Chesterton Academy of St. Isidore
Welcome to the Chesterton Academy of St. Isidore!
(Full website coming soon...)
Realize Your Full Academic Potential
OUR INTEGRATED, CLASSICAL CURRICULUM
WILL PREPARE YOU FOR COLLEGE—AND FOR LIFE
As of September 1st, 2020 we open the virtual doors of Canada's first online Chesterton Academy, implementing the rich, classical, Catholic learning developed by the Chesterton Network of Schools.
Inspired by Saint Pope John Paul II, we take as our motto Cultura Vitae, the culture of life. We make it our mission to prepare our students to triumph over the materialism and despair that pervade our culture and to accept our Lord's offer to have life and have it abundantly. Our classical curriculum combines a broad, liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on the development of Christian virtues and an appreciation of beauty, through our Three Pillars Model of Intellect, Character, and Spirituality.
Chesterton Academy Tour
This is a temporary site as our web designers finish the real thing, but here are a few videos introducing the course sequence, our online platform (Canvas), and some sample instructional material.
Please Note: The lessons below come from one of our regular courses which, while faith integrated and based on a Great Books philosophy, are not necessarily as rigorous or structured as the Chesterton Academy program.
The Chesterton Academy Humanities Sequence
Our Online Learning Space
The online platform we use is called Canvas! Take a look!
A Lesson on Chesterton
As I said in our introduction to the Canvas platform, the weekly lessons include video lectures. Here is the discussion I give on Chesterton's essay, "A Piece of Chalk," which echoes Augustine's thinking on good and evil. Read the article here if you'd like to get more out of the video!
A Lesson on Plato
Last is a snippet from Philosophy class. Students have by this point spent some time learning about Socrates and Plato, including a reading and discussion of the Allegory of the Cave. The key lessons of the whole unit include the fragility of knowledge (and therefore the essential nature of Faith) as well as the value of intellectual humility (balanced with adherence to Truth).
Once more, you can read the piece in translation here, if you'd like.
The Chesterton Academy framework includes:
- A four-year, sequential, integrated curriculum with an interdisciplinary, faith-filled approach to all courses, from the Humanities to the Sciences
- Accredited, faithful Catholic teachers
- Programs delivering an Alberta Highschool Diploma, delivered according to the philosophy Chesterton Academies are known for.
Our Patron: G. K. Chesterton
Chesterton Academy is named for the great English writer and Catholic convert, G.K. Chesterton (1874- 1936). Chesterton is a model for our school because he exemplified the Catholic faith through a life filled with joy, wonder, and gratitude.
Chesterton was considered one of the world’s most outstanding men of letters in the early 20th century. An accomplished essayist, novelist, and poet, he wrote a hundred books on all different subjects. In 1922, he shocked the literary establishment by converting to Catholicism. He was later eulogized by Pope Pius XI as “a gifted defender of the faith,” and there is presently a popular movement to have him canonized. The school has chosen him for its patron because he not only represents the fullness of faith and reason, but also Catholic joy and common sense.
The Chesterton Difference: Classical Curriculum
Click below for an overview of any or all of our curricular areas.
The Humanities Program
History, literature, philosophy, theology, and languages are braided together in an integrated curriculum utilizing the Socratic Method.
Grade 9: Ancient World
Grade 10: Early Medieval Period
Grade 11: High Middle Ages to the Renaissance
Grade 12: Modern World
Our study of literature is tied to the study of history and the rest of the humanities. Students are first introduced to classical epics of Homer and then exposed to early English classics such as The Canterbury Tales and modern literary renderings of medieval history. Moving towards the modern period, they read Dante, Shakespeare, Dickens, Dostoevsky, Chesterton, and American literature. Reading and writing go hand in hand, and each student masters the art of the essay in their writing assignments in all subjects.
The history classes at Chesterton Academy form the backbone of our curriculum. The four-year history sequence covers ancient history through the Greek and Roman civilizations, early Church history, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Reformation and Counter-reformation. In senior year, students study the modern era, including the American and French Revolutions, the Industrial Revolution, the Communist Revolution, and the Sexual Revolution. Each history course is tailored to provide a colorful backdrop for literature, art, and science classes.
