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{Catholic} Homeschooling Series: Looking Back

 

looking back

The ecclesiastical year is over, and a new year has begun.  With this, I thought it a good idea to do a recap of this series which started off just a couple of years ago.

 

2014-2015 change represents the new year 2014 three-dimensional rendering

  1. 10 WAYS TO FIND JOY IN OUR {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOL: It was the third week of Advent. My shoes were uncomfortable, my skirt did not fit right, my veil kept falling off and even the cushion on the kneeler beneath me felt bumpy. I looked up and shot my two sons one of those disapproving look and looked up at my husband and frowned. Tears swelled up in my eyes so I shut them quickly and created a dam for them with my eyelids. First tear rolled down. It was useless, I was sad. My thoughts raced. I opened my prayer book and something feel from it, a paper? a book mark?  And there it was, the answer to my frustration but I couldn’t really see, so I left it on the tile floor and closed my eyes to pray, “Dear Lord, what is wrong with me? Why am always so upset, bothered and angry? Why is it that my children do not listen? Why do they hate school so much?” My mind raced. I was going to THAT place again and Communion was coming up…I was feeling so sorry for myself, again. How did I lose my joy?
  2. SAINT PHILOMENA, HELP! BOOK REVIEW & GIVEAWAY; Saint Philomena, HELP! is a lovely book written by homeschooling mother of six and Catholic author, Christine Henderson. Mrs. Henderson brings her stories alive and teaches the faith along the way.  She has a vast experience working with children as she has been home educating her own for the past fourteen years.  This is the first volume in a series entitled, A Sister Marie Story.  In this story Sister Marie has her worked cut out for her as she works in the least preferred area of her town, the poor area.  Here she strives to help the residents improve their daily lives in temporal as well as spiritual matters.
  3. THE ONE ROOM SCHOOLHOUSE APPROACH: CATHOLIC SCHOOLHOUSE: It is that time of year where everyone is figuring out what to use next school year.  Social Media is swamped with questions and suggestions from other home educating mothers with the “what worked,” “what did not work,” and the simple, “what do you think of this?” conversations.  Curriculum selection among home educators can be confusing and difficult since we cannot walk into a room and flip through the texts or programs ourselves.  We rely on what experiences other mothers have had with their children in their home schools, which is fine but be sure you ask TONS of questions and keep your individual children in mind.
  4. OUR CATHOLIC HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM 2015-2016: One of the best feelings for a homeschooling parent is to know EXACTLY what you will be using early on in the Summer before the new school year comes.  As we begin out seventh year homeschooling, I can finally say I feel like I have it all together and LOVE everything we are using.  So here is our Catholic Homeschooling Curriculum for the 2015-2016 school year.
  5. HERO MOTHERS IN {CATHOLIC} HOME EDUCATIONAre you a hero mother? I bet you are. This week we completed our ninth week of school.  A small victory for anyone who teaches, but especially us home educators who not only wear the hat of teacher to our children, but also that of home maker, chef, school psychologist, curriculum coordinator, school nurse, among many other tasks.  Let’s face it our job as home educators, is not an easy one.  Let’s be frank about this.  Something someone said in a homeschooling forum, struck a cord with me….she said, “I wish someone would have not just painted a pretty picture of homeschooling before we started, I wish someone would have been frank and told me just how HARD it would be!”
  6. {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOLING THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL: One of the scariest tasks I have had to endure is homeschooling our oldest child through high school.  He is currently a Senior and it is only early November and boy have we had a busy year!

