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JPickens1

Catholic Homeschool Curriculum

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We are considering homeschooling come the fall because of the Covid Pandemic. I am a healthcare worker and my husband is a SAHD and unfortunately my child could expose other kids at school. We are a catholic family and have been looking at options for her. She had been attending a catholic parish school. She is a very advanced reader (6-8th grade) and is completing 3rd grade right now. I was looking at Angelicum Academy. I cannot find very much information for them. I see a few bad reviews but that was from almost 10 years ago. I like the idea of their good books program and they offer more advanced books for her. I see a lot of catholic schools teach latin. My husband took Japanese in college and we were thinking of possibly teaching her japanese instead of latin. Does anyone have language resource programs? I looked at other programs such as Kolbe but wondered if that would be too much. My husband would have to do most of the teaching and I don't want things to be too burdensome or they wouldn't work. 

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I have never used Kolbe, but looked at it many times.  There elementary programs have a lot of subjects, but they are very flexible.  You don’t have to do everything and you can substitute other things for some of their selections. In my state, I didn’t need their level of record keeping and couldn’t justify the cost, but, if you can afford it, the available help and grading service could be very convenient.  Seton and Mother of Divine Grace never really appealed to me.  You might check out Memoria Press.  It isn’t Catholic, but I know many Catholic users.  You can also customize their core packages.  I use MP as my base and substitute for math and a couple other things depending on my student.  The implementation is pretty straightforward.

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We're Catholic, but we don't use Catholic materials other than religion.  My kids attended Catholic school before we homeschooled, and since I pulled two of them out midyear, I just kept them using the same math and English curriculums, which were secular.  Next year, if we're still homeschooling, I'm planning on choosing things that I think are right for them individually, and those will probably be secular too.

I haven't really loved our religion curriculum, so I won't recommend it, but I'll be curious to see what other people recommend since we'll need to choose something.  

@8FillTheHeart is Catholic, and has been homeschooling much longer than I have.  I bet she has good suggestions.  

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I'll put in a plug for two of my favorites 🙂 

Catholic Heritage Press has full curriculum you can check out. I know of them from buying Little Latin Readers from them and it's my favorite Latin curriculum 🙂 

https://www.chcweb.com/catalog/index.html

TANs Story of Civilization is fully Catholic. They are on Audible and my kids **loved** them. They've listened to them several times. But here, again, you might like the rest of their materials!

https://www.tanhomeschool.com/

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I wanted to add that the norm, in my area, is for Catholic K-8 schools to teach Spanish as a second language, rather than Latin.  We have many Spanish speaking Catholic families in our area, so Spanish is valued highly.  

I don't see any reason not to teach Japanese, although it might be harder to find a school that would let her continue if your long term plan is to have her return to school

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I agree wholeheartedly with the recommendation for Story of Civilization.  We also used Story of the Old Testament and Story of the New Testament with great success.  We use lots of secular stuff too.  With Kolbe you can try some things a la carte as well.  We are using their lit program that way.  Many Catholics like Rod and Staff (Mennonite) for English and Spelling.  

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My advice would be to first ask yourself, is this just a temporary measure?  Are you happy with her school and planning to go back in a year or two?  If that’s the case then you might be happier with whatever option most resembles what works best for her about your current situation. So, for example, if she likes worksheets and a more typical approach, look at Seton. Myself, I’m more fond of an out of the box, eclectic approach, but there’s more of a learning curve with that, especially for your dh. If you want to go back, maybe tell us what works well for her in her current situation and hopefully someone can give you an idea of what program is the most like that. If you’re interested in really adopting homeschooling as a long term lifestyle, it might be better for your dh to be the one to research. Obviously what works best for your child is the number one consideration, but what teaching style plays to your husband’s strengths and works with his personality are going to be important. 

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I'm probably not much help bc I am not a fan of Catholic homeschool curriculum/ Most of it is so schoolish and we don't homeschool via traditional school methodology. I don't want to replicate a school in my home.  Homeschooling can be something completely different and totally personalized to the interests and needs of the student.

