With the ubiquity of the internet, it’s no surprise that online learning has taken off in recent years. One type of online learning that has seen significant growth is classical education. Classical education programs seek to provide a well-rounded education based on the liberal arts and sciences. These programs often involve the Socratic method, which encourages students to think critically and ask questions. There are several online classical education programs available for students of all ages, and in this article, we will cover some of the best.
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What is an Online Classical Program?
There are many different types of online curriculum programs available today. A classical curriculum is a program you can use to teach your children using the classical education method at home.
A program like this will generally teach students in three stages:
- The grammar stage – where children acquire the tools they need to learn the intricacies in the Classics later on. Children aged around 5-9 do the grammar stage. They do plenty of memorization of basic facts they will benefit from recalling later.
- The logic or dialectic stage is where children sort through facts they learned and analyze them logically. Then, they start to form arguments with these facts. Children aged around 9 to 12 do the logic stage. Students do plenty of reading and ‘compare & contrast’ exercises. They also talk with other classical students to solidify arguments.
- The rhetoric stage is where teenagers synthesize the facts they learned and analyzed in the previous two stages and learn how to apply them to their lives. Students debate and learn how to deliver a speech convincingly and persuasively.
To find out more about classical education, see this article.
A great book on the classical method is The Well-Trained Mind: A Guide to Classical Education at Home (Fourth Edition). This book is a popular choice. (In fact, it’s so popular it also has its own Academy (which we review below) where students can participate in unit study.)
Why You Should Use an Online Classical Education Curriculum
Some benefits of an online classical education program are that students:
- will know their facts well and relate them to principles in their lives
- can express themselves eloquently with sound arguments
- can write with structure and understanding
- find learning the intricacies of English easier with Latin as a background language (learn the benefits of Latin and Greek here)
- will be able to learn new languages with more ease as they will have learned Latin
- are encouraged to think independently and critically and
- acquire principles for life (instead of just acquiring facts and skills).
- can store all their work online making transcripts a breeze
- will be able to reduce paper waste and work in a smaller space if needed
- can do video lessons to learn boring subjects in a more interesting way
- can be taught by online teachers
Online Classical education programs are once again becoming popular, especially in many homeschools. This educational method is now widespread in America, especially among Christian educators.
Several Online Classical Education Programs
There are a few popular online classical education programs for students; we’ll discuss them more below.
Compass Classrooms is a new online classical program written from a Christian worldview. The curriculum covers all grades and is quite affordable on a subscription.
A subscription means you get access to everything on the platform. This means you get access to:
- Art & Music,
- Homeschooling subjects,
- Languages and Vocabulary,
- Literature and Poetry,
- Science & Creation,
- Writing & Grammar,
- and more!
So, you’ll get everything on a subscription with the exception of mathematics.
This program is mostly true to the classical method, but also includes some Charlotte Mason elements.
You can try Compass Classroom on a 2-week FREE trial.
The Veritas Press Classical Program is a rigorous, academic online classical program that equips students with the tools they need for success in college and beyond.
The program begins with a foundation in Latin grammar and vocabulary, which lays the groundwork for students to be able to read, write, and speak Latin with confidence. From there, students move on to study the great works of Western literature and history. The program culminates in a Senior Capstone course, where students synthesize all that they have learned into a research paper or project.
The Veritas Press Classical Program prepares students not only for academic success but also for a lifetime of learning. By instilling in them a love of wisdom and knowledge, the program sets them on a path to becoming lifelong learners who can think critically and communicate effectively.
Students do a lot of their work in virtual classrooms, giving them a social outlet for their online course.
How Much Is Veritas and What Grades Does It Offer?
Veritas offers three different plans each year from Grade K-12th. Prices between grades differ substantially, with younger grades being significantly cheaper, while older grades are considerably more expensive.
The three plans are:
- Good – for kindergarten, the cost is $249 for a basic plan which gives you the basic curriculum and every subject you need. Grade 12 costs $1,349 for the year.
- Better – intermediate plan between the ‘Good’ and the ‘Best.’
- Best – kindergarten is $749 for the best plan, which gives you all the bells and whistles Veritas has to offer. Grade 12 costs $1,699 for the year.
As the Grades advance, the prices also do.
Features of this Online Classical Education Program
With Veritas, your children can:
- access online lessons and interact with teachers online
- choose to do self-paced courses and
- do live courses online.
Veritas says things are so easy that you only need to:
- choose the grade your child is in,
- choose what you (and your children) want to study (customize the curriculum) and,
- place your order, and you’ll get a boxed classical education curriculum in the mail!
Veritas Press also offers many free resources at this link as they’re motivated to share their resources because of their Christian faith. See Veritas Press reviewed in more detail here.
Classical Academic Press
Classical Academic Press aims to teach a rigorous form of classical education as they hope to revive the liberal arts tradition in education establishments and homeschool today. They offer Latin, Greek, Writing and Rhetoric, Poetry, Literature Guides, and more.
The term ‘Classical Academic Press’ is googled about 2,400 times a month in the United States alone.
Cost of Classical Academic Press and Grades Offered
This classical education curriculum offers all grades in three sections:
- Lower Grammer – Pre K -Grade 3
- Upper Grammar – Grade 4-6
- Logic and Rhetoric – Grades 7-12
It isn’t easy to figure out the cost of Classical Academic Press as they don’t seem to offer a curriculum set for each grade. To get the total price of this classical curriculum, educators have to choose the book or book sets they wish children to study. Perhaps this is an intentional move to give parents the freedom to choose the subjects they like and skip the subjects they’re not keen on.
A Tapestry of Grace – Online and Offline
A Tapestry of Grace is a mix between the Charlotte Mason and Classical education methods.
This online classical program is a four-year, classics-based Christian homeschooling curriculum for the whole family. Its assignments span history, literature, writing, government studies, group activities, bible survey, geography, church history, hands-on projects, worldview studies, timeline, and fine arts.
The four years covered in this online program are:
- Year 1: The History of Redemption (Creation to the fall of Rome)
- Year 2: Between Ancient and Modern (from the Fall of Rome to the Signing of the US Constitution in 1787)
- Year 3: The 1800’s (from the US Constitution to the year 1900)
- Year 4: The Twentieth Century (from the turn of the century to the new millennium, with a brief study in eschatology)
If you want to teach multiple children at the same time, Tapestry of Grace is a great choice. It comes in both online and offline formats.
Classical Education Program for Free?
The following is a high-brow, high-IQ curriculum, which has been adopted by homeschoolers and schools. The creators of this free online curriculum have sought to address the lack of any sound online classical curriculum. Based upon the 19th-century German-Latin method and following the great-books model, this curriculum often attempts to be highbrow, emphasizing the best of occidental traditions while avoiding the anti-Western political correctness one finds in public schools. The following materials list can be used as a stand-alone curriculum or as a supplement to another curriculum. Many parents have said that this book list served as an outstanding supplement to other curricula. Our outline for classical languages, literature, and history is one of the best on the internet…The following curriculum can serve as a [secular] curriculum or a Christian [program]. While the following curriculum is non-religious per se and devoid of an explicit fundamentalist Christian worldview, it includes an implicit Christian perspective in that much of post-classical literature consists of a Christian worldview (e.g., Dante, Shakespeare, etc.)…