 2013

  1. BACK TO BASICS IN {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOLING: This article comes to you almost exactly on the anniversary of when we first introduced this series on {Catholic} Homeschooling.  As we recap the year I would like to take a step back and share some basics which we have brushed upon in the other articles but are worthy of compiling and giving a focus to in this article. In the Letter to the Ephesians 4:1-6, the Lord tells us, through Saint Paul, “I therefore, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called, with all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity.  Careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling.  One Lord, one faith, one baptism.  One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.”  
  2. CREATING A MONASTERY IN YOUR {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOL IN 10 STEPS:  When I was in college, I prayed and discerned a vocation to become a sister or a nun.  I was enthralled by the Carmelite Sisters of the Sacred Heart; of which I had had the honor of I wanted to be just like Saint Therese but God was calling me to be more like Blessed Zelie, her mother working with and for at a Catholic School in Florida.  Fortunately for me, I was assigned to work with Sister Maria Kolbe whom not only directed me and taught me her ways as a model teacher but, more importantly, she showed me the joy in following Our Lord Jesus in all we do.  I wanted that joy she had SO BAD!  But after years of praying, God told me He had other plans for me.  Years later, I married a man whom also discerned at vocation to the priesthood (to the FRATERNITY OF SAINT PETER), we met, fell in love, got married and five children and ten years later, here I am homeschooling.  I could not help but wonder what life would have been IF God had called me to become a Carmelite…you know, after all, the grass is always greener on the other side.
  3. 10 STEPS TO TEACH WRITING IN YOUR {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOL: Teaching writing in ten steps you say?  Why yes there is a method to the madness on how to teach young writers!
  4. {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOLING FAQ Submit your questions for us!  (There is still time to get this going…we have had questions asked via email).
  5. A FOOLPROOF {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOL DAY: When we first moved to Pennsylvania, I had the opportunity to attend a local homeschool “Mom’s Day Out.” One of the speakers was Mrs. Mary Ellen Barrett, who blogs over at TALES FROM THE BONNY BLUE HOUSE, which gave us this lovely list of how to survive your homeschool day.  Since she shared it with us moms, I have called it the foolproof plan for our {Catholic} Homeschool day! Seriously, I’ve have had a chance to institute it with my lovely {but very headstrong} five little blessings and guess what?  IT WORKS!  And since it works {and I struggled so long to find something like this} I had to share it.  So here it goes; of course, some days this plan won’t work because illnesses happen, babies are born, etc., etc., but under somewhat normal conditions, this plan really does work:
  6. WHEN THE WEATHER TURNS NICE, IT IS GUT CHECK-TIME FOR THE {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOL: So what exactly do I mean when I say, “When the Weather Turns Nice, It is Gut Check-Time for the {Catholic} Homeschool?” When the weathers turns bad, it is easy to hunker down and do school.  When the weather turns nice, the children want to play and it turns into gut check time where you have to adjust your schedule and persevere in finishing out your core schoolwork. Well, see I live in Pennsylvania, and this past winter was out of control.  I know, I know, it comes with living in PA but it was just too much.  At its first arrival we were so excited!  It was so pretty so sparkly, but then it just kept on coming,  unannounced and never leaving, it was like that relative that just shows up and never leaves…well just take a look for your self:
  7. {CATHOLIC} HOME EDUCATING JOURNEYS FROM AROUND THE WORLD, PART 1: This is a new series, entitled {Catholic} Homeschooling Journeys from Around the World where I have asked several mothers who are now {Catholic} Home Educators, “How did you end up a home educator?”  This is a series of homeschooling journeys to help encourage others who might still be on the fence about homeschooling.  With the rise of Common Core, the opposition to this movement known as CATHOLIC IS OUR CORE, and lack of morality in the public sector, there has been an increase in home education in the past two years.
  8. JOURNAL WRITING IN YOUR {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOL: Are you having trouble getting your children to write stories or writing in general in your {Catholic} homeschool? Why not introduce journaling into your day? It is really a simple addition to your day which won’t add much more time and the rewards from it are priceless!  Morning transitions from breakfast to school time are a snap this year since I instituted morning journal time for my children in grades K, 1, 3, and 4. It has become part of our routine and schedule as well, making it a breeze to clear off the table and get excited about starting the school day and writing!
  9. VIRTUES PROGRAM REVIEW & GIVEAWAY FOR THE {CATHOLIC} HOME & SCHOOL: This is not your normal homeschooling article as this program can be used by any Catholic parent, a Catholic Virtues Program integrating the beautiful Holy Rosary into it!
  10. TEN LITURGICAL ACTIVITIES FOR ADVENTThis article would actually apply for any Catholic family, not just home educators as it deals with liturgical activities for Advent.   Today in the United States of America we celebrate Thanksgiving.  As I thought and thought about what I could possibly write about without boring you (and really, who is online on Thanksgiving?), I thought the one thing I am most thankful for is being Roman Catholic. With that came to mind the thought that we are beginning a brand new Liturgical Year!  This time of year is SO BUSY and our lives seem to go on overdrive.  It is rather exhausting at times and reminds me of when we used to do “vacations” to theme parks- wake up, go, go, go, crazy, repeat.

