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Click on the topics below for related questions and answers.
Academics
Accreditation
Babies and Homeschooling
Beginners
'Being Ahead' or 'Being Behind'
Bookstore, Purchasing CHC Materials From
Burn-Out
Catholic Content
Catholic Content vs. Protestant or Secular Materials
Charlotte Mason Approach
CHC Approach: How Do I Know it Will Work?
CHC Approach: How Does it Differ?
Classical Approach
College, Preparation for
Combining Grades; Placing Two Children in the Same Grade
Complete Program
Conference Schedule
Cooperation
Copyrights
Copywork and dictation
Core subjects: Essentials, Enrichment, and 'Being Behind'
Curriculum, Catholic
Dictation and Copywork
Diplomas
Discipline
Discouragement
E-Books
E-Newsletter
Enrichment/ Adding Materials Outside the Lesson Plans
Family Life
Flexibility
Grades, Split
Grading
High School
History
Homeschooling Regulations, by State
Homeschooling, First Year
Kindergarten/Readiness
Language Arts
Lesson Plans
Little Stories for Little Folks, Using
Memory and Retention
Military Academies
Military, Homeschooling in
Multiple Grades, Teaching Together
My Catholic Speller, Using
Online Schools
Overload
Parochial/Public School, Returning to
Phonics
Phonics Instruction
Photocopying
Pre-packaged Curriculum
Pre-Placement Tests
Progress, Measuring
Protestant Materials?
Reading
Reading Comprehension
Record Keeping
Registration and Tuition Fees
Religion, Too Much?
Required Courses
Review and Practice
Science
Special Needs Students
Spelling
Starting Out
Substitutions and a Precaution
Support
Switching to CHC
Teacher's Guides
Teaching: What to teach and when
Testing, Annual
Texts, Choosing
Time Factors
Traditional Catholic Homeschooling
Transcripts
Used Books, Purchase of
Home > Frequently Asked Questions
 
Academics

Some homeschool programs seem to take a full day to get through. It seems that CHC has a somewhat shorter day. Is it possible to have a program that takes less time but still 'covers all the bases'?

Yes! It is CHC's belief that, when solid academics are offered in a gentle, flexible manner, the vast majority of children will blossom spiritually, emotionally, and academically. An exhausted child is not going to be as receptive to learning as is the child who is engaged in his subjects and not overwhelmed. CHC's educational approach lays a joyful foundation, resulting in children who achieve at and above grade level, do not 'burn out,' and instead 'learn how to learn.'

"I love everything CHC has to offer regarding English (Language of God), spelling, reading, and phonics. My background is as an English and reading teacher, and I find your materials to be top-notch...second to none." - Courtney, FL

"We originally began homeschooling as a way to stay connected as a family, to learn and grow together and avoid the snares of negative culture pressures. After a few years of using CHC, we know that a big part of why we continue to homeschool is the quality of books and materials. It would be very difficult to surrender that." - Christine, WI

"We have all grown spiritually. My eldest is academically more than a year ahead in core subjects." - Linette, FL

Are CHC materials "light"?

Thanks be to God that CHC materials are "light"!

Light: "1. not heavy, or burdensome; 2. illuminating, not dark and dreary. 3. 'For all of you are children of the Light...' 1Thess.5:5."

Those are exactly the qualities that CHC seeks to promote in its approach to homeschooling!

"Mother-friendly" materials are generally "child-friendly" materials as well. Programs that make teaching difficult often make learning onerous, too. Thus, it is CHC's goal to provide materials that facilitate both teaching and learning experiences.

In addition, CHC recognizes that secular society pushes children to a "premature puberty," that robs children of the simple joys of childhood and family. Similarly, overwhelming young students with hours and hours of school each day can also result in robbing them of their childhood, and discourage them from ever wanting to learn anything. It is CHC's belief that, when solid academics are offered in a gentle, flexible manner, the vast majority of primary children will blossom spiritually, emotionally, and academically. This educational approach lays a joyful foundation, resulting in children who achieve at and above grade level, do not 'burn out,' and instead 'learn how to learn.'

CHC materials are solidly Catholic, but do more than just teach the Faith; they teach the child how to LIVE his Faith, in the context first of his family, and then of society.

CHC materials have been designed specifically to save preparation time for the teacher, and facilitate presentation. Homeschooling is not the same as classroom schooling. CHC workbooks are not identical to classroom texts geared to teach a large group of children at varying levels of ability.

Rather, CHC materials are designed for a one-on-one approach that, after a brief presentation of the lesson, allows the student to work far more independently than do most standard texts. This presentation not only allows the student to work independently, but also frees the teacher to give attention to other students or tasks.

Yet, one might note that CHC materials uphold solid academic standards as well. For example, parents have reported that their students, upon completion of CHC's spelling series, were two years ahead of their grade level in spelling.

One might also compare CHC's well-received Language of God series with other programs at the same level to find that virtually identical topics are covered. (Both the Language of God and My Catholic Speller series are currently in use in some Catholic schools.)

In summary, dieticians agree that balanced servings of protein, cereals, fruits, and vegetables at every meal will result in a healthy child. However, if an apple a day keeps the doctor away, it does not necessarily follow that twenty apples a day will be an improvement on the one. In the same way, CHC strives to offer balanced "servings" of all essential core subjects, with ample enrichment activities, yet without overwhelming the student or his teacher. In all this CHC strives to build souls and families, being ever mindful that parents are, first and foremost, educating for eternity!

"[My children are] advancing academically at a much faster speed than ever anticipated." - H.K., IL
"I love your products and will continue to purchase and use them. As a former elementary school teacher of 16 years I feel your products meet the needs of my children, and the ease in using the materials makes it possible for anyone who wants to to teach their children at home." - Ann, WA
"I love the new science books - I have a University science background, and it really, really annoys me when I come across Catholic science books written by people who have not a clue about science - there are so many factual errors in them! Before your books came along, I had to choose between bad science and correct science full of atheistic propaganda. Your new books are GREAT!" - Survey Response

How do I know if I'm covering enough material? Often I feel pressured to meet other's demands.

You can be assured that you are teaching the right amount of material by following the lesson plans. Being overwhelmed with work is not 'proof' that work is academically challenging.
"When we took our younger daughter out of public school (in 3rd grade) she lacked basic math and phonics skills to such a degree that I thought I was taking on a daunting task. However, I saw the school system wanting to place her in "special" programs (which are money-makers for the school), and I wasn't having any of that! Long story short, her reading and comprehension skills are through the roof now, and, while math isn't always a total joy, she has made great strides there, thanks be to God!" - Nancy, MT
"I love all the texts, however my daughters love Science the best. They love to work on the projects together." - Sarah, TX 

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Accreditation

What is accreditation?

Accreditation is a voluntary process, done by various private organizations. Most people are unaware that there is neither a single, "official" authority, nor a single, agreed-upon standard that determines whether or not a school is granted accreditation! Neither is there a legal standard that designates one accrediting agency as superior to another, nor agreement amongst accrediting agencies as to what standards a school must meet to be granted accreditation.

Failing inner-city schools are accredited, but the majority of their students fail to meet standards for college admission. In contrast, non-accredited homeschool students have a high rate of college admission, often on scholarship, for colleges look far less at accreditation than they do at SAT and ACT scores and prior evidence of student performance. (Accreditation of colleges is another subject entirely; colleges set standards as to which courses they will accept for credit from another college.)

Thus, "accreditation" of a  K-12 program reveals little about the school/provider, either to a prospective student or to a prospective college; it is essentially meaningless as a measurement of academic excellence.

Is CHC accredited?

We are occasionally asked if we are an accredited school. Catholic Heritage Curricula is not a school; therefore, we cannot be accredited.  Rather, CHC operates under the philosophy that your home is your school; as Catholic parents, you should have complete control over what is taught in your home.  CHC facilitates your vision for your own Catholic homeschool, based on the needs of your family.  Our modern, Catholic materials are based on accepted sequences used commonly in public and private schools across the nation prior to the ‘dumbing down’ of texts.  CHC facilitates your homeschooling by providing online support and Catholic materials based on sound academics, by which your children may learn without burnout.
More information about accreditation can be found here.

How important is accreditation and is CHC accredited?

Catholic homeschoolers for years have been accepted without accredited diplomas, not only at noted institutions like Franciscan University of Steubenville and Thomas Aquinas College, but in secular colleges across the United States and Canada. In place of a diploma, institutions measure ability by PSAT, SAT, and ACT scores, and gather information on student coursework, transcripts, accomplishment, and community volunteer activity documented in portfolios provided by the family. While admission requirements differ among colleges, both Canadian and U.S. homeschooled students are routinely accepted into college based on these test scores and family-provided proof of education.

