This is part three in a three-part series of the learning levels for classical education.
The Application level learner is an adult-in-the-making. Learning about their relationship to life around them is the focus for this age. Teens at this level will focus more and more on their specializations and individual interests. While a well-rounded education is still important, more energy will be funneled to a developing field of expertise. Let them soar, but also ensure that they are continuing to enjoy a complete liberal arts education. Math, science, language arts, history, and critical thinking (and the skills learned while studying them) are all necessary for life. Many subjects can be taught with the possible help of other adults. Upper level math, drama, music, etc. are all opportunities to interact with others. Take this opportunity to introduce great role models to them!
Provide primary source materials as much as possible. Rather than referencing pre-digested information from text-books and commentaries, help them engage with the greatest minds of history. Read what your teens are reading. And then talk about it. Mom and Dad’s education will continue as you learn with them and from them. By sharing this experience with your youth, you are reinforcing the principle of life-long learning. This level of learning is mentally exhausting, and so exciting!
Academic studies should be presented from the context of their life’s mission and belief system as much as possible. Encourage (and participate in) philosophical, political, religious, and ethical discussions. Teach your teenagers to defend civilly what they know to be true. Equip them with the knowledge that will allow them to state their position with respect, confidence, and clarity.
Application level learning begins at approximately age sixteen or somewhere in the later high school grades.