So, it is probably not surprising that I am also not a fan of Angelicum.  The major drawback I see with Angelicum is their reading lists. This is the reading list for 4th grade:

Quote

Complete Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott
Captain’s Courageous by Rudyard Kipling
Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
Otto of the Silver Hand by Howard Pyle
Call of the Wild by Jack London
Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
Kidnapped! by Robert Louis Stevenson
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Gods of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
The Warlord of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Thuvia, Maid of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Chessmen of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs
Knight of the White Cross by G. A. Henty
Story of a Bad Boy by Thomas Bailey Aldrich
Cat of Bubastes by G. A. Henty
Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
Tale of the Western Plains by G. A. Henty

I do not like Henty's books (strongly biased against them).  I would not want to spend so much time Burroughs's books.  I do love the Chronicles of Narnia.  My 4th grader and I spent this yr on a Chronicles of Narnia study and it was so much fun.  (So full of wonderful allusions.  Lots of discussions and fun rabbit trails).  THat and Little Women/Men I like.  But, in general, that reading list would also not  have overly appealed to my daughters at that age.  It is heavily slanted toward boy appeal from my experience with my kids. With so many wonderful options for children's lit, these would not be the ones I would have selected.  🙂  

If I had to choose a packaged curriculum for my kids, I would go with Oak Meadow which is definitely not a Catholic curriculum.  (I haven't used it, so that is just my outside assessment of having researched homeschool curriculum for over 20 yrs. It is what I have told my dh to get if something should happen to me.)  

For religion we use an old pre-Vatican 2 series.  Not sure if it would appeal to others or not.  This is a link to the 4th grade text. https://www.olvs.org/store/subjects/religion/living-for-god-text/

In terms of Latin, I would not give a 2nd thought to not pursuing it with a 4th grader.  

Edited by 8FillTheHeart

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10 hours ago, Spudater said:

My advice would be to first ask yourself, is this just a temporary measure?  Are you happy with her school and planning to go back in a year or two?  If that’s the case then you might be happier with whatever option most resembles what works best for her about your current situation. So, for example, if she likes worksheets and a more typical approach, look at Seton. Myself, I’m more fond of an out of the box, eclectic approach, but there’s more of a learning curve with that, especially for your dh. If you want to go back, maybe tell us what works well for her in her current situation and hopefully someone can give you an idea of what program is the most like that. If you’re interested in really adopting homeschooling as a long term lifestyle, it might be better for your dh to be the one to research. Obviously what works best for your child is the number one consideration, but what teaching style plays to your husband’s strengths and works with his personality are going to be important. 

 

This is good advice. If you plan to put her back in school, then use whatever is closest to that. Otherwise, I would take some time to deschool, and figure out her REAL learning style and preferences, and what would engage her the best. Catholic curriculum is notoriously dull and dry, typical teach to the test, drill n kill, school at home, rote memorization type stuff. I would never recommend most Catholic curriculum to anyone. The exceptions being:

- Mater Amabalis: a Catholic Charlotte Mason curriculum
- Catholic Heritage Curricula: a nice blend of classical and Charlotte Mason, a much more developmentally appropriate, engaging approach. I especially love their Behold & See Science series.
- TAN Books Story of Civilization for history. Honestly, it's way overpriced for what you get (a Catholicized version of Story of the World), but it's about the best option for a quick n easy Catholic history)
- RC History: I would choose this hands down, any day. It's not as user-friendly (open and go), but so much more in depth, engaging, multi-sensory etc...
- Lingua Mater for Language Arts (a Charlotte Mason approach)

As for Latin vs. Japanese, you can teach whatever you want. The reason most Catholic schools teacher Latin is because it is the language of our church of course. It also holds value in reinforcing grammar, is used widely in science etc...  All that said, I will always focus on languages that will get used the most. For us, that would be French.

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RE: TAN books Story of Civilization...It is expensive, but my kids love it. And...I have never paid full price. I wait until there is 30% or 40% off sale and get it then. Can I say again how much my kids love it? SOTW was a dismal failure here. But SOC not only gets listened to, it's enjoyed. Therefore, for us, it's worth it. (Remember: the best curriculum is the one that gets done!)

We, like a pp, also use the religion series from Our Lady of Victory, in addition to the Our Holy Faith series from TAN books (I've only been able to get the 1st three in this series, which is why we use both.) Other than those, nothing we use is specifically Catholic. I use Mater Amabilis and Memoria Press for book ideas. Math is a mish-mash of things I've collected. Once they can read, we just read good books and discuss them. We use ELTL for grammar/literature. (I've started a little Writing Strands with our oldest). 

As a pp said, you should think about your long term plans/goals. Do you intend to only HS in the fall? All of next year? If the intention is just for a short time, I'd probably try and choose things that are in line with what gets done in her school. If the intention is for this to be long term, then you want to think of teacher strengths/needs and student strength needs. 

GL deciding what works for you and yours!
 

