Literary Studies / Composition

This course lays the foundation for higher-level thinking and writing. 


Students will learn to write clear, logical, readable English to accomplish their rhetorical purpose (to inform, explain, evaluate, inquire, express, reflect, entertain, inspire, analyze, interpret, argue, defend, persuade, propose, and more). One of the major assignments is a 5-page research paper, with academic sources correctly cited. Course content includes topics in advanced grammar.

Non-Fiction Reading

Good writing goes hand in hand with good reading. Through analyzing selected non-fiction works, students will recognize the author’s’ rhetorical and stylistic choices to deconstruct their rhetorical situation and apply these lessons to their own writing.

Literature Study

God created humans to be storytellers and to communicate truth through them. Our Lord Jesus Himself told parables to teach deep themes. Using the Seton 9 curriculum with supplemental works, students will study drama, poetry, short fiction, and the novel, continuing to develop their knowledge of literary terms and universal themes.

Our class will read these Anchor Texts:

  • The Lillies of the Field, William Barrett
  • Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls
  • The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare

Supplemental texts will be chosen for independent and reading group activities (complete list available this summer), including the following:

  • Cyrano de Bergerac, Edmund Rostand
  • The Bronze Bow, Elizabeth George Speare
  • The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
  • A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

Literary Analysis

Through close reading of poetry, fiction, and drama, and by studying the literary elements authors use to convey meaning, students will gain a greater understanding of literature and of the English language. The course will also include lessons on grammar, usage, vocabulary, and composition and will feature class discussion, quizzes, tests, writing assignments, and poetry memorization.

Readings: Our reading list hasn’t been finalized but will likely include Macbeth, A Tale of Two Cities, Animal Farm, stories by Hawthorne, Poe, and Tolkien, and poetry by Blake, Coleridge, Shelley, Keats, Hopkins, Tennyson, Frost, Eliot, and others.

Books: Because close analysis requires that all members of the class be on the same page, I will ask parents to buy specific editions of the longer works we’ll be reading. For the shorter works, I’ll put together poetry and short story packets for students to print and use as texts for the class.

Literature of Christendom

This year-long course will better prepare students to write with confidence as we delve into novels, epic poems, plays, and poetry that examine the human experience through the lens of our Catholic faith. Students will work on literature interpretation, analytical thinking, and writing skills.  

An updated list of reading material will be posted in early summer.

Optional Material: 

· Writers, Inc. (or any other reference book for literature and writing) 

· MLA Handbook, 8th edition



World Geography & Cultures

This course examines the amazing gift God has given us: our Earth and the people who live on it. During this course, my hope is that students will be awestruck by the beauty of our planet and will more appreciate our role as its stewards. My other hope is that through understanding other cultures, students will be able to respect each person made in God’s image and more effectively defend our Catholic faith.

From a Catholic perspective, students will learn the following topics:

  • Basic geological knowledge of Earth’s structure and climate
  • Physical (landforms and bodies of water) and human features as well as the interactions of people, places, and environment
  • Geographic literacy of regions and countries
  • Cultural literacy of regions’ society, politics, religion, economics, and more

World History

This survey course on Western world history begins with Abraham our Father in Faith and travels through the epochs and eras that culminate at the end of the twentieth century. This is a must-have class to help fully inform students on the role our Catholic Church has had on history. The student will master note-taking and how to absorb and retain only the important information given in lectured and written material. This class will follow the Seton Home Study course so enrolled students can receive appropriate credit.

Main Textbooks:

  • Christ the King: Lord of History, by Anne Carroll
  • Historical Atlas of the World, Rand McNally

American History

This course will be a survey course that will cover the fascinating 500 year history of our country from the Age of Exploration, through the creation of a new nation, through expansion, to the emergence of a world super power, to recent events.  Seton students will be eligible to transfer and continue with their curriculum.  As a result,  we will use the primary Seton text, Christ in the Americas by Anne Carroll as well as The American Odyssey: A History of the United States to guide our study.

This course will also involve significant class participation.  Students will be expected to complete assigned readings before class to better participate in class discussions.  In addition to assigned readings, we will also leverage primary documents, speeches and videos to facilitate a deeper understanding of how events shaped culture and society.  Students should be able to demonstrate their understanding through the use of periodic tests and quizzes that will include essay questions that will challenge the student to answer complex questions drawing upon historical events to make their arguments.  We will also highlight the many important developments of Catholicism in America as well as the contributions of important Catholic Americans.



Bible History (Scriptural Studies)

The goal of this course is to teach students how Sacred Scripture is the foundation for understanding the Catholic faith. Along with the Holy Bible and the Catechism of the Catholic Church, we will use a textbook written by Dr. Scott Hahn. 

From the Midwest Theological Forum "This text examines Divine Revelation, presenting Sacred Scripture as the inspired Word of God unveiled gradually throughout the history of salvation.  It examines how the Magisterium of the Church transmits the Deposit of Faith infallibly and how our understanding of God's Revelation leads us to a more intimate relationship with the three Persons of the Blessed Trinity in this life and to eternal life in Heaven.  It also explains how to read the Bible, emphasizing how the New Testament in Christ fulfills the covenants and promises that God made with his people in the Old Testament."  