 

  1. 201310 STEPS TO START {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOLING:  Recently, in a Catholic Homeschool group on Facebook, a mom commented about her doubts regarding homeschooling. My dear friend and blogger over atTOTUS TUUS FAMILY, Allison, replied one of the sweetest and most perfect replies, she said, “If God leads you to it, He will lead you through it. I had MANY of those same doubts. I read lots of homeschool and Catholic homeschool books looking for those who had conquered the obstacles I perceived and that combined with prayer fortified me. Am I perfect at it? No, no one is…no education is perfect. Let God work on your fears, it sounds like He IS working on your heart.”
  2. GOAL SETTING IN {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOLING: Before setting your goals for your homeschool take a moment first to make a list of why you want to this. Once your list is completed, circle or highlight all of the most important or positive points from your list. Think of this list as writing your own defense ahead of time against naysayers. This way, if someone questions you about your decision, you now have a list in your head of well thought out reasons as to why you are now homeschooling. This list should be composed by you and your spouse so that you both are on the same page from the start. If your children are older, you may also want to include their reasons as well. Including the children from the onset also helps them explain why you have chosen this as a family. It will equip them with reasons should anyone ask them (believe it or not even strangers will ask them). So what should be in your educational philosophy statement? You should ask yourself the following two questions:
  3. RAISING HEAVEN-BOUND CHILDREN: DUMB SAINTS INSTEAD OF BRILLIANT SINNERS: That’s right, I would rather raise a dumb saint than a brilliant sinner.  Why?  Because I am raising my children to be heaven-bound.  Obviously there were many great saints who were brilliant, and intelligence and holiness are not mutually exclusive. As parents we should certainly help our children strive for excellence in education. However, the salvation of their immortal souls should be our PRIMARY aim.  I will do whatever is in my power (through God’s grace, of course), to be certain that my children will thrive in this secular world.  So how?  How is it possible to raise children to be heaven-bound you ask?
  4. HOMESCHOOLING METHODS 101:  If you have been following our series, I first wrote about the 10 Steps to Start Catholic Homeschooling and then on Goal Setting in the Catholic Homeschool, now we are going to discuss the different homeschooling methods available to you.  So you’ve decided to Homeschool, you looked up the laws in your state, you contacted the local organization and even want to join a homeschool co-op.  Now what?  Well, now you need to decide what method you will use in your homeschool.  First, I would like you to learn a little bit about yourself as a teacher and a former student. As you read through these available methods, please keep in mind four things:
  5. THE {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOLING SOCIALIZATION MYTH: A couple of years ago, in my local newspaper, there was a nice article about a HOMESCHOOLINGfamily with five children. They quoted the home schooled children and the author spoke statistics…when I saw it laying on my kitchen table, I thought wow how exciting and went on, with much enthusiasm, to read the article. Later on I checked my e-mail and saw lots of messages from local HOME SCHOOLERS who were outraged by the comments being left on-line regarding the article. I skimmed through those messages (a bunch had already been blocked by the paper) and noticed the one prevailing topic: SOCIALIZATION. Generalizations about any group of people is common among humans.  So this was not a shocker.  But when I read comments from other who have never walked in the shoes of a homeschooling family it made me think that they believe that we keep our kids in a closet (without windows) and don’t allow them to go out and be “socialized”.
  6. LEARNING STYLES IN THE {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOL: My husband is incredibly smart.  He goes to visit someone once and two years later he knows exactly how to get there without directions.  He can also capture what someone tells him the first time he hears it.  Is your husband like this?  Are you?  I am not.  I have to look at the map, write down turn-by-turn directions and actually drive there myself to remember.  What is the difference between him and I?  He is an auditory learner and I am a visual learner.  Some people learn best by just listening to someone talk about information others prefer to read about the concept to learn it, others, like myself, need a little more, we need to read, listen and also watch.  These are what are known in the education field as learning styles.