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1 hour ago, mshanson3121 said:

 

This is good advice. If you plan to put her back in school, then use whatever is closest to that. Otherwise, I would take some time to deschool, and figure out her REAL learning style and preferences, and what would engage her the best. Catholic curriculum is notoriously dull and dry, typical teach to the test, drill n kill, school at home, rote memorization type stuff. I would never recommend most Catholic curriculum to anyone. The exceptions being:

- Mater Amabalis: a Catholic Charlotte Mason curriculum
- Catholic Heritage Curricula: a nice blend of classical and Charlotte Mason, a much more developmentally appropriate, engaging approach. I especially love their Behold & See Science series.
- TAN Books Story of Civilization for history. Honestly, it's way overpriced for what you get (a Catholicized version of Story of the World), but it's about the best option for a quick n easy Catholic history)
- RC History: I would choose this hands down, any day. It's not as user-friendly (open and go), but so much more in depth, engaging, multi-sensory etc...
- Lingua Mater for Language Arts (a Charlotte Mason approach)

As for Latin vs. Japanese, you can teach whatever you want. The reason most Catholic schools teacher Latin is because it is the language of our church of course. It also holds value in reinforcing grammar, is used widely in science etc...  All that said, I will always focus on languages that will get used the most. For us, that would be French.


I think it does depend on the kid, though. Just, I would have been nodding emphatically with everything you said a few years ago, but my experiences with my own kids have surprised me. I did a lot of CHarlotte Mason style narrations with my older two, but they are a terrible fitfor my third dd, just freezes up then melts down. She really is the kid who loves worksheets.  And I discovered my oldest dd hated all the extra hands on fun stuff I planned in for her. She prefers git-r-done, even if it’s dry. 🤷‍♀️

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17 hours ago, JPickens1 said:

We are considering homeschooling come the fall because of the Covid Pandemic. I am a healthcare worker and my husband is a SAHD and unfortunately my child could expose other kids at school. We are a catholic family and have been looking at options for her. She had been attending a catholic parish school. She is a very advanced reader (6-8th grade) and is completing 3rd grade right now. I was looking at Angelicum Academy. I cannot find very much information for them. I see a few bad reviews but that was from almost 10 years ago. I like the idea of their good books program and they offer more advanced books for her. I see a lot of catholic schools teach latin. My husband took Japanese in college and we were thinking of possibly teaching her japanese instead of latin. Does anyone have language resource programs? I looked at other programs such as Kolbe but wondered if that would be too much. My husband would have to do most of the teaching and I don't want things to be too burdensome or they wouldn't work. 

Thinking more about your questions, I agree that your dh needs to assess what type of homeschool atmosphere he wants to create.  There is no "right way" to homeschool.  Homeschooling can be very similar to a public school: textbooks, worksheets, tests.  Homeschooling can be very dissimilar to public school: no textbooks, no worksheets, no tests.  Parental involvement is going to be the factor in all scenarios that make homeschooling outcomes successful.

If he wants a very traditional school approach, any Catholic provider will meet those needs.  There are lots to choose from: Seton, Our Lady of Victory, Kolbe, MODG, Our Lady of the Rosary, etc.  (FWIW, these types of programs are very full days.  Think regular school day length with lots of busy work.)

If he wants to create a different atmosphere, then using a Catholic "box" would not be a good choice.  In our homeschool, 4th grades takes approx  4 1/2 hrs to complete.  I work with my kids to design courses around topics that they are interested in studying.  My 4th grader and I spent this yr immersing ourselves in Narnia.  (I loosely use Further Up and Further In for some of the information, but we don't actually "do" FUFI. ) We read through the series and followed allusions (myths, fairy tales, bible stories, etc).  We read about British history.  Science was reading about whatever science topics she was interested in (everything from snakes to astrophysics to atoms).  We use a math textbook and Hands On Equations.  Spelling is How to Teach Spelling.  We don't use a writing curriculum.  Grammar is analyzing copywork. Writing is writing reports on topics from science or history. Relgion is the text linked above.  No tests.  No worksheets.  Mostly just writing and discussion.

It really comes down to how your dh wants to spend his days.

FWIW, my kids do study Latin, but they typically don't start until 7th grade.  One of my kids started in 6th and my 4th grader will start next yr in 5th.  Both of them are very advanced students. I want them to have a strong grasp of grammar including prepositional phrases, subjective complements/appositives, verbals, etc before starting Latin bc  Latin grammar gets complex quickly.  With my older kids (I have been homeschooling since 1994 and my 6th child is sr high school this yr), I tried starting Latin earlier and they got bored and ended up dropping Latin.  Starting with our 4th child, I waited and started Latin older.  This "younger" group took at least 3-4 yrs of high school Latin.  