Sacraments & Apologetics

This one-year course will cover Sacraments the first semester and Apologetics the second semester using Fr. Laux’s texts. Mass and the Sacraments covers The Mass, each of the sacraments, indulgences and sacramentals. Catholic Apologetics offers the student clear and convincing explanations of why we believe what we believe as Catholics, touching on such topics as the existence of God, Divine Revelation, the divinity of Christ and the founding of the Church. The lessons in each text provide opportunities for writing assignments and classroom discussion. In addition, there will be quizzes on the material covered. 

Catholic Doctrine: Faith and Morals

The purpose of this class is to lay a solid foundation of knowledge of the Catholic Faith and of what our conduct must be if we are to grow in holiness. We will cover will and intellect, the Blessed Trinity, creation, angels, original sin, our redemption through Christ, the mystery of suffering, the Blessed Virgin Mary, actual and sanctifying grace, heaven, hell, and purgatory, the sources of Faith, our duties toward God, ourselves, and our neighbors, the elements of a moral act, conscience, temptation, virtue, etc. The class will feature quizzes, tests, short writing assignments, and plenty of discussion. More information on specific texts will be posted soon.

The Church Fathers & The 4 Ecumenical Councils

We will use only primary sources, which the students can print out from the New Advent site on the computer.  In other words, we will be reading only the actual documents written by the earliest Christians (mostly bishops, but not all), from Apostolic times until the fifth century.  While studying the Fathers' main contributions to controversies of their own times, we will also emphasize their teachings on topics important in apologetics today, namely, the hierarchy of the Church, the primacy of the Pope, Apostolic succession as a mark of the true Church, the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, the perpetual virginity of Mary, and more.  We will be able to discuss intelligently with our non-Catholic friends how he teachings of the Catholic Church have not changed since the time of the Apostles.  

The course on the early Church Fathers and the first four Ecumenical Councils will cover the following topics:

  1. Pope Clement’s letter to the Corinthians: what it tells us about the papacy and about apostolic succession.
  2. The Didache, or the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles: what it says about how the earliest Christian worshipped and their anti-pagan stand against abortion and infanticide.
  3. Ignatius of Antioch: the seven letters he wrote on the way to Rome to be martyred, and what they tell us about the hierarchy of the Church.
  4. Polycarp of Smyrna: an eyewitness account of his martyrdom and early evidence of the veneration of martyrs and their relics.
  5. Justin Martyr: his early description of the Mass and the Eucharist and his immense compilation of prophecies.
  6. Irenaeus: his polemic with the Gnostics; his documentation of the apostolic succession from St. Peter to the Pope of his own day.
  7. Athanasius: his writings against the Arian heresy and his role at the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.)
  8. Basil the Great and his influence on the Council of Constantinople (381), where the articles about the Holy Spirit were added to the Nicene creed.
  9. Cyril of Alexandria vs. Nestorius and the Council of Ephesus (481).
  10. Pope Leo the Great and his definition of the two natures of Christ, adopted at the Council of Chalcedon (451).




This Geometry course will use the Math-U-See curriculum which has three main areas of emphasis: the vocabulary of geometry, practical applications of geometry, and traditional geometry, including proofs.  Topics include lines, angles, area, perimeter, volume, Pythagorean theorem, axioms and postulates, congruency, and similarity.  An introduction to trigonometric functions is also included.

Algebra II

The Algebra II course will expand further on concepts learned in Algebra 1 as well as cover such topics as advanced factoring, imaginary and complex numbers, the binomial theorem, the quadratic formula and motion problems. Graphing conic sections and solving systems of equations will be included as well as the introduction of vectors. There will be daily assignments and unit tests.


Following the Math-U-See curriculum, this year-long course will cover

the Mathematics concepts that will help prepare students for the

Calculus course and beyond. Major Topics include understanding the

unit circle and trigonometric ratios, their reciprocals, and inverses;

working with trigonometric expressions and identities; graphing and

analyzing trigonometric functions; working with arithmetic and

geometric sequences and series; understanding polar coordinates,

radian measure, and vectors; understanding and working with

exponential and logarithmic functions (including Eulerʼs number and

natural logarithms); continuing with absolute value and radical

equations and inequalities; and providing an introduction to limits and


Textbook: Math-U-See Pre-Calculus Student Pack


Following the Math-U-See curriculum, this year-long course will cover the same material as an initial one- or two-semester calculus course in many colleges.  Major topics will include limits, continuity, differentiation and its rules, integration, and exponential and logarithmic functions.  As time permits, other important topics not in the basic curriculum may also be covered, such as series, summations, and an introduction to mathematical logic/proofs.  Due to planning constraints imposed by Saint Sebastian Academy's inaugural year, this course will not include AP testing in 2019-20, but the instructor will be happy to answer questions and provide additional resources for students seeking to take the AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC tests on their own initiative.

