Green Bay, WI

Catholic Schoolhouse Green Bay Blog

New Dialectic Program for 2016-2017

March 23, 2016 | Posted by

We are excited to share with you our new dialectic program. Our chapter is growing, and we have several families who would love to have their 7th-9th graders in a co-op. Therefore, in the fall of 2016, we will start a new dialectic program!

The dialectic program is designed to help families “do” things for their children that are harder to accomplish at home, such as Socratic style discussion in a group setting. Dialectic scholars have a natural tendency to ask “why” things are the way they are; during group discussions and through writing assignments, dialectic scholars will have the opportunity to question what they are learning to discover the underlying reasons. Catholic Schoolhouse’s dialectic program provides age-level art projects; we know it can be a challenge to do regular art projects at home for this age group. We will also have science experiments.

Let me share with you more details about what the dialectic program will look like.

Ages and Grades

For Catholic Schoolhouse, dialectic scholars are generally ages 12-15. This is about grades 7th, 8th, and 9th. If we have families with children in grades 10th-12th, we would be happy to also add a rhetoric program, if there is enough enrollment. Please contact the director if you are interested in rhetoric; you will be added to a wait list to see how many families are interested.

school of athens

School of Athens, Raphael

Overall Schedule for Dialectic

  • Dialectic scholars start the day with the grammar scholars with prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Scholars proceed to their classroom for academics for 2 hours:
    • Socratic discussion
      • Tutors will guide scholars in the art of Socratic style discussion, whose goal is to discover truth through careful, patient, insightful discussion in a group setting.  Other goals are to find what is true, good, and beautiful.
    • Writing instruction
    • Geography and history are talked about in depth from the Tour Guide.
    • Latin chant
  • Alternating weeks of art and science to allow for more in-depth study of the week’s art or science topic
    • Art class: 1 hour every other week
    • Science experiments: 1 hour every other week
  • Dialectic scholars, grammar scholars, nursery children, and adults at the co-op share lunch together
  • We end the day as a group, with announcements and closing prayer.

Cicero Denounces Catiline, Cesare Maccari


  • Dialectic scholars will be assigned two hours of homework per week. This homework will include:
    • Dialectic scholars will read one book per quarter, and some short excerpts from important works. The supply fee will cover the cost of the books.
      • Passages assigned for reading at home will be discussed in class
    • Scholars will be also receive writing assignments.
    • Scholars will sometimes prepare and practice speeches at home to give at the co-op.
  • Scholars are also asked to look at the weekly Tour Guide’s memory work; any content they are not familiar with, they are asked to review. A lot of the Tour Guide will be mastered already by the scholars (e.g., skip counting, parts of speech, geography, science), but each week, there will likely be some content that they could commit to memory.

We want our dialectic scholars to learn how to look at a text, raise questions about the truths and fallacies in it, and present their thoughts in a group. Our dialectic scholars will create artwork and complete science experiments. We are looking forward to starting the dialectic program in the fall! Please contact the director if you have questions.