U.S. and Canadian universities also accept students who, instead of presenting a high school diploma, demonstrate their ability to compete at college level by successfully completing a few classes at a local community college before transitioning to university.

In addition, not all students are college-bound; some are gifted in carpentry or construction, and would thrive in an apprenticeship that transitions to a desired profession. Catholic homeschoolers are transitioning into the workforce through both formal and informal apprenticeships. Thus, a student who demonstrates interest and skill in auto mechanics might apprentice himself, gain credit hours toward graduation with hands-on training, and finish high school with a trade.

An 'activity and project' portfolio is an effective means of documenting accomplishment not only to a potential employer, but also for high school graduation and community college admissions, coupled with SAT/ACT scores. [Colleges often view an impressive history of volunteer service in the community and other significant experiential education, coupled with average SAT/ACT scores, as favorably as high SAT/ACT scores coupled with little or no community service or activity.]

Another alternative for transitioning from high school used by Catholic homeschoolers, is the GED. Graduates have used the GED, in conjunction with SAT/ACT scores and without, as a springboard into the armed forces, vocational schools, community colleges, and university.

Thus, Catholic homeschooling students have numerous, routinely used options for demonstrating completion of high school requirements and readiness for college or career, including the earning of an accredited diploma, but also through testing [SAT, ACT, GED], community college classwork, and apprenticeships. Remember that an accredited diploma alone is no guarantee that a student will be accepted by a college; conversely, the student with solid SAT scores and a portfolio brimming with evidence of a motivated young adult will likely be welcomed at university, diploma or not.

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Babies and Homeschooling

How realistic is it for me to think I can be a successful teacher to my two older children when I have a newborn expected soon? Will it work when my time will be divided between giving the older children everything they need and a newborn's many needs?
One family shares: "Homeschooling with a newborn is very realistic! We had a 3-month-old the summer we began to homeschool, and a 3rd, 5th, 6th and 7th grader (and no teaching credentials). Yet, it only took us a month to know that none of us wanted to 'go back' to public school. The children began to be friends, rather than divided by peer pressure to only associate with children of their own age. That is a nice 'extra' with homeschoolers. They are socially well-adjusted, communicating and interacting well with both children and adults. There is a peace and wholeness to homeschooling, rather than that fragmentation often experienced with each going here and there.

"It is a blessing for families to work together to get things done. This is how the children learn to be responsible and active members of the family. Our older children loved cuddling and strolling the baby while I worked with another child. They learned to work independently in many subjects. Later, they enjoyed taking a 10 minute break from their schoolwork to give the ever-active toddler a 'lesson' in singing, jumping, painting, quiet reading (so many skills - communicating, patience, listening, setting a good example - are best learned by teaching another!). We found rotating chore charts very helpful; they included laundry, dishes, cleaning a room of the house, emptying trashes, cooking meals, and anything else that needed to be done..."

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Beginners

Where do I start? How do I begin?

Just beginning the homeschooling adventure? CHC is here to help! While we charge no tuition, we nevertheless offer 'CHC family' support for your homeschooling journey. Our staff of experienced homeschooling moms and teachers is waiting to answer your questions and lend a hand. Visit Mom-to-Mom Connections!

"When I was first starting out I had a million questions about how I was going to homeschool so many and take care of little ones and the house all at the same time. Reading the testimonies and suggestions [in the Mom-to-Mom section of CHC's website] really gave me hope and confirmed the calling I believed the Lord was placing upon my heart!" - Johanna, LA

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'Being Ahead' or 'Being Behind'

We are enrolled with another curriculum provider. My children often fall behind the assigned schedule. What can I do if my children seem to be behind or lack motivation?

Often, the reason that children seem to need remedial help and motivation is because they have become discouraged by the pace and amount of work demanded. Having the freedom to set the pace for your homeschool and for your children can take the pressure off and allow you to give the children time to catch up. Testing may reveal that your children are not far behind at all, but are rather discouraged by the hours required to finish needless assignments given by people who don't know your children.

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Bookstore, Purchasing CHC Materials From

Can I find your materials at my local homeschool bookstore?

CHC is committed to keeping prices as low as possible for families on one income, which leaves no room for the usual discount to bookstores, which then mark the price up so that they might have a profit also.

Further, customer purchases from CHC are what enable us to invest in the development and production of Catholic materials. Quite simply, if CHC were not in business, CHC materials would not be available to Catholic homeschoolers. Some providers produce no materials of their own, but instead re-market materials produced by other publishers, such as Saxon. If a Catholic provider who used Saxon materials went out of business, Catholic homeschoolers could still purchase Saxon books elsewhere. However, if CHC were not in business, CHC's exclusive materials would not be available at all. Thus, customers' direct purchasing from CHC benefits not only CHC, but the customer as well.

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Burn-Out

We have been thinking of switching to CHC materials or maybe sending our children back to public school. Frankly, we are exhausted. If we switch to CHC, do we have to do the whole package?

CHC recognizes that secular society pushes children to a 'premature puberty' that robs children of the simple joys of childhood and family. Public school is replete with its own challenges, both of a spiritual nature and academically as well.

Similarly, overwhelming young students with hours and hours of school each day can also result in robbing them of their childhood, and discourage them from ever wanting to learn anything. CHC offers a balance of all core, essential subjects and ample enrichment activities, without overwhelming the student or his teacher. Still, for families who are experiencing a new baby or other unexpected demands on their school time, CHC suggests a focus on 'core' subjects, which are clearly labeled in CHC's grade-by-grade lesson plans. CHC's flexible program allows enrichment activities to be returned to the schedule as time permits; the focus on 'core' subjects assures that the student will be exposed to all that is necessary for his grade level, without placing undue demands on student or teacher.

We are looking at different homeschooling programs, and someone said that CHC was 'too easy.' Can you explain?

Antonyms of 'easy': complicated, difficult, frustrating. Why would a homeschooling approach that fits this description sound appealing to a parent-teacher? To a child?

The CHC approach was designed by experienced homeschooling families, with years of input from homeschooling parents like you! That is, we frequently hear from users who are pleased at how much their children are learning, and how thorough and Catholic CHC's program is. Further, customers comment that CHC is put together in a way that is user-friendly and not stressful, just as they would design a program to be. CHC families shared their needs, and we took them to heart.

CHC materials are designed to teach the academics so critical to success in ways that appeal to both child and parent; school really can be fun and, yes, easy! It's all in the approach. Dry, lifeless materials, presented in a burdensome way—no matter how good the academics—lead to frustration and burnout.

Many 'CHC graduates' have started their own businesses; others have moved on to college armed with high SAT scores, and scholarships. (At least two are majoring in pre-med.)

There's no reason for homeschooling to be 'complicated, difficult, and frustrating'; CHC's solid academics and 'easy approach' are a winning combination!

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Catholic Content

Some Catholic homeschool providers use mostly secular or Protestant materials, basing this use on the argument that there is no such thing as 'Catholic' spelling, grammar, or geography. Is it really such a big deal to have Catholic content in these subjects?

While it is true that there are no 'Catholic' spelling or grammar rules or geography, CHC materials are similar to the endearing and faith-filled Catholic materials used in Catholic schools in years past. As Catholics, our Faith should permeate every facet of our lives. George Weigel wrote in his biography of John Paul II, Witness to Hope, "Nothing in his life happens outside the truth of the 'more excellent way.' His faith is not one facet of his personality or one dimension of his intellect. His faith IS Karol Wojtyla, at the most profound level of his personhood."

When religion is taught only as a separate subject, the subtle message given is that religion does not permeate our lives; it is only something we learn in this class, and/or live at Holy Mass. Nothing could be further from the truth, or from what we wish our children to be.

Rather, it is absolutely possible to teach grammar and geography, handwriting and phonics, with a solid academic base while at the same time training children to live their Faith within the microcosm of their families and within the larger world. For example, CHC's phonics program teaches reading in the context of Catholic family life, including engaging stories about obedience, thoughtfulness, helpfulness, and the sanctity of human life.