  7. HOLY WEEK: HELPING OUR CHILDREN WALK WITH JESUS: Holy Week is around the corner. Do you feel like your children are ready for Holy Week? Are they ready to walk with Jesus? A couple of years ago, I had been stirring because I felt like my children were not really ready for Holy Week and the Crucifixion and, of course, Easter! Yes, we’ve been doing things all during Lent but I felt like now, they needed something more. One night I woke up in the middle of the night and the Holy Spirit gave me an idea! I say He gave me the idea because it was so perfect and brilliant that it could only be from God. So the next day, I put this together for our classroom! I am so proud of our children because they were so into our lesson as we talked about the days of the week and our Holy Week Journey to Easter Sunday! I really enjoyed making this and also loved its simplicity! What I wanted to accomplish with this was a visual of what Jesus, our Lord, went through during Holy Week. I wanted to help them walk with Jesus.
  8. GETTING OVER THE FREE-RANGE CHICKEN SYNDROME, ORDER IN {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOLING: For me, homeschooling was about pride for a long time. We were going to do everything differently from schooled children, every day, and all the time. There was no way I was going to teach my children like school systems teach or keep such a tight schedule. We will school in our pajamas and we will wake up when our body is ready to wake up! We will go on field trips at least once a week! We will do arts and crafts every day! Free range chickens vs. those chickens in those super crowded, mega sized coups. We are free range chickens!!! At least we were… until I realized that we are not.
  9. {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOLING MULTIPLE AGES IN A LARGE & BUSY FAMILY:  It’s daunting to think about schooling many children, all different age ranges, in a busy house. It takes a bit of creative thinking but it can be done. Each summer before the year starts, I start praying about our schedule, and I ask my husband to pray about it too. I have some tips and tricks I have used over the years to have smooth sailing days when homeschooling a large family:
  10. TEACHING RELIGION IN THE {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOL: Quite often I am asked about how I deal with teaching religion in our homeschool. My thoughts on this have evolved over our 15+ years of homeschooling, mainly because I have evolved over that same time. When we first began homeschooling I was still in the learning phase of my faith; although I guess a more accurate term would be the “re-learning” phase because supposedly I had learned about my faith during my 10 years in CCD. What a joy it was to go through religion books with my oldest children when they were first starting out and learn right along with them. I think back in those early days we used almost every religion program out there: SETONFAITH AND LIFE, Image of God, The BALTIMORE CATECHISM.
  11. TEACHING READING IN YOUR {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOL: If you are teaching reading to your little one or have a child who is having trouble reading, then it is vital that they become proficient in sight words. Sight words are about 87% of all the words that children read in their trade books. Words like “the” “in”, “a”, “it”, and “is” are all part of this very important list.  These words are phonetically irregular words, meaning you cannot use phonics to decode them so they must be learned by sight.  Knowing sight words is one of the basic building blocks when learning how to read and one that should not be ignored.
  12. 10 STEPS TO SELECTING A {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOL CURRICULUM: Selecting a curriculum can be a truly overwhelming task each year for homeschooling mothers.  So many times I have said to myself, “if I could see that book, I’d know if I want it!”  Right?  Then you hop online look through blogs of perfect homes, with perfect mom teachers, that have the perfect school rooms, and then there is Pinterest…then you are headed to Confession, jealousy is a lousy sin.  No seriously, is it not just frustrating?   How do these women just *KNOW* that’s the right Math book?  Why did it not work for *MY* child?  Well, here’s why:  There IS NOT one set curriculum that is perfect for everyone.  There I said it.  
  13. TEACHING THE LOVE OF WRITING IN {CATHOLIC} HOMESCHOOLING: Writing has always been a priority in our Catholic Homeschool from when we first started, I’ve always provided our children with papers and writing utensils of all kinds.  I have basically been very informal about it.  Always making sure that the children from the moment they can grasp a spoon that they are given ample opportunities to explore with writing.  Yes, I do start them out very early.  It is a very natural approach to teaching the love of writing to my children, even if at the beginning the writing utensils spends most of its life drowned in drool.  At first, this is a messy task but eventually my children learn that putting marker, pen, chalk, crayon, or colored pencil to paper, chalk board, dry erase board, notebook, or construction paper means we write letters and then words which together turn into sentences which eventually will make paragraphs with wonderful stories.  Equally important is matching these words with pictures, beautiful colorful ones and even simple pencil drawn ones.  We are constantly writing and my children don’t even notice that I am sneaking in some very important future writing skills in to them from early on.

