The Fathom the Good Approach
Fathom’s unique approach makes it possible to do the impossible. Original Content, Primary Texts, Reasoning Tools, and Mentoring Videos provide an unparalleled understanding of our Western philosophical tradition, including the American Founding. Students not only are prepared for advanced post-secondary studies. Perhaps more importantly, they 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 your child to discover just what that reason is.
We present original content and carefully selected primary texts directly from the pens of the greatest thinkers. And we provide the tools to make it possible for students to both analyze and synthesize the ideas and arguments presented, to understand the broad contours of “The Great Conversation” and, eventually, to participate in it.
No Wikipedia article or textbook summary of an author’s teaching can match the vigor, grace, force, or subtlety of primary sources.
We introduce the following authors, past and present: 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
Reading is surely the skill most essential to becoming self-aware. But reading well 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. 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 purposes in mind:
Though active reading requires reading a text several times and in different ways, doing so is not as difficult as it may seem. 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 the child.
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”
- Frederick Douglass
Our engaging five-minute animated Mentoring Videos provide students with another layer of learning. These videos accompany each section of the high school curriculum and provide additional insights regarding the most important or challenging ideas being taught. This multi-layer approach to learning is what makes it possible for young people to engage naturally with challenging but important philosophic ideas.
John Locke and
“There are two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live”
- President John Adams
“As a homeschool mom, I am constantly searching for curriculum that will help me and my children develop critical thinking skills essential in our search for truth. When I found Fathom the Good, I knew it was just what our family needed! I love the the step-by-step approach that really helps us fully understand the philosophical concepts, while also providing a framework for us to reason out our thoughts and present them in an organized, effective, and respectful debate. Don't hesitate in using this curriculum! It is such a powerful tool in protecting your family against the evils of a woke world.”
-Tresa Fowler, homeschool mom and curriculum designer
“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. I especially appreciate the tools and skill building activities that are provided to help students learn how to think and develop and articulate their own ideas in writing."
- 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 curriculum is. I love that the program is incremental, building on skills and knowledge, and teaches you how to think, not what to think.”
- Lorelei, age 17