Our Approach

Fathom’s unique approach teaches both children and adults how to think clearly about challenging ideas. Our courses for teens include Original Content, Primary Texts, Reasoning Tools, and Mentoring Videos, which provide an unparalleled understanding of our Western philosophical tradition. Courses for adults additionally include Podcasts for Parents and a Family Discussion Guide.

Fathom prepares young students for advanced post-secondary studies. But perhaps more importantly, teens and adults alike are prepared to live in the world, to confront the world’s ideological confusion with clarity of mind and intellectual confidence.

Original Content & Primary Texts

The Western political, philosophical, and religious tradition has been called “The Great Conversation” for a reason, and Fathom the Good wants you to discover just what that reason is.

We present Professor Hancock's Original Content as well as carefully selected Primary Texts directly from the pens of the greatest thinkers. And we provide the tools for students to both analyze and synthesize these ideas and arguments, to understand the broad contours of “The Great Conversation” and, eventually, to participate in it.

A Note on Primary Sources

No Wikipedia article or textbook summary of an author’s teaching can match the vigor, grace, force, or subtlety of primary sources.

Fathom sets itself apart from other curricula by delving into the words of the most exceptional authors. We introduce those who, past and present, had something to say about the things that matter most, like liberty and individual rights. These authors include Alexis de Tocqueville, John Locke, Thomas Hobbes, Machiavelli, Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, James Madison, Edmund Burke, John Stuart Mill, Rene Descartes, G.K. Chesterton, Seymour Lipset, C.S. Lewis, Irving Kristol, and Allan Bloom, to name a few.

“The failure to read good books both enfeebles the vision and strengthens our most fatal tendency—the belief that the here and now is all there is.”

Allan Bloom

/ American Philosopher

Reasoning Tools

Fathom provides the Reasoning Tools needed to read, write, and engage in discussion at a higher level. These skills are not taught to most, but, with the help of the Fathom curriculum, they can be mastered by anyone. 

Reading is the skill most essential to becoming self-aware, and it is more than scanning for information. It is actively engaging with the author, listening for clues to his or her intentions and assumptions, forming questions, and listening for answers. 

To read actively is to think with the author, and an author worth reading writes with purpose using specific devices to achieve his or her aims. To appreciate an author’s deeper meaning, Fathom approaches reading with four Learning Objectives in mind: Familiarize, Summarize, Engage, and Articulate

Active reading requires reading a text several times and in different ways. Our curriculum integrates critical thinking skills in a step-by-step process to accomplish familiarity, summary, engagement, and articulation simultaneously and in ways that are naturally engaging to both the child and adult.

  • Familiarize
  • Summarize
  • Engage
  • Articulate

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

Frederick Douglass

/ Abolitionist, Author, Public Speaker

Mentoring Videos

Our engaging five-minute animated Mentoring Videos provide students with another layer of learning. These videos accompany each section of the teen and adult courses and provide additional insights regarding the most important or challenging ideas being taught. This multi-layer approach to learning is what makes it possible to engage naturally with challenging but important philosophic ideas.

“There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live”

John Adams

/ President of the United States



“I wish there was a Fathom the Good program available when I was in high school. I have loved sitting by my daughter as we learn together about the origins and development of the Western Philosophical Tradition, the ideas of great thinkers, and how these ideas helped form our Constitutional Republic."

Rozelle Hansen

Homeschool Mom



“Fathom the Good has been the best homeschool curriculum I have ever done. Coming from someone who hates writing and avoids it like the plague, I was surprised by how approachable and unintimidating the course is. I love that it is incremental, building on skills and knowledge, and teaches you how to think, not what to think.”

Lorelei

Age 17

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