 

 

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Domestic Church Faith Formation Homeschool Ink Slingers Raising Saints

Our {Catholic} Homeschool Curriculum for 2015-2016

One of the best feelings for a homeschooling parent is to know EXACTLY what you will be using early on in the Summer before the new school year comes.  As we begin out seventh year homeschooling, I can finally say I feel like I have it all together and LOVE everything we are using.  So here is our Catholic Homeschooling Curriculum for the 2015-2016 school year.

Elementary School Children

As our spine we are using Catholic Schoolhouse (CSH) which encompasses: mainly History, Geography, Art, Science, Music and also reviews basics in Religion, Mathematics, Latin, and Language Arts.  This school year our focus will be Ancient History following CSH Year 2 from Creation to the 1500’s.

 

Year-2-bundle-at-home

Language Arts: Grammar

Grade 5: 
Lingua Mater’s Intermediate Language Lessons

Grade 4:
Lingua Mater’s Intermediate Language Lessons

Grade 2:
Lingua Mater’s Primary Language Lessons

Grade 1:
Voyages in English 1 & 2 (Lepanto Press)

Language Arts: Writing Composition

Grade 5:
Writing & Rhetoric 1: Fables,
Writing & Rhetoric 2: Narrative,
Writing & Rhetoric 3: Narrative II

Grade 4:
Writing & Rhetoric 1: Fables,
Writing & Rhetoric 2: Narrative,
Writing & Rhetoric 3: Narrative II

Grade 2:
Morning Stories & Talks

Grade 1:
Morning Stories & Talks

Language Arts: Spelling

Grade 5:
All About Spelling 5

Grade 4:
All About Spelling 4

Grade 2:
All About Spelling 2

Grade 1:
All About Spelling 1

Language Arts: Handwriting

Grade 5: 
Catechism in Rhyme: Acts of Faith, Hope, Love & Contrition
Catechism in Rhyme: The Ten Commandments

Grade 4:
Catechism in Rhyme: Acts of Faith, Hope, Love & Contrition
Catechism in Rhyme: The Ten Commandments

Grade 2:
Catechism in Rhyme: Acts of Faith, Hope, Love & Contrition
Catechism in Rhyme: The Ten Commandments

Grade 1:
Catechism in Rhyme: Acts of Faith, Hope, Love & Contrition
Catechism in Rhyme: The Ten Commandments

Reading

Grade 5:
American Cardinal Reader 5

Grade 4:
American Cardinal Reader 4

Grade 2:
American Cardinal Reader 2

Grade 1: 
Little Angel Readers A, B, C, & D

Mathematics

Grade 5:
Ray’s New Practical Arithmetic

Grade 4:
Ray’s New Intellectual Arithmetic

Grade 2: 
Ray’s New Primary Arithmetic,
Classical Curriculum Arithmetic Workbook Series 2 – Books 1, 2, 3, & 4

Grade 1: 
Ray’s New Primary Arithmetic, 
Classical Curriculum Arithmetic Workbook Series 1 – Books 1, 2, 3, & 4

