Opt 3 : Catholic Curriculum I recommend if you’re not sure what to use and don’t have a homeschool backup plan
In continuation from yesterday’s post about the long halt with Salt and Light Homeschool, today’s post gives you homeschool option 3. Within this option there are a couple routes : the DIY select and choose or the buy one package situation. I always liked the idea of the latter but I’m a DIY Homeschooler at heart no matter how much I try to be In The Box.
When it comes to DIY-ing it, I prefer to keep to the basics first and then add in any extras. The basics will also include any state mandated requirements. This is different in every state and country, so do add in what you specifically need. DIY here means piecing everything together one subject at a time.
Faith : I love traditional things. You can’t beat The Bible and a Baltimore Catechism.
English : Literature is the largest part of how our children learn. We read many books each year and have switched to a lot of kindle format books to save our shelf space. I will be posting a master list of literature for all grades by May and will link it here once it has posted. We like to read fiction, non fiction, poetry, articles, research, all types of reading! We use it for copywork, narration, spelling, grammar, writing curriculum and vocabulary. We cover history and science topics this way as well. Our favorite poetry books are A Nature Poem for Every Day of the Year and A Nature Poem for Every Night of the Year.
We also do a lot of daily journaling, no prompts usually. Every once in awhile I will suggest a topic, maybe a current event to write about but the journaling practice helps them to get more writing in.
These Catholic readers from Seton are excellent. We don’t purchase the big pack, but this shows you the whole series and the description breaks it down by grade. We don’t follow the grade, we just pick a few and read aloud or solo read.
Math : I have tried them all over these many years. Our favorite math curricula for elementary grades are The Good and Beautiful Math, Simply Charlotte Mason Math, and Seton Math. Our favorites for middle school and high school are Khan Academy, Math U See from PreAlgebra and up through high school, Shormann Math, Saxon Math.
History : The Story of Civilizations Vols. 1-4 for 4th grades and up through high school. For younger years, you can totally use Story of Civilizations, but my kids also really enjoyed The Good and The Beautiful History. We like that both of those offer dramatic audio to listen along! The audio with SoC has one actor that is the author of the books but the audio for G&B History is a group of actors. Our kids fell in love with dramatic audio, which we also use when listening to the Bible and on the Formed app for stories of saints!
When my younger 3 children are school aged, we will do The Good & The Beautiful history, all 4 volumes until they are high school and then do Story of Civilizations. The reason for me is because G&B History goes through the four time periods each year and our kids liked the variety of time periods because they find them all so fascinating. When they’re older I want them to have the Catholic history fully, so we would do that for high school. SoC covers Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern and US History.
Science : For younger years we like to focus on nature study and getting outdoors versus doing lower levels of biology, chemistry and physics. Our favorite nature study resources are Exploring Nature with Children and Drawn to Nature as well as local nature guides for plants, birds and other local wildlife. A great resource that goes with Exploring Nature with Children is the Handbook of Nature Study. I recommend the digital format to easily take it with you on nature walks. From Kindergarten through 6th grades we also like to focus on their science interests. My eldest son is really into astronomy so we got some astronomy focused curriculum through Apologia. Another good one to consider for unit style studies is The Good & The Beautiful Science.
For middle school through high school we like Apologia and Shormann Science.
Electives : Always start with finding out what your child’s interests are and start finding resources for that. Some electives that we have selected in middle school and/or high school are : personal finances, government, economics, foreign language, art, music/instrument, herbal study, computer science, graphic design, coding, and so many more. Just search until you find something that works! It doesn’t have to be a curricula. It could be a book, online course, a friend who is an expert, just remember to think outside the box.
I have always liked the idea of boxed curriculum. Select grade, add to cart, wait for it to arrive. I always ended up tweaking it to fit, but it is still a great option for the overwhelmed mama or the mama who doesn’t want to source each subject. Usually you can add on the electives your child is interested in after selecting the box curriculum and then you get a mix of both.
1. Seton Catholic Homeschool. We use many of their resources and any time I get overwhelmed, I order from Seton. It’s solid, it’s Catholic and it is very simple to use. It is also not super pricey. There is even the option to use it like a school and they can grade everything for you. I have never used that option, but know that it is there for you if you need it.
2. Catholic Heritage. I have used some of their materials and might use it as a box set with one of my younger kids just because it looks so wonderfully done!
3. Mater Amabilis. This is one of my favorite resources and it happens to be free! You would need either access to a great library [don’t forget to try your Parish library], or purchase to have the required literature books on hand. We used this in the autumn of 2019 with Seton for some books and it is a wonderful option. It has lesson plans for Pre-K through 12th grades.
4. Kolbe Academy & Mother of Divine Grace. These are two I have looked at previously and they look wonderful, but I have not used them personally.
I hope this was helpful!
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