CHC materials, in a gentle, often subtle and happy way, recognize that our Faith is not a separate component of our lives, but rather who we are and Who we wish to be transformed into.
"I'm trying very hard to incorporate our faith into our daily life and your materials help me to do that. We love the For Little Folks series. I read some aloud and my 1st grader enjoys reading the For Little Folks readers. Even my almost 10 year old can be found with the book. Since my kids don't have a lot of contact with other Catholic families (unfortunately) this gives them insight to another Catholic family's daily life. Thank you so much." - Cathie, MT
"Our family 'fell into' homeschooling, simply out of necessity for our children's health reasons. We had no idea how much we would love it! From Day 1, we have been using CHC. We continue to look at other sources to see what is out there but we have yet to find any program that comes close to CHC. We started homeschooling because of our children's physical health; we are continuing to homeschool because the CHC materials are helping us protect their spiritual health!! Thank you thank you thank you!!!" - Bridget, OH

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Catholic Content vs. Protestant or Secular Materials

I've been thinking of using [a Protestant text] in place of Catholic materials. Is there really that much difference, as they are both Christian?

The idea that one can somehow use Protestant materials and just tell the children that the book is wrong, or that "Luther was a false prophet" seems at first glance to solve the problem. However, one cannot teach truth by simply pointing out error. An example: If your child tells you that 6 x 4 is 12, how far will his understanding of multiplication advance if you just tell him that his answer is wrong? Error must not only be refuted but the truth must be taught in its place. That is the key problem with using protestant materials, and why we strongly advocate the use of Catholic materials! When our Faith and salvation are at stake, is it enough to say that Luther was wrong? How does that teach and convince the child of the eternal truths of Holy Mother Church? One cannot learn them by osmosis. . . As Christians we are called to be signs of contradiction. We are not merely called to avoid error but to live and teach Truth.

Some maintain that, after the student reads the non-Catholic text, the lesson can be supplemented with Catholic teaching. However, not only has the false idea already been planted, but the teacher must find time in the school day to add that teaching to the schedule. How much better then, rather than carving out additional time to teach the Catholic perspective on the topic and/or risking that the student will be taught doctrine that runs counter to our Catholic Faith, to simply teach one lesson that contains the Truth, all within the context of the solid academics found in the Catholic text.

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Charlotte Mason Approach

My family follows a general Charlotte Mason Education approach, yet would like to incorporate CHC materials into our schooling. Is this possible?

Would you be surprised to learn that a number of Catholic homeschooling families follow a Charlotte Mason approach yet also pull many of their materials from CHC? One family shares how they accomplish this:

"One of the things I love most about CHC is that it is so "light" that you can implement the Classical or Charlotte Mason method even while following the CHC plans to the tee! I love History, so I add History starting in 1st grade as a read aloud. We also add living books for Religion, Nature Stories, and Nature walks and drawings as well. CHC blends so nicely with these two methods that even at the end of our school day I am not burned out from school, only from my sweet little monkeys climbing on me for playtime! ...  We have been using CHC for a little over 6 years now and we all LOVE IT."--Cheryl, Japan

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CHC Approach: How Do I Know it Will Work?

Our family is looking at different homeschool providers and also at Catholic schools. We hesitate to buy the whole package for fear it won't work for us.

We suggest one easy step: try a lesson plan and a spelling and/or grammar workbook to get a good feel for CHC's gentle approach and to gain confidence that, as it has for thousands of other families, the CHC approach will work for you, too. Try a few lessons with the children and see how they respond. Some families like to do a 'mini-school' session in early summer [if they are public schooling] or take a break from their current homeschool approach for a few weeks and try a bit of CHC. The cost is small, and you will already have a beginning for your homeschooling adventure with CHC!
How can I know for sure that CHC is a good fit for my children?
Perhaps the most informative approach would be to peruse CHC's Grade-by-Grade Guides at http://www.chcweb.com/interactive.html. Click on the grade-appropriate guide. From this bounty of detailed sample pages, one will be better able to assess the materials.

Next, click on Exclusives on the home page, then select a subject area, such as Language of God series. That will open to reveal more buttons from View Details, which will lead to even more buttons such as Learn More, View Samples, and Related FAQs. Hidden behind each of these buttons is a veritable wealth of information!
"I like the CHC way of the children following their own calendar. I encourage the children to read the calendar and follow the assignments. If they fall behind or we take an extra day off, we can adjust easily and get back on track. I insert supplements as they go along but primarily I want them to learn to set goals and follow a plan - with flexibility of course. This is a valuable life skill!" - Michaeleen, WI
"Keep up the great work! I don't know what I would have done these last 10 years without you." - Rosemary, MI

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CHC Approach: How Does it Differ?

I've heard a lot about CHC, but wonder how it is different from other homeschool programs.

Some programs, in an honest effort to provide a complete education, end up overwhelming young students with hours and hours of school each day, and discourage them from ever wanting to learn anything.

It is sometimes mistakenly thought that if a child is not struggling or spending at least five or six hours a day on school, that his education must be deficient. In most cases, just the opposite is true. CHC elementary materials are designed as bite-size lessons so that a child can easily absorb and understand the concepts. Bogging the child down with unnecessary busy work and repetition causes burnout and eventually the child shuts down. Students who follow the scheduled studies suggested in CHC's Lesson Plans and complete the assignments will have a positive educational experience, without the frustration and burnout.

CHC offers a balance of all core, essential subjects and ample enrichment activities, without overwhelming the student or his teacher. CHC's flexible program allows enrichment activities to be returned to the schedule as time permits; the focus on 'core' subjects assures that the student will be exposed to all that is necessary for his grade level, without placing undue demands on student or teacher.

Further, CHC-produced materials are designed to be self-teaching insofar as possible, to free the teacher for other tasks, and encourage the student to think and work independently.
"I am always amazed at how drawn the children are to their CHC materials. They are constantly learning things about the Faith, saints, and virtue in the context of the academic course work. It is wonderful to see them get so excited to tell about what they have learned."
        - Lea, LA
"We originally began homeschooling as a way to stay connected as a family, to learn and grow together and avoid the snares of negative culture pressures. After a few years of using CHC, we know that a big part of why we continue to homeschool is the quality of books and materials. It would be very difficult to surrender that."
        - Christine, WI
We are looking at different homeschooling programs, and someone said that CHC was 'too easy.' Can you explain?

Antonyms of 'easy': complicated, difficult, frustrating. Why would a homeschooling approach that fits this description sound appealing to a parent-teacher? To a child?
The CHC approach was designed by experienced homeschooling families, with years of input from homeschooling parents like you! That is, we frequently hear from users who are pleased at how much their children are learning, and how thorough and Catholic CHC's program is. Further, customers comment that CHC is put together in a way that is user-friendly and not stressful, just as they would design a program to be. CHC families shared their needs, and we took them to heart.
CHC materials are designed to teach the academics so critical to success in ways that appeal to both child and parent; school really can be fun and, yes, easy! It's all in the approach. Dry, lifeless materials, presented in a burdensome way—no matter how good the academics—lead to frustration and burnout.
Many 'CHC graduates' have started their own businesses; others have moved on to college armed with high SAT scores, and scholarships. (At least two are majoring in pre-med.)
There's no reason for homeschooling to be 'complicated, difficult, and frustrating'; CHC's solid academics and 'easy approach' are a winning combination!

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Classical Approach

I am drawn to the classical approach - what do you think of all the different homeschooling methods?

Different methods are fine. After all, each one of us is unique! However, method is not as important as are the subjects taught. We do need to be careful to teach our children subjects that will be useful. Latin is helpful, yes, but perhaps we go easy on some of the classical approach. Greek mythology is good to a point, as it is part of our culture, but we need to ask if the time expended on an in-depth, lengthy study will necessarily give back in equal measure.

Something else to remember is that we are not teaching our children just for the sake of learning - it also has to be for doing. Their education must ultimately serve a useful purpose and prepare them for productive adult years. What will they be able to do with their education?
 
My family follows a general Classical Education approach, yet would like to incorporate CHC materials into our schooling. Is this possible?

Would you be surprised to learn that a number of Catholic homeschooling families follow a general Classical Education approach yet also pull many of their materials from CHC? A few families have shared how they accomplish this:

"We have 5 children ranging in age from high school to toddlers and follow a Classical Model of school.  We do history and science on a revolving 4 year cycle, teach Latin, and strive to challenge each child at their own level.  CHC is a WONDERFUL resource to help us accomplish these goals. They've all learned to read with a mixture that includes Little Stories for Little Folks.  Some of the children love My Catholic Spellers so much that they ask to do them in summers.  The additional activities in A Year With God really help cement their understanding of what it means to live a Catholic life, along with the saint stories from CHC and growing in virtue along with the children in Bigger Stories for Little Folks and Devotional Stories for Little Folks.  My children have thought CHC's Latin Readers were a fun supplement and I've been able to give A Garden of Puzzles to younger children who wanted to do Logic with their older siblings.  In the early years the Language of God grammar series has been just what each child needed, although we don't necessarily follow the suggested grade levels for every child.  The children have been well-prepared to begin challenging grammar studies in middle school after starting their journey with the Language of God series.  Language of God allowed them to see the beauty of our language while laying the ground work in grammar studies.  The middle school years' extra lesson plans for All Ye Lands and From Sea to Shining Sea help drive the information home.  We use these middle school textbooks as our spine, hopping through parts of each chapter following the information chronologically.  This means we use All Ye Lands over 2-1/2 years and From Sea to Shining Sea over 2 years.  This allows us to use a Catholic spine while adding in living books at the child's level. The literature analysis of good Catholic literature CHC provides for high school also fits well with our Classical Method of schooling.  Surprisingly to me, High School of Your Dreams has been a fantastic resource for my Classically educated children.  As each child expresses an interest, I can utilize High School of Your Dreams and tailor electives for a wonderful variety suited to each child, or while they take a high school major in classical literature, they can have a high school minor in any topic of their choice and I don't have to wrack my brain to get them started on something I have no knowledge or interest in -- High School of Your Dreams already did that for me!  What a wonderful transcript at the end of a classical education CHC has enabled us to give our children." --Jenn, IN

"I consider myself to be a Classical homeschooler of sorts.  I think the term "Classical" can be broad in our homeschooling sphere, so let me narrow down some of what we do. I follow the trivium taught in most classical approaches, teaching according to developmental stages, CHC does this perfectly for our children.  Dictation is also a part of the classical approach and I like the way CHC reminds me and helps me to use dictation in the
Language of God series for the primary grades.   The hands-on work throughout social studies and history helps make a dull subject "living" and more easily retained.  In following Easy 1,2,3 in the primary grades and encouraging nature study, science becomes engaging and focused.  I feel the Greek and Latin roots in the spellers are important, not so because it is a "classical" method, but more so because it helps understand language.  We use the Little Latin Readers for read-aloud time.  My children will study the words on their own one day, the next day read to me the story. One memory gem is read every morning for one week following the lesson plans.  When certain behaviors pop up, I find myself remembering a memory gem and reciting it to my children to help with improvement of this behavior.  In summary... CHC is the right Classical method for our family." --Diane, WA

"One of the things I love most about CHC is that it is so "light" that you can implement the Classical or Charlotte Mason method even while following the CHC plans to the tee! I love History, so I add History starting in 1st grade as a read aloud. We also add living books for Religion, Nature Stories, and Nature walks and drawings as well. CHC blends so nicely with these two methods that even at the end of our school day I am not burned out from school, only from my sweet little monkeys climbing on me for playtime! ...  We have been using CHC for a little over 6 years now and we all LOVE IT."  --Cheryl, Japan


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College, Preparation for

Sometimes I fear that my child will not be able to compete at the college level. How can I be sure?

An interesting book that will provide you with encouragement and support is Homeschooling for Excellence by David and Micki Colfax. This is the story of a family that homeschooled their four sons with the philosophy that "children will learn, will aspire to excellence, if we recognize and respect their different interests and abilities and give them a chance to develop them." Their boys went on to graduate from Harvard.

If a student is motivated to learn, and read and writes reasonably well, he will succeed at the college level. College courses are less demanding than they once were, because high school courses are less demanding than they once were.

Ninety-five percent of college preparation is preparing the child for learning, i.e., teaching the child how to learn. Is it necessary first to teach him economics if he is going to major in that field in college? No, just equip him with a good foundation in language arts - vocabulary, spelling, reading and writing - the ability to study, and self discipline. He will succeed.

Yes, it is good to take math if you are going into economics, and biology if you are going into a medical field, but it is not impossible to give the child those basics at home. The motivated student can pick up a biology book and prepare himself well for basic college biology without any other input. And Saxon Math can take the mathematically gifted child through calculus, etc. [But don't worry if your child isn't taking trig, if he doesn't plan to go into a field that will require it!]

Most majors are chosen because the student has an interest in that field; someone who hates math and has only taken general math in high school probably isn't planning on an engineering degree anyway.

CHC's approach offers the academics but allows the child to explore, too. This approach is more helpful than just pushing everyone into a pre-formed college track. With a little guidance and prayer, the explorer will find a niche and prepare himself.
"My older children became and continue to be very close. When we had our six year old they both agreed that I should Homeschool him. Our eldest is a Law student at Notre Dame. He graduated Summa Cum Laude with a double major in Chemistry and Philosophy in four years. Our daughter just found out that she has received a full-ride academic scholarship to Concordia College. None of this would be possible had it not been for God and Homeschool." - Cathy, ND.
If you are considering homeschooling for high school, you might be interested in exploring the options and scholarship opportunities at this link.
 
Frankly, I am worried about transcripts and diplomas for college acceptance. Don't I need to be enrolled with a school that will furnish these?
In a word: no.

Rather than focusing on formal transcripts and diplomas, most colleges and universities instead examine a prospective student's SAT and ACT scores, and look for a clear sense of intellectual growth and a quest for knowledge as reflected in their high school studies and activities.

The majority of institutes of higher education look favorably on homeschoolers, particularly those who have done well in their high school studies and hence on their SATs and ACTs.

The following links provide some idea of the scope of quality schools that welcome homeschoolers, and college-related information for homeschoolers.

http://learninfreedom.org/colleges_4_hmsc.html
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000000/CollegeExcel07.pdf

"My oldest son (nearly age 25 now) is in Management running a chain of pizza places. He's moved up quickly in his job because his organization, math and customer service skills are so great they thought he MUST have attended Business school. He did not; this was ALL part of home school. My 2nd son (age 19 now) scored 'off the charts' on the U.S. Military entrance exam, and 3 different U.S. Army Recruiters personally called me to tell me what an excellent job I did educating him...can't get a bigger compliment than that! I learned with my kids, and as my two youngest are getting older now, I have been asked by a friend of the family who is a former Harvard Professor if I ever thought about going back to school to get my Teaching Degree. He is positive I can get credit for 'life experience' and be accepted. As my children learned and achieved I have also learned and achieved. I didn't expect this. I'm SO proud of how well my grown children learned and the passion they still carry with them to continue to learn and achieve. As John Dewey said, 'Education is NOT a preparation for life; education is life itself'!" - C.S.

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Combining Grades; Placing Two Children in the Same Grade

We are schooling two children now, with at least three more to come. Since our two boys are close in age, I am tempted to hold the older one back a year and then start the two boys in Kindergarten together. It would make their schooling easier for me, and I think they would enjoy working together. Is it highly irregular to place two children in the same grade?

Not at all. The vast majority of homeschooling teachers today were educated in public or parochial schools, and are thus accustomed to the idea that grade level and age are inextricably linked. If a child turns five by August 31st, then he must be ready for Kindergarten, but not so if his birthday is September 1st. As you undoubtedly see with your own children, age is a somewhat arbitrary - and often inaccurate - means of determining academic readiness. Some children, for example, are ready and eager to read at age four; others may not be ready until age seven or eight. If, in your assessment, the two boys could benefit from placing them both in the same grade, you are free to do so.
I have a second grader who could easily do the third grade Language of God book with our third grader. Can I put them both in the same book?

Certainly.

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Complete Program

It seems that our student finishes his work faster than in public school, to the extent that I wonder if we are missing something. Should I add more enrichment materials?

First, all of CHC's Lesson Plans and Guide for High School fit together to provide a solid, complete, family-friendly PK-12 Catholic education. Adding enrichment materials is unnecessary, because enrichment activities are already included in CHC Lesson Plans. However, one of the many benefits of homeschooling is that families can add materials if their child has a special interest. Therefore, if the child has extra time and the addition of 'extras' will not cause an added burden and 'burnout' for either parent or child, CHC's programs do allow families the freedom to add materials as desired.
Does CHC offer all the subjects my child needs to know to be well educated?

Yes! CHC offers solid academics, but without the 'burn out.' CHC's approach provides a sound education, while training a child to 'learn how to learn.'

CHC materials are centrally balanced between the 'too rigorous approach' and 'too lax approach,' with materials and lesson plans that offer sound academics spiced with plenty of fun and enrichment to keep burn-out at bay.

In addition, requirements differ from school to school and state to state. Even Catholic providers differ in their approaches, schedules, and curricula! Remember that perhaps half the hours a student spends in public school are filled with moving from classroom to classroom, listening to the teacher try to maintain order, hearing directions repeated for those who weren't listening, recess, presentations, etc. Be aware, also, that most public school teachers are unable to finish textbooks assigned to that grade within the school year! Thus, it is almost impossible for a dedicated homeschooling family NOT to provide the student as good an education as he would receive in a public school. Case after case bears this out: 'unschooled' students who went on to graduate from Harvard; Abraham Lincoln who, with about three months of formal education, became a lawyer and then President of the United States. Nationwide testing of homeschoolers reveals that homeschoolers score at about the 87th percentile on achievement tests, compared to the 50th percentile score of public schooled children. Significantly, less than one-fourth of all homeschooling families use a pre-packaged curriculum.

