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The Challenge I Program

Ages 14+

Students fourteen years or older discover the joys of rich conversations in this challenging program.

Challenge I students are encouraged to think deeply and critically while improving their reading, writing, and research skills.

Through studies in American literature, American government, formal logic, Latin, physical science, algebra, free-market economics, and Shakespeare, students hone their dialectical skills and prepare for the rhetorical focus of later Challenges.

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Exposition

American Literature (First and Second Semesters)
Robust reading and writing characterize this seminar.

Students read essays, sermons, speeches, short stories, and novels.

Using The Lost Tools of Writing as the spine text, Challenge students practice the art of rhetoric by discussing their readings and by writing many essays during
the year.

Time management is key for both parents and students.

In seminar, students engage in book discussions, and directors suggest ways that students can improve their writing.

Grammar

Latin 1 (First and Second Semesters)
Students continue their study of Latin with an emphasis on memorization of vocabulary, declensions, and conjugations.

Directors review previous lessons and present the new material from the upcoming lesson as needed.

Debate

American Government (First Semester)
This loaded semester requires students to read and discuss various original documents related to American government and its history.

Directors facilitate and encourage discussion of political ideas—past and present—in historical context.

Integrating dialectic and rhetorical skills, students learn to discover context when analyzing political, social and policy decisions.

Students also take the principles they have learned from American Government and apply them to a series of public policy debates on current political issues.

Students learn and practice the skills of research, argumentation, critical thinking, public speaking, and logic.

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Free Market Economics (Second Semester)
Students read and discuss various articles related to free market economics in this seminar.

Directors lead discussions about the impact of free-market economics on national histories and present politics.

Students participate in various hands-on projects that allow for real-life understanding and practical application of current economic issues.

Research

Physical Science (First and Second Semesters)
More textbook-driven than the research strands of Challenges A and B, students learn to take good notes and study from a textbook.

Each week, students are assigned a physical science module from the text.

In seminar, tutors lead students through simple labs and explain the integrated math principles as well as contents of the current module.

Integrating exposition skills, students also learn how to write a well-structured research paper with appropriate documentation.

Logic

Algebra (First and Second Semesters)
Each week, students further their understanding of math through conversations about the building blocks of algebra and geometry:

Numbers, laws, relationships, shapes, equations of the first degree, knowns and unknowns, and variables. Students may work from the Saxon resource or any other math book of their choice.

Reasoning

Traditional Logic I (First Semester)
Logical thinking skills are foundational for strong rhetorical skills, and logic is an important subject within the classical method.

In Challenge I, we study formal logic to learn the classical syllogism, the four logical statements, and the seven rules for validity.

On a deeper level, students gain an appreciation of logic as it serves to lead them from one truth to another and to a basic understanding of the Christian theory of knowledge.

Drama (Second Semester)
Using The Taming of the Shrew, students learn to read and enjoy the plays of Shakespeare; they also complete a special project related to this play.

The theme of this play centers around courtship, so seminar discussion embraces that theme and compares different cultural perspectives on courtship.

Students listen to Ravi Zacharias’s audio presentation “I, Isaac, Take Thee, Rebekah,” which examines marriage from a Christian perspective.

Parents are wise to use this integrated opportunity to discuss their family’s ideas and standards regarding courtship and marriage.

Spring Formal Protocol

Each spring, local directors may offer a formal event for Challenge I–IV students.

This is not a prom or a dating event; it is a chance to learn and practice the proper protocol during formal events.

“I pray our students will one day be world leaders and ambassadors to unsaved peoples, and I want them to know what to expect.”
—Leigh Bortins, Classical Conversations® founder and CAO

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