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The Challenge II Program

Flowing from the examination of freedom in Challenge I, the theme of Challenge II leads students to weigh the value and impact of choices executed by literary figures and heroes, historical leaders, artistic greats, and other persons of influence.

Students study the flow and development of ideas that shaped Western thought and culture and how they have led to twentieth-century thinking.

British literature, Latin 2, traditional logic, algebra and geometry, Western cultural history, and biology provide the academic core.

Advances in language skills, research, writing, dialogue, and debate continue as Challenge II moves into a more rhetorical format than earlier Challenges. Elocution or “style” in written and oral presentations gains importance as students learn and practice new types of rhetorical skills, including persuasive, impromptu, and debate presentations.

Catchesis Updated 2018_CH II

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Exposition

British Literature (First and Second Semesters)
This rigorous seminar, as in Challenge I, allows students to develop strong exposition, composition, and rhetorical skills using classical literature.

Through the study of literary terms, the practice of Socratic dialogue, and the refinement of persuasive essay writing, students examine the literature and scrutinize the value of their own opinions.

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Grammar

Latin 2 (First and Second Semesters)
This course builds on the framework established in Challenges A, B, and I of language and mastery of vocabulary, rules, and endings.

Students progress to advanced Latin grammar and sentence structure, allowing for more complex translation practice and the ability to learn the Latin vocabulary in context with Roman history.

In the second semester, students integrate overarching themes of Challenge II, including Western cultural influences, as they read, translate, and discuss the conquests of Caesar in seminar.

Debate

Western Cultural History (First and Second Semesters)
Students sift through the origin of ideas as they discuss, debate, and present analyses of Western culture and its shaping influences from a Christ-centered worldview.

Integrating the skills of research, exposition, and logic, students compile summaries of various artists and composers and come to seminar prepared to discuss how the arts influence (and are influenced by) culture.

The creation of a timeline enables students to integrate major persons and events with the art periods and philosophical ideas of the time.

Throughout the year, students work on enhancing their elocution, or rhetorical style, through a variety of formal speaking events, including team policy and Lincoln-Douglas debates.

Research

Biology (First and Second Semesters)
The biology student is introduced to the beauty and complexity of God’s creation.

The biology seminar provides a fully hands-on comprehensive laboratory experience that correlates with the concepts taught in the text.

The scientific method is reintroduced and practiced in each of the weekly seminar experiments through microscope use and dissection techniques.

Students sketch their observations and record their methods and data in their journals, and complete formal laboratory reports from selected experiments.

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Logic

Logic Algebra and Geometry (First and Second Semesters)
Each week, students further their understanding in math as the conversation centers around the ideas of numbers, laws, relationships, shape, simple proofs, equations of higher orders, knowns and unknowns, and variables.

Students may work from the Saxon resource or any other math book of their choice as the nature of discussion and problem-solving employs the universal building blocks of algebra and geometry.

Students recognize math in the geometry of nature, the proportions of art, and the ratios of music.

Reasoning

Formal Logic 1 (First Semester)
Logical thinking skills are foundational for strong rhetorical skills, and logic is an important subject within the classical method.

In Challenge II, students 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.

Socratic Dialogue (Second Semester)
In keeping with the study of Western tradition and thought, students read the ancient text Gorgias by the classical Greek philosopher Plato.

The dialogue is read aloud in seminar as an introduction to the Socratic method and the dialectic process.

As they read, students pause to discuss the meaning and personal application of logic and reasoning in man’s search for truth.