Philosophy, “the love of wisdom,” exercises the brain while it elevates the soul. The ability to understand abstract concepts leads to clear and systematic thinking in all things. We use philosophy to connect the humanities, but also to show its obvious connection to logic and mathematics. We study the development of philosophy from its classical roots focusing on Plato and Aristotle, its dramatic encounter with the early Church, its christening by St. Thomas Aquinas, and its deterioration in the modern era.
Theology, “the study of God,” is the context by which all other texts are studied. The principal theological texts studied are the Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. We also read selections from the Church Fathers, Documents of the Church Councils, and Papal Encyclicals.
FOREIGN LANGUAGE +
The study of a foreign language is required of all students for three years. All students are required to take two years of Latin and then go on to choose Latin III and IV, or French.
The Maths and Sciences Program
Math and science are intimately connected; the logic of math is seen in philosophy and God’s handiwork is seen in the sciences.
Mathematics is the art of measuring. Science is the study of what can be measured. While math is woven together with the sciences, it is also connected to the humanities. It teaches logic, which is a basic philosophical principle. It teaches balance, which is a basic aesthetic principle. Math at Chesterton Academy covers Euclidean geometry and algebra, all the way through advanced Calculus.
MATH SEQUENCE +
Foundations Track: Euclidean/Analytical Geometry - Algebra I - Algebra II/Trig - Pre-Calculus or Statistics
Traditional Track: Euclidean/Analytical Geometry - Algebra II/Trig - Pre-Calculus - Calculus or Statistics
C-STEM Track: Euclidean/Analytical Geometry - Pre-Calculus - Calculus
Science is the study of the physical world, that is, of God’s creation. None of these subjects can be approached without a sense of wonder. It is fitting, therefore, to begin by looking up at the heavens, at the lights in the sky: Astronomy. Then we take a look at the world God created (Geology), the creatures he created (Biology), and the intricate substances of which all things are made (Chemistry), gaining, in addition, an understanding of the nature and properties of matter and energy (Physics).
SCIENCE SEQUENCE +
Grade 9: Astronomy and General Sciences I
Grade 10: General Science II
Grade 11: Chemistry, Physics and/or Biology Specialization
Grade 12: Chemistry, Physics and/or Biology Specialization
The Fine Arts
Equal emphasis is given to the arts, so that every student learns to draw and paint, sing in the choir, act on the stage, give speeches, and engage in debate.
Music appeals to the ear and the mind, the emotions and the intellect, the senses and the spirit. Chesterton Academy students are exposed to a wide variety of music that they perform chorally several times a year. An education at Chesterton includes music theory, performance (submitted electronically), ear training, note reading, and musical analysis. Music history is taught according to the grade level with an emphasis on music development within the Church, and corresponds to the historical period in which the students are immersed. Students involve themselves with local and/or parish choirs.
A complete education must include the development of the creative nature and must provide students with the tools and the technique with which to express their ideas, their feelings and their love. It must also include the analytical skills with which to judge a work of art and exposure to great art. Finally, the mechanical skills and the aesthetic aptitude must be put into the proper context of eternal Truth. A good artist is a complete thinker and vice versa. The influence of the arts in today’s society cannot be overstated, and this is why art is mandatory at Chesterton Academy all four years.
ART HISTORY & STUDIO ART SEQUENCE +
Grade 9: Ancient Art History | Drawing and Calligraphy
Grade 10: Late Roman and Early European Art History | Pastels and Colors
Grade 11: Late Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque Art History | Oils
Grade 12: Classical, Romantic, and Modern Art History | Oils
Creative Writing +
Chesterton was known not only for his wit, wisdom, and piety. He was a writer who found both beauty and truth in words. At the Chesterton Academy of St. Isidore, students will enter into the art of writing, creating and exploring works meant to entertain and to illuminate. Students will study Chesterton's short works, his essays, short stories, poems, and seek to develop their own work and style through emulation.
We work to find talented and dynamic faculty dedicated to the vision and mission of our school, and that of the Chesterton Schools Network. Each faculty and staff member teaching in the Chesterton Academy Program takes an Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium.