I've been asked a lot over the past two months about home schooling. There seems to be an increased interest in home education, and for good reason. Here are the two websites I would like to recommend:
I have used both of these programs. The Catholic Heritage Curriculum is great for little kids. It is a much more "real books" approach to teaching your little ones. They help by giving you a topic, say mammals, and then you check out library books on that topic. You read a lot of children's books and do plenty of hands on activities. Their whole Social Studies program is focused on character development the first few years. I used the CHC curriculum for Kindergarten, first, and second grade with my oldest two children. I especially like their sacramental prep that they have for second graders preparing for First Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. (This prep is in their lesson plans).
We switched to Seton about a year ago. My oldest is finishing up third grade, and my second oldest started his second grade year in August (he's only six, but was ready). He really likes it and says his favorite subject is phonics. The books are loaded with Catholic art, stories of the saints, and virtues. I really like that nearly every textbook teaches them something about the Catholic Faith. This is how Catholic schools use to teach. Unfortunately, I don't see that in our local parish school. I should know I use to teach there!
I am not trying to bash the local Catholic school. In most cases, it is a better option than sending a child to a public school. Not everyone can home school. I understand that. However, today's curriculum providers make it so much easier than it use to be. Many of them provide daily lesson plans that nearly anyone can follow. You don't need to be a professional teacher to understand and use the lesson plans.
I guess my advice to those who have asked about home schooling, is to pray about it. While you are praying about it, do your home work. Research the topic of Catholic home schooling. You might consider reading a book about Catholic home schooling. One such book is Catholic Home Schooling, A Handbook for Parents by Mary Kay Clark. There is another good one by Kimberely Hahn, I have loaned it out to someone, and I can't remember the title.
Search through the Catholic home school curriculum websites. Look at a home schooling families curriculum. See if there is a local support group near you. Attend a group function. The home school group I belong to does an activity just about every First Friday. You may want to attend a home schooling conference near you. The web is the best place to do this research.
Even if you decide not to home school your children, that doesn't mean you can't supplement their religious education with these great books. Reading to your children is one of the best things you can do with them at a young age. A little each night goes a long way. I HIGHLY recommend the St. Joseph books, especially those written by Father Lovasik. They are all EXCELLENT!!!
Home schooling is not easy, but I know my children are worth it. I also think about how Mary home educated Jesus. It often gives me the reassurance I need to keep going on those tough days. If it was good enough for Jesus, then it is good enough for my kids.