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Conference Schedule

Will CHC be present at any Catholic homeschool conferences this year?

Our current Conference Schedule can be found here.

 

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Cooperation

Last year my child refused to learn and complained about everything. Since the material just doesn't seem to be working with my child, I'm wondering if I should put him back in public school.

In truth, very often it isn't the material that is the problem - it's the child who whines and doesn't want to do the work. It is easier to blame the materials than it is to face the challenge of training the child, who has long since learned how to get his way. In reality, there are only two courses open to our children: to be God-centered or to be self centered. Original sin inclines us to seek the satisfaction of our selfish whims. We want to encourage our children to be God-centered [which translates into others-centered]! Please see Discipline for more information.

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Copyrights

I'd like to copy some sections of your materials to use with my parish religion class and Little Flowers Group. Would this break the copyright law since my purpose is to share the Faith with children who may not otherwise be exposed to materials like these?

Yes, this would violate the copyright law, which is in place to protect the copyright holder's work, investments, and income. To copy pages would undermine the CHC apostolate by causing financial loss to the artists and authors, who depend on the royalty from each sale for their income. CHC is a team effort: We expend a great deal of personal and financial sacrifice in the apostolate to write and publish materials which are affordable, easy to use, flexible, solidly Catholic, and full of ready-to-go ideas for living the Faith. We truly appreciate your understanding and cooperation!

Large, nationally recognized book publishing corporations enjoy the luxury of wide advertising and name recognition. Their products, which might range from cookbooks, to Wiccan philosophy, to dog obedience books, are available at bookstores in shopping malls across the nation. Thus, publishers are able to print thousands and thousands of copies. By printing in such enormous quantity, the cost to the publisher per copy of each book is low, enabling them to make a reasonable profit on sales. In contrast, CHC prints for a very specific and narrow market: Catholic homeschoolers. CHC's one and only outlet is located in our small warehouse. Because we are a small family business, we are unable to print in the quantity that would allow for a comfortable profit. However, by careful stewardship, we are able to continue to serve your family. Please pray that, as Catholic homeschooling grows and demand for CHC products increases, we might be able to print in the larger quantity that would benefit both CHC and the families whom we serve.
I would like to purchase one copy of the lesson plans, scan them into my computer and use them again with my other children. Would this break the copyright since I'm only using them with my children and not a group?

The copyright on lesson plans, in the current editions, is a standard copyright, which allows unlimited use of the material as long as copies are not made of the work. If families were to photocopy the plans for more than one child - for all the children in the family - then the price of the plans would have to be much higher. The additional bonus to using one lesson plan per child is twofold: You will enjoy writing in the plans and having a permanent record to look back on, and we are constantly updating and adding new materials and ideas when we reprint each lesson plan. We both win when the copyright law is honored; CHC and its authors and artists receive payment they have earned, which in turn enables CHC to continue to publish more materials for your growing family!
Really, I can't see the harm in copying a workbook that I've paid for. Why isn't permission to copy given routinely?

When book users write to publishers or authors for permission to copy, those requests customarily are to copy a passage or page, generally for use as a quotation in an article or a book. It would be extraordinarily unusual, for example, for someone to ask Ignatius Press' permission to make copies of two or three of their books specifically because they didn't want to purchase a copy, and even more unusual for Ignatius Press to grant permission.

Imagine someone stepping into Walden Books and asking permission to copy one of their novels instead of buying it. If permission were granted, not only would the bookstore go out of business, but so would their publishers and authors. In essence, asking permission to copy an entire book is the same as asking a business to give away free copies.

Again, permissions to copy are generally granted for brief passages used as quotations in articles, or in other books.

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Copywork and dictation

We are new to dictation this year, and I'm not exactly sure how it works. The 3rd grade lesson plans suggest dictation from the Language of God grammar book. I thought I was supposed to read a sentence to my daughter and she would write it. But she is not a good speller, so she asks me how to spell most of the words. Rather than spell them all to her, I just gave her the book so she could copy the sentence. I'm not sure what the goal of dictation is. Will this approach of letting her copy achieve the goal of dictation?

Your instincts are good! By instructing your daughter to copy a selection from the book, you are preparing her for the next step, which is dictation.

Copywork and dictation improve retention, writing, and listening skills; copywork and dictation are particularly useful for spelling and grammar practice, as they utilize a multi-sensory --auditory, visual, and tactile-- means of learning.

A simple approach to copywork and dictation would be to pick a simple sentence from her grammar or spelling book, then discuss the nouns, verbs, punctuation, capital letters, and/or spelling.

Next, instruct the student to copy the sentence from the book. After she completes this exercise, she can check her own work by comparing it to the sentence in the book and correcting any errors.

The next day, you might briefly look at and discuss the sentence again, praising your student's spelling, penmanship, or other good points, while at the same time issuing a gentle reminder to watch for any possible points of difficulty. Then instruct the student to listen carefully while you dictate the sentence to her.

If, using this method, you find that the dictation itself is still a bit too advanced for your student, and that she continues to want help with spelling most words, she might focus on copywork alone for a few months, until she becomes a bit more comfortable with dictation.

You may also wish, in a casual manner, to dictate spelling words to her on non-test days, perhaps while driving to the store, to help her begin to hear and mentally visualize individual words. Praise her when she spells words correctly and point out that she is doing well with simple dictation.

Over time, exposure to words, sentences, and paragraphs through copywork and dictation will significantly improve your daughter's grasp of grammar and spelling. By assigning copywork as you have been, you are laying a good foundation for English composition!

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Core subjects: Essentials, Enrichment, and 'Being Behind'

We just pulled our daughter out of public school, and she is behind her grade level because of her math scores. What are 'core subjects,' and how do I know which subjects to trim if we seem to be 'behind'?

First, 'being behind' in one subject doesn't necessarily mean that your child is behind overall in her grade. Remember that in the average public school classroom, approximately half of the students are 'ahead' of the curve in any given subject, and half are 'behind.' Three of the great benefits of homeschooling are that 1. your child can work at his own pace, 2. the one-on-one that you give your child will help him catch up in time, and 3. generally, after a few years of homeschooling, most students score above grade level on standardized tests.

Core subjects are the 'basic essentials' of education, often thought of as the 'Three R's.' CHC offers a balance of all core, essential subjects and ample enrichment activities, without overwhelming the student or his teacher. Still, for families who have just started homeschooling a discouraged child, or who are experiencing a new baby or other unexpected demands on their school time, CHC suggests a focus on 'core' subjects. 'Core subjects' are clearly labeled in CHC's grade-by-grade lesson plans, making it delightfully easy to trim the day's schedule as needed. CHC's flexible program allows enrichment activities to be returned to the schedule as time permits; the focus on 'core' subjects assures that the student will be exposed to all that is necessary for his grade level, without placing undue demands on student or teacher.

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Curriculum, Catholic

What about the Catholic content in CHC books and workbooks?  Are the books too religious or not?
 
We are educating for eternity, and our materials reflect that goal.  Catholic content in CHC offerings is not ‘in addition to,’ but interwoven in the subjects, as naturally as our Holy Faith is, or should be, woven into daily life.  When our children search to identify nouns within an amusing story about brothers and sisters helping one another with family chores, our Faith is presented as naturally on the page as it is within our family dynamics.
 
Secular materials reflect secular mores and a secular outlook on life.  Catholic materials reflect Christian morals and a Christian outlook on life.  A youngster watching Mama tenderly nursing the new baby is experiencing a gentle teaching on the Gospel of Life.  Similarly, in a natural way, CHC lessons and stories gently witness to the beauty of God, eternally present in hearts, home, and all of Creation.  To the believer, all life and all creation, every moment speak His Name.  Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

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Dictation and Copywork

We are new to dictation this year, and I'm not exactly sure how it works. The 3rd grade lesson plans suggest dictation from the Language of God grammar book. I thought I was supposed to read a sentence to my daughter and she would write it. But she is not a good speller, so she asks me how to spell most of the words. Rather than spell them all to her, I just gave her the book so she could copy the sentence. I'm not sure what the goal of dictation is. Will this approach of letting her copy achieve the goal of dictation?

Your instincts are good! By instructing your daughter to copy a selection from the book, you are preparing her for the next step, which is dictation.

