“Reading the Great Books had done more for my mind than all the rest of the academic pursuits…it is the best education for the faculty as well as for the students; the use of original texts is an antidote for survey courses and fifth-rate textbooks; and it constitutes by itself, if properly conducted, the backbone of a liberal education.” - Dr. Mortimer J. Adler
The Great Books Homeschool Program is a nursery-though-12th grade curriculum for home education. It is complete – including all subjects, books, guides and tests needed, for all grades. Optional services for enrolled students include grading, transcript maintenance, online literature discussion classes and the finest online resources (such as Encyclopaedia Britannica and the Oxford Dictionary).
Are there any reasons to begin the study of the Great Books before 19 years of age?
STUDENTS HAVE THE TIME THEN, OFTEN NOT LATER: As Dr. Mortimer J. Adler wrote in the article cited below: “If we are going to have general human schooling in this country, it has to be accomplished in the first twelve years of compulsory schooling…” Dr. Adler noted that the responsibilities and financial pressures of college costs, adulthood and marriage effectively end the availability of sufficient leisure time necessary for general, liberal educational opportunities for most college-age students, in favor narrow specialized, vocational education. Twenty years later, in 1990 Adler reaffirmed his view that the Great Books – the “ backbone of liberal education” as Adler called them – should be studied in the high school years, before age eighteen: “As far as the United States is concerned, the reorganization of the educational system would make it possible for the system to make its contribution to the liberal education of the young by the time they reached the age of eighteen…The tremendous waste of time in the American educational system must result in part from the fact that there is so much time to waste.” (The Great Conversation by Dr. Mortimer J. Adler; 2nd Ed., 1990, p.55; Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., Chicago
- THE HUMANITIES CAN AND SHOULD BE COMPLETED AT THAT AGE: Philosopher Jacques Maritain held virtually the identical view as Dr. Adler on this matter: ”I advance the opinion, incidentally, that, in the general educational scheme, it would be advantageous to hurry the four years of college, so that the period of undergraduate studies would extend from sixteen to nineteen. The BA would be awarded at the end of the college years [at 19 years of age], as crowning the humanities…” (Education at the Crossroads)
- EARLY EDUCATION IS IMPORTANT: Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker (University of Chicago) says studies show that by age 16 government job-training programs for 16-year-olds do not succeed because they cannot overcome the failure to learn skills in the first 16 years.
- IT SAVES LOTS OF MONEY: Private four-year colleges now cost approximately $25,000 per year, $100,000 for a degree (= about $750-800 per credit hour). The Great Books Program high school credit track is only about $995 per year, or $83 per credit hour ($75 with early enrollment discount through July 5th). The college credit track costs only $2,950 per year, or $249 per credit hour (only $221 with early enrollment discount through July 5th)
- IT IS AFFORDABLE FOR FAMILIES: The Great Books Academy Payment Plan will reserve a seat in the class of your choosing for only 10% down. The other 90% is payable in 9 monthly installments of 10% each, beginning September 1, 2012. For the high school credit track that is only $99 down, and $99 each month, beginning September 1, through May. For the college track, that is only $295 down, and $295 per month, September through May. The Great Books Academy offers a generous 50% tuition reduction for all other siblings (may not be combined with other discounts).
- A NUMBER OF STATES WILL PAY FOR THE GREAT BOOKS PROGRAM: Certain charter schools in CA, WA, ID, AK, HI, OK, MA and Canada will pay for part or all of the Great Books Program. http://www.greatbooksacademy.org/curriculum/charter-schools/
- STUDENTS MAY WITHDRAW AT ANY TIME WITHOUT FURTHER OBLIGATION: Students may withdraw at any time, and upon 72 hours notice to us (an email is fine) no further payments and no penalties are due. It’s a low risk way to test the actual classes. By the way, despite our generous withdrawal policy, our withdrawal rate runs only about 5% over the full academic year (i.e., 95% complete the full academic year. The U.S. college graduation rate currently stands at about 50 percent, according to the New York Times.