 

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I am in my 17th year homeschooling and I have looked at/used most Catholic curriculum (at least what was available ten years ago). If I had to pick one it would be Kolbe but I haven’t even used that for many years. And actually, Kolbe does include some secular materials, or at least it used to.
 

The one I really dislike is Seton. It is dull and preachy and I actually tore a couple of reading selections out of one book because they were, I felt, offensive and inappropriate in regards to race. I say that as someone who has not been accused of being “woke” and as someone who does read old books with a lot of leeway for things that wouldn’t be considered appropriate by today’s standards. So I am not a Seton fan at all.

Also, Seton was always the curriculum used when people would take their kids out of Catholic school to homeschool. Those families always went with Seton and stressed over the workload and put their kids back in school. I really couldn’t convince them that they didn’t HAVE to use Seton. I was always hearing those folks stressing about some state reports they had to write every quarter or something like that. I was always telling them that Seton really couldn’t make them do anything. They thought I just wasn’t Catholic enough. Shrug.

I’m not really a curriculum shopper anymore and I don’t run in those circles anymore so my info is dated for sure. I just would encourage you to look outside of Catholic curriculum. 
 

FYI- I eventually landed on Memoria Press for my youngest child and haven’t looked at new curriculum in seven or eight years. MP is a love it/ hate it kind of thing it seems and it has become more popular over the last few years. We love it but it is not for everyone, for sure. 

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1 hour ago, teachermom2834 said:

I am in my 17th year homeschooling and I have looked at/used most Catholic curriculum (at least what was available ten years ago). If I had to pick one it would be Kolbe but I haven’t even used that for many years. And actually, Kolbe does include some secular materials, or at least it used to.
 

The one I really dislike is Seton. It is dull and preachy and I actually tore a couple of reading selections out of one book because they were, I felt, offensive and inappropriate in regards to race. I say that as someone who has not been accused of being “woke” and as someone who does read old books with a lot of leeway for things that wouldn’t be considered appropriate by today’s standards. So I am not a Seton fan at all.

Also, Seton was always the curriculum used when people would take their kids out of Catholic school to homeschool. Those families always went with Seton and stressed over the workload and put their kids back in school. I really couldn’t convince them that they didn’t HAVE to use Seton. I was always hearing those folks stressing about some state reports they had to write every quarter or something like that. I was always telling them that Seton really couldn’t make them do anything. They thought I just wasn’t Catholic enough. Shrug.

I’m not really a curriculum shopper anymore and I don’t run in those circles anymore so my info is dated for sure. I just would encourage you to look outside of Catholic curriculum. 
 

FYI- I eventually landed on Memoria Press for my youngest child and haven’t looked at new curriculum in seven or eight years. MP is a love it/ hate it kind of thing it seems and it has become more popular over the last few years. We love it but it is not for everyone, for sure. 

LOL at your Seton description and the lives of Seton users.  Same.  My kids would be in school without a second thought if I had to use Seton.  And I say that as a diehard homeschooler who has never considered school!  My kids would be in school bc I would be committed to an asylum if I had to teach using it.  I.could.not.do.it.  I would go insane.  

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In defense of Seton, I like some of their English workbooks.  I like Composition for Young Catholics and their High School Grammar for Catholic Students.  If I had discovered them earlier, I may have used their English for previous grades as well.

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55 minutes ago, perkybunch said:

In defense of Seton, I like some of their English workbooks.  I like Composition for Young Catholics and their High School Grammar for Catholic Students.  If I had discovered them earlier, I may have used their English for previous grades as well.

I like some of their stuff too. To each his own. 🙂

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1 hour ago, perkybunch said:

In defense of Seton, I like some of their English workbooks.  I like Composition for Young Catholics and their High School Grammar for Catholic Students.  If I had discovered them earlier, I may have used their English for previous grades as well.

