To inspire goodness in the hearts of children
Your child’s character is shaped by what they pay attention to. We teach them to cultivate the Three Paths of Attention: Knowledge, Genius, & Heart.
By attending to Knowledge, they steadily progress in their academic studies. By attending to Genius, they strengthen their ability to think and create. By attending to Heart, they become kind people who contribute to their families and communities.
While we continually present your child with high-level classical content, we value a warm and positive environment every step of the way. We blend the direct study of timeless material with the joy of learning. In the end, through a study of the classics, nature, and art, we want our students to love excellent things and find meaning everywhere. We want them to help them grow a vital interest and care for life, overtaking the artificialities of boredom. Our students are well-aware of one of our main Schoolhouse mantras: “Boring people find things boring; interesting people find things interesting.”
And as Charlotte Mason noted a century ago:
“Life should be all living, and not merely the tedious passing of time; not all doing or all feeling or all thinking—the strain would be too great—but, all living; that is to say, we should be in touch wherever we go, whatever we hear, whatever we see, with some manner of vital interest. The question is not—how much does the youth know when he has finished his education—but how much does he care?”
In the end, we want you to love—and be proud of—the growth and happiness you see in your child.
The most important thing we can give our children is a superb education—to help them dispel ignorance and take the first steps on their paths toward wisdom—as they become leaders, adventurers, and fearless contributors.
The Five Ships are our principles for helping our students sail through the world toward excellence:
Intellectual Excellence: “Still I am learning” (Ancora imparo) ~ Michelangelo
– Defined: Sharpening one’s power of memory, reasoning, clarity, and rhetoric to an exemplary level
– Counters: Going through the motions to obtain superficial rewards
Life of Purpose: “Through hardship, to the stars” (Per aspera, ad astra) ~ Latin proverb
– Defined: Fulfilling one’s purpose by setting sincere intentions
– Counters: Apathy and purposelessness
Beauty and Dignity: “Action, not words” (Acta, non verba) ~ George Washington
– Defined: Refining one’s taste and style toward greater sophistication, poise, and confidence
– Counters: Unwholesome exposures in society
Noble Spirit: “A person’s character is his fate” (Ethos anthropou daimon) ~ Heraclitus
– Defined: Embracing morality & spirituality as essential to being human
– Counters: Conducting oneself poorly amid freedom
Timeless Traditions: “To the fountain” (Ad Fontes) ~ Latin Proverb
– Defined: Applying the best of the past to create a flourishing future society
– Counters: Resenting tradition, authority, and personal responsibility
These Five Ships form part of Northern’s entire educational paradigm, from the Schoolhouse to the Academy.