Religion

Grade 5:
Living God’s Gifts,
Holy Sacrifice of the Mass,
Picture Book of Saints

Grade 4:
Living for God,
New Picture Bible,
Sunday Morning Storyland

Grade 2:
Living in God’s Law,
New Picture Bible,
Leading Little Ones to Mary

Grade 1: 
Living in God’s Love,
Miracles of Jesus

High School Children

My one high schooler will be in his last year of homeschooling.  He started when he entered the sixth grade.  This is it!  I’m excited for this last chance to teach him.  This is our line up for him:

Logic

Introduction to Logic 
How to Prove God’s Existence Online Course

Civics

Catholic Action for Christ Our King
Christian Citizenship
The Measuring Tape

Religion

Christ 101, Online course
This is the Faith Book and CD

Literature

A Heart for Europe
Angels in Iron
For Altar & Throne
Lion & Crescent
Swords Around the Cross
Vienna 1683

English Composition

Classical Rhetoric through Structure and Style: Writing Lessons based Progymnasta

EDITED TO ADD:

We have a group on Facebook for anyone interested in using Catholic Schoolhouse at home. Within the group we are having two big events, today a Year 2 Book stash share and on Monday we are having a Google Hangout Q & A session for anyone who is on the fence about using the program. You are all welcomed to join the group. *Search* Facebook using “Catholic Schoolhouse at Home” and the closed group will pop up. Request to be added to the group. 


Here it it: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CSHatHome/

Categories
Domestic Church Homeschool Ink Slingers Raising Saints

The One Room Schoolhouse Approach: Catholic Schoolhouse

Catholic Schoolhouse ReviewIt is that time of year where everyone is figuring out what to use next school year.  Social Media is swamped with questions and suggestions from other home educating mothers with the “what worked,” “what did not work,” and the simple, “what do you think of this?” conversations.  Curriculum selection among home educators can be confusing and difficult since we cannot walk into a room and flip through the texts or programs ourselves.  We rely on what experiences other mothers have had with their children in their home schools, which is fine but be sure you ask TONS of questions and keep your individual children in mind.

Recently, we switched out of Our Lady of Victory School (OLVS) with our four smaller children then ages 9, 8, 6, and 4 but our eldest who was a junior will continue using it until he graduates.  We were not disappointed with OLVS at all but I did have a situation where my then nine year old son was bored.  He is a gifted child (high IQ), he is artistic, had trouble learning to read, is a bit lazy, and needs help with Spelling and Writing.  He was bored with the workbooks and the long check lists of things to do.  At the end of the day I was not happy that he did not enjoy school.  Now, please do not think I am telling you to go with every whim your child(ren) have against doing school work.  It took me a long time to come to the conclusion that OLVS was not working for my son. I did recall that when we did lapbooks or projects, he was super engaged.  So that was my starting point.  After much research I realized I needed a program that gave me the flexibility to be as hands on or not as we needed to be.  I decided that the Classical Education approach was something that we have always appreciated, so I began researching all of the Catholic Curriculum that use this approach.

In addition to hands-on, our son has a love for music and also for historical facts, so I started searching for a program that had a strong history curriculum.  The other thing I was looking for was to be able to teach most of the four small children most of the subjects together.  This came in the heels of a field trip we made last Fall to a One room schoolhouse.  The idea of teaching all of the children from kindergarten to high schoolers never really crossed my mind but a group of us from my parish went and voila! it was possible.  I was able to see most of the afternoon lessons and to speak to the lady who ran the day as the school teacher and realized that it was really an ideal way of homeschoolers to teach their children instead of having four different topics to discuss we all would be discussing and digging further into one topic!  Here are pictures of our field trip and our little group, we did fill the schoolhouse that day:

So, with the one room schoolhouse idea in mind is where I began my search and ended with Catholic Schoolhouse.  Now many of my friends were concerned that it was a program designed for Homeschool Co-Ops, which in its original form it was but I could see how it was possible to be used at home exclusively. I have been using it as my core curriculum since last February, 2015 (why yes! I did switch curriculum with four months of school left).  My husband thought I was crazy (I might be) but it was either the children in brick and mortar schools or me in a straight jacket!  So switching curriculum in February was not so crazy after all, it turns out.  What sold me on this program?  This video by Delena of It’s on My To Do List:

So what makes this program so awesome?

