Homeschooling Help Needed - Please


#1

Hello Everyone,

We are getting ready to start homeschooling for the first time this fall. My oldest will be 5 and will be in kindergarten. I feel so overwhelmed by the number of available curriculums out there and I really don’t know where to begin. I know some of you are experienced homeschoolers and I’m hoping you can suggest a good, Catholic curriculum. Ideally, it would be easy for me to use and enjoyable for my kids. And we would especially love a Bible-based program.

I really appreciate any advice you can offer! :slight_smile:

Thank you so much,
Rebecca


#2

Well This is exactly our situation too. I look forward to people's ideas.


#3

well I’m not sure about catholic curriculum, but depending on where your located you can pretty much do whatever you want. i have a k and 1st grader. For the time being we do alot of workbooks that we get at the dollar store. For reading I do starfall.com . Its free and has really helped teach my boys to read. I would google free catholic homeschehool curriculum. There is so much free resources online. We are thinking about converting so its something i plan on looking into myself.
t
there is a blog called christian catholic homeschooling (i think thats it) she has a good list of homeschool resources on there


#4

There are a lot of Catholic homeschool providers. You can check out their websites for starters, see if one seems to “fit” what you are looking for. Some of the more well known are:

Seton Homeschooling, Mother of Divine Grace, Kolbe Academy, St. Thomas Aquinas, Mercy Academy, Angelicum Academy, Catholic Heritage Curricula (CHC).

There is also a site called love2learn.net that has links to tons of favorite resources for Catholic homeschoolers.

There is one site, and I have found it twice, that has you take a quiz to figure out which provider would fit your lifestyle best. You’d think I would bookmark it or write it down because I’m always wondering where I had seen it… maybe some others could help me out on that one…


#5

[quote="HouseArrest, post:4, topic:197132"]
...There is one site, and I have found it twice, that has you take a quiz to figure out which provider would fit your lifestyle best. You'd think I would bookmark it or write it down because I'm always wondering where I had seen it... maybe some others could help me out on that one...

[/quote]

I had a site with a curriculm style quiz for Catholic homeschoolers bookmarked but the link no longer works. The information they had was old, (I know at least one of the Catholic curriculum providers made several changes to their material.) I did a web search to find another quiz and turned up lots of interesting links. No style quiz, but lots of good information! Yes, it can be overwhelming, but it's fun!

To the op: Finding the curriculum that fits you and your child's style and needs is one of the joys of homeschooling! There really isn't a "one size fits all" Catholic education. I suggest you begin by narrowing down what type of education (besides Catholic) you want to provide. A good resource that describes homeschooling with various approaches and under various circumstance is "The Catholic Homeschool Companion". Another good resource is "By Way of the Family", which is a Catholic bookstore that sells homeschool materials that fit a variety of learning and teaching styles [/FONT]http://www.bywayofthefamily.com/Homeschool-Books--Materials/departments/642/ Also look for Catholic homeschooling conferences to attend in your area.

I hope that helps a little. God bless you as you begin this journey!


#6

We started homeschooling last fall, but our kids are much older (15 and 12 now) and had been in parochial school since kindergarten.

We chose Seton, and would do it again, because to us it most resembles going to school. They provide lesson plans, teacher support over the phone, and if you register with them they will grade about half of the tests and provide you with transcripts - which for us was important because our kids are likely college bound. While this certainly isn’t necessary, we feel like it may open up more doors for our kids as they pursue advanced education.

The curriculum is mostly great. Most of the subjects have text books that have our faith weaved into them. My son’s biology book is actually a science book. It presents many of the scientific theories that are mostly accepted as fact in our culture today, but it shows them with the light of the faith - which often helps my son come to his own conclusions about the holes in many of these theories.

Seton uses the Saxon math curriculum, as most do, and it’s absolutely fantastic.

Some of the subjects are quite difficult, but we appreciate the challenge for our kids. Overall, I love how the faith is included in nearly every subject, at least to some degree. In private school, religion was just another subject. With Seton, it’s a part of everything - as it should be.


#7

We mostly use materials from CHC (Catholic Heritage Curricula) and Seton Books. There are all the other Catholic providers that other poster have mention plus there is Mater Amabilis. Mater Amabilis is a free Catholic Curriculum based on the Charlotte Mason Method. As I said we use CHC and Seton Books.

For your knowledge, you might enjoy watching some of Homeschool Connections passed recorded webinars. The passed recorded ones are free to watch and they also at times do live ones (up coming webinars). The live ones vary in price. Sometimes they are free sometimes they are a few hundred or anything in between.

The recorded webinars include things like choosing a curriculum, prayerfully planning your homeschool year, Fr. Pacwa’s Answers your question to faith and children, etc. Check it out! The webinars take a hour or more to watch, but they are worth your time.

The Homeschool Connections Webinar speakers are people like Fr. Pacwa (host on various programs on ETWN), Mureen Wittmann (author various books such as Catholic Homeschool Companion) and Danielle Bean (author and editorial director of Faith and Family).


#8

JoeSchmeau’s post illustrates the importance of knowing your family and what you want from homeschooling. His family made some choices that my family didn’t make or that we tried and didn’t like.

Many Catholics say wonderful things about Seton, but I’ve never been attracted by it–and for one reason other families are! I didn’t want our education at home to resemble going to school quite that closely. That isn’t to say anything bad about those who choose to use Seton, it simply isn’t something I’ve ever wanted to do.

Because I heard and read many wonderful things about Saxon math, we tried it early in our homeschooling experience. My son and I really, really, really didn’t like it–which surprised me because he loves math and is very good at it. Saxon simply didn’t work well with his learning style or my teaching style. I switched my son to Singapore mid-year that year. Singapore Math fits my family better.

Do the research, find what attracts you, explore it further, then make your decisions. If you try something and discover doesn’t work well for you or your child, you can switch. Eventually you will probably settle into the materials or programs you like best. At that point you might just tweak only one or two subjects each year, perhaps simply by adding some supplements to your core curriculum.


#9

In addition to above suggestions, if you have a PC at home, getting the JumpStart series for your young'uns is a great supplement. You can buy them used on ebay real cheap; Jumpstart PreSchool, JumpStart KinderGarden, Jumpstart 1st Grade (thru 5th grade), JumpStart Music, and on and on. Search ebay and you can often find bundles; even cheaper than buying singly. The kids love play/learning these on the pc & they're clean and wholesome; we use them as a 'reward' for the kiddos for finishing their 'textbook' work, etc.


#10

Angelicum Academy is THE BEST for Jr High and Highschool. I feel that it has prepared me VERY well for College. I can't speak highly enough about the online classes. Several of the teachers are college professors. All the classes are in the Socratic Method. It's improved my critical thinking by a billion times. It's a lot of reading though. Another great one is Mother of Divine Grace. My sophomore brother uses that, and it's an excellent program as well. :thumbsup:

I did a mix of stuff until about 7th grade. I think 5th grade onward It really helps to have a pre made lesson plan. In highschool I would say it's necessary. Before that my mom just did a mix of stuff and I turned out alright :D


#11

Rebecca, welcome to homeschooling. :) Classical Liberal Arts Academy offers a Biblical Studies online study course for Catholic homeschool students. It is a planned 7 year study. The first year will be available in Fall 2010 and focuses on the Pentateuch. It is taught by Dr. Nathan Schmiedicke. See the school's home page here www.classicalliberalarts.com and scroll down to the left for Biblical Studies. God bless!


#12

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