 

13 minutes ago, Spudater said:

I like some of their stuff too. To each his own. 🙂

Definitely.  THe families I know who use Seton are diehard Setoners and would not consider anything else.  (And to be honest, that is by far the majority of Catholic homeschoolers I have encountered over the past 26 yrs. By far, most of our friends have used Seton.)  It is just absolutely not the way our homeschool functions, and even with a background in teaching, I could never be a school-at-home homeschooler.  I would put my kids in school if I had to use Memoria Press, too, simply bc I would hate homeschooling that way (I don't think MP would push me to the brink of insanity level, though. 😉

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14 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

 

Definitely.  THe families I know who use Seton are diehard Setoners and would not consider anything else.  (And to be honest, that is by far the majority of Catholic homeschoolers I have encountered over the past 26 yrs. By far, most of our friends have used Seton.)  It is just absolutely not the way our homeschool functions, and even with a background in teaching, I could never be a school-at-home homeschooler.  I would put my kids in school if I had to use Memoria Press, too, simply bc I would hate homeschooling that way (I don't think MP would push me to the brink of insanity level, though. 😉

Maybe it’s a bit different in my age cohort or geographical area, because I only know one family IRL who is enrolled in Seton and uses only their stuff. Most of the people I know who use their stuff are like me, they use a workbook here and there as part of an eclectic approach. I also use some of their stuff not as written. So, for example, my oldest uses their history text to practice two level outlines. 

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18 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I'm probably not much help bc I am not a fan of Catholic homeschool curriculum/ Most of it is so schoolish and we don't homeschool via traditional school methodology. I don't want to replicate a school in my home.  Homeschooling can be something completely different and totally personalized to the interests and needs of the student.

So, it is probably not surprising that I am also not a fan of Angelicum.  The major drawback I see with Angelicum is their reading lists. This is the reading list for 4th grade:

I do not like Henty's books (strongly biased against them).  I would not want to spend so much time Burroughs's books.  I do love the Chronicles of Narnia.  My 4th grader and I spent this yr on a Chronicles of Narnia study and it was so much fun.  (So full of wonderful allusions.  Lots of discussions and fun rabbit trails).  THat and Little Women/Men I like.  But, in general, that reading list would also not  have overly appealed to my daughters at that age.  It is heavily slanted toward boy appeal from my experience with my kids. With so many wonderful options for children's lit, these would not be the ones I would have selected.  🙂  

If I had to choose a packaged curriculum for my kids, I would go with Oak Meadow which is definitely not a Catholic curriculum.  (I haven't used it, so that is just my outside assessment of having researched homeschool curriculum for over 20 yrs. It is what I have told my dh to get if something should happen to me.)  

For religion we use an old pre-Vatican 2 series.  Not sure if it would appeal to others or not.  This is a link to the 4th grade text. https://www.olvs.org/store/subjects/religion/living-for-god-text/

In terms of Latin, I would not give a 2nd thought to not pursuing it with a 4th grader.  

Do you use the lessons plans from OLVS?  Or do you just read and discuss the books?  I really like the books, but have found the plans a bit awkward.  Maybe it is just the formatting that bugs me.

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19 minutes ago, Mom2mthj said:

Do you use the lessons plans from OLVS?  Or do you just read and discuss the books?  I really like the books, but have found the plans a bit awkward.  Maybe it is just the formatting that bugs me.

Just the books.  I bought the entire series back in 1994.  My books are falling apart, held together with duct tape.  😉

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1 hour ago, Spudater said:

Maybe it’s a bit different in my age cohort or geographical area, because I only know one family IRL who is enrolled in Seton and uses only their stuff. Most of the people I know who use their stuff are like me, they use a workbook here and there as part of an eclectic approach. I also use some of their stuff not as written. So, for example, my oldest uses their history text to practice two level outlines. 

I have lived in a lot of places since we first started homeschooling.  We have made 8 long distance moves since 1994 (most recently this summer).  Seton is the predominant program used in every place we have lived.  Here we know a family using MODG (but still fully enrolled) and a couple doing their own thing.  But, Catholics, by far, are the homeschoolers I know who are mostly likely to use a boxed curriculum, Catholic ones.  Like @teachermom2834 I have even been informed that I am not "Catholic enough" bc I don't use any Catholic curriculum.  (Yep,  we are just Catholic sluggards. 🤭 )  (A real funny......I once had a mom whose oldest was in 8th grade tell me that she would like to meet with me to talk about how Catholics homeschool correctly.  I had college kids at the time!  Absolutely NOT joking. )

Where we just moved from, I can only think of 2 Catholic families who did not fully enroll in Seton.

 

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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1 hour ago, Spudater said:

Maybe it’s a bit different in my age cohort or geographical area, because I only know one family IRL who is enrolled in Seton and uses only their stuff. Most of the people I know who use their stuff are like me, they use a workbook here and there as part of an eclectic approach. I also use some of their stuff not as written. So, for example, my oldest uses their history text to practice two level outlines. 

