Hi, I was hoping for some insight. I will be homeschooling next year (5th grader,3rd grader and a 2nd grader) and was thinking of using a secular curriculum like Calvert and a supplemental religious curriculum. Is this risky? Thanks for the advice!
May I ask why you want to use a secular curriculum as your basis? I’m just curious, so I can undersand what kind of advice you are looking for.
Right now I’ll just say that I was homeschooled from the 3rd grade all the way through graduation, and my mom used the Seton curriculum (Catholic, based in Virginia, if you don’t know). Something that I absolutely loved about all of my classes was the fact that they somehow incorporated the Catholic faith and good, strong, moral values into pretty much every subject. Even in handwriting I was copying sentences having to do with God or my Catholic faith. Having the Faith woven into all of my subjects helped create the sense in me that God and my Faith had a role to play in every area of my life. I mean, praying to God and practicing my Catholic faith was like breathing to me; it was so natural. I really believe that homeschooling with a Catholic curriculum did that for me.
I graduated high school with such a thorough understanding of my Catholic faith, that it was actually really surprising to me when I ran into fellow Catholics who didn’t really understand or care a whole lot about what they believed in. And I carried that faith through my college years and still now.
So, I think you know what my advice for you would be!
Thank you for responding. It’s not that I don’t want a catholic curriculum I just am looking at something like Calvert which is highly accredited (as is Seton), but looks a liitle more fun(ish). Seton is at the top of my list, but I’ve read a lot of reviews that it is very dry. Our Catholic school is closing after this year, so since we are being thrown into the Homeschool situation with a lot of fear the last thing I want is a very boring curriculum for my kids.
With the Catholic homeschooling curricula out there, you basically have two choices: the classical approach (Kolbe, Mother of Divine Grace,etc) or the rigid academic approach (Seton, OLVS, Our Lady of the Rosary). Not all children can learn best by either of those methods and the beauty of homeschooling is that YOU can decide what method, program, curricula, etc works best for your child. CHC is nice, but it doesn’t work for every child, either.
As long as you look over the secular material, there is nothing wrong with using it and supplementing with a Catholic one. Just make sure that anything that presents Catholicism in a bad light in omitted from what you are studying. Most secular homeschool programs are quite neutral and leave a wonderful opportunity for the homeschooling parent to explain things in a way that their own child can understand.
Oh, I didn’t know people consider the Seton curriculum to be dry! I certainly didn’t find it dry… however, it is definitely challenging, especially as you get to the older grades. It involves a lot of writing, too, which I tended to grumble about as a teen, but I really, really appreciate now. I did really well in a challenging private university, and I think I can credit Seton for that.
I plan on homeschooling my future children, as well… What I am going to do is add on extra activities to boost my kids enthusiasm, because my mom was not as involved with my schooling as I would have loved her to be. I guess in a way I did find it “dry” at times merely because I did most of my schooling myself while my mom tended to my younger siblings. I was very imaginative, though, and I spiced things up by inventing imaginary classmates and having interesting discussions with them about what I was learning, lol.
So I definitely plan to be very aware of what each child is learning, and bring in something fun when they need a boost. For instance, a math game or puzzle you can print off the internet, when they’ve got their head in a jam over math. Or having the whole family pretend to be historical figures from a time period that’s being studied… Or encouraging my kids to put on a play incorporating the interesting things they are learning. There are lots of ideas and print-outs on the internet to use as supplements. I know because I majored in education and learned to create lesson plans off of things I found online.
I really believe that the child’s enjoyment of education has more to do with the parents’ involvement and enthusiasm, more than anything else. But those are just my thoughts!