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Below, find detailed information about WISDOM's Socratic Dialogue Online Program.  You may scroll through and click on 'Read more' for the whole article.  See the sidebar to quickly and easily access a specific section.

Find details on - and register for - specific upcoming courses here.

Through the use of virtual classrooms, WISDOM offers a selection of courses supporting home schoolers. Each classroom environment features a tutor experienced in leading Socratic discussion. Communication within the classroom is achieved through microphone, text chat, and whiteboard. (Webcam is not used, as experience has shown it to be a distraction.)

The online program is available for students who are enrolled with WISDOM. However, once Albertan WISDOM students have had first opportunity to register in the courses, WISDOM opens registrations up to non-WISDOM out-of-Province students, Albertan notification-only students, and WISDOM alumni.* Non-WISDOM in-Province students are not eligible to register for online classes. If a family leaves WISDOM mid-year, they are also by default removing themselves from any online class(es).

WISDOM acknowledges and views parents as the primary educators of their children. The online program is not meant to replace education in the home, but rather acts as an extension of the home, giving support to parent through the high school years (and earlier). Tutors work in cooperation with parents, providing a service that recognizes the authority of mother and father. This entails some flexibility on the part of the tutor.

For current courses, please click here.

Read on more helpful information.

Students and parents are solicited for feedback at the end of each term. This feedback asks the student to evaluate what they liked best and what they would like to see changed. Parents are also given opportunity for comments. This feedback, remitted anonymously, is shared with tutors so they can self-evaluate and make needed changes or not.

It is important that the online classes provide a learning environment where tutor and students are respected and time is well spent. Uniformity in all the classes as it pertains to expectations is crucial. By abiding by the Etiquette Guidelines, students can expect the same standard from class to class.

The WISDOM Socratic Dialogue Online Program was first started in order to help families fully engage in a classical approach to learning. It is natural for youth, ages 13 and up, to be attracted to learning with others in an interactive environment in order to challenge, develop, and refine their own thinking.

Especially with the approach of the high school years and the time for entering work or post-secondary studies becomes more imminent, students want to assure they are amply prepared. A classical education provides the time-proven foundation that supports all future study and work.

The WISDOM Socratic Online Program offers a classical education. A classical education can refer to using the classics (i.e. the Great Books) in studies but, more importantly, it refers to the time-honored approach to education. The classical approach emphasizes memorization during the ages of 6 to 12 and then the development of the skills of logic and expression thereafter. Developing logic requires discussion (socratic dialogue), which is the method used in all the WISDOM online classes.

The Great Books or original classics are extremely valuable in education. Since they have been so influential throughout history, in the development of our ideas and culture, we do well to read them in order to have a strong grasp of our roots; they reveal to us where we have come from and where we are going as a society. Further, the Great Books are among the best examples of beautiful literature, clear and orderly thought, and persuasive language. But most importantly, the classics are classics. That is, they are not simply a passing fad, but have stood the test of time. Every generation has found them to be worth reading, which proves that they contain important insights and truths - truths that are just as important today as they were in the past. This really is the greatest benefit to be gained from the great books - not just an understanding of history or a mastery of language and literature, but a love for truth and beauty.

What is the goal of all education? Great cultures have discovered that the true goal of education is similar to the goal of human life. Whatever skill is learned, from earliest childhood, should have the ultimate purpose of making a person more free, virtuous and happy. All the practical skills we learn do this to a certain extent. By learning to speak, to cook, or to build a house, we are becoming more free. However, as the ancient Greeks discovered, liberty of soul is far more important than liberty of body. A king who rules the world but is enslaved to error or vice is truly not as free as a wise and good man whose body is in chains. As long as a person is enslaved to error or vice he cannot be truly free, virtuous or happy, no matter how much wealth, influence or power he possesses. It is only knowledge of the truth and obedience to it which sets a person free. The goal of true education can never be economic prosperity, or mere leadership ability, or even empty curiosity. The goal of education must be to know the Truth.

