Contact & Signup

I prefer to be contacted initially by email, which is:

After that, you may reach me by phone. Payment is usually made by personal check, to my home address:

Matthew Smallwood

6069 Goodson Lane, Texarkana, AR  71854

Tuition is $600 per course, per year. In case of cancellation, prior to the school start, I refund in full, minus $15 deposit. If a student drops out during the year, I will refund whatever the remaining weighted proportion of the fee remains to be earned (eg., if you drop out over Christmas break, I will refund $300). In no case will I issue a refund after the school year is complete; it is the responsibility of the parent or guardian or payor to oversee the quality of the product to their satisfaction, & to satisfy themselves that the course work their student undergoes is what they wish to choose. The tutoring arrangement can only work if there is basic agreement, up front, between the parent and the tutor regarding the content and progress of the work. In other words, I wish the parents to be involved enough to know what is going on from the start. If you are unsure of the content, appropriateness, or difficulty level of the work, please feel free to discuss it with me, but be sure to ask. My statement of faith, credentials, & resume are posted here on the site, & I will be happy to clarify whatever I can. However, Argus&Phonenix may not be a good fit for some, just as it is a perfect fit for others. There are several tutoring services offered on-line in the classical tradition, & they are all slightly different.

What makes this one different? Well, for one thing, we don’t confine ourselves to either a credal test or use all of the typical “classical” texts, and there is a good reason for that. If it was a matter of credal correctness, Gary North would be right, & classical education would not be merely a waste of time, but downright sinful and obnoxious, a snare for the young. We reject this point of view because the Logos and Christ are One, & Christ does not equal Gary North’s analytical and mental conception of Who and What He is. However, we also reject a kind of pedantic “Great Books” approach which developed out of the Mortimer Adler mindset, whereby mere contact with certain books was bound to produce, with suitable effort, the correct result. This is analogous (at a lower level) to thinking that watching certain movies makes you a good American, or an apt student of culture. The Spirit blows where it wills: I have chosen books which I know well, & can teach well, so there is a certain subjectivity of choice in these things which Providentially shows in the curriculum. I have, however, endeavored to include only the best, only the most suitable, & only the most interesting of texts which already conform to the “classical” mode. That is, they are “in the stream” of classical learning, they are relevant to the classical Tradition (if not an integral portion of it), and they represent fresh and vital elements of that Tradition that tend to get left out, due to Leftist, Revolutionary, or fundamentalistic bias in those who normally set the limits of the “Canon”. I would rather someone develop a deep passion for (say) Jonathan Swift, and leave out some portions of the Canon, than that they be forced to work through material which does not catch fire within their soul. That said, these are young students, who often need a wide variety of classical diet to help them orient and “remember” themselves, prior to making these choices.

Don’t send your young Christian offspring up to the Gradgrind Secular University unprepared. It won’t do to read one book on “Worldview Wars”: what matters is what and how they think. Give them the best kind of head start – 50 mega tons worth of the Good, the True, & the Beautiful, but arranged and proportioned so as not to overwhelm the green mind. Well, perhaps that’s a bit overstated. Invite them into the vestibule, & let them see that he who finds the Good, True, & Beautiful, “finds more” (Dr. Michael Baumann). If you can’t send them four years, give them a year of “prep”. Or find someone who can. At Argus & Phoenix, we make it easy. We’re flexible (you can “opt out” or substitute if you find something too objectionable or unsuitable), we’re thorough (where else will you find an emphasis on the Quadrivium & the Trivium, the unusual and the “tried and true”), & we’re Christian (Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox, or “in between”, you are welcome). We want to make sure your child has the best chance of surviving college with both a brain and a heart. And if we see something special or different in a child, we can work with that, as well. Let’s say someone is strong in mathematics, short in philosophy. Our philosophy is, work on what you’re good at, work on what you’re bad at, both of them. That’s how you get better. We can provide even a math/science buff with a thorough grounding in theoretical mathematics, through “history of mathematics” and esoteric texts like Iamblichus’ On Numbers. Or at least point them in the right direction.

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