By Dr. Duke Pesta, Academic Director — FreedomProject Education
At FreedomProject Education, we provide a complete, online education, in the spirit of the Founding Fathers from kindergarten through high schoolall managed and delivered interactively through state- of-the-art technology.
Our highly-trained teachers, many of whom hold advanced degrees in their fields, interact with students in a personal manner and utilize technology to enliven and invigorate the online experience. And, like the Founding Fathers, we believe the purpose of a classical education is to train the mind to approach all subjects rationally and judiciously, and to recognize the value of reason, not as the only way of arriving at truth, but as one part of a complex human organism that includes body and soul, each of which has its own contributions to make in the development of the person.
We reject the contemporary idea that reason alone is sufficient for human progress and fulfillment. If that were true, courses in mathematics and science might constitute the entire curriculum. Rather, we believe subjects like Latin and Logic as well as course work in the Bible, great books, economics, and humanities contribute to forming the well-rounded Renaissance ideal of the polymath, the individual (who is) conversant in a wide variety of subjects and able to properly distinguish those disciplines fit for the mind, those fit for the soul, and those fit for the body, and how to integrate them. In other words, one important aim of classical education is to create a generation of individuals able to balance the practical demands of the material world with the humanistic requirements of right living and moral development.
We view our courses holistically: It’s not so much the way we teach courses in math or science, for instance, that suddenly makes them appropriate subjects for classical education. Instead, it is the emphasis we place on the relationship of math and science to all other disciplines in the curriculum, the way that our subjects are integrated, linked together, and ultimately subordinated to a higher ideal of what the aim and purpose of education should be. Math is, of course, rational and empirical, and in this sense, a mathematic sensibility is necessary for the mastery of Logic, and even Latin, which requires a precision and exactness that might almost be termed “mathematical.” By the same token, exercises in Latin declensions or time spent studying classical syllogisms deductive reasoning can only reinforce the rigor and flexibility of thought required to succeed at math and science at the highest levels. The end game is not complete mastery of a particular subject at the expense of all others, a hallmark of the current “scientization” of education, whereby we create endlessly myopic specialists focused on increasingly rarified and arcane bodies of knowledge. Instead, we seek to develop highly intuitive students who can function on multiple levels and are comfortable in multiple disciplines. In other words, a student equally able to appreciate the vastness of forests without losing sight of the uniqueness of trees.
At FreedomProject Education, we do not view our online educational system as a substitute for the important role parents play in the homeschool experience. Rather, we recognize that in our advanced technological society, students are much more comfortable accessing and capitalizing on the remarkable educational opportunities provided by technology. Further, while most homeschool parents feel capable of overseeing the education of their children, there are inevitably subjects, or blocks of subjects, that fall outside their comfort zones. Some parents may feel at ease discussing history or literature with their children, but need some outside help teaching calculus or physics. Online education meets these needs, partnering with parents and providing expert assistance and the intellectual support needed to provide a diverse, well-rounded education for their children. Our teachers and staff interact not just with the students taking their courses, but also with their parents, undergirding the educational experience, not controlling or hijacking it.
Besides the obvious advantages of convenience and the comforts and flexibility of the home environment, perhaps the biggest benefit of online homeschooling is the ability to manage the message, so to speak. It is impossible to be an informed participant in the culture and not recognize the increasingly volatile politicization of American institutions, especially Hollywood, the media, and of course, academia.
Homeschooling provides parents a level playing field, a safe place from which to interact with their children about the proper way to distinguish between important and unimportant information and identify the often one-sided methods by which information is delivered. Far too often today’s public-school students are taught what to think as opposed to learning to think for themselves. Much of what they are taught clashes with their own values and the values of their parents. Homeschooling reinforces the idea that parents should be the first and most important filter, one that protects their children from ideological indoctrination and the one-sided, politicized spin of the contemporary classroom. The objective is to generate informed, classically-trained citizens who can think for themselves and adapt to the changing demands of contemporary American citizenship and an ever-evolving work force.
The opportunities for classically-educated homeschoolers are incredibly bright. As it stands now, homeschool students in general more than hold their own against traditional students when it comes to college enrollment. Despite a good deal of scoffing from academic elites, homeschoolers are getting into very good colleges and universities at an impressive rate, and classically-trained homeschool students are better prepared, more respectful, less entitled, and generally fare better. Homeschool kids are much easier to teach and much less likely to tune out or drop out. The partnership between FreedomProject Education and the typical homeschool family will reinforce the idea that these students are more prepared academically and psychologically to survive and thrive in the world of higher education. For more information about FreedomProject Education, please visit our site www.fpeusa.org, or call us toll free at 800-807-7292 to consult with our staff members.