How to Use This Course
SchoolhouseTeachers.com brings you Great Books Part One by Dr. Steven Hake, the Chair of the Department of Classical Liberal Arts and Director of the Literature major at Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia. Dr. Hake supplies your student with an advanced literature study of the first portion of The Great Books of the Western World (a fifty four volume set published by Britannica). During these semesters, not every word of every volume will be read, but many different authors will be read in enough depth and breadth to thoroughly acquaint students with their unique contribution to the great conversation that is western culture.
There are discussion questions in the form of weekly written assignments for the student to complete, along with one-page journal entries, two short papers, and, at the conclusion of the course, a longer paper (ten to twelve pages). If this course is taken in full, completing all reading assignments, written assignments, and both the long and short papers, the course is worth a minimum of .5 language arts credit. If the student explores this course in depth and spends approximately 180 hours completing this course (two hours per day for eighteen weeks or one hour per day for thirty-six weeks), it is worth one high school credit in language arts. As always, please check your own state’s academic requirements.
*Important note: access to the first three volumes of the Great Books series is required for the first lessons. These books will need to be obtained from your library prior to beginning the class. Additional volumes may be required to complete later assignments. If the Great Books series is not available at your library, go to page 4 of the Introduction, Instructions, and Outline for a complete breakdown of what books are included in this series. Many are available to be read free online or may be available at your library individually.
This is the first of two courses that will give you a thorough introduction to some of The Great Books of the Western World (a fifty four volume set published by Britannica). During these semesters we will not read every word of every volume of these books, but we will read many different authors in enough depth and breadth to be thoroughly acquainted with their unique contribution to the great conversation that is western culture. It is my hope that I can in this way launch people into a lifetime reading project that takes them through the entire set, and through special favorites several times.
Remember, you are studying to the glory of God and not primarily for academic credit or even to fulfill course requirements mandated by the state in which you live. Even if you are studying out of obedience to your parents, I hope, and am sure that your parents join me in this hope, that your desire to love God with your mind and learn for Him will grow stronger and stronger until it is deeply internal and clearly your own. Our one desire is to be the absolute best that we can be for Christ by His grace, to fully use the gifts He has given us, and to fulfill the ministry He has in mind for us.
Length: 18 weekly lessons
Includes: Eighteen printable weekly lessons
Age/Grade: This is an in-depth literature course designed for juniors or seniors, or students with a love for reading.
Week 1: Plato-Apology, Crito
Week 2: Aristophanes-Clouds, Lysistrata; Choose Syntopicon Idea
Week 3: Plato-Republic (Books I-II)
Week 4: Aristotle-Ethics (Book I)
Week 5: Aristotle-Politics (Book I)
Week 6: Plutarch-The Lives of the Noble Grecians and Romans; Syntopicon Progress report
Week 7: New Testament: Matthew and Acts
Week 8: St. Augustine-Confessions (Books I-VIII)
Week 9: Machiavelli-The Prince; First Short Paper
Week 10: Rabelais-Gargantua and Pantagruel
Week 11: Montaigne-Essays
Week 12: Shakespeare-Hamlet; Syntopicon Progress Report
Week 13: Locke-Concerning Civil Government (2nd essay)
Week 14: Rousseau-The Social Contract
Week 15: Gibbon-The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Ch. 15-16)
Week 16: The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States, The Federalist
Week 17: Smith-The Wealth of Nations (Introduction—Book I, Ch. 9)
Week 18: Marx—Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party; Second Short Paper; Syntopicon Paper
If this course is taken in full, completing all reading assignments, written assignments, and both the long and short papers, the course is worth a minimum of .5 language arts credit. If the student explores this course in depth and spends approximately 180 hours completing this course (two hours per day for eighteen weeks or one hour per day for thirty-six weeks), it will count for one high school credit in language arts.