Copywork and dictation improve retention, writing, and listening skills; copywork and dictation are particularly useful for spelling and grammar practice, as they utilize a multi-sensory --auditory, visual, and tactile-- means of learning.

A simple approach to copywork and dictation would be to pick a simple sentence from her grammar or spelling book, then discuss the nouns, verbs, punctuation, capital letters, and/or spelling.

Next, instruct the student to copy the sentence from the book. After she completes this exercise, she can check her own work by comparing it to the sentence in the book and correcting any errors.

The next day, you might briefly look at and discuss the sentence again, praising your student's spelling, penmanship, or other good points, while at the same time issuing a gentle reminder to watch for any possible points of difficulty. Then instruct the student to listen carefully while you dictate the sentence to her.

If, using this method, you find that the dictation itself is still a bit too advanced for your student, and that she continues to want help with spelling most words, she might focus on copywork alone for a few months, until she becomes a bit more comfortable with dictation.

You may also wish, in a casual manner, to dictate spelling words to her on non-test days, perhaps while driving to the store, to help her begin to hear and mentally visualize individual words. Praise her when she spells words correctly and point out that she is doing well with simple dictation.

Over time, exposure to words, sentences, and paragraphs through copywork and dictation will significantly improve your daughter's grasp of grammar and spelling. By assigning copywork as you have been, you are laying a good foundation for English composition!

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Diplomas

What are we going to do about accreditation and a diploma for college?

We understand your concerns regarding college and accreditation, and encourage you not to worry. First, a diploma isn't necessary until 12th grade. Second, the primary reason for a diploma is fear of college rejection. However, there are many Catholic colleges that accept homeschoolers without any diploma at all! In addition, in lieu of a diploma, highschoolers can begin taking college-level courses at a community college, and then transfer from that point to a four-year college, again, without a diploma. Be assured, the good SAT and ACT scores most homeschoolers earn will go far in gaining admission to college.

However, does it not seem that the measure for success is often whether or not everyone feels totally drained from using a program/schedule that is too demanding? We know of a young man who was more or less 'unschooled,' finished high school without a diploma, and went on to a Catholic college. He is very motivated, a hard worker, has a great love for Jesus - and was also able to complete college courses well enough to be accepted into Ave Maria School of Law.

In addition, another acquaintance was homeschooled K-12 [not through CHC], had very little exposure to science (no biology or chemistry at all), small exposure to the writing/composition so necessary for college, but with a strong faith and willingness to work. She recently graduated from the nursing program at Franciscan University of Steubenville - a tough course even for those who are well prepared. So, the character formation and work ethic cultivated in the home count as much or more than the academics themselves.

Another alternative for transitioning from high school used by Catholic homeschoolers, is the GED. Graduates have used the GED, in conjunction with SAT/ACT scores and without, as a springboard into the armed forces, vocational schools, community colleges, and university.

Thus, Catholic homeschooling students have numerous, routinely used options for demonstrating completion of high school requirements and readiness for college or career, including the earning of an accredited diploma, but also through testing [SAT, ACT, GED], community college classwork, and apprenticeships. Remember that an accredited diploma alone is no guarantee that a student will be accepted by a college; conversely, the student with solid SAT scores and a portfolio brimming with evidence of a motivated young adult will likely be welcomed at university, diploma or not.

In the final analysis, a child's motivation and a nurturing, Catholic environment appear to be the real determinate factors for success, not whether or not he has a diploma. And it is difficult for a burned-out child to feel either motivated or nurtured (and difficult for a burned-out parent to nurture!)
More information about accreditation can be found here.
 
Frankly, I am worried about transcripts and diplomas for college acceptance. Don't I need to be enrolled with a school that will furnish these?

In a word: no.

Rather than focusing on formal transcripts and diplomas, most colleges and universities instead examine a prospective student's SAT and ACT scores, and look for a clear sense of intellectual growth and a quest for knowledge as reflected in their high school studies and activities.

The majority of institutes of higher education look favorably on homeschoolers, particularly those who have done well in their high school studies and hence on their SATs and ACTs.

The following links provide some idea of the scope of quality schools that welcome homeschoolers, and college-related information for homeschoolers.

http://learninfreedom.org/colleges_4_hmsc.html
http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000000/CollegeExcel07.pdf

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Discipline

What if my child won't listen to me?

The truth is 'absent discipline equals absent learning.' CHC's materials reinforce good behavior and contain many positive and helpful character-building tips. You may also find this book to be helpful, Raising Good Kids, by Dr. Ray Guarendi, a Catholic psychologist and homeschooling father of ten [all adopted] who often speaks on methods of discipline.

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Discouragement

I'm discouraged! Do you have any suggestions?

What do you think is the greatest ‘drag’ on homeschooling?  Teaching higher level math, or science?  Nope; the greatest ‘drag’ on homeschooling is the discouragement virus.  Some of the symptoms sound like this:  “Am I depriving my child by teaching him at home?” “I have no patience.”  “I feel like I’m trying to cover too much, and doing a poor job at all of it.”

The inoculation against this deadly ‘discouragement virus’ begins with the realization that we aren’t homeschooling alone.  God is with us; our homeschools are His work, too.  View homeschooling progress as God views spiritual progress: from the scope not of one day, but from eternity.  If our Father delights in our toddling spiritual steps toward Him, we don’t need to judge ourselves more harshly than He does.

What period of time elapsed between your baby’s first self-feeding and the time he could neatly feed himself with silverware and no bib?  A week?  A month?  A year, or two?   As we can see the long-range perspective, and exercise so much patience with progress in self-feeding, we can have the same patient perspective with academics, both with our children and with ourselves.

As with self-feeding, neither measure progress by the day or week, nor focus on every single spill.  Rather, compare work on a quarterly basis, and focus on what the child is doing right.  Yes, correct where correction is needed, but spend even more time noting what the child has learned.   Take photos; keep portfolios of work, and then go over them with your children every three or four months.  You will be surprised at how much you have all progressed!.

When the ‘discouragement virus’ begins to lurk, banish it with the knowledge that Our Lord is at your right side as your helper; He delights in you and the eternal gift that you are giving your children through Christ-centered homeschooling. 

On a related note, one common problem that leads to discouragement is trying to teach older siblings while the toddler destroys the house.   One solution is to rotate schedules so that each older child is assigned a time to play with the toddler while mom is teaching.  In other words, during John’s math instruction time, Gina automatically plays with the toddler.  When it’s Gina’s turn for math, John automatically knows that it’s his turn to keep the toddler occupied.

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E-Books

I am confused as to what an e-book really is. How do I access it? Will I be able to "read" it more than once?

There are several ways to download your e-book, two of which were available at the time of your order (clicking on the e-book link given on your confirmation page and "order success" page), but there are three other ways as well:
 
1. Have you received the auto email sent at the time of your order? This email contains a quick link to download your e-book.
 
2. Log on to your CHC online profile by clicking "My Account" on the homepage or https://www.chcweb.com/catalog/login.php. Type in the email address and password which was used to open your online account and place your order. If you can't remember the password, or you placed your order by phone, please click the "Password forgotten?" link to reset your password. Once in your account, click on the E-book download link provided directly below the order you just placed. This link is also available in the "My Orders" section. Click on this link to open Adobe Acrobat Reader and print your book.
 
3. Follow the instructions above to access your account. Click on the "View" button beside the order you just placed. This opens up a web version of your invoice. Below the name of your e-book will be a download link. Click on this to open Adobe Acrobat Reader and print your book.
 
I hope this download information is helpful. If you see only a blank page, it is possible that your computer may be fighting the Adobe Acrobat software. In this case, you want to double-check that you have the newest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 9). Usually difficulties like this are resolved by upgrading to the newest version at http://get.adobe.com/reader/.
 
What is an e-book? It is actually an electronic version of a conventional book. The benefits of e-books are many:

  • The e-books CHC offers contain the same text as the original book, and they are provided as PDF files. Books formatted as PDF files retain all the original formatting, no matter what type of computer you are using.
  • PDF files are Mac and PC compatible.
  • You can zoom pages to a comfortable reading size without the type looking fuzzy.
  • You can print one page, or all the pages.
  • You can view/read it on your computer or print it to bring to a copyshop for binding.
  • You can search for words and phrases in the document, finding what you want much faster than with an index!
  • You can print pages double-sided or two to a sheet (select this option in the pop-up menu after you click on "Print" in the file menu) to save paper.
  • You can use thumbnails of the pages to find the section you want.
  • You can bookmark pages you want to return to.

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E-Newsletter

Does CHC offer help for homeschooling moms in the form of a newsletter?

Yes! Sign in at www.chcweb.com/catalog/subscribe.html to receive product updates, discounts, sales, and support from CHC's Educating for Eternity E-Newsletter.

