A reader asks for homeschool resources

A reader asks for homeschool resources January 7, 2013

He writes:

I was wondering if you might be able to help us out – again. We’ve decided to take the plunge and homeschool our kids. All of them. The boys were as excited as anyone. Still, we were wondering if you or any of your readers who homeschool might be able to point us to any good Catholic curriculums or resources. There are plenty available, we just can’t sort out which ones would be the best, or are highly recommended. We have a pretty substantial home library, but curriculum for a range of boys from 7th to 11th grade would be helpful (with a preschooler coming around the corner).

I would point you to Homeschool Connections Online. Readers may have other ideas.

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  • My wife and I started using the Kolbe Academy, which is a rigorous, Ignatian homeschool program. I’d definitely recommend it. It focuses on religion, reading, and math early on, uses solid materials (Baltimore Catechism, Faith and Life series, Catholic National Readers, saint biographies, etc.), and moves into a serious study of science, esp. in high school.

  • We have been homeschooling since our oldest (now 21) was in 1st grade. There are a lot more options out there now than there were then, but we used Kolbe Academy and liked it. It is very adaptable, and so can range from extremely vigorous (and the “hardest” level is probably too rigorous for most, imo) to more relaxed and adapted for children with learning disabilities. We have a lot of friends who use Seton, but it is much less flexible, and rather than grading the work yourself, you send EVERYTHING in to be graded. I also am familiar with Mother of Divine Grace, as we used a number of their syllabi, and I can heartily recommend them along with Kolbe.

  • Welcome to the wonderful world of home schooling!
    We have home schooled our 3 boys for 13 years. Our oldest (& first home school graduate) just completed his first semester at U of Notre Dame; his younger brothers are currently in grades 9 & 7. We have used a variety of resources, including the curriculum lists from Mother of Divine Grace and The Angelicum Academy. We consider daily athletic activity plus (frequent) daily Mass (and confession) ‘keys’ to our home school (and sanity!).

    Careful record keeping for the high school years is highly recommended. Keep a list of the books read and subjects studied. Start a transcript document and update it each semester. Don’t underestimate the value of the ordinary life experiences as tremendous teaching moments! Enjoy your time with your precious children.

    Reach out to other home school parents and stay connected, we are in this together!

    • Bridget– I’m curious about the Angelicum Academy— I’m at the point where I want to enroll my daughter somewhere, and always assumed we’d be a Kolbe family, but….

      Do you know anyone who’s successfully used Angelicum on its own? The Adler connection makes me swoon, but I’m having trouble getting input from other moms who’ve used it……

      Meanwhile, I know many happy Kolbe families….
      So…… Any actual Angelicum users out there? Can I PLEASE pick your brains?

  • Free Catholic curriculum here:
    Mater Amabilis — A PreK-8 Charlotte Mason Style Catholic Curriculum

  • A Philosopher

    For math, there is nothing better than the Art of Problem Solving textbooks.

  • bill a

    You could poke around
    khan academy or coursera for individual classes

  • Kristin

    The four I know: Kolbe, Seton, Mother of Divine Grace, and Catholic Heritage Curricula. I use a combination of the last two through middle school. Don’t have a high schooler until next year.

    • Rosemarie


      There’s also Our Lady of Victory, a Catholic homeschool program geared toward traditionalist Catholics. Even if you’re not a traditionalist, they sell some useful Catholic curriculum materials. You can either enroll your child(ren), like with Seton, or just buy the textbooks, curricula, etc. Unlike Seton, they will sell you their lesson plans even if you are not enrolled with them. Their website is olvs.org

      There also is/was another program called Our Lady of the Rosary. I’m not sure whether they still exist; I emailed them recently to ask something but they never replied. Their website is olrs.org, FWIW.

      • Trina Smith

        Hi! I used OLRS for 2 years with my children. They offer financial aid as well. I noticed I hadn’t heard from them in awhile, and I was unable to receive a call back or email from the administration. When I went to their website, it was inactive. I am saddened but I think they went out of business. I wonder what I should do about my existing tuition payments? Or curriculum for my children moving forward?

  • I’d advise: Pick out one of the Catholic curriculum providers as a starting point. (Already listed above by others.). Go with the one that seems the closest to what you just like. Then subject by subject, make some substitutions — local co-op for this class, unschool the subject for this kid for that class, switch out this in exchange for that . . . and see what you’ve got. If it’s still pretty much the 90% the core curriculum, go with the program. If it’s an eclectic collection of this-n-that, than do your classes by-the-course. Whatever you try, give it six months then re-evaluate and correct for the coming year.

  • kenneth

    Curriculum? Online war gaming and weed will more than prepare them for the American economy in the new century.

  • I believe this is the Homeschool Connections website you intended to provide:

  • crazylikeknoxes

    I selectively home school the children in certain subjects, such as Latin, for which I use the texts published by Memoria Press. Although not strictly Catholic, they have good resources and promote a “classical” eduction (i.e. based on logic and the humanities).

  • Beccolina

    I would add Susan Wise Bauer and Jessie Wise’s book “The Well-Trained Mind”. It explains and outlines a classical curriculum. In your situation, I would recommend using it with another program, since you are jumping into home school with many students at various levels. It lists many resources for many levels and subjects, though it is not specifically Catholic.

  • Norah

    These are two great homeschooling blogs filled with years of great know- how ideas:



  • Congratulations on beginning your homeschool adventure.
    You may find my eBook helpful.


  • Fiestamom

    There are Catholic Homeschool conferences put on through the country starting in the spring. Here is the link.

    I highly recommend attending one, especially the National one on Virginia. The speakers are so encouraging, there is a big selection of curriculum to peruse. Plus it’s nice to get together with other Catholic homeschoolers, you’ll be amazed at how “normal” everyone is 😉

    Good luck!

  • Mark, The link in the original post is to the wrong Homeschool Connections. The Catholic curriculum provider is http://www.homeschoolconnections.com or http://www.homeschoolconnectionsonline.com.

    • Mark Shea

      D’oh! Sorry! Fixed it!

  • Thanks for fixing the link Mark. If anyone has questions about HSC let me know. There’s lots of great advice here. Get to know the local Catholic homeschoolers, visit a conference, get a few Catholic homeschooling books (you’ll be surprised at how many you can find through inter-library loan), and so on. Welcome to the club! You’ll find that the are many benefits in addition to educational benefits. I’ve homeschooled for almost 19 years and I love the family life and spiritual growth that have resulted from home education.

  • Hi everyone – I would also encourage you to check out Bridgeway Academy! We work with many Christian homeschoolers, and create an individualized curriculum for each student based on their academic level and learning style.