Curriculum

Multum Non Multa

Mount Hope Lutheran School is a classical Lutheran school with Christ at the center. We educate based on the liberal arts curriculum of the past to prepare students for life in the world of today. Expectations are high, discipline is strict, and memorization is vital. The classical curriculum cultivates in students the ability to think broadly, deeply, and creatively.

The Bible is the principal textbook of our school. Our Bible lessons also incorporate Luther’s Small and Large Catechisms, the Lutheran Service Book, and, in the upper grades, the Book of Concord. LCMS pastors lead us in daily worship.

The classical curriculum:

  • concentrates on the classical period, recognizing the importance of Greek and Roman language, literature, and culture as the foundation of Western Civilization;
  • is teacher-directed, acknowledging the experienced teacher rather than the still-learning student as best equipped to guide the course of instruction;
  • is rich in content, enculturating children in the doctrines of Christianity and the ideas of Western Civilization;
  • holds students to high expectations, insisting on self-discipline and excellence in behavior, work ethic, and academic achievement.

We hold to two ancient sayings that shape our curriculum. First, multum non multa, which means “much, not many.” We seek to teach deeply in fewer areas rather than superficially in many.

Second, repetitio mater studiorum est, which means “repetition is the mother of studies.” If something is worth learning, it’s worth hearing multiple times, for only then will students retain it.

These two sayings lead to an uncluttered curriculum that gives students the foundation for learning, a love of learning, and the discipline that learning requires.

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Religion

WE ASSERT that God’s Word should shape and inform all learning; therefore, the Bible is the heart of our curriculum, and chapel services the heart of our daily routine.

WE REJECT the assertion that religion can simply be added on to make a curriculum Christian.

K-5th curriculum: A survey of the Old Testament and Gospels is completed in the lower grades. In addition, students memorize many Bible passages and Luther’s Small Catechism.

6th-10th curriculum: A survey of the Epistles alternates with study of the Augsburg Confession, both of which lead to ethical and theological issues. By placing such issues in context, students are carried back to the historical roots of important controversies and forward to the practical application in our modern society. Subjects treated include infant baptism, the Lord’s Supper, evolution, non-Christian religions, marriage, abortion, and many others.

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English

WE ASSERT that the ability to use and understand language effectively is the foundation of all education, and that language, along with reason, distinguishes man from animals.

WE REJECT the assertions that inaccurate or mediocre writing and speech are sufficient as long as they “communicate,” that students should be expected to write original compositions without the practice of modeling from great writers, and that the act of reading matters more than the content of the books children read.

K-5th curriculum: Spalding’s The Writing Road to Reading is the basis of our spelling and reading instruction. The objective of the Spalding program is to help all children learn to speak precisely, spell accurately, write proficiently, and read fluently with comprehension. Students memorize and analyze English grammar using Memoria Press’ English Grammar Recitation. Furthermore, students rewrite fables and narratives using Classical Writing. Our rich, historically-based literature selection features Aesop’s fables, fairy tales, historical fiction, and age-appropriate versions of Greek, Roman, medieval, and Renaissance classics, as well as other timeless children’s books.

6th-10th curriculum: Accurate spelling and neat penmanship are expected from students at this level and are considered necessary in the context of regular written work. Grammar continues to be reinforced through direct instruction and incorporation into writing. With the Classical Writing curriculum, students continue to practice writing fictional narratives but broaden their skills through the initial nonfiction exercises of the classical progymnasmata writing curriculum: the eight ways of addressing a maxim or chreia (wise saying). Practice in nonfiction writing culminates in structured expository essays. Literature studies are closely incorporated with history, bringing in such authors as Homer, Chaucer, Dante, Shakespeare, and Dickens.

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Mathematics

WE ASSERT that memorization of mathematical facts and confident computational skill are essential to progress in math, and that higher levels of abstract mathematics provide valuable training for the mind.

WE REJECT the assertions that knowledge of mathematical processes without a supply of memorized factual information is sufficient, that young students must be able to articulate why each mathematical process works, and that all mathematical studies must have an immediate, practical application.

K-5th curriculum: Saxon Math provides students a solid foundation in the language and basic concepts of math through an incremental approach whereby students practice new concepts and then achieve mastery through continued application in subsequent lessons.

6th-10th curriculum: Saxon Math continues to provide a solid foundation leading to further studies in the abstract, logical disciplines of Algebra and Geometry, where the well-respected texts of Harold Jacobs are used.

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History

WE ASSERT that history reveals the working of God throughout time, gives students models of great men to admire, teaches the outcomes of virtue and vice, and prepares a background for understanding all other disciplines.

WE REJECT the assertions that young children benefit more from social studies focusing on their own time and place than from study of the past, and that all cultures and people are equally worthy of our study.

K-5th curriculum: Focusing on Western Civilization, history studies follow a chronological survey: an overview timeline in first and second grades, followed by a three-year cycle of the Greco-Roman Period, the Middle Ages, and the Modern Period in third through fifth grades.

6th-10th curriculum: A three-year survey course in Western Civilization reviews and expands on the history learned in the lower grades, but also engages students’ blossoming capacity for critical thought. Students confront such timeless questions as: Why have civilizations risen and fallen? How have religion, philosophy, literature, geography, technology, and other factors affected civilizations? and What is our Christian response as heirs of this heritage? At the end of each year students review with a comprehensive exam.

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Geography

WE ASSERT that students should continually broaden their understanding of the world by memorizing the locations of geographical places, and that geographical studies assist students in understanding both history and current events.

WE REJECT the assertion that memorization of geographical locations is too difficult or meaningless for children.