Necessary to this type of education, traditionally, seven arts or skills have been preserved and passed on through the ages. These are Grammar, Logic, Rhetoric, Geometry, Arithmetic, Music, and Astronomy. The first three, especially, can be considered tools of learning.  Dorothy Sayers describes them very well in her essay  ‘The Lost Tools of Learning’. The latter four were chosen partly because the same mathematical truths are found in each of them, but in different ways. Geometry contains mathematics in space, Music contains mathematics in time, Astronomy contains mathematics in space and time, and Arithmetic contains mathematics apart from space and time.

When Christ came, as it is said, “His holy life and death were a stumbling block to the Jews, and foolishness to the Greeks”.  God came to show that the wisdom of this world is foolishness, and that the important things were being revealed to little children. On the other hand, Christianity ultimately did not destroy this great heritage of mankind, but instead subjected it to Christ. The Liberal Arts were baptized by the Church, and Theology; What God has revealed to us about Himself became the ultimate goal and the mother of the Liberal Arts, with wonderful results.

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WISDOM’s Socratic Dialogue Online Program can be considered a classical program in two ways. The majority of the readings are classics in Literature, Mathematics, Science, Philosophy, and Theology. Students are encouraged to avoid summaries or editorials on these books but to read the books themselves, and to gain all the truth possible from these original texts.

Learning in the online courses is through socratic dialogue, compelling the students to use their gift of reason to develop their ideas, express their interpretations, and challenge each other’s grasp of the truths contained within the text. This method strengthens the student’s memory while refining the use of correct grammar, logical thinking, and persuasive speaking.

Classical education has stood the test of time over 2,500 years because it corresponds to the way the human person develops and learns best. Students who receive a classical education tend to do very well at college or university, mainly because they have developed the art of learning and thinking rather than simply collecting information. They find it easier to categorize and order everything they are learning and recognize which information is important and which is not. They know which questions to ask, and how to pursue questioning until they find the answer. They tend to have a more voracious appetite for learning, because they have experienced learning at its best. In the quest for gaining a fuller grasp of the truth, students become adept at recognizing when something has been proven and when it hasn’t. They embrace a lifetime of fruitful enquiry and right thinking.

Find more on our website or in our Online Courses booklet.

You may also call us at 780-741-2113 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

All students are asked to abide by the following guidelines and common courtesies. Your agreement to these guidelines each term is required in order for you to continue taking any WISDOM online courses. Mutual trust and integrity help to make an excellent learning environment. We want all of our students to have a fruitful and enjoyable experience.

Augustine confessed that he was “one of those who write because they have made some progress and who, by means of writing, make further progress” in the spiritual life. (Letter 143) John Newman said, “writing demands humility”.

The WISDOM classical online program includes a selection of writing courses. At the heart of each of these courses is a particular focus on discovering and expressing truth and beauty.

Augustine confessed that he was “one of those who write because they have made some progress and who, by means of writing, make further progress” in the spiritual life. (Letter 143) John Newman said, “writing demands humility”.

The WISDOM Socratic Dialogue Online Program includes a selection of writing courses. At the heart of each of these courses is a particular focus on discovering and expressing truth and beauty. No matter what the subject or content of student writing, all submissions should ultimately reflect truth and beauty.

Most writing will not have a religious theme but should reveal the goodness and wisdom of God. Evil is not glorified. Good triumphs. Lies are exposed. Truth reigns.

 

WISDOM Virtual Classroom: NewRow

Our online program utilizes the virtual classroom, NewRow. This platform works within your browser window (Chrome or Firefox) and does not require a plugin or an application. (You should also have the most updated version of these browsers.)

Upon login, NewRow will remember your login information for each classroom visited, so you usually only need to log in once when using the same computer and browser.* Please be sure to use your correct name (or set of names for Junior courses) when you log in the first time. See login procedure below.