So You're Thinking About Homeschooling
Where do you begin?
The first things to consider:
Why do you want to homeschool?
How will you teach?
What materials will you use and where will you get them?
There are many approaches to learning and most home education, including Catholic home education, takes the form of one of the following:
Traditional grade-level textbooks & workbooks
Unit study / integrated learning
Unschooling / child-directed learning
Classical / Liberal Arts / Trivium
There are hundreds of curriculum providers to choose from. First we'll look at Catholic curriculum providers and correspondence schools. Some provide only books & curriculum materials, others provide only lesson plans & guidance, and others offer both the guides & plans as well as the books you'll need to implement their program.
Seton Home School is a single provider that publishes Catholic workbooks and textbooks. Families can choose to fully enroll, which includes lesson plans, books, and educational services, or just purchase texts & materials from their catalog. The approach is traditional grade-level subject textbooks and workbooks. Online courses available.
Our Lady of Victory offers a combination of self-published texts (Lepanto Press) and other materials, along with lesson plans and educational services to offer distance education to Catholic homeschool families. Lesson plans are included in enrollment fees but are also available without enrollment. Books are not included but may be purchased directly from OLVS with or without lesson plans.
Kolbe Academy is another full service provider, offering enrollment & lesson plans along with books from a variety of publishers. Kolbe's enrollment fees include lesson plans which are also available without enrollment. Books are not included but may be purchased from Kolbe. The method is Ignatian with a taste for the classical, including Latin, Greek, and classical literature in high school, with a traditional grade-level subject textbook / workbook approach in the elementary grades. Online courses available.
Mother of Divine Grace offers lesson plans and enrollment but does not publish or sell books. There are a number of booksellers that carry the recommended materials organized by grade-level and subject. (See booksellers below) Founder, Laura Berquist, is the author of Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum.
Our Lady of the Rosary is a traditional textbook / workbook full service provider.
Mercy Academy, founded in 2004, is a little bit different, using course plans from around the turn of the 20th century. Provides only enrollment and course plans.
St. Thomas Aquinas Academy offers enrollment services including guidance in choosing curriculum and course plans for many of the texts they recommend. STAA calls itself a classical school as well, teaching history cyclically and offering Latin in lower grades. Not a textbook publisher.
Angelicum Academy is another classical choice offering lesson plans for a wide variety of living books, textbooks, and online courses. Not a textbook publisher.
Regina Coeli Academy is now Queen of Heaven Academy, an online Catholic school offering a liberal arts education and classical curriculum similar to STAA, MODG, and Kolbe. Students meet with instructors online, and lesson plans are provided, but RCA is not a textbook publisher like Seton and OLVS.
St. Michael the Archangel Academy is an umbrella school for Catholic home educators in the state of California.
Catholic Virtual School is available for families who want an online virtual school resource with a Catholic curriculum rather than the secular curriculum offered by Florida's Virtual School.
Catholic Heritage Curricula is a publisher of Catholic homeschool books and materials, originally meant for families wanting a more eclectic approach, but now offering lesson plans and guides for all grades. CHC is not a school and does not offer enrollment services.
Mater Amabilis, a Charlotte Mason curriculum for Catholics, is a free online service offering lesson plans and more. (Not a school / no enrollment services)
More online course providers and Catholic co-op resources can be found on our homeschool links page and our virtual school and online classes page.
The most popular guides to developing your own course of study:
Designing Your Own Classical Curriculum and The Well Trained Mind