Textbook: Math-U-See Calculus Student Pack

Algebra I

Coming soon...



Earth Science

The goal of the earth science course is for students to have a better understanding of the natural world around them, and a greater appreciation for its creator. 

We will be using the McGraw-Hill Earth Science textbook (ISBN 978-0078664236).  The course will also include  several labs dispersed throughout the year. This textbook gives a comprehensive and somewhat challenging look into geology, the environment, and the universe. 

Biology with Lab (20-21 School Year)

Church teaching and the wonder of God’s Creation are emphasized in this high school Biology with Lab course. The engaging and unique pedagogy begins with Botany, capturing the students’ interest with an in-depth study of the familiar, and ending with the awe-inspiring wonder of the last unit, Cytology. Dissections and microscope work will be completed throughout the year, along with other hands-on activities to increase understanding and aid retention of the material.

The A Beka Biology materials are used in this course. Lab safety glasses and lab apron are provided. It is written from a literalist Protestant point of view. A section written from a Protestant view of the Reformation is omitted (and/or corrected). Evolution/Creation is taught according to Church teaching, and the students read Humani Generis, the encyclical on evolution. This beautifully-written pro-life book gives credit to our Creator throughout. In the Human Anatomy & Physiology unit, students are reminded that we are made in God’s image, and that we are different from other creatures by virtue of our immortal souls. This textbook lays the groundwork for the students to understand the teachings of Humani Vitae when they encounter it later in their lives.

There is one section of Biology. It meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Optionally, parents and students will be guided through the process of enrolling with and completing this course through Seton Home Study School (SHSS). SHSS requires eighteen hours of lab work to denote “with Lab” on the transcript; at least eighteen hours will be provided in this class, including dissections and microscope work.

This class has a supply fee of $80 which is payable to the instructor on the first day of classes.

Books: Biology: God’s Living Creation, 4th edition, A Beka Books, plus the accompanying answer key, lab manual, quiz book, test book.  

Chemistry with Lab (20-21)

Hands-on learning is emphasized in this high school Chemistry with Lab course. All typical high school-level Chemistry topics will be presented, and many typical labs will be completed.

There is one section of Chemistry. It meets on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Optionally, parents and students will be guided through the process of enrolling with and completing this course through Seton Home Study School (SHSS). SHSS requires eighteen hours of lab work to denote “with Lab” on the transcript; at least eighteen hours will be provided in this class. Lab safety goggles and aprons will be provided.

This class has a supply fee of $40 which is payable to instructor on the first day of classes.

Books: Chemistry: Precision and Design, 3rd edition, A Beka Books, plus the accompanying answer key, lab manual, quiz book, test book. Additionally, Chemistry (Carson-Dellosa).


This year-long course, designed to teach students about the workings of the physical world and how to explain, describe, and predict the same using mathematics, will cover kinematics, force, momentum, energy, gravitation, periodic motion, electricity, basic circuitry, magnetism, and electromagnetic interaction.  As time permits, we may also discuss additional topics in wave mechanics, optics, sound, material science, and modern physics.  This course will include occasional laboratory experiments, graded largely in terms of clarity of communication in lab reports.

Recommended Textbook: Exploring Creation with Physics (2nd Edition), by Dr. Jay L. Wile

Nutrition Science (20-21)

Taught by Susan Lindner

Prerequisite of Chemistry and Biology

Supply Fee of $20 made payable to the instructor on the first day of classes.



Foreign Languages

  • Spanish I, II, III
  • Latin I, II, III


Step into theater with improvisations, scene studies, and character development! “To be, or not to be!” Learn the language of theater, vocalization, stage movement, costuming, and props. In this class, students will cultivate their theater skills and at the end of the semester, invite friends and family to a production they put on themselves!


Requiring no expertise or experience, this drawing course will help students benefit from an overview of the artistic process from concept to creation. The content covers a variety of drawing concepts including the elements and principle of art, composition, face and body proportion, and techniques in perspective.  Developing observational skills is an important skill and part of the art process which will be covered while encouraging students towards creative expression.

Introduction to Entrepreneurship

This class will introduce students to the idea of the entrepreneur as seen through the lens of Catholic social teaching.  Students will gain insight into the defining characteristics of the entrepreneurial spirit in addition to exploring the building blocks of starting a business, from idea to product to the first sale.  Guest speakers will include entrepreneurs in various lines of business including IT, Finance, Non-profits, Contracting and more.  These CEO’s, company founders and start-up gurus will share their stories of success (and failure) in an effort to motivate students to discover and develop their own entrepreneurial spirit.  A common theme weaving throughout the program will be the idea of Virtue in Business, and how Catholic entrepreneurs can accomplish God’s Will in the workplace and improve society as a whole through their leadership.  Students can expect to be engaged frequently in discussion around the idea of breaking out of apathy and utilitarianism to engage in a life of altruism, using their talents to create good in the lives of others.

Additional Electives

  • SAT Prep
  • Computer Science
  • Health / Physical Education