K-5th curriculum: A thorough study of the United States and a new world continent each year prepares students for a comprehensive review and examination in the upper grades.

6th grade curriculum: While reviewing the names and places learned previously, students at this level concentrate on placing countries, continents, and other features in the larger context of the world, culminating with a comprehensive exam. Geographical knowledge is also frequently incorporated into historical studies and discussion of current events.

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Science

WE ASSERT that scientific study can enrich our appreciation for God’s design in the physical world, and that the scientific method provides an ordered, helpful tool for examining creation.

WE REJECT the assertions that science is incompatible with religion, and that the scientific method alone is sufficient to reveal the truth about creation.

K-5th curriculum: In the early stages, the students study physical and life sciences. They continue their studies with the God’s Design science texts in third through fifth grades, concentrating on the topics of plants, animals, and the human body.

6th-10th curriculum: Using God’s Design science texts, students expand their scientific studies from the concrete to the more abstract, with a cycle of studies in chemistry, physics, and geology.

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Latin

WE ASSERT that Latin forms the mind, connects students with their Western and Christian cultural heritage, assists them in broadening their knowledge of English grammar and vocabulary, prepares them well for further language study, and is exciting for students, especially as they gain mastery of the language.

WE REJECT the assertions that the study of Latin has minimal benefit since it is a “dead” language lacking native speakers, and that it must be burdensome and of little interest to young students.

K-5th curriculum: Students build a Latin vocabulary and foundation for further studies through memorization of weekly wordlists and grammatical chants. As they progress, they build their grammatical knowledge through extensive practice in declining, conjugating, and translating.

6th-10th curriculum: The foundational Latin course prepares students for advanced studies using Jenney’s Latin, through which students become proficient in translating while continuing to reap the benefits of mental discipline, grammatical knowledge, and enhanced vocabulary. As students progress, they begin to translate primary sources.

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Logic

WE ASSERT that reason is a gift from God which, along with language, distinguishes man from animals, that well-trained reason is necessary for civic life and discourse, that logic can properly be applied to all areas of study, that its proper end is the discovery of truth, and that it must remain subject to the Word of God.

WE REJECT the assertions that reason is opposed to Christianity, that untrained “common sense” is sufficient for healthy civic discourse, and that reason should be applied over and above the Word of God.

7th-10th curriculum: Students study formal logic as it has been expounded by Aristotle and developed throughout the Middle Ages. They learn the elements of a syllogism and how to test its validity, as well as how to identify logical fallacies. Moreover, students at this level learn to apply logical thinking in all academic areas.

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Art

WE ASSERT that art is a particularly human gift and ability, that art should help us to love truth, goodness, and beauty, that proficiency in art requires explicit instruction with gradual building of skills, and that through the fine arts children develop observational skills and an appreciation for true masterpieces.

WE REJECT the assertions that children will enjoy art more or produce satisfying work if we merely direct them to “be creative,” and that all artworks are equally edifying and worthy of study.

K-5th curriculum: Students learn to create and appreciate art and to love beauty. Drawing lessons are the foundation of the art curriculum, providing students with frequent, gradual, explicit direction to build their skills. Additional art lessons increase students’ knowledge of artistic terminology and enhance their aesthetic and motor skills. Art appreciation is taught in the context of great artists and their works.

6th-10th curriculum: Students deepen the skills learned previously. Sketching is incorporated into subject areas, and art lessons involve a variety of media and techniques. Students deepen in appreciation of the fine arts through analysis of artistic works incorporated into history studies.

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Music

WE ASSERT that music is a divine gift, which is next to theology in the praise of God, that it is an aid to memorization, and that it is an essential aspect of life both within the church and in the secular world.

WE REJECT the assertions that music is tangential to faith and learning, and that all types of music are equally edifying or appropriate in all situations.

K-5th curriculum: Children are given many opportunities to sing, hear, and appreciate quality music of various styles. They also learn instrumental technique and note reading through violin instruction, progressing from playing unison melodies to maintaining a part in a larger harmonic ensemble. Such musical study develops students’ appreciation for the beauty of excellent musical compositions and leads them to aspire to the creation of such beauty in their own music.

6th-10th curriculum: Students continue their instrumental instruction, specializing in violin, viola, cello, or bass. Through more advanced ensemble playing, they broaden their repertoire of musical styles, periods, and techniques. Vocal training is also incorporated into the classroom. All musical instruction is recognized for its inherent beauty and its potential to serve the people of God.

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Physical Education

WE ASSERT that, according to the ancient ideal of “a sound mind in a sound body,” the truly educated person must learn to manage his life not only mentally and morally, but also physically, and that friendly competition against oneself and one’s peers builds determination and sportsmanship.

WE REJECT the assertions that the body is of little consequence, and that competition of any sort must necessarily be detrimental to children.

K-5th curriculum: Young students practice a variety of basic movement skills and begin to play group games and participate in competitive athletic events.

6th-8th curriculum: Students concentrate on developing personal fitness and continually gain appreciation for the good of a well-trained body by putting their skills into the context of group and competitive games.

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Library

WE ASSERT that reading is one of the most valuable activities for human beings to pursue in their leisure time, and that children should read for pleasure as well as academic advancement.

WE REJECT the assertions that any reading is worthwhile, regardless of content, and that all reading must be rigorous and challenging.

K-10th curriculum: The purpose of the Mount Hope Lutheran School Library is to support the school curriculum. Weekly library time teaches basic library skills, but more importantly encourages students to read literature which will enrich their understanding of truth, beauty, and goodness.

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