How to Pick a Curriculum / Resource List

There is an old adage that says that all you need to homeschool successfully is love and a library card. In modern days, all you need to homeschool successfully is love and a library card or internet access. We are fortunate to live in a time in which the world’s knowledge is available at our fingertips.

The simple truth is that you don’t need a lot of fancy materials to homeschool, especially when your children are young. You need to play with them. You need to read to them and help them learn how to read and write. You need to help them learn basic math. You need to answer the questions that they ask you. If you don’t know the answers, you can look them up. A great deal about science can be learned from observing nature and doing simple experiments in your kitchen. Much history and geography can be learned from reading about past times, people, and places. Let your children be creative and explore various art materials.

You can also take advantage of community classes. Libraries often have story times and other educational programs. There are programs for art, music, theater, chess, sports, scouts, etc. Anything that traditionally educated children can take part in after school is open to homeschooled children. Many organizations and museums also offer classes especially for homeschoolers.

Many homeschoolers also take part in co-ops or hybrid schools. A co-op can be as simple as two or three families getting together for a particular activity to organizations that are almost school-like in their structure. Parents are usually required to be involved in some capacity. A hybrid school meets two or three times a week and professional teachers may be involved. The students then learn at home on the other days. Upper-level high school students can often enroll as dual-enrollment students at community colleges. There are many opportunities for our children to learn with others.

Depending on your educational philosophy and your comfort with creating your own curriculum, you may feel better using curriculum that someone else has put together. There are full homeschool academies that you can enroll in that will handle all subjects and provide you with a report card. There are also countless programs where you can buy materials for a particular subject. Big box stores and bookstores also often sell educational workbooks that can provide a solid, inexpensive foundation for homeschooling.

Many of the websites on the resource list below offer free samples of their material. I encourage you to check them out. If you have friends that homeschool, you can ask to see what materials they use. Ultimately, it will take some trial and error to find what works for your child. What works for one child in your family may not work for another. Don’t be afraid to set a curriculum aside if it is not working and try something new.

Also, please don’t feel that you need to use all Catholic materials. While you can certainly choose to, there are many secular resources that can be excellent to use. The only area in which you definitely want to use Catholic resources is in teaching the faith.

Be patient with yourself and with your children.

You will eventually find the right materials for your family.

Resource List

Please note that inclusion in this resource list does not imply endorsement. This is also not an exhaustive list. Please use it as a starting point to investigate homeschool options for your child.

Homeschool Academies

Angelicum Academy

Literature based comprehensive Catholic homeschool program with emphasis on Great Books at the high school level.

angelicum.net

Kolbe Academy Home School & Online Academy Incorporates classical educational theory and Ignatian methodology

kolbe.org

Memoria Press Academy

Online Christian classical education / also offers classical materials for use at home

memoriapress.com

Mother of Divine Grace

Classical at-home Catholic education motherofdivinegrace.org

Our Lady of the Rosary

Traditional Catholic education at home olrs.com

Our Lady of Victory

Traditional Catholic education at home olvs.org

Queen of Heaven Academy

Online classical Catholic education for grades 4 – 12 queenofheavenacademy.org

Regina Caeli

Classical hybrid education in the Catholic tradition rcahybrid.org

Rolling Acres School

Catholic classical liberal arts online academy www.rasonlineacademy.com

St. Thomas Aquinas Academy

Liberal arts education for the Catholic family
staa-homeschool.com

Seton Home Study School

Offers both traditional at-home Catholic materials and online classes

setonhome.org

Veritas Christi High School

Online Catholic special needs high school veritaschristi.com

Multi-Subject Curriculum Materials/ Classes

Catholic Heritage Curricula

Materials and lesson plans for solid, complete, family-friendly Pre K – 12 Catholic education

chcweb.com

Catholic Schoolhouse

Designed primarily for group meetings held once a week / classical approach

catholicschoolhouse.com

Classical Academic Press

Materials and online classes for classical education classicalacademicpress.com

Classically Catholic Memory

Memory work program focusing on religion, Latin, history, science, math, timeline, and great works

ccmemory.com

Homeschool Connections

Live and recorded classes for Catholic homeschoolers grades 3 and up.

homeschoolconnectionsonline.com

Mater Amabilis

A Charlotte Mason curriculum for Catholics materamabilis.org

The above sources also offer many quality curricular options for individual grade levels and subjects that can be purchased separately. The following lists include materials offered independently of those options.

