The word curriculum derives from the Latin word for a racecourse, for example, the Circus Maximus; thus, a curriculum presents the planned course of studies each student sets out to complete.
HFA offers a classical liberal arts curriculum consisting primarily of original texts that speak across the ages. The books are chosen for their great wisdom about human nature, the nature of the world, and the meaning of life. Occasionally, the original classics in the HFA curriculum are supplemented by excellent textbooks that are useful for reference, because they treat a subject matter in a systemized and linear manner.
The books in a classical curriculum are distinguished not for their antiquity, length, or complexity; rather, they are classical because their content is among the best that has ever been thought, said, or written. Such books contain much more than facts, information, or data. In an age with a superabundance of data, T. S. Eliot rightly asks, “Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge? Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?”
John Adams noted the hierarchy in subject matter when articulating his hopes for what his children and grand-children would study:
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
As Adams points out, students who have the opportunity to take a classical curriculum benefit not only from the great philosophers, mathematicians, scientists, and artists they study, but also from the generosity of those who sacrificed for the sake of their education.
The Subjects of the Curriculum
The HFA Curriculum is designed to cultivate intellectual habits and skills in the students. The course of studies is firmly rooted in the Trivium—Grammar, Dialectic, and Rhetoric, and the Quadrivium—Mathematic, Geometry, Astronomy, and Music. The curriculum also includes subjects that either build upon the foundation of the liberal arts, for example, Philosophy, or are rooted in divine revelation, for example, Theology.
Certain adaptations have been made due to time constraints; therefore, not all of the liberal arts are given equal time. For example, we study Music more than Astronomy, and we study Grammar, Dialectic, Rhetoric, Mathematics, and Geometry more than Music.
Here is an overview of the HFA Curriculum. Please note that an * indicates dual enrollment for college credit is offered for that course.
Salvation History, American History, Good Books I with Grammar and Composition, Introduction to Latin A, Mathematics 7, Earth and Life Science, and Choir during first semester
The Church, World History, Good Books II with Grammar and Composition, Introduction to Latin IB, Algebra I, Physical Science, and Choir during first semester
Old Covenant, Ancient History, Classical Literature and Composition, Latin Cambridge I, Geometry, Biology with Lab, and Choir during first semester
New Covenant, Medieval History, British Literature and Composition, Latin Cambridge II, Algebra II, Chemistry with Lab, and Choir during first semester
Moral Theology, Modern European History, World Literature and Composition,
Chemistry with Lab, Pre-Calculus*, Latin: Prose & Poetry, Drama and Junior Thesis,
and Choir during first semester
Apologetics, American Civilization, American Literature and Composition, Philosophy,
Physics with Lab, Elective Course: Calculus*, Advanced Latin: Prose & Poetry,
Drama, Senior Thesis*, and Choir during first semester