The Cooperative Academy is a gathering place for families to join in the Great Conversation. It is grounded in piety and governed by theology. This is an inherently Catholic education.
The Cooperative Academy is a warm and inviting environment where parents learn alongside their children through observation followed by reason, an exercise in philosophy. It ignites the flames of wonder and fires the moral imagination. While clearly rigorous, there is freedom and relaxation here. A grand feast featuring the best western civilization has to offer lies before all of us. Rich and generous, seated deeply in truth, beauty, and goodness, we nourish the whole child, mind, body, and soul, and gently train him up in Right Thinking as preparation for the work God has planned.
Parent-tutors act as learning facilitators in the classroom and expert mentors provide superior instruction in areas of refined skill. Together, we explore the richness and depth of true history, that is to say we connect to our own distinctly Catholic story, the story of Salvation History, the plan of Divine Providence, from which all other histories derived. Partaking in our abundant Catholic heritage, we learn the mother tongue of our Holy Church, the language of Latin. We study the transcendent beauty of music and art in the Catholic Tradition. As Pope Saint John Paul II instructed us, “Through his ‘artistic creativity’ man appears more than ever ‘in the image of God.’” As such, we hone our own skill in the fine arts to praise the Lord and glorify His creation. In observing the wonders of nature, we are driven to inquiry and prompted to careful consideration of the sciences.
Here, we provide students with the tools of learning so they may carry them throughout their lives and use them in adherence to God’s will. It is a musical education, one that orders the child’s affections to Our Lord and cultivates wisdom, grace, and virtue. It is the embodiment of the Catholic Faith in education and it is toward that which we strive at Queen of Angels Cooperative Academy.
Our Guiding Principles
Pursuing Wisdom . . . through a Classical Curriculum
Classical education is a long tradition of education that has emphasized seeking truth, goodness, and beauty and the study of the liberal arts and the great books. What are the liberal arts? They are grammar, logic, rhetoric (the verbal arts of the trivium), arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy (the mathematical arts of the quadrivium). Classical education also includes the study of Latin. The study of these subjects in the pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty teaches students how to learn and how to think, and how to pursue wisdom.
It is precisely this kind of education that has produced countless great leaders, inventors, scientists, writers, philosophers, theologians, physicians, lawyers, artists, and musicians over the centuries. Classical education never really disappeared, but it did diminish starting around 1900 with the advent of progressive education. In an effort to restore this most proven form of education, the liberal arts tradition has been renewed and expanded again over the last thirty years.
We endeavor to renew this classical tradition in our Scholé Group. We do so by focusing on a core curriculum of Latin, writing, logic/rhetoric, arithmetic/mathematics, science, and a study of the great books. Our students study some of these subjects together with tutors during our Campus Days and others at home in their homeschools.
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Discovering Delight—in Restful Learning
As our name implies, we value the concept of “restful learning” that is at the root of the word scholé. The word scholé (pronounced skoh-LAY) comes from a Greek word that means “restful learning,” with the connotation of “contemplation,” “conversation,” and “reflection.” Scholé is also the basis for our English word “school,” but this modern term has lost the connotation of restfulness. Progressive education often cultivates a learning experience that is frenetic, as students and teachers rush to “cover” required material. As a result, students tend to learn to cram, pass, and forget. Even within the classical tradition, it is easy to find ourselves approaching education from a state of stress, striving anxiously to recover a rich tradition and thus missing the great depth it offers.
We believe excellence in academics need not be frenetic. Instead, allowing the concept of scholé to guide our teaching practices, we pursue restful learning by modeling peace, love of the subject, and unrushed learning. It is important to note that restfulness does not mean idleness. Instead, it means that we pursue depth instead of breadth, valuing contemplation and conversation over merely “covering” a wide range of material. We seek meaningful engagement of fewer books and concepts so that learning becomes enjoyable and memorable. We dig deep into classical subjects so that our students experience refreshment as their studies come alive. Through a scholé pedagogy, our families discover delight in learning.
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Growing Together—as a Community of Learners
We are seeking to recover an approach to education that few—if any—of us experienced ourselves. As such, it is sometimes difficult to see the path ahead of us, and our process is often one of trial and error. Recovering the classical tradition and the scholé approach is only made possible by collaboration, which is why we have formed a Scholé Group community. We are united by our commitment to pursuing restful, classical education for our children, and we gather together to share our gifts, experience, and learned wisdom with one another in pursuit of this goal.
As a Scholé Group, we are also connected to a vibrant community of adult and student learners through the Scholé Groups network. Scholé Groups offers guidance on how to pursue restful, classical education and provides practical resources for actualizing these goals in homeschools and homeschool communities. In addition, the Scholé Groups network functions as a platform for collaboration between Scholé Groups across the globe. Together, we grow toward the ideal of deep, meaningful education.
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Statement of Faith
We acknowledge the authority of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church,
in accordance with Holy Scripture, and the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Our Scholé Group subscribes to the Nicene Creed.