IRL I don’t know that many Seton users because I don’t know that many IRL Catholic homeschoolers.  We live in an area with “good” schools so most homeschoolers are looking for something other than school at home.  The ones I do know are from AHG and Trail Life and Latin Mass.  Most of the seton users dropped out of Trail Life and AHG because school took too much time.  Kids and parents were pretty stressed. I did like the seton spelling book I used once.  Seton would have driven me crazy.  I like MP in large part because they are so nice and I love their summer homeschool convention.  It provides a good framework to keep me from spending endless hours researching, but I don’t use the boxed packages.  You could trim down Seton, but I don’t like that you really have to enroll to access the lesson plans.  It seems to be an all in sort of program vibe.

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2 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I have lived in a lot of places since we first started homeschooling.  We have made 8 long distance moves since 1994 (most recently this summer).  Seton is the predominant program used in every place we have lived.  Here we know a family using MODG (but still fully enrolled) and a couple doing their own thing.  But, Catholics, by far, are the homeschoolers I know who are mostly likely to use a boxed curriculum, Catholic ones.  Like @teachermom2834 I have even been informed that I am not "Catholic enough" bc I don't use any Catholic curriculum.  (Yep,  we are just Catholic sluggards. 🤭 )  (A real funny......I once had a mom whose oldest was in 8th grade tell me that she would like to meet with me to talk about how Catholics homeschool correctly.  I had college kids at the time!  Absolutely NOT joking. )

Where we just moved from, I can only think of 2 Catholic families who did not fully enroll in Seton.

 

Huh. I don’t know. 🤷‍♀️  Half my homeschooling friends wouldn’t be able to afford to homeschool if it meant enrolling in Seton. If there’s a trend here it’s enrolling in the state’s charter homeschool umbrella schools and then tweaking them to add Catholic and classical elements. 

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1 hour ago, Spudater said:

Huh. I don’t know. 🤷‍♀️  Half my homeschooling friends wouldn’t be able to afford to homeschool if it meant enrolling in Seton. If there’s a trend here it’s enrolling in the state’s charter homeschool umbrella schools and then tweaking them to add Catholic and classical elements. 

I have never lived in a state that has charter homeschool umbrellas.  Umbrella schools? Yes.  But they are nothing more than paper pushers meeting state regulations and not related to the state at all.

I have also always lived in places where Catholics are very small % of the population, less than 5% as the highest % and less than 1% some.  In our last location there were 5 parishes in about a 60 mile radius (and 2 of those were tiny remote parishes).  Thankfully, there are multiple parishes here. Love it!!  But, since we are new here and there are so many parishes (unlike our last location where there was only 1 without going more than 25 miles from our house), I don't know as many of the Catholics that homeschool here.  Seton might be more of an anomaly here but my acquaintances are too limited to reflect it.

It is also amg Catholic homeschoolers where I see the most discussion about being enrolled in an accredited school for college apps. The idea of applying with a mom-generated transcript printed off their home printer where mom was the primary teacher for most subject is completely foreign to their way of thinking about homeschooling.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart

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34 minutes ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

I have never lived in a state that has charter homeschool umbrellas.  Umbrella schools? Yes.  But they are nothing more than paper pushers meeting state regulations and not related to the state at all.

I have also always lived in places where Catholics are very small % of the population, less than 5% as the highest % and less than 1% some.  In our last location there were 5 parishes in about a 60 mile radius (and 2 of those were tiny remote parishes).  Thankfully, there are multiple parishes here. Love it!!  But, since we are new here and there are so many parishes (unlike our last location where there was only 1 within 25 miles of our house), I don't know as many of the Catholics that homeschool here.  Seton might be more of an anomaly here but my acquaintances are too limited to reflect it.

It is also amg Catholic homeschoolers where I see the most discussion about being enrolled in an accredited school for college apps. The idea of applying with a mom-generated transcript printed off their home printer where mom was the primary teacher for most subject is completely foreign to their way of thinking about homeschooling.

I have wondered if the insistence on Seton has been a reaction to being in the minority religion where we live. A lot of people, particularly homeschoolers, are very anti-Catholic here and I wonder if that makes people that much more insistent on forging their own Catholic homeschooling identity. Also, Catholic education has been such a focus for so many Catholics through the years that some see Catholic homeschooling as something that would be very similar to Catholic schools or have to hit some mark to be “as good” as Catholic school. The funny thing about that is the Catholic school at our last parish used mostly secular materials. 

It is true that so much popular homeschool curriculum is really not appropriate for Catholic families. So there is comfort in going with something like Seton and I understand that. 
 