Preschool

ABCatholic

DVDs, CDs, books, dolls and much more designed to touch the lives of little children with the faith

abcatholic.com

Catholic ABC’s

Twenty-six lessons, one for each letter of the alphabet with craft, bible verse, and saint of the week

 catholicicing.com

Little Saints

Manual includes bible stories, saints and feast days, illustrated literature, poetry, learning games, songs, and art projects.

catholicpreschool.com

Art

Art Achieve

Art lessons inspired by art from around the world artachieve.com

The Animation Course

Online drawing and animation course theanimcourse.com

Foundations in Architecture Architecture courses for grades K – 12 fiaacademy.com

Foreign Languages

Duolingo

Free online language learning program. Many languages available. (While I do find this a valuable free resource, there is an occasional sentence that includes same-sex marriage).

duolingo.com

Learnables

High school classes in Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Hebrew, and Russian.

learnables.com

Rosetta Stone for Homeschool

Self-paced interactive complete language-learning experience. Many languages available rosettastone.com/homeschool

History

Connecting with History

Integrated history and literature-based program designed to be used with entire family.

rchistory.com

The Story of Civilization

www.tanhomeschool.com

Bethlehem Books

Historical Fiction and Biography

Bethlehembooks.com

Language Arts – Handwriting

Handwriting Without Tears

Complete handwriting curriculum for both print and cursive

lwtears.com/hwt

Language Arts – Literature

Catholic Teen Books

Exciting, well-crafted books that raise the heart and mind to God and reflect the fullness and beauty of the Catholic faith catholicteenbooks.com

Excellence in Literature

Classic literature study guides for grades 8 – 12 excellence-in-literature.com

Language Arts – Reading

All About Reading

Complete, phonics-based reading program allaboutlearningpress.com

Hooked on Phonics

Phonics-based learn-to-read program hookedonphonics.com

Little Angel Reader Catholic Phonics Series Phonetic readers and coordinated workbooks stonetabletpress.com

Phonics Tutor

Teaches students common sounds for an extended set of Orton-Gillingham phonograms with spelling rules. Includes CD-Rom and workbooks

phonicstutor.com

Progressive Phonics

Free program for teaching phonics and reading progressivephonics.com

Language Arts – Spelling

All About Spelling

Multi-sensory program teaches spelling through sight, sound, and touch

allaboutlearningpress.com

Phonetic Zoo

Phonics-based program uses auditory input to ensure correct spelling of each word is absorbed by the brain. iew.com

Touch Type Read and Spell

Multi-sensory course that teaches touch-typing skills to help improve reading and spelling

readandspell.com/us

Language Arts – Writing

Brave Writer

Self-teaching guides and online classes bravewriter.com

Cover Story Writing

Takes middle school students on a guided tour through the universe of story through the process of creating content for their own magazine

coverstorywriting.com

Institute for Excellence in Writing

Workbooks and online classes iew.com

One-Year Adventure Novel

Guides grades 8 – 12 through the process of writing a structured, compelling adventure novel over the course of one school year

oneyearnovel.com

Writing Strands

Complete language arts program

Writing-strands.com

Math

HomeschoolMath.net

Free worksheets on math topics from addition to pre-algebra

homeschoolmath.net

Life of Fred

Each math text is written in the style of a novel with a humorous story line. For 1st – 12th grade.

lifeoffred.com

Kahn Academy

Any topic you would want to learn about in math is covered on this free site.

khanacademy.org

Math Mammoth

Workbooks for grades 1 – 12 available as downloads or print versions

mathmammoth.com

Math-U-See

Four-step approach to learning math including videos, manipulatives, writing and talking through concepts mathusee.com

Singapore Math

K – 8 curriculum focused on problem solving with pictures and diagrams.

singaporemath.com

Teaching Texbooks

Combined text and computer program for 3rd grade – pre-calculus .

teachingtextbooks.com

Music

Catholic Hymn Study

Learn traditional Catholic hymns or chants traditionalcatholicliving.com

Hoffman Academy

Free online piano lessons

hoffmanacademy.com

Making Music Praying Twice

Fun and faithful Catholic music program for young children designed to increase music aptitude makingmusicprayingtwice.com

Piano Nanny

Free online piano lessons

pianonanny.com

Religion

CatechismClass.com

Online classes for children and adults catechismclass.com

Didache Series for High School

Presents life and doctrine of Catholic Church utilizing Catechism, Scripture, saints, and Doctors and Fathers of the Church

theologicalforum.com

Faith and Life Catechetical Series

For grades 1 – 8.

ignatius.com/promotions/faithandlife/

The Story of the Bible and Catholic Courses tanhomeschool.com

Vision Books Lives of the Saints Biographical chapter books for ages 9 – 12 www.ignatius.com/Vision-Books-C1091.aspx

Science

ACS Middle School Chemistry Free downloadable lesson plans middleschoolchemistry.com

The Homeschool Scientist

Experiment ideas, curriculum choices, and science resources

thehomeschoolscientist.com

Home Science Tools

Lab kits and science supplies

hometrainingtools.com

NASA Science Resources

Weather and meteorology

scijinks.jpl.nasa.gov

Space

spaceplace.nasa.gov

Quality Science Labs

Lab materials for middle or high school science qualitysciencelabs.com

For more information on beginning homeschooling, check out The Crash Course Guide to Catholic Homeschooling.

Image from Pixabay

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Author: Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur

Patrice Fagnant-MacArthur, editor of "Today's Catholic Homeschooling", is the mother of two biological sons and one adopted daughter. She is in her thirteenth year of homeschooling. She has a B.A. in History and Fine Art and a Master's Degree in Applied Theology. She is the author of "The Crash Course Guide to Catholic Homeschooling" and "The Power of Forgiveness". She blogs at spiritualwomanthoughts.blogspot.com