class.
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