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.
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.
Literature based comprehensive Catholic homeschool program with emphasis on Great Books at the high school level.
Kolbe Academy Home School & Online Academy Incorporates classical educational theory and Ignatian methodology
Memoria Press Academy
Online Christian classical education / also offers classical materials for use at home
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
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
Seton Home Study School
Offers both traditional at-home Catholic materials and online classes
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
Designed primarily for group meetings held once a week / classical approach
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
Live and recorded classes for Catholic homeschoolers grades 3 and up.
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.
DVDs, CDs, books, dolls and much more designed to touch the lives of little children with the faith
Twenty-six lessons, one for each letter of the alphabet with craft, bible verse, and saint of the week
Manual includes bible stories, saints and feast days, illustrated literature, poetry, learning games, songs, and art projects.
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
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).
High school classes in Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Hebrew, and Russian.
Rosetta Stone for Homeschool
Self-paced interactive complete language-learning experience. Many languages available rosettastone.com/homeschool
Connecting with History
Integrated history and literature-based program designed to be used with entire family.
The Story of Civilization
Historical Fiction and Biography
Language Arts – Handwriting
Handwriting Without Tears
Complete handwriting curriculum for both print and cursive
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
Teaches students common sounds for an extended set of Orton-Gillingham phonograms with spelling rules. Includes CD-Rom and workbooks
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
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
Language Arts – Writing
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
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
Complete language arts program
Free worksheets on math topics from addition to pre-algebra
Life of Fred
Each math text is written in the style of a novel with a humorous story line. For 1st – 12th grade.
Any topic you would want to learn about in math is covered on this free site.
Workbooks for grades 1 – 12 available as downloads or print versions
Four-step approach to learning math including videos, manipulatives, writing and talking through concepts mathusee.com
K – 8 curriculum focused on problem solving with pictures and diagrams.
Combined text and computer program for 3rd grade – pre-calculus .
Catholic Hymn Study
Learn traditional Catholic hymns or chants traditionalcatholicliving.com
Free online piano lessons
Making Music Praying Twice
Fun and faithful Catholic music program for young children designed to increase music aptitude makingmusicprayingtwice.com
Free online piano lessons
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
Faith and Life Catechetical Series
For grades 1 – 8.
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
ACS Middle School Chemistry Free downloadable lesson plans middleschoolchemistry.com
The Homeschool Scientist
Experiment ideas, curriculum choices, and science resources
Home Science Tools
Lab kits and science supplies
NASA Science Resources
Weather and meteorology
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.
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