Curriculum Review: Catholic Heritage Curricula

For those of you who are already planning your homeschooling curriculum (or thinking of homeschooling) next fall, I thought I’d do a review of Catholic Heritage Curricula. I used this program for kindergarten and now using it for first grade with my son. They also put out a monthly newsletter that offers even more advice and resources.

Curriculum Summary:

Catholic Heritage is a non-tuition based program that loosely follows a classical style. You can buy the buy the books individually or “Core Kits” which include the lesson plans, books and teacher manuals for all the core subjects required for each grade. The website offers free mom-to-mom support and free curricula among other resources. I call this curriculum “school in a box” because you get everything you need to school your child. 🙂

My Thoughts:

Overall, I am very pleased with this program. The price is very reasonable in relation to all the materials you get. The program is flexible and allows you to tailor the pace according to your family’s needs. The lesson plans revolve around a 4-day school week with Wednesdays being a  “flex day”.

What I liked:

I absolutely love the “Catholic-ness” that runs through all the subjects of this curriculum. It is done so naturally that Andrew hardly even notices it. The reading, the handwriting, the science is permeated with a Catholic view. I also love that the bible is the main “textbook” for religion class.

I love the flexibility of the program. We don’t use the flex day very often (since I want to take advantage of Andrew’s enthusiasm), but I love having the option for it. When we do use the flex day it is usually on a Friday or Monday so we can have a long weekend.

The lesson plans are fantastic. It has everything you need to do laid out for you and all you have to do is check off each thing as it is finished. You get a daily lesson plan for each week and a weekly plan, allowing you to choose how structured or unstructured you want to be. The lesson plans also come with certificates of achievement, advice, games and other supplemental activities.

The teacher’s manuals and workbooks are also very good. The teacher’s manuals (especially for math) has instructions on exactly how to teach each concept and suggestions for helping those children who  need extra help and those children who need an extra challenge. The beginning reader booklets are large-print and incorporates A LOT of words. Andrew enjoys practicing with the flash cards; especially now that we are doing more “silly sentences”.

What I didn’t like:

The only real problem I have with this program is that it is a little to slow for me – and Andrew. I had done “schooling” pretty much since he was born, so by the time we started using an official program, he already knew quite a bit. We started kindergarten the second week in August (same time as the schools in our area of Georgia) and finished the whole program by November. Rather than start first grade then, I had to find other workbooks, etc. for practice. (We also used the time for holiday activities, playing the Catholic math games provided and focusing much of the time on the non-core subjects recommended by Catholic Heritage.

As for first grade, we are in our second week of first grade (I plan to homeschool year round), and Andrew is already several weeks ahead. He is whipping through 4 pages a day for the math and one story a day (instead of one a week). The only subject we match with the lesson plans is science.

If you do any sort of practice with your child, you will find him or her already ahead when you start this program – which could be a good thing. Even though we went through the kindergarten program quickly, it helped boast Andrew’s confidence and to love school (for the most part!).

My rating:

I give Catholic Heritage Curricula 4 stars and plan to continue using this program for the next few years – at least.

I’d love for others using Catholic Heritage Curricula to chime in. What do love or not so love about CHC? For those of you homeschooling with other programs, what program are you using and why?

Comments

  1. Back in 1996 when I first started homeschooling, I used SEton for Kindergarten. We too were pretty much done by Thanksgiving….

    • SimpleCatholic says:

      I guess most curriculum for the kindergarten students are purposely “easy” for those who don’t work with their children before starting formal education.

      What curriculum are you using now? Are you still using Seton?

    • Lindsey says:

      I have used catholic heritage curricula for the last 4 years and with consecutive children. We enjoy the handwriting(tried Seton this past year instead and were very disappointed), spelling and science curriculums. We use Story of the world for history that I read aloud to my family along with catholic heritage continents. I did not use the reading series for third grade this past year as my son did not enjoy it. I am wondering if the father brown series grabs at children’s attention or if it too will bore.
      My daughter, and youngest, completed the K curriculum two months before her 5th birthday. I am anticipating her learning the first grade curriculum before 32 weeks as proposed as she carches on quickly.

      • SimpleCatholic says:

        Thanks for sharing your experience. I no longer use Catholic Heritage. I switched to Mother of Divine Grace a couple of years ago and love it. 🙂

  2. Hi there! I LOVE your review! We are also discerning whether to use CHC for our son, who turns 5 this October. Am currently using for materials we can buy secondhand and have shipped to our friend there in the US (we are based in Manila). Would you happen to know anyone who is selling them, particularly the Core Kit for Pre-school/Kinder? 🙂 Please do send me an e-mail (teachermamatina@gmail.com) when you can! And feel free to check out our homeschool adventures at http://www.teachermamatina.blogspot.com 🙂 Thanks! Godbless!

    • SimpleCatholic says:

      Hi Tina, thanks for your comment. I’m glad you liked the the review.

      I don’t know anyone personally selling those materials, but there are a few catholic curriculum swaps on yahoo groups (and probably Google groups) that you can join and find curriculum materials inexpensively. Hope that helps.

      Good luck with your homeschooling!

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