"Yes! I love all emails I get from CHC and budget tips too. Don't stop, it has helped in soooo many ways! "    -Sarah, MN

 

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Enrichment/ Adding Materials Outside the Lesson Plans

It seems that our student finishes his work faster than in public school, to the extent that I wonder if we are missing something. Should I add more enrichment materials?

First, all of CHC's Lesson Plans fit together to provide a solid, complete, family-friendly Pre-K-12 Catholic education. Adding enrichment materials is unnecessary, because enrichment activities are already included in CHC Plans. However, one of the many benefits of homeschooling is that families can add materials if their child has a special interest. Therefore, if the child has extra time and the addition of 'extras' will not cause an added burden and 'burnout' for either parent or child, CHC's programs do allow families the freedom to add materials as desired.

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Family Life

How will homeschooling benefit our family life?

In answer, let's listen to the words of Catholic homeschooling families:

"I didn't anticipate just how close we would end up as a family, and how much I would enjoy my children's company.  I not only love these little people, I like them too!  Homeschooling has allowed my family to grow in learning and faith together far more than I had anticipated at the beginning.  I'm amazed at how much stronger my faith is - having to explain the faith to children has really helped my faith to grow and strengthen." - Amber, CA

"I didn't realize how much God was going to use this to change me.  I thought only of the children when I started homeschooling.  That part has all been wonderful.  However, I found out just how many faults and failings I had that were being communicated to my children.  The growth that God has wrought in me via the love I have for my children has been amazing.  (Still much to be done however.)  The deepening of our faith was anticipated, but I never realized until we started homeschooling, how many resources existed.  From books on foods for the liturgical year, to "King of the Golden City" which taught all of us more about living our faith than any other resource, to saint stories I knew nothing about, to history books that told a story I never heard in school, I was so excited to find so many ways to help us create Catholic culture in our home that we may never have found if God hadn't called us to try this great adventure. (Homeschooling, of course)" -Stephanie, PA

"[The biggest reward is] family time...not loosing out on the teachable moments. I didn't realize how much we would've lost if we didn't homeschool till I met a friend who doesn't homeschool."  -Windy, LA

"I didn't anticipate the great relationship I would build with my teenager.  I was always a little afraid of how I would handle the teen years and worried that my daughter and I would have problems, but I truly believe that the great relationship we have, the strong moral stance she takes, and the depth of her faith are largely due to our decision to homeschool her." -Jennifer, ND

"I had not realized how much homeschooling would bring us closer as a family to each other and to God. I am amazed at how homeschooling helps us respect each other as individuals and as a family group. We really like each other and enjoy each other's company." -Kecia, FL

"I have many rewards in a a given day - both within my own person, and within the persons of each of my children. Today, my 6 yo son used several "big" words in ONE sentence that I have never 'taught' him, per se, but he has picked up for the quality literature we have read with him. My 4 yo has started to ask me how to spell words. My 2 yo likes to 'play' school, and anticipates when Mom can spend some extra time with him. The baby is a great teacher for all of us -- how to care, love, be gentle, entertain, and sacrifice -- even when one doesn't feel like it, one does it because that is what families do. It is perhaps this last reason -- being a Godly, Catholic family, and growing daily in holiness through the joys and struggles -- that is the most rewarding. I feel like I am following God's plan for me and my vocation -- to bring my children up in the Faith. Several days ago we were talking about our best friends. To hear my 6 yo say that he loved Mom and Dad a lot, but that Jesus was his best friend, certainly did (and will continue to) sustain me, even when it gets tough at times. Thank you, CHC, for making homeschooling a "dream come true" for so many Catholic families!"   -Laura, ND

"The closeness of my children has continued and grown.  My son is excited about helping out his younger sister.  My faith is increasing and my knowledge is growing along with my children's understanding.  Things I took for granted and just accepted as part of my faith I find I have to think about in order to explain to my children.  CHC helps me do this with all the wonderful materials and activities presented."  -Maureen, NH

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Flexibility

Help! How can I fit in everything I need to teach my children when we have dentist's appointments, soccer practice, and a new baby?

By clearly prioritizing core, non-core, and optional enrichment activities, families can easily accommodate their busy schedules with CHC's academically excellent and affordable lesson plans. Each lesson plan is designed around key features: flexibility, ease of use for the busy mom, incorporation of the Faith with practical living, and enrichment activities.

Our 30-36 week plans are based on a four-day week, with Wednesdays left open in the primary grades. This weekly 'flex-day' can be used for extra-curricular activities, Mass attendance, or appointments.

The benefit to having flexibility in designing your own curriculum is that the student is naturally more motivated to learn those things that most interest him. A guided, self-designed curriculum allows the teacher to use the child's interest to motivate his learning, not only in those subjects that come easily to him, but also in those subjects which he tends to avoid! (Does she like shopping but 'hate' math? Assign her the 'game' of adding up all the purchases at the grocery store before you reach the check-out counter. Does he like baseball but 'hate' research and writing? Have him research his favorite ballplayer and write a short paper, or give a short oral report.) This flexibility can only come from a self-designed curriculum.
"[Some rewards of homeschooling I've enjoyed are] having more time with my children, learning things I didn't get to learn when I was in school, and allowing my children to follow their interests without being a slave to a 9-month curriculum." - Kelly, CO
"We went into homeschooling to give our kids a better background in the Faith than I'd gotten (my husband converted during our engagement). Since then, though, the realization that we set our own schedules has been a blessing. Whether it's a "sick day" where we all have spring fever, taking a few weeks off for the birth of a baby, sticking with a subject until the material is understood instead of moving on to cover more--those scheduling questions are ours to answer. That and never having to rush out the door after a frenzied look for matching shoes, a last-minute permission slip, a breathless return for a forgotten lunch, and an emergency phone call for homework retrieval make such a difference!" - Heather, MI
"I like the CHC way of the children following their own calendar. I encourage the children to read the calendar and follow the assignments. If they fall behind or we take an extra day off, we can adjust easily and get back on track. I insert supplements as they go along but primarily I want them to learn to set goals and follow a plan - with flexibility of course. This is a valuable life skill!" - Michaeleen, WI

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Grades, Split

Which lesson plan should I use if my child is two grades ahead in language arts but at grade level in all other subjects? [Or, which lesson plan should I use if my child is two grades behind in language arts but at grade level in all other subjects?]

Aren't you glad to be homeschooling? Imagine having a child in this predicament in public school. It's not hard to imagine, because the vast majority of children fits one of these two descriptions! One of the great benefits of homeschooling is that classes can be made to fit the student, instead of placing impossible demands on a struggling child or boring an 'overachieving' child to tears. CHC's lesson plans are flexible enough that a child can be placed in the grade which most closely suits his abilities, while changing only that subject in which he is behind/ahead. [E.g., a third-grade student who is ahead two grades in language arts might continue using third grade lesson plans in all areas except language arts. For language arts, he might be assigned CHC's Language of God, Level D, for fifth grade work.]

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Grading

Does CHC offer grading? I need someone to be accountable to, and I don't feel comfortable grading my own children's tests.

Grading services often require homeschool teachers to save and mail student work to the organization. This record-keeping can be burdensome, and is not particularly necessary.

In addition, there is a danger in delegating the grading to someone outside the homeschool. When the homeschooling parent grades the child's daily work, he is immediately aware of both weak and strong spots in his child's performance. Based on that knowledge, practice can immediately be assigned to address weak areas, or eliminate unnecessary 'busy' work in those subjects that the child has already mastered. While waiting for a grading service to return the grades, the child continues to falter in weak areas, or suffer boredom from undue assignments in areas mastered. Turning the task of grading over to someone else robs the parent of the immediate feedback that genders the 'perfect fit' for your own program.

Further, because the homeschooling parent is already acutely aware of the student's performance, many homeschool families don't keep grades at all. However, for those who desire a permanent record of work, CHC suggests creating a portfolio of 'best work' for each school year, and the use of CHC report cards.

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High School

Does CHC have a high school program? We are looking for a program for our son, who has many gifts, but isn't sure if he wants to go to college or to a vocational school.

Yes, CHC offers a four-year high school program that can be made to fit the student, not one in which the student is made to fit the program. A course of study designed to 'fit all' often fits none.

The High School of Your Dreams allows a wide course selection, broad choice of texts and materials reflecting the abilities and 'educational track' of the student from the college-bound to those seeking apprenticeships, and coursework that can be modified for students who struggle with academics but shine in practical skills.

High School of Your Dreams is flexible in its presentation, including the option of an experiential, rather than textbook, approach.