First, the children working together for most subjects.  Can you imagine?  When went to a one room schoolhouse, I could not imagine what it was like for the student or the teacher (aside from what I have seen on Little House on the Prairie), so this trip really helped me to see the benefits of the older children learning alongside the smaller children. Also, seeing the smaller children learning from the great answers and discussions they have with the teacher.

Second, the Music.  All of the memory work (Religion, Science, Math, Grammar, History, and Latin) is set to catchy tunes.  Tunes your children will love and your toddlers will learn.  Hey, better they sing these than “Let it go!” no?  You can preview the music on their website.  I also love learning about the different composers and that my small children are able to identify the great composers and their pieces by name! Here is my daughter singing the first part of Psalm 23, and after learning the story of the Good Shepherd:

 

Third, the Science.  I love that they have placed all of the materials needed and the objectives of the lessons organized by specific science subtopics.  I love that they have a memory verse to learn pertinent facts about our lesson.  Learn more about their hands on Science. Here is an example of what we learned in Science this year:

Catholic Schoolhouse Science Lessons
Science Lessons on Insects with Memory verse (song) and diagramming in our notebooks!

Fourth, the Art.  Along with the history, the program also teaches art from the time period.  I love that the Art guide has beautiful color pictures to help explain the lessons and also the detailed plans for the art lesson which teachers so many things.  I love the art vocabulary the children are learning as well as art etiquette (did you know there was such a thing?) Learn more about their integrated Art program.

Fifth, last but definitely not least, the History and Geography.  My children and I are such visual learners that this part of the program really sold it for me.  There are five timeline cards per week which you go through history in the different years (Years 1, 2, and 3).  Marking different times, events, and people important to the time in history, not excluding Catholic events and people, of course.  Here is a lesson we were doing on George Washington.  I was reading to the four children in our living room and they had their notebooks out.  They drew what they wanted from what I was reading to them.  This is my then four year old’s work:

Catholic Schoolhouse history
Learning about George Washington, we do notebooking in composition books and the children write, draw and diagram what we are learning.
Catholic Schoolhouse History
This is the book I was reading from, while my daughter was notebooking.
Catholic Schoolhouse History
Here is my four year old’s interpretation of President George Washington and his horse.

In summary, I highly recommend this curriculum as an option for an at home program.  Mainly because you can teach all of our children together while supplementing in specific areas such as Reading, Spelling, Mathematics, Religion, and Writing (as in you can continue using the texts you already use in these subjects).  I like the flexibility to be as creative as you’d like with the ability to add to the program when needed.  The timeline cards help the visual learner while the wonderful CDs with catchy tunes help the auditory learner master Religion, Science, Math, Grammar, History, and Latin facts with ease.  Lastly, I love the idea of a one room schoolhouse in our Catholic homeschools and the fact that the program is incredibly economical.

Includes Year 2 Tour Guide, Year 2 Art Book, Year 2 Science Book, Year 2 History Cards and Year 2 Memory Work CD set. Price: $169
Includes Year 2 Tour Guide, Year 2 Art Book, Year 2 Science Book, Year 2 History Cards and Year 2 Memory Work CD set. Price: $169

 

Helpful links:

I have decided to use Catholic Schoolhouse, now what do I do?

Ready to buy?  Next year is Year 2.

Want to know more?  Join the Catholic Schoolhouse @ Home – Facebook Group

Check out the Catholic Schoolhouse Pinterest board

What else should I use?

What is their Scope and Sequence?

Want to join one of their Co-ops?

Who created this program?  (psst….Kathy is Lacy from CatholicIcing’s MIL)

Have more questions?  Leave me a comment OR contact Catholic Schoolhouse directly!