I have wondered how all these families leaving Catholic school find and decide on Seton. I have wondered if the schools recommended it knowing the families would return after trying it. 🙂

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1 minute ago, teachermom2834 said:

I have wondered if the insistence on Seton has been a reaction to being in the minority religion where we live. A lot of people, particularly homeschoolers, are very anti-Catholic here and I wonder if that makes people that much more insistent on forging their own Catholic homeschooling identity. Also, Catholic education has been such a focus for so many Catholics through the years that some see Catholic homeschooling as something that would be very similar to Catholic schools or have to hit some mark to be “as good” as Catholic school. The funny thing about that is the Catholic school at our last parish used mostly secular materials. 

It is true that so much popular homeschool curriculum is really not appropriate for Catholic families. So there is comfort in going with something like Seton and I understand that. 
 

I have wondered how all these families leaving Catholic school find and decide on Seton. I have wondered if the schools recommended it knowing the families would return after trying it. 🙂

That is an interesting thought.  I only know one family that does all Seton, and they also belong to the large, local "Christian" co-op.  The other Catholic families I know of use a variety of publishers.  CHC and MODG are the most popular, but most people use a mix including secular and Protestant resources.

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I don't think I've ever knowingly met a homeschooler in person, unless they were someone like me with a kid too fragile to go to school, but I know that when I came here, if I didn't specifically say I wanted secular resources, I got a lot of suggestions for books that were Christian, but included beliefs like Young Earth Creationism that are very different from my beliefs.  I can see how people might assume that homeschool and religion go together, and seek out materials that reflect their religion, rather than materials with no religious content.  

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27 minutes ago, teachermom2834 said:

I have wondered if the insistence on Seton has been a reaction to being in the minority religion where we live. A lot of people, particularly homeschoolers, are very anti-Catholic here and I wonder if that makes people that much more insistent on forging their own Catholic homeschooling identity. Also, Catholic education has been such a focus for so many Catholics through the years that some see Catholic homeschooling as something that would be very similar to Catholic schools or have to hit some mark to be “as good” as Catholic school. The funny thing about that is the Catholic school at our last parish used mostly secular materials. 

It is true that so much popular homeschool curriculum is really not appropriate for Catholic families. So there is comfort in going with something like Seton and I understand that. 
 

I have wondered how all these families leaving Catholic school find and decide on Seton. I have wondered if the schools recommended it knowing the families would return after trying it. 🙂

That is probable.  It hadn't occurred to me before, but it would sure make sense.  When I first started homeschooling there were very strong disagreements amg different Catholic homeschooling groups.  (Believe it or not, there was a Catholic homeschooling roundtable with representatives from the various providers. Ha!  I just googled and there is still some information floating around....not sure why I can't insert a working hyperlink.... http://catholic_homeschool.tripod.com/rt1.html#roundone It has to be copied and pasted to work. )

Not sure homeschoolers today can begin to grasp just how radically different things are today. Anyway, sorry for getting completely off-topic. But, "keeping it Catholic" was definitely a strong movement and people designing their own curriculum were considered "not."  (I lived there.  😉 Not for those who don't like being an island.) 

But, it could very well be there is comfort in being part of a strong group when surrounded by so much derision for your beliefs.  Definitely makes sense.

Edited by 8FillTheHeart
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1 minute ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

That is probable.  It hadn't occurred to me before, but it would sure make sense.  When I first started homeschooling there were very strong disagreements amg different Catholic homeschooling groups.  (Believe it or not, there was a Catholic homeschooling roundtable with representatives from the various providers. Ha!  I just googled and there is still some information floating around....http://catholic_homeschool.tripod.com/rt1.html )  

Not sure homeschoolers today can begin to grasp just how radically different things are today. Anyway, sorry for getting completely off-topic. But, "keeping it Catholic" was definitely a strong movement and people designing their own curriculum were considered "not."  (I lived there.  😉 Not for those who don't like being an island.) 

But, it could very well be there is comfort in being part of a strong group when surrounded by so much derision for your beliefs.  Definitely makes sense.

Oh yeah...wasn’t “keeping it Catholic” a website?...I feel like I can picture the font of the website in my mind. I haven’t thought of that for years. I think I was drawn to that as a young mom in the Bible Belt. It wasn’t ultimately for me but I do remember doing a lot of research on all of the Catholic curriculum and how it fit into what we were doing. My oldest is 22 and that was probably when we were first starting out so a long time ago and a lot of life has happened since then. Lol. I ended up finding WTM and that was more what we were interested in. 