CHC encourages those planning to use High School of Your Dreams to begin early, perhaps in late winter or early spring of the student's eighth grade year. Early planning helps the student focus his goals, builds excitement for the coming high school years, and allows time for course and material selection.

"This is our 13-year-old son's first year of homeschooling and we have been so pleased with the complete change in his attitude. He has been more pleasant and kinder to his siblings. It has been wonderful." - Mandy, ID

"The greatest surprise for us is the bond that we have formed with our teens. They actually like us! They enjoy our company and we, theirs. They trust our opinion and in return, we trust their judgment in the choices we feel confident they can make." - Debbie, Prince Edward Island, Canada

If you are considering homeschooling for high school, visit our high school website at this link.


How does High School of Your Dreams compare with a pre-packaged curriculum?

Think of a pre-packaged curriculum as dinner at a friend's house, and High School of Your Dreams as a buffet. At the friend's house, you and your family are served liver and onions, parsnips, peanut butter on whole grain bread, and coleslaw. Your husband is delighted with the liver and onions, but dutifully wades through the parsnips. Your daughter gags at the sight of liver, while your son has an allergic reaction to the peanuts, and dinner comes to a close with a visit to the emergency room. The dinner was balanced and nutritious, but not suited to the individual tastes and needs of your family. On the other hand, a buffet also offers a balanced and nutritious dinner, but you have control of the selections, according to the individual tastes and special needs of each member of your family. In the first case, you are saved the work of making selections, but the lack of choice ends up creating more work and headaches in the long run. In the case of the 'High School of Your Dreams Buffet,' there is some initial planning and selection, but the end result is a more satisfactory academic 'fit.'

If you are considering homeschooling for high school, you might be interested in exploring the options and scholarship opportunities at this link.

 

I went to a homeschool conference and I came away with the feeling that we are “flaky” because we don’t do a canned Catholic high school program 8 hours a day. Help!

The problem with 'canned' programs is, quite simply, that one size does not fit all. Educational discovery and self-discipline flower when the student is engaged in academics that speak to his God-given abilities.  These tender fruits, however, can wilt under the pressure of fitting into someone else's mold.
 
Does this mean that your children are being denied access to traditional academics?  Certainly not.  Rather, with High School of Your Dreams, you are free to present a balance of traditional academics, along with courses that will better prepare uniquely-gifted children for their unique futures. This, in place of overloading the student with courses that he simply will not use in adulthood, while at the same time stifling a desire to learn and losing precious hours that might be spent studying topics to develop gifts that will become marketable skills.
 
In addition to countless recent homeschool graduates, 'flaky' worked well for Edison, Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and Andrew Carnegie, so you are in good company.  Stay the course! 

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History

Last year we used another curriculum provider and are 'off' schedule in history. We already studied U.S. History, but that is what CHC recommends for 7th grade. Is it OK if we study 8th grade's World History instead?

Certainly! If you have two students who are fairly close in age, you may also at times wish to place them in the same grade for subjects such as science and history. CHC allows you the flexibility to adjust your studies to fit the needs of your student and family, as long as those core subjects are still covered at some point in your students' education.

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Homeschooling Regulations, by State

What are the regulations for homeschooling in my state?

Homeschooling regulations, listed by state, can be found on the Home School Legal Defense Association website.  [HSLDA also provides legal defense for homeschooling families.  For more information about their services, see HSLDA website.]

http://www.hslda.org/laws/default.asp

 

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Homeschooling, First Year

This is our first year of homeschooling.  Would it be better to design our own curriculum, or use lesson plans?

 

One hallmark of CHC is its flexibility; with CHC, your choices are as varied and individual as the personalities gathered around your dining room table.   For some, this means pulling together their own unique curriculum from CHC materials; for others the flexibility begins with friendly lesson plans, completely prepared for you, but that can be happily trimmed at will.
 
In the early years of homeschooling, uncertainties may abound: am I covering all the bases? If I pull together my own curriculum, might I accidentally overlook an important educational concept?  Will my child really be ready for the next grade in particular or adulthood in general?  Am I asking too much of my child, or perhaps too little?  How in the world can I schedule everything that my child needs without either underwhelming or overwhelming him?  Does this sound familiar? Believe me, we have all—us, too!—asked ourselves these questions at one time or another.
 
For first-year homeschoolers, CHC’s lesson plans can lift the anxiety of planning.  By using a complete, prepared curriculum, you have the assurance that ‘all bases are covered,’ so that you can relax and enjoy sharing in the academic discoveries that are presented to your children.
 
Experienced homeschoolers know that just doing workbook pages and no more is a poor substitute for the richness that can be home education.  While all of CHC’s workbooks are complete if they are used according to instructions, those instructions [from the introductory pages] call for activities to be used in conjunction with workbook exercises.  It is not difficult for parents to incorporate those suggested activities into the subject on their own, but a small amount of thought and planning is required.  If the thought of developing and then scheduling those suggested activities ‘on my own’ seems too overwhelming, then it is best to use the lesson plans.  The lesson plans provide those engaging exercises and activities, planned and scheduled for you, to complete the subjects taught via workbook.
 
And that’s why we encourage lesson plan use for those who are new to homeschooling. It’s all there; you don’t have to worry.  Just open the lesson plans and dive into the day!
 
As families transition from ‘newbie’ to ‘experienced veteran,’ some then choose to design and schedule their own plans, using CHC materials.  On the other hand, some find that the lesson plans’ ease of use, completeness, and gentle flexibility are sound reasons to continue their use throughout their homeschooling years.  To LP or not to LP:  what works best for you?

 

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Kindergarten/Readiness

How do I know if my child is ready for Kindergarten?

Beginning kindergarten students should have a basic grasp of counting, be able to count up to five objects, have a good pencil grip and control of a pencil, be able to trace over lines and squares, and draw circles free-hand.

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Language Arts

I've heard a lot of positive comment about your Language of God grammar program, but wonder if it is enough for grammar and writing?

The Language of God series extends from second through eighth grades. [In first grade, grammar is incorporated into the spelling program.] Language of God's grammar closely follows the standard sequence of grammar study found in quality language arts books.

Language of God's writing assignments are based on the reasoning that a true picture of a student's mastery of writing and grammar skills will less likely be revealed in a story about 'How I Spent My Summer Vacation' than in, for example, a letter of thanks written to his parish priest. In preparation for adult life, Language of God users practice their writing and grammar skills in practical ways, including letters to shut-ins or elderly relatives in the early levels, or letters to the editor of Catholic or secular publications or to their congressional representatives in Level D. Other writing assignments range from paragraph writing to journaling.
Language of God, Levels E-G walks students through paragraphing, researching, note-taking, pre-writing, drafting, editing, proofreading, presenting essays and stories, and more.
Note: the suggested writing assignments are located in the Introduction. When using any text or workbook, it is important to read the Introduction and all directions contained in the books to minimize confusion and to gain maximum use of the program.

In summary, 'enough writing' depends largely on how much writing is assigned by the teacher, who knows her children's interests best. If too little writing assigned, there is too little writing.

For those who would like extra writing practice in the elementary grades, CHC also includes writing assignments in their lesson plans. Other CHC writing programs include Creative Communications and
Writing Workshops.
"I love everything CHC has to offer regarding English (Language of God), spelling, reading, and phonics. My background is an English and reading teacher, and I find your materials to be top-notch...second to none." - Courtney, FL
"I love CHC's grammar and spelling. Those are so much more enjoyable than what I started with! We do use mostly  [another provider's program] but your grammar is so much easier to use without any drop in quality of material I won't go back. Even more so for the spelling." - Heather, MI

I want to purchase your Language of God book, but I see that there are no tests that come with the book. Are there any tests that I can buy that go with the book?

A testing system is built into each level of the Language of God series; however, the test pages are labeled as review or practice pages.

In a public school setting, classroom teachers have difficulty tracking individual, daily progress because of the sheer volume of work produced by 30 students. Testing, therefore, is necessary to shed more light on individual performance.

In a homeschool setting, testing doesn’t generally reveal further information on student progress than the teacher already knows; the teacher is intimately and immediately aware, on a daily basis, of her child’s understanding of the material.

In any case, in the Language of God series these review, or test, pages occur about every 12 to 15 pages, and may be used for review, practice, and testing. Some like to use the pages as practice exercises, but then return to the same pages and use them as tests a week or two later. [If the workbook page has been used, the test may be given orally.]

"I LOVE Language of God and the Spellers. Absolutely love Little Stories for Little Folks. I bought that when my 2nd child started school & he is in 8th grade now. I have used it with all my kids."
        - Rosemary, MI

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