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4 hours ago, 8FillTheHeart said:

Just the books.  I bought the entire series back in 1994.  My books are falling apart, held together with duct tape.  😉

Duct tape is such a wonderful tool.  Highly underrated In many circles.  My set is much newer than that.  Back in 1994 I was a senior engineering major in college and not even a Catholic yet.  The Holy Spirit truly has a sense of humor that I am now Catholic and using old  religion texts and attending Latin Mass.  I couldn’t stand the new stuff we had to use for religious education when my daughter was in first grade.  My local parish made us use their text if we homeschooled RE that year.  She looked at me during one session and said, “I understand that God is Love, but don’t they have anything else to say?”  I really do love the series and I am jealous that you have been able to use them for so long.  They have helped me learn as well as my children.

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I use mostly Memoria Press and also Mater Amabilis for their religion and their book lists if I feel I want something different.

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I was introduced to WTM before I converted to Catholicism, so perhaps that is why our homeschool is eclectic. I think the only subjects where Catholicity really matters is religion, of course, and medieval history.

Seeing as how the Ctholic church is hierarchical and there is emphasis on tradition and authority, it is hardly surprising that many families choose a Catholic boxed curriculum. We only know one other Catholic homeschooling family irl and they use MoDG.

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On 5/5/2020 at 4:12 PM, knitgrl said:

I was introduced to WTM before I converted to Catholicism, so perhaps that is why our homeschool is eclectic. I think the only subjects where Catholicity really matters is religion, of course, and medieval history.

Seeing as how the Ctholic church is hierarchical and there is emphasis on tradition and authority, it is hardly surprising that many families choose a Catholic boxed curriculum. We only know one other Catholic homeschooling family irl and they use MoDG.


I'm super late to this party, but count me in as one who read WTM before my conversion and yep, absolutely no interest in "keeping it Catholic" with the exception of faith formation specifically. We homebrew pretty much everything. Next year will be my first experience with an intentionally Catholic curriculum choice--we're doing Story of Civ Vol. 4 for American History. I'm doing that on purpose bc Catholics were the minority in the U.S. until the late 19th Century and experienced a great deal of discrimination all the way up until around the election of Kennedy, so I think a Catholic perspective on U.S. history would be an interesting corrective to the typical narrative, which my kids have heard plenty of already.

I was homeschooled myself when I was a kid in the 90s, and my parents shelled out for Kolbe one year despite us not being Catholic. Not sure why they did that. But I remember looking at the history book, which had a picture of Charlemagne's coronation on the front and a title like "God's Hand in History" or something, and 10-year-old me took an instant dislike. I wouldn't have known the word propaganda, but that's what I felt it was. I'm very reluctant to use sources from religious presses for history or science unless they are sources intended for adults. We read those aloud and I make use of them pretty frequently. But stuff intended for kids just... I dunno. Didactic might be the word I'm looking for, in a negative sense. I became a Catholic by questioning everything. I don't want my choice of sources to unintentionally create a climate in which my kids don't feel permission to be skeptical.

OP, I'd echo what most everyone else is saying here--imitate what the school is doing if you plan to put her back in eventually. If not, may I recommend Haley Stewart's blog Carrots For Michaelmas? She doesn't blog specifically about homeschooling, but she sometimes shares lists of resources that she's using. I know she says she typically finishes around noontime every day 🙂

And, as a Japanese teacher myself, I'd say don't expect much from a third grader. Plan to teach Hiragana, maybe Katakana, how to count, and some basic greetings. Then just read some graded readers together, like the Level 0 ones on this website. Make it fun and keep expectations very low. It's an extremely difficult language.

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I don't have anything else useful to add for the OP, just seconding that your DH should choose what he'd like to teach. And to have fun with it and make memories, and not load up too heavily and get stressed out.

I just want to put a plug in for CHC. They are constantly coming out with new stuff and I get more impressed each year. I used to think they were too easy or gentle. But honestly, I add in different history and we do Latin from CAP, and it keeps us plenty busy! My kids can do a lot of it on their own. They have awesome hands on geography and religion projects. It's all very eclectic. We still sub things out, like math mammoth, etc. and once the kids get older I use less of it, but I think it's fun and creative, and I think the Catholic part is really beautifully integrated. I also like modg a lot and mix some of those parts. I wish MP or another whole curriculum would fit out of the box but it never does, especially when the kids get older and I just have so many